Each week SHESAID features an inspiring woman who has been kind enough to share her story with our readers. She might be a leader in her chosen field, someone still on their own path striving to make a difference or simply someone with a remarkable story to tell. But these women will contribute their own knowledge, expertise and life lessons in order to truly inspire others.
Name and role:
Shelley Barrett, CEO and founder of ModelCo Cosmetics
Tell us about your role? What is it? What do you do on a day-to-day basis?
I am the CEO and Founder of ModelCo. I’m still actively involved in all facets of the business so what I do depends on what day it is. One day might involve me working alongside the Research and Development team on new beauty innovations, planning an event with my PR department, designing packaging with Graphics, or working together with the Retail and Distribution team.
How/when did you know this what you wanted to do as a career?
I have always had a strong desire to create my own business and loved that drive to see a project through from start to finish, no matter how big or small. After owning and running my own modelling agency for 10 years, I saw a niche in the market for innovative, quick-fix and multi-purpose beauty solutions and from here, ModelCo was born and the world’s first ever TAN Airbrush in a Can was launched.
Where do you find your inspiration?
I’m inspired everyday by the women I come into contact with whether it is my team at ModelCo HQ, friends, family and of course our customers. I am constantly thinking about our consumer and trying to understand what she wants and how to make her beauty regime easier. I am also fortunate enough incorporate travel into my work life and draw inspiration from the different cultures and beauty regimes across the world.
Did you have a mentor? Who/what helped you to get your career off the ground?
My mother has been my most supportive influence and who I would class as my mentor. When ModelCo initially began she worked with me running the accounts side of the business and today my mother Kerrie still works in our accounts department!
What were the stumbling blocks, initially getting started on your career path, and since then?
When I first started ModelCo there were only two products, LASHWAND Heated Eyelash Curler and then TAN Airbrush in a Can, I certainly didn’t realise at the time that I was starting my own beauty company. What started as a pet project turned into a global brand before I knew it and I had to be on top of and in control of all facets of the business.
How did you overcome these?
By trusting my own instinct! When you’re brand is doing well, endless opportunities are available so it is important to manage growth carefully and execute each idea properly and confidently.
What are your goals for the future?
ModelCo is now 13 years old and has a successful range of cosmetics, self-tanning, suncare and recently launched natural skincare products. This year I am committed to expanding the range to other key global markets such as Asia and growing our current distribution in Europe and the USA. Whatever the future holds for ModelCo, the brand will stay true to its mantra of creating innovative beauty solutions for women on-the-go.
What advice would you give to someone wanting to follow the same path as you?
Understand the business that you are going into. Surround yourself with people who have more knowledge than you and who can guide you through the process. Work out the funds you need to start up and then double them!