Heather Marianna is the founder of all-natural beauty brands Beauty Kitchen and Marianna Naturals, whose YouTube channel was originally conceived to share easy, do-it-yourself beauty solutions using common household ingredients. Her engaging on-camera personality led to her being invited to host television beauty segments in over a hundred regional and national shows. Following meticulous research, development, and personal handcrafting, Heather launched plant-based skincare lines in 2013 to great acclaim and popularity. Taking her company to the next level, Heather then used her available infrastructure to help others develop their beauty brands by offering a Brand Incubator and Accelerator Program including full turnkey coaching, retail-ready manufacturing, and making it affordable for people who want to launch a brand but don’t know where to begin.
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Was there somebody in your life that inspired you to take that specific journey with your business?
Heather Marianna: It wasn’t just one person. So many people in my life eventually became sources of inspiration. It started with my grandmother who encouraged me to go out into the world and take chances. Then when I started my YouTube channel to share some of my skincare recipes, so many people gave me such positive feedback on how they were helped by these treatments. And then there were my close friends who eventually pushed me to start my brands. Realizing that something I created could be of help to others empowered me to truly strike out on my own.
What are the most common mistakes you see entrepreneurs make and what would you suggest they do?
Heather Marianna: Anyone who comes into any industry assuming they already know everything there is to know will only find themselves in trouble. Starting any kind of business requires a great deal of research. But the most important thing any entrepreneur needs to take to heart is that one never stops learning. No matter how well prepared you are, you will make mistakes. Everyone does. The important thing is to keep learning and to never give up.
Resilience is critical in critical times like the ones we are going through now. How would you define resilience?
Heather Marianna: For me, resilience is enduring all the people and things that may impede your path to success. It’s working your way through the tough times. And if you fail, it’s standing back up and trying again. Resilience is finding that determination within yourself to go against the odds and to keep going.
In your opinion, what makes your company stand out from the competition?
Heather Marianna: From the outset, I didn’t want to be like so many gigantic pharmaceutical companies that rely heavily on synthetic chemicals with little regard for the long-term consequences of their use or the expensive markups they put on their products. To this day, no matter how popular the brand has become we’re still viewed as an independent, an artisanal cult favorite because everything is plant-based with prices accessible to the average consumer.
What do you consider are your strengths when dealing with staff workers, colleagues, senior management, and customers?
Heather Marianna: For me, it’s treating everyone with dignity. I don’t believe in managing from an elevated position where people have to go through a hierarchical system. I maintain an open-door policy so that everyone from my staff to our loyal customers can approach me with their concerns. Not only does this provide transparency, but it follows the cornerstone of why started this business in the first place – helping solve problems.
Being a CEO of the company, do you think that your brand reflects your company’s values?
Heather Marianna: Absolutely. I am a firm believer in maintaining a healthy lifestyle which is at the cornerstone of our company’s values. Believe me, it isn’t easy. Even I have to struggle to achieve a certain balance. I can be a workaholic and do stress and have trouble sleeping. But I will always return to our core brand message and values of promoting well-being. And I endeavor to live by that. So in a way, I am every woman, I am the brand’s customer.
How would you define “leadership”?
Heather Marianna: Leadership can mean different things to different people. To my way of thinking, I believe your leaderships style has to adjust to whoever you’re dealing with. Some people are better at following direct instructions. Others on the other hand are best left alone. They know their jobs and they will execute them more efficiently if you allow them the space to do so. So I guess you can say that leadership is understanding how to bring the best out of the people who follow and rely on you to lead them.
What’s your favorite “life lesson” quote and how has it affected your life?
Heather Marianna: One of my favorite quotes of all time is “the only way to fail is to stop trying”. At any juncture in my life whenever I was faced with an obstacle or a hardship, I remind myself that if I let this stop me then I’ve already failed. And this gives me the kick I need to go out there and fight even harder to achieve what I want and make a difference.
Jed Morley, VIP Contributor to ValiantCEO and the host of this interview would like to thank Heather Marianna for taking the time to do this interview and share her knowledge and experience with our readers.
If you would like to get in touch with Heather Marianna or her company, you can do it through her – Facebook
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