Musette sez: I’m always interested in other business owners – who are they? how did they start their business? how’s it going? do you wake up, at 2am, screaming? In the coming weeks I will introduce you to some of my favorite small-biz retailers. A lot of us buy online (or even – gasp!- buy IN STORE) but rarely really know the folks behind those shops. We shop their sites, cheer when they have a Sale and moan when their prices increase…but who the heck are ‘they’? Well. Let’s see, shall we?
Beautyhabit! I love so much about this shop. But what I love most is the stupid story I originally made up about the two sisters who own and run it, Teresa Mitchell and Paula Vazquez, back when we were setting up the LA Scentsation. At first glance I just saw California Girls, that gorgeous blonde, healthy bouncy fabulous Breckness endemic to the Golden State – I imagined them, reclining in chaises longue in the Valley, sipping mimosas whilst cherubs who look like The Rock drift through the terrace doors, bearing the latest, coolest offerings from Paris and Neptune.
Yah. Okay. I didn’t say I had any sense. These are BUSINESS people, Musette. Working their asses off. Just. Like. You. Only way cuter.
So. Teresa and Paula. Oh, SO cool. Did you know that Teresa studied Mysticism and Religious Studies at Berkeley before going to Beauty School to become an Esthetician ???(there’s a joke in there somewhere but …)…she started her business in her basement after she had to quit working in department stores due to an environmental (coughEL-relatedcough) illness. At that time, 1995-96, her husband (a Silicon Valley guy) told her about this new ‘online shopping’ phenomenon. She remembers thinking ‘who would ever buy beauty products Online?” . I said the same thing about books, when Amazon first came on the scene. Sigh. Luckily, Teresa was smarter than me! Also, luckily for us, she is a hunter, a self-confessed Beauty Magpie, JustLikeMe, flitting from product to product, which meant she could really bust the whole thing wide open, bringing a host of unusual, fun products to the fore. Lots and lots of trial, error and testing…. Though I still like the idea of The Rock-like cherubs bringing the products in through the window….or me trying the products ON The Rock (here, Dwaynebaby…let me smooth a bit of this on your chest…yah, it’s research,sweetcheeks. Research.”
my favorite conversation with Teresa: we were yabberin’ on about treatment and we got all mystical about Luxury and the thrill of the hunt for the perfect organic French rosewater and omgosh, I was hearing those cherubs…when she chuckled and said ‘yeah. and then I slap on my Retin-A! LOL!” I LOVE this gal!
But! We actually get the stuff because her sister Paula is a freakin’ dynamo! Listen. This woman is a size-zero Force of Nature! She owned a successful printing company when her sister came a-callin’ and now runs the daily operations portion of Beautyhabit as well as all the design management (and THANK YOU for such cuteness! Really! I love your catalogues!). Paula’s the Perfume Slut but she’s Beauty Faithful – been in the same Chanel eyeshadow for 15 years!
my favorite conversation with Paula: we were talking about how much of her day involves running around and she talked about how tough Christmastime is or, as it’s known at Beautyhabit: Paula’s Month of Sweatpants, when she would race to UPS and jam her foot in the closing door to get those last packages in so we get them On Time . I didn’t have the heart to tell her I have Anita’s YEARS in sweatpants. This woman is a WORKER (ask her about her trying to get a job at The Golden Door (at 14! as a maid! okay! okay! no cherubs, dammit). Plus, she’s way cuter than me, too. Even in sweatpants. especially in sweatpants! I need to run around more.
If you are in LA and can trek out to the Valley, I swear to Floyd you MUST go to Beautyhabit (go around lunchtime when Paula’s husband Chef Alberto is in the area. A year later and I’m still thinking about that amazing lunch). It’s sort of a brick&mortar wholesale spot, unprepossessing as hell from the outside….then…well..I remember March & I stopping dead in our tracks, right inside the door…we….omg…we couldn’t speak for a full 30 seconds…just stood there, panting! You wouldn’t BELIEVE it, it’s so……omg.
They go all over the world (and the world comes to them), to find the most interesting, intriguing lines.. Racks and racks and RACKS of Fabulous! It’s so fabulous it’s stupefyin’. Some of my favorites are..
…heck! You don’t care what MY favorites are. You care what YOUR favorites are becauuuuuse:
As thanks for taking the time to get to know them, Beautyhabit is giving away 4-fabulous-4 eGift Certificates!!! What you need to do: go over to beautyhabit.com, fall in love with something and come back here and lemme know what it is. That’s all you have to do! Bruno is feeling all better’n everthang so he will pick 4 winners! You won’t win ‘the thing’ but if you win you’ll win the eGift certificate so you can buy the thing! Draw ends Midnight 20 April – this draw is open to Everyone.
PLUS! Shopping at Beautyhabit.com? From now until May 31 we have FREE SHIPPING! (Free Ground shipping to lower 48 only) Code : POSSE. So get on OVAH there!
Can I just say how completely JEALOUS I am of you? You guys get a chance to win a $50 eGift certificate. I get a chance to write about it. Lucky me. But I’m happy for you. No, really! Happy!