Top Women in Focus: Heather Reier

heather-reierAs someone who has always been interested in beauty products, Heather Reier really felt the beauty world was missing a line of crèmes and scrubs infused with nourishing ingredients accompanied by stylish packaging and a sassy, fun concept. So much so that in 2003 she whipped it all together – in her kitchen – and Cake Beauty was born.

This female entrepreneur made sure that each and every product was infused with fine ingredients for an unforgettably high quality experience. Barbie by Cake comes out this month, in honour of Barbie’s 50th birthday. It’s part of a global campaign where Barbie is teaming up with beauty brands to create a collection to be sold at Sephora.

We sat down with the Queen of Cake Beauty to get advice on how she got ahead in the wonderful world of skin care and beauty.

What aspects do you look for in a product before you decide that it’s ready to sell?
I certainly look for an element of innovation. Our company is about products that help women solve their beauty queries. The quality and value have to be there before we’re ready to sell.

What makes a successful entrepreneur?
Two things: resilience and passion. I think those are two very important qualities to be successful. You can’t have one and not the other.

What advice would you give to someone wanting to start their own business?
Learn about the industry. Surround yourself with people that know things that you don’t, and that have experiences that you don’t have, and with people that want you to win. The younger and less experienced you are, the less you know. So surround yourself with good people.

What has been your greatest accomplishment to date?
I’m really proud of the team I put together here at Cake. I’m also proud of our Satin Sugar hair packaged products. I went out of my comfort zone and entered into the hair market.

Based on your gender, did you face any challenges climbing the corporate ladder?
I didn’t. Maybe because the beauty industry is filled with high-powered women, so there were no gender biases for me.

What do you think is the main challenge businesswomen battle each day?
I would say that often women don’t think big enough. They are more averse to taking risks. We take more calculated risks, and I don’t think we, as a gender, are going to get anywhere unless we think big.

What words do you live by?
Don’t take it all too seriously.

Who are you influenced by?
I am influenced by both of my parents. They both had a huge influence on me growing up and they continue to influence me with the business. They encouraged me to follow my passion.

What makes you smile?
My husband. No matter what kind of day I’m having he can always pull it out of me.

What inspires you to keep on going and pushing yourself to get to the next level?
I am an eternal optimist. I think that’s a must when you start a business. I was taught that by my parents. Resilience is make or break when owning a business.

What’s your favourite Cake product?
That’s a tough one. There’s no way I can live without the Satin Sugar Hair and Body Refreshing Powder.

How do you motivate your staff?
I involve them and make them part [of what is going on] in many aspects of the business. I think that’s really motivating for them and they know that they’re helping me run this business. They really take ownership and run part of the Cake Beauty engine.

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