Coffee N5 - Emily Perez

Episode 122 – Coffee N5 – The Power of Diversity and Building Thriving Businesses in Today’s World with Emily Perez

On this episode of Coffee N5, we have the pleasure of interviewing Emily Perez, a leading figure in the beauty industry and the founder of Latinas in Beauty. We delve into the experiences of Latinas, people of color, and minority entrepreneurs as they embark on starting their own businesses and emphasize the significance of formulating a strong marketing plan prior to launching your brand.

We’ll talk about:

  • Frequent mistakes made when marketing your brand
  • The evolution of costumers
  • Creating a solid marketing strategy

For more information, follow Latinas in Beauty on Instagram and their website.

Follow our host Lara Schmoisman on social media:

Instagram: @laraschmoisman

Facebook: @LaraSchmoisman

LinkedIn: @laraschmoisman

Twitter: @LaraSchmoisman

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Lara Schmoisman  00:05

This is coffee number five. I’m your host Laura Schmoisman. It’s all about you and I want you to succeed. Download today, my exclusive Insiders Guide to generate in business relationships that last and turns into sales. Hello, welcome back to coffee number five. I’m ready here with my coffee that it’s hot and steamy. And I’m with a really good company today. I know I met her not that long ago, but we clicked. And of course, she’s another Latina in business, but and she’s in the beauty business that you know that I’m a super fan of something that we were discussing just now, in order to have a business, you need to make money. Otherwise, it’s not a business. It’s a hobby. So welcome, Emery Perez.

Emily Perez  00:58

Hello, Lara, thank you so much for having me.

Lara Schmoisman  01:01

I’m so excited to have you here and to share a little bit of you with everyone. So Emily, how did you start? I mean, you have an amazing trajectory in the beauty industry. So why don’t tell us a little bit of your story. And how did you get here today?

Emily Perez  01:17

Yeah, so I’ve been in the beauty industry for over seven years at the leading beauty company worldwide. And my experience is

Lara Schmoisman  01:25

okay, you can say brands if you want at L’Oreal. Okay, little company, you guys sent

Emily Perez  01:32

a letter one. Yeah. And my experience is on the scientific side, managing the compliance of our the beauty products, not only you know, from a regulatory piece, but also how brands are able to communicate the efficacy of their products. And recently, I started Latinos and beauty which is very near and dear to my heart. And it’s a professional networking community for Latinos like ourselves, come together to network and elevate

Lara Schmoisman  02:07

for you guys think about it, Latinas, Latinos, we’re not all the same I can I actually have to speak English to Emily.

Emily Perez  02:16

Yes, I speak. I speak Portuguese. I am from Brazil, originally. So while I identify as a Latina, my heritage is from Brazil. So we speak Portuguese, my Spanish is so so

Lara Schmoisman  02:30

you’re better than my Portuguese that if I only know how to ask how to go to a bathroom. Which is very useful, which is helpful. If you’re visiting Brazil. Absolutely. So what are you doing today, Emily, besides hosting

Emily Perez  02:48

the Latinas in theory with it. So within Latinos in beauty itself, we are working primarily our primary goal is to create networking opportunities to connect Latinos that are killing it honestly, within the beauty industry, between the founders, as well as professionals, corporate professionals to come together to uplift one another, as well as mentoring, right? Because what I’ve seen within the industry is Latinas and women of color in general, lack access to mentorships really coming together to connect the two. So individuals that are just starting out can learn a little bit quicker, right? Because I think what we see in the beauty industry is there’s a lot of information and oftentimes that can be gate kept raised, so to be able to have access to that information so individuals can start their, their businesses and very profitable, like you mentioned, immediately, with that focus to sustainable growth.

Lara Schmoisman  03:49

Yeah, and not only that, it’s for me, it’s about getting experiences from others because in the last few years, there’s been like a boom in the beauty industry. I became like, even too easy to release a product.

Emily Perez  04:05

Right? There is a lot of information but I think what a lot of founders share with me is that there’s so much they won’t also be able to funnel in to know to get the information that they need, whether you know it’s for their particular product type. But also you know, marketing, digital e commerce retail, you know, when where, dang, there’s just

Lara Schmoisman  04:32

we I always like to give a little piece of information of the backstage people don’t know a lot of things about the backstage of the beauty industry like for example everyone wants to go retailer for thing for them. But they don’t know that when you are in retail, you only you have commitments, marketing commitments with them. You have another commitment that is educating their professionals that they work at the stores. And there is like, like some stones on the way in every aspect. But if you go marketplaces or Amazon or Etsy, all those, you also need to deal with all the other side of the business. If you do the DC, you also need to go those I mean, one of the best advice I can give you all, if you have is just have a team have in an accountant have a bookkeeper, because when you start selling, here they are taxes come from others, so many companies are they’re not taking all these expenses in consideration.

