How Lilit Caradanian Does It All
Life is all about balance. No matter if you’re an entry-level employee breaking into the industry or an incredible entrepreneur with a line of your own, everyone is trying to make all the different facets of their life fit together. It’s an ongoing process, but Elcie Cosmetics founder Lilit Caradanian does a pretty good job of “doing it all”!
Check out how Lilit’s brand has grown over the years and how she balances being an entrepreneur, influencer, and mom!
SIMPLY: You've been running Elcie Cosmetics for a few years now. Congratulations! How do you feel about the brand's success so far, and what are you hoping for the future of Elcie?
LILIT CARADANIAN: I launched Elcie Cosmetics in 2015 with not having a single clue in how to run a cosmetics business. I had been doing makeup for 15 years at that point and had played with every makeup and product up until that point. I was confident I knew what was missing in the market and until today, every product I create is made with a universal concept in mind. I was confident in my products but never in a million years would I think my brand would become what it has today: a successful, high-demand brand. My hope for the future of Elcie is to expand Globally so that we are able to make our products available everywhere around the world. Currently we only ship within the US; and we have expanded to distribution in the UK & South Africa.
SIMPLY: What has been the most crucial step to scaling your business?
The most crucial step for Elcie was expanding into Ulta.com. Elcie Cosmetics was only available on our website and a single makeup store called Naimes Beauty Center in Sherman Oaks. Expanding into Ulta.com was a scary step for me because I wanted to make sure after 4 years of rejecting so many companies that online at Ulta would be the right one. After a year of debating, I decided to move forward, and it has been the best decision for Elcie. Ulta Beauty really helps you with exposure and really takes care of their clients. They have been able to help us spread awareness about Elcie Cosmetics through their platform. We have a lot of plans this year with Ulta and I cannot wait to share them with the public.
SIMPLY: How do you know when it's time to launch a new product, like your newly-released sheer pressed setting powder, and how do you work to develop and perfect these products before launch?
Normally, you would need to gauge a trend a year in advance before it happens. If you’re late, all other brands will jump on the trend market and you will miss the boat. With Elcie, I use a very different concept; we are not a “trending” brand - we are a classic brand. I create products that I believe the market needs or lacks. I learned through my consumers that the community is overwhelmed and confused by the amount of products launching in the market. I develop products to help minimize the confusion and simplify the process of makeup. For example, my first Minimalist eyeshadow palette is a “natural” eyeshadow palette with only 5 shades; these 5 shades are the most used and most universal shades, which went on to become one of our Best Sellers. With the sheer pressed powder, this is a concept I would use with my clients all the time when trying to set their face. I noticed consumers would set their entire skin with a translucent powder and end up looking very pale & dry. I created a colored sheer pressed powder so they can set their skin with a little bit of a color & glow without looking dry. In addition, I customized every shade within each to be used universally. Each compact has 5 gradient shades to be able to set different skin tones in a category but also to be able to use a one simple compact to not only set their skin but highlight, bronze & contour with a natural finish.
SIMPLY: You're not only an entrepreneur but an influencer, makeup artist, and mother too! How do you balance it all?
I get this question a lot! I think I have to rewind a bit with this one. I have always had a lot going on. Before I opened my own studio and started my own makeup line, I had a full time job working in finance at Disney; I was working on my Master’s degree and working the weekends taking clients all day for makeup. I am used to always doing too much, but to me, this was all normal. Working hard and having a family is normal to me in a sense that I allow changes in my life and adjust my life accordingly. In general, I don’t have a lazy personality and don’t like wasting my time/life. I hardly ever watch TV and use my time more valuably. Instead of watching TV, I’d rather spend time with my kids. I think it’s all about routine; you have to figure out a routine and stick with it. I drop my daughter off to school in the mornings, I go workout, go to work and get as much work done as I possibly can and make sure to pick her up from school. Once I pick my older one from school, I come home and prep food and spend time with my girls. Once the girls go to sleep, my husband and I will spend time together, he will watch TV, I’ll read a book or work. This is our typical day about 3 days a week. Weekends are all about spending time with family. Routine.
SIMPLY: What advice do you have for women looking to break into the beauty world?
I have to say, I don’t believe in the “starving artist” mentality. If you want to break into the beauty world or any creative field, you need to work double time until you get there. I worked in my full time job for years and did makeup on the side for about 10 years before I decided to get into the beauty world full time. Your “side” job has to pick up and get so busy that you can make that change without getting hit financially. I loved beauty and the makeup world so much that I would spend every waking moment blogging & creating makeup looks. If you’re passionate about something, you never get lazy with it and you have to work hard towards it until you get there.