Mally Roncal, founder of Mally Beauty, reveals her absolute must-haves to survive start-up life.
For 10 years, Mally Roncal traveled the world as a makeup artist for celebrities, including Beyoncé Knowles. In 2005, she launched Mally Beauty, a line of makeup and cosmetic tools targeted at everyday women. Her Baltimore-based company now has 20 employees and $75 million in annual sales, much of which is generated on the QVC channel. Roncal travels to QVC's headquarters in West Chester, Pennsylvania, several times a week and to its London studios six times a year to tape shows. Here are three items she brings along.
Brookstone "My Life" digital picture frame
As a working mom who travels, I'm not always around my husband, my three baby girls, or my dog G-Love (pictured here). When I hit the road, I take this frame, which I loaded with more than 2,500 images that remind me of home or provide inspiration for my cosmetics line. The frame is durable and slim enough to slip right into a carry-on bag.
I'm not the best when it comes to sitting down to have a meal. And because I'm on a gluten-free diet, I have trouble finding good snack-bar options. I discovered Kind bars about a year ago and got hooked. I buy the bars in bulk from QVC and keep as many as seven in my bag at a time, even though I eat only one a day. They're great for traveling. Unlike cereal bars, they stay intact no matter how much I toss them around.
Smythson travel wallet
My husband bought this wallet for me during my stint as a makeup artist. Because I was constantly hopping from country to country, I needed something that could keep me organized. The wallet has separate dividers for my identification, trip information, credit cards, and pens to fill out landing documents and customs forms. I even stuff a spare lip gloss and a set of contacts in one compartment.
Travel tip: When I fly to London to tape shows at the QVC studio, I take the redeye so I can spend my waking hours working or with my children. To make sure I get a good night's sleep on the plane, I stick to the same routine. When I get to the airport, I brush my teeth, remove my makeup, and change into comfortable clothes in the bathroom. Once I'm on the plane (I always sit in a window seat), I break out my cashmere travel blanket from Calypso ($225) and my Tempur-Pedic Transit Pillow ($79). Finally, I slide on an eye mask and drift off to sleep.