Emily Perez  05:38

And I agree, I agree with you a lot. And I think one of the things that founders always say is deciding when to let go, right? I think in the beginning stages, that it’s your baby, you’re making all of the decisions, and you’re learning as you go majority of the time. And to then be able to find the perfect time to not only take on a new employee, but then also to, to, to be able to give the responsibility to somebody else. I think oftentimes people struggle with that.

Lara Schmoisman  06:10

Yeah. And I mean, what are the struggles that you see in founding members or emerging brands?

Emily Perez  06:18

I think for me, it depends on which stage during right I think oftentimes for the individuals that are just starting out, it really is funneling in and doing the pre work before they launch, right? Like, like you mentioned, making the decision of the retailer that you’re going to like, what’s your route of distribution? What’s your marketing going to look like your packaging, like, but oftentimes, they go too fast. I fought they make those decisions.

Lara Schmoisman  06:46

I seen that that that they do the packaging, they do their formulation, but then they don’t know they don’t have the strategy of what route they want to do. And it’s okay to go all of the routes, it’s okay to call marketplaces, retailers DTC, it’s okay. But everything takes work and money.

Emily Perez  07:04

Right. And I think one of the, the feedback that I’ve received, or insights that I receive as far as standard iPhone, no, Valetta. And she, she reminds founders, like, what is your North Star? Right? Like, what is your end goal? Like, make sure it’s clear to you as a founder, what that looks like? So every action that you’re taking on a daily basis is towards that North Star and towards that goal? For your business?

Lara Schmoisman  07:32

Yeah, absolutely. And, but also, yeah, Sandra is brilliant, by the way. And she’s doing an amazing Korea with her products. And she’s so she’s just so true hers to herself, and I. Yeah, I love that about her. But at the same time is, I don’t know her complete story. But getting funding is hard, and made a lot of people that are new to this industry, they are going in with the hopes of raising capital, do you see really as a possibility for someone who has no background in the beauty industry, they just investing whatever funds or have in creating their own line, I just want people to be transparent and to understand where they are really standing before they create their own brand.

Emily Perez  08:26

You know, being transparently I think it’s extremely difficult, right? I think when you look at the data, I think point 4% of Latinos receive funding, you know, so it’s difficult. And Sandra, you know,

Lara Schmoisman  08:39

it’s difficult because you’re Latina, or it’s difficult, because you’re new in the industry,

Emily Perez  08:45

I think it’s probably a combination, because I think a lot of the the way that the industry works, especially with venture capital funding, is who you know, and getting in front of those individuals. And if you’re Latina, without the network, or you’re a woman of color, without a network, you don’t know you know, where to go, or how to create a deck or how to approach those conversations. But one of the things that I hear a lot about from VCs is that they focus primarily on the founders story, right? They get a connected, create that connection with the founders, what their story is and how passionate they are about the brand. And that’s what they want to invest in. So I think that’s something that, you know, if you’re interested in starting your own business, and you’re looking for that, to go that route, is to be able to pull yourself and your story and the reason that you started this company at the forefront because more and more I think for indie brands, that’s important.

Lara Schmoisman  09:46

It is super important. It is super important as I mean from my side, what I can tell you is that you need to have a cohesive strategy and marketing strategy from the get go because since you since you create your plan packaging your line, you need to have a cohesive story that that’s going to be selling your product. So you need to make sure that your target audience will identify with the package.

Emily Perez  10:09

Right? Yeah. Is the packaging is also where do you want that packaging to sit? Right? Like you’ve mentioned? Like, is it Lux is it isn’t a consumer product goods, right? Is that at Walmart, right? If you think about like Luna magic, if you speak to them, they’re like, they were very clear that of who their consumer base was. And they’re like, We want to be in Walmart, because that’s who our consumer is. So like, they were very certain that there’s no

Lara Schmoisman  10:35

wrong right? And wrongs in white, make more money being on Walmart than being on Nordstrom. It’s about getting to the right place for your target audience.

Emily Perez  10:45

Exactly. In very, very clear about that. Right. So then you can, then you can generate digital advertising or Instagram, all of that.

Lara Schmoisman  10:55

Yeah, but to be fair, whatever you do in your brand, you’re gonna have to spend money, it’s not gonna come for free influencers, I’m not gonna go come for free, they aren’t. They’re not for free. And a lot of time, I know, a lot of you guys are trying to do it, do it yourself, and do it doing it yourself. You’re gonna lower cost a lot in many things, but also your mistakes are gonna cost you money.

