America's Coolest College Start-ups 2011
WOMEN ENTREPRENEURS

Old Hollywood Beauty With Natural Formulas

A makeup artist since age nine, Jessica Truesdale was inspired by beauty-industry legends like Estée Lauder and Elizabeth Arden, and founded True You Cosmetics with iconic women in mind.

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From the beginning, True You Cosmetics was a labor of love. The cosmetics line was created my Jessica Truesdale, a sociology major at Spelman College who started doing make-up artistry at age nine, and began developing the blueprint for her line in high school. "It took about two years to build," Truesdale says. "I always told myself that I would start the final business building [by] my sophomore year in college." Now a senior, she recently launched her Iconic Lip Collection in October, inspired by the looks of Old Hollywood icons and prominent women in her family's history. The product was so successful it sold out within a few weeks.

"I would always study beauty legends such as Estée Lauder, Max Factor, and Elizabeth Arden, and companies like Bobbi Brown, MAC, Stila, Smashbox," she says. Her interest in aesthetics and beauty products led to the development of the theme of her company "Be True & Be You," which Truesdale says celebrates different styles and brings out the "inner icon in women of all ages, colors and creeds." All of the products created by True You Cosmetics also include natural ingredients, which she believes compliment the company's theme.

Truesdale remembers what it took to get where she is now: "The processes I had to go through to launch [True You Cosmetics] ranged from formulating product ingredients with cosmetic chemists, picking packaging styles, getting product packaging printed, selling the overall story and theme of the line to consumers, pitching it to media, and more."

Being a student and a business owner, with four employees and a team of makeup artist representatives, means that Truesdale's day starts at 5:30 a.m. and doesn't end until tasks can be safely crossed off. "I dedicate my life to my business and school on a daily basis," she says. "It's definitely all about multitasking, but still putting 110 percent towards everything."

This year, Truesdale plans to expand her business in stores nationwide and also build up her online presences. "We have gone 'mineral' for the majority of our products for 2011," she adds. She expects to launch her next collection in late March inspired by Egyptian queens and iconography.

With five new collections and a skincare line anticipated to be released this year, Truesdale plans to dedicate her full attention to True You Cosmetics after graduation. "My main focus is to keep increasing our SEO, which is the golden ticket to targeting online traffic," she says "and creating more relationships with our social media fans and customers."

Last updated: Mar 1, 2011




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