She Made Millions from Nail Polish!!!!

23 Jun

You’ve seen nail polish with colors like sky blue and winter green, but do you know who started the trend?

I’m sure a lot of you have heard of “Hard Candy Cosmetics”, but do you know the story behind it?

Hard Candy is the brainchild of  Dineh Mohajer.  Dineh was a 22 year old student when she came up with the idea. She enlisted the help of her sister Pooneh and her boyfriend Benjamin Einstein, and the three came up with $200 to buy some nail polish and supplies from the beauty store. One business plan, and a few sample shades later, they decided to pitch upscale fashion shop Fred Segal. While going through the pitch, a 16-year-old customer saw the shades and wanted all four instantaneously. The owner set the price at $18 a bottle on the spot and sold them to the demanding teenager. With no supplies left, Fred Segal placed an order with Dineh for 200 bottles that same day.

The company’s first product was nail polish that Dineh mixed herself – a shade of baby blue named “Sky” to match her sandals. In that same year, actress Alicia Silverstone appeared on the Late Night with David Letterman and, when asked about her pastel blue fingernails, replied, “It’s ‘Sky’ by Hard Candy,” causing an overnight explosion for the brand. Within approximately 2 years, the business grew to a $10-million-dollar company. Dineh kept the creative juices flowing by staying in touch with her target market of 15 to 25-year-olds. She created new mod shades called Porn, Trailer Trash and Jailbait. It wasn’t long before cosmetic giants had a contender and big companies took notice of this new cultural phenomenon.

Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy (LVMH), who owns Donna Karen, Givenchy, Sephora, TAG Heuer, and Veuve Clicquot acquired Hard Candy in 1999 for a reported $30 million. The acquisition afforded Hard Candy greater distribution and a brand to attach itself to. Hard Candy is now Urban Decay Cosmetics LLC dba Hard Candy. Dineh Mohajer, alongside Jeanne Chavez, recently left Hard Candy to form cosmetics brand Goldie. Benjamin Einstein is currently President of Einstein Cosmetics LLC.

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