Emily Perez  11:21

Laura, I have a question for you. Because I think we see that from our founders that are in the community is a lot of them are bootstrapped. Right, if they’re, if they’re thinking about growing through through digital media, and influencers, like what do you recommend given like, you know, if they have a small pocket of money, that they have extra to spend,

Lara Schmoisman  11:42

like what’s the best that’s funny that you thought you’re telling me this actually, I’m giving an on January 19, I think this is going to be a or after that. A workshop about these four iba Independent Media Association. And I believe my belief is that everyone deserves marketing, small companies, big companies, but you need to create a sustainable strategy, which means that if you have $10 to spend, you need to hide those 10 strategy for those $10 not to have a strategy for $1,000 thinking that things are going to change over time with those $10,010 And then you’re going to be able to pivot you need to be realistic.

Emily Perez  12:28

That’s great advice.

Lara Schmoisman  12:29

I just I see it a lot. I see. Marketing is not magic. And you’re not gonna even if you see all these influencers, influencer marketing is great. But what I see is influencer marketing is great for a brand awareness, not necessarily to create immediate why’s. Right. Let me ask you a question want to go back to your expertise in regulations for the products because you’ve been working at L’Oreal, like we mentioned before, but you also were bringing in new companies and analyzing their products that they’ve been.

Emily Perez  13:10

So yeah, so currently, my my role is I support the compliance review for any potential new acquisitions. And then I work within the organization to integrate those products within the L’Oreal portfolio.

Lara Schmoisman  13:24

Oh, amazing. Yeah. So what of the something because everyone that has that hope that one day is going to be purchased also by L’Oreal, or with by any other big company? What are the regulations that we need to be aware of what small grin need to know that if that’s what they want? Or their hopes they need to start from the beginning in order to do it? Right?

Emily Perez  13:48

Yeah, I think for them, you know, the FDA really does have a lot of resources for small businesses. So definitely be on their website, looking to see what the cosmetic labeling app looks like, you know, the FTC, the Federal Trade Commission also has marketing material on how to market your products legally, with within the beauty industry. So I think those are really great resources and something that you have to be extremely mindful of, when you start creating your efficacy, communication around around your products, just to be aware that you are not stepping outside of the cosmetic scope of your products, because you don’t want to have an issue down the line if you are at the table. You know. Great, amazing.

Lara Schmoisman  14:33

Can you give me an example of a failure in marketing?

Emily Perez  14:37

I think for me is always trying to chase the SEO buzzword. Right. And like, I think, you know, if you’re, I think one of the easy examples, you know, if you’re selling a product that is within the cosmetic realm and you’re making an acne claim that your product is efficacious around acne, I think it’s in the US acne or OTC drug products. Spray. So I think that one to be able to stay within if you’re communicating on acne, to make sure that either your product is OTC or that you’re just revising your claim not to get within.

Lara Schmoisman  15:13

Yeah, that’s something I see a lot that when the claims or you make in your product is any, you need to be careful about all things. So how I mean, I, I understand that there are a lot of products that they are developed to help or prevent, or, but there are other words that you can use, you can not use the word acne. So you’re exactly, you really need to be very careful of the wording that they use and what I need to be creative. Yeah, but yeah, that’s what it was a smart way. But I mean, you get great resources, or talk to someone who in there, because you’re setting yourself up for failure. And I seen, I see these from the other side, of course, from marketing, but I see that when people for example, they create beautiful websites, but perfect, they don’t perform, or they don’t have SEO, right. So it doesn’t work that way. If you want to have a marketing strategy, you need to think about performance, you need to think about the CEO, you need to think about what you’re transmitting to the buyer, because if you’re giving the wrong message, or you’re claiming something, it’s going to come back to you.

Emily Perez  16:24

Yeah, and I think more retailers are also holding, you know, their, their partners accountable for what they’re saying and what evidence they have or what support they have available for the products.

Lara Schmoisman  16:37

Let’s talk for a second about clean theory, how important is really clean beauty is the packaging that is sustainable.

Emily Perez  16:46

I think sustainable is something that you know, globally, and for the environment, it’s something that we need to be very cautious about the clean beauty, at least in the US as there’s no deaf defined, regulatory definition for it, it becomes a little bit difficult. And what we’ve seen, you know, each company has their own definition, and even more, so we’re seeing more retailers with their own definition. So I think for me, as long as you’re clear and direct to your consumer and what it means to you, and you uphold those standards.

Lara Schmoisman  17:19

But would you be more attractive to purchase a company or to recommend that a company to acquire a company that have those that is ready, they claim to be clean, or they have a packaging that is more sustainable than the other?

Emily Perez  17:37

I think the business team, you know, they make those mid they make those decisions. So I’m not involved in that. But I think if you’ve just listened to the industry itself and where that’s going, I think clean has turned into a buzzword. Yep, that is kind of like a checkbox approach. Me It’s a nice to have, but I don’t think it’s a must have.

