Kitiya King, Founder of Mischo Beauty
So excited to highlight Kitiya Mischo King, who has many titles, but most importantly is the founder and CEO of Mischo Beauty. A luxury brand that has been featured in numerous national magazines and websites. With influences from fashion and her degree in Chemistry, Kitiya created 5 FREE nail lacquers – free of formaldehyde, DBP, toluene, formaldehyde resin, and camphor toxins. Being able to use your degree and join your passion for beauty to launch a phenomenal brand is an amazing achievement. I hope you support her newest collection “She Who Dares” an homage to the extraordinary in every woman, the collection includes three vibrantly rich new shades – On Pointe, Be Daring, Darling & Risque.
Name: Kitiya Mischo King
Location: Washington, DC
Year Founded: 2013
Title/Occupation: Founder/CEO at Mischo Beauty
Education: Spelman College – Bachelor of Science in Chemistry
Favorite quote (if any): “Speak Up. Believe In Yourself. Take Risks” – Sheryl Sandberg
My advice to entrepreneurs would be to focus on establishing the branding for the brand, so that the brand can always be clearly recognized and identifiable. – Kitiya Mischo King
Can you give a brief introduction about Mischo Beauty? What prompted you to take the leap and create your own company?
Mischo Beauty actually started as a beauty blog back in 2007, to provide an honest, fact-based perspective on all things beauty. I’m a licensed cosmetologist, esthetician, manicurist and makeup artist with professional training and experience from Vidal Sassoon, Aveda, and Elizabeth Arden’s Red Door Spa. I also have a degree in Chemistry from Spelman College. It’s always been a dream of mine to combine my love of science and passion for beauty.
That dream came true when during my pregnancy I had the hardest time finding non-toxic and fashion-forward nail polish. I actually didn’t polish my nails during the first six months of my pregnancy. It was during that time that I decided I would launch Mischo Luxury Nail Lacquer, a 5 FREE, non-toxic, cruelty-free nail lacquer collection. Mischo Beauty – the blog, then became Mischo Beauty – a luxury, eco-conscious cosmetics brand in 2013!
Would you be willing to share how you started your company (IE: funding, branding, advertising)? What surprised you about this process? Was there anything that was more difficult or easier than you expected?
Yes, absolutely! It all started with a commitment, then a vision, which became a written plan, which then turned into nonstop action! I used my own money to start the company. I’m a one-woman show, though I do hire freelancers to assist with branding, graphic design, pr and marketing. I would say that there was nothing surprising about the start-up process.
I knew it wouldn’t be easy, but I also believed in my heart of hearts that I could make it a reality and so I was up for the challenge! Now I will be honest and tell you that this has been a long road filled with ups and downs, but thankfully the highs outweigh the lows!
What is your most successful form of marketing? What advice can you offer entrepreneurs about marketing their business?
My most successful form of marketing is a combination of pr, social media and word of mouth! My advice to entrepreneurs would be to focus on establishing the branding for the brand, so that the brand can always be clearly recognized and identifiable. Secondly, I would advise entrepreneurs to be consistent with all of their marketing efforts.
With your background what would you say are the three main ingredients to a successful business?
- Being able to solve a problem!
- Excellent customer service!
In business there can be self doubts, which prematurely stop people from trying new ventures. What words of encouragement can you offer others to just go for it?
The first step is to make a commitment! Then take action and stay focused and hang on tight for the roller coaster ride to come, because it will be filled with ups and downs. It’s important to keep pushing through during the good and tough times.
Where does the color inspiration come from when creating your nail lacquers. Do trends play a part or do you try to separate your collection from trends?
The color inspiration for each collection is influenced by the runways. I love fashion and I’m always looking to the fashion weeks around the world for inspiration. Trends are fun and from time to time we offer limited edition shades for this purpose.
What are you most excited about with every new collection? Can you describe your “it moment” when you knew you accomplished the goal you set for your brand?
Aside from the new color offerings, we are always excited about the “theme” we create with each collection. We ultimately want to be an encouraging inspiration for women. The theme for the new Fall 2015 collection is “She Who Dares” and with this we are encouraging women to tag everyday extraordinary women on social media who inspire the daring in them!
I have a couple of “it” moments! The first would be when I was in New York doing desk side appointments with the beauty editors at the top fashion magazines. This was a month before the official launch of the brand and I only had nail polish and a story to share. There was no website, no retailers, no customers. To my surprise, the beauty editors loved the brand/nail polish and immediately wrote about it – before the brand had even officially launched!
The second “it” moment would be when the website officially launched! We sold out of the debut collection within two weeks.
What have you learned about yourself in regards to starting a business?
I’ve learned that I can accomplish whatever I set my heart and mind on achieving!
Be sure to check out Mischo Beauty and follow their social media channels.