How This "IT" Girl Built A Beauty Empire And Took It To The Bank !
"After starting it in my living room 10 years ago and not being able to pay myself for the first 3 years (I ate a lot of frozen yogurt samples) I still pinch myself every time I walk into my office and see a real office and a real desk.
And then I look around and see the best team ever! #Grateful"
- Jamie Kern Lima (Founder)
When she was working as a young television reporter after appearing on the first season of Big Brother, Jamie Kern Lima would spend hours caking on layers of war paint to cover to conceal and cover her complexion's unsightly rosacea. Colleagues would even shame her for it, eventually bruising her confidence to the point where she quit her gig altogether to pursue creating a corrective cosmetic foundation that would magically make the complexions of millions of women completely even-toned and "camera ready." But when she met with investors for funding effort, they weren't buying it - her product or her unorthodox, size 6-plus image.
In 2008 after quitting her television news anchor job to start "IT" (Innovative Technology) Cosmetics full-time, Lima realized she had taken one of the Biggest risks of all - chasing her cosmetics dreams with having procured a safety net - and decided to build
a beauty brand birthed by her own obsession with makeup. With the beauty industry over-saturated with endless brands, bottles, products, and potions, surprisingly not one offered a product that could help correct the complexion. So Jamie went on a stedfast mission to create one. With a decades worth of 100-plus hours a week in a tireless effort to get her product in front of major retailers, like Sephora, who rejected "IT" several times, her instincts re-assured her that her company was not a lost cause. She had something groundbreaking to offer. She just needed to be relentless in her quest and simply power on. It was non-negotiable. Something will eventually stick. Through nonstop, creative marketing strategies, including YouTube tutorials, in-store appearances, and QVC live demos, her message and her product finally caught steam with the most discerning skincare savants and beauty buffs.
Lima sold her bestselling, skin-solving makeup line for a whopping $1.2
billion to L’Oreal last year, while reportedly pocketing a pretty $410 million for herself. This foundation-making feat earned her a coveted spot on Forbes Network of Self-Made Women in 2018. Her husband, Paulo Lima,
whom she met at
Business School, is co-founder and still runs most of the busy brand’s day-to-day operations. Jamie still holds the CEO title, making her the first female CEO in L’Oreal’s 108 year-old history. Since the historic
sale of “It” Cosmetics to L’Oreal, Lima has dutifully invested
some proceeds to 12