Lara Schmoisman  17:57

It’s nice, but at the same time now we can go both ways with exactly what’s happening.

Emily Perez  18:03

I think, you know, it’s kind of like greenwashing. Right. I think that’s that has happened within within that word is like what does it mean? I think consumers are very, they have evolved in a little, they’re more educated on ingredients on the products that they’re putting in their skin. So they’re aware of the ingredients. And you know, if you’re claiming clean, you know, they want to make sure that you’re holding your bargain, but they’re also understand that there are efficacious, safe ingredient, you know, manmade type of like ingredients as well doesn’t necessarily mean it’s bad for you. And I think that that’s important as well.

Lara Schmoisman  18:41

Well also, because you want ingredients and it will work. When you get in a cosmetic product, you want something that will really and they’re expensive many times so you want a product that will work for what you purchase for I think the customer is getting smarter, they are looking more into the ingredients. And they’re because before many years ago, we would have gone blindly and just accept a recommendation from anyone or some a Pikachu, they looks great. And something that I learned as I started to need more and more creams and more Larix treatments is that I not everything will work for me. And that I need to know. Besides that they will might have the most gorgeous package. What are the ingredients that will work for my issues?

Emily Perez  19:35

Yeah, I think you know, if we think about even maybe like 10 years ago, you know, I think consumers went to the shelf. They went to the stores and looked at the shelves, they look at the packaging, and they they decided at that point, you know what product would be best for them. I think in today’s world, people are looking up online before they even go to the store. Right? Yeah, and

Lara Schmoisman  19:54

they’re seeing online so they are

Emily Perez  19:58

they’re seeing more of like what you Putting on your website or what people are writing about the particular ingredients are your reviews on your particular products before they even decide to buy. So I think even that decision factor has changed. So yeah, well,

Lara Schmoisman  20:13

the reviews is tough. It’s really tough. Because a lot of people, so going back to our new brands, or new Latinas brands, What’s the best advice that you can give someone who’s starting? It’s called Latina woman and colors are any minority who starting to run on with the really Bootstrap? And what would you recommend them, because you’re working with so many individuals in right now and that you see them struggling?

Emily Perez  20:49

Yeah, I think for me, you know, in addition to defining what it means to you, it really is important for you to find a community that contains founders at different stages of their brand. And as you evolved, you connect with individuals that are at the stage that you want to be at, right and really, search for a mentor a business boundary that you see there is doing something very similar to what you want to do. Research what they have already put out into the internet, because a lot of them have their own podcast or in their in attending other podcasts or sharing information to see what they’ve already put out there. Reach out to them and ask, you know, for a 30 minute slot, where you just where you want to ask questions that pertains to your particular brand. And you’ll be surprised the amount of individuals that will find time, to me obvious because what I because what has been the most fruitful thing for me, being the founder of Latinas in beauty is how generous founder.

Lara Schmoisman  22:00

Yeah, I found in this community in the beauty industry, people being super generous with information,

Emily Perez  22:07

I think they understand. And they what took for them to get where they are. Right Is this a struggle oftentimes is very challenging. So they understand what they went through, and they want to help their community. And there’s this, the shift in that it’s collaboration over competition, that really has been driving a lot of our conversation is like, How can I help you succeed? There’s room for all of us. Right. And I think that has that has changed over time, I think in general around the industry, but really seeing Latina and women of color wanting others to succeed and providing resources, their time, their leadership to help you get there has been something that I’ve seen, and something I would recommend new founders to

Lara Schmoisman  22:58

absolutely, but you need to also go on thinking with your head straight, that every brand is unique. And every moment is different. So even if you get a mentor who hated the winning ticket, it doesn’t mean that that is necessarily going to happen to you your story. So you might learn this. Actually, I say that many times, you can learn more from people who tried it many times and fail and from those failures that one person pushes was like and hit it. Right. But okay, Emily, so how people can know more about you and Latinas in beauty how they can become part of this amazing community.

Emily Perez  23:45

Oh, thank you. Well, we’re Latinos in beauty.com. So on our website, we have links to all of our social opportunities. So we’re on Instagram, Latinos in beauty official.com as well as LinkedIn, and we’re kicking off a new splash page. So that was going to be excited to be able to connect everyone

Lara Schmoisman  24:05

up perfect. Okay, Emily, thank you so much for being here having coffee with me today. I really I so always enjoy our conversations.

Emily Perez  24:14

It was such an awesome conversation. Thank you so much for having me. Of course.

Lara Schmoisman  24:18

And to you guys. I’ll see you next week with more coffee Number Five Fun everything you need at large boys man.com Or in the Episode Notes right below. Don’t forget to subscribe. We’ll see. So good to have you here today. See you next time. Catch you on the flip side. Ciao ciao.

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