Spotlight on Keisha Nash-Whitaker, Creator of Kissable Couture
My three daughters became lip gloss guinea pigs.
How she uses all the prototypes:
I attach them to the top of birthday presents.
How she did her research:
We went to Sephora to test out glosses; we took notes on what we liked, what we didn't, and what we'd do differently. We spent a lot of time on the phone with manufacturers, asking what kinds of ingredients they use.
Her determination paid off when:
We called up a manufacturer who said that she would take orders only for quantities of 500 or more; based on our finances, we didn't want to make that many. We continued to call her, presented our business plan, and asked smart questions—we even flew to the plant. Eventually, she said that because we seemed serious and seemed to know what we were doing, she'd bend the rules and produce 200 for us.
Why she created a second collection:
I wanted to do something special for Valentine's Day and offer a great gift option, so I created three new glosses called Dreams, Bliss, and Fantasies.
How she does it all:
I pull over and reply to e-mails on my BlackBerry when I'm in the car, and I work in my home office before the girls are awake and after I drop them off at school.
Her advice for other self-starters:
Take your time. Don't settle until everything looks and feels exactly the way you want it.
Why she named the first collection First Kiss:
I wanted to call it something everyone can relate to. Each shade is named after a man who gave someone I know her first kiss. I called one shade Forest, because I was never really kissed until I met him.