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If there’s one thing we’ve learned from our members, it’s that starting your own business takes serious guts. Jennifer Kapahi, mama and co-founder of beauty brand trèStiQue, spent 10 years in the corporate beauty world at Bloomingdales, Intercos and Revlon before branching out on her own to embrace the challenge of creating her very own cosmetics line. Now, her line is booming with its makeup-made-easy products that we just love (we recommend the Modern Mama Set for the perfect five-minute face! See one of our founders try it out on camera at the end of this post!) that you can find at leading retailers like Sephora. We caught up with the beauty expert and entrepreneur to talk about her lifetime love of makeup, how her and her hubby keep their relationship fresh and fun amidst their busy lives on and off the job and where she finds her inspiration. Read on…

trèStiQue

You spent over 10 years in the corporate beauty world and recently started your own line, trèStiQue. What was the catalyst that pushed you to go out on your own?

I was tired of the corporate vibe in general. I was craving freedom, creativity, flexibility and the excitement of entrepreneurship.

Where did the name for the line come from?

It comes from the French phrase, “très chic”. Simple and cool sticks!

Have you always loved makeup? What memories do you have from childhood? Did your mother teach you?

I always loved beauty, hair, makeup and art. I would spend countless hours accessorizing, braiding, doing my nails and giving makeovers to my cousins, friends — really anyone who would let me. My mom took me for my first beauty lesson at 15 to the Clinique counter so I could learn how to apply makeup properly without a heavy hand. She always taught me that less is more.

Your packaging is integral to your product. Tell us about the design and product development.

As product experts, we knew we had to bring something to the market that was unique and differentiated. It was important for us not to just be another “me too”. We spent a lot of time and attention custom tooling all of our packaging — we created the first-ever magnetic sealing cap and the first-ever built-in tool system for pencils.

What products are your “must-haves” in creating your signature “5 Minute Face”?

It is our Essential 8 set, which includes a Tinted Face Stick, Concealer Stick, Shadow Crayon, Eye Pencil liner, Brow Liner, Lipstick, Blush Stick & Cheek color and the makeup bag. They’re quick, easy 2-in-1 products that you can apply anywhere.

trèStiQue

Since you work with your husband, how do you separate work life from home life? Any tips for keeping your relationship thriving?

We share office space and he always brings me lunch, but typically we don’t chat during the day. He is also an entrepreneur so we both speak the same language and understand the ups and downs of owning your own business. We make sure we have at least one date night a week, and we do couples workouts a few times each week as well.

Did you have someone who really influenced and helped to develop you in the early days? A mentor? What was that like?

I never had a professional mentor, but I have been heavily influenced by my mom. She is my best friend but also a tremendous example of intelligence, strength, power, professionalism and leadership.

You landed Sephora as an account in a relative short amount of time from launch – congrats! What was that process like and what was your biggest lesson learned?

It was challenging and exciting at the same time. Convincing one of the most prestigious retailers to take a chance on you is not an easy task. There are lessons we learn every day, and by no means are we done learning. It’s all about adapting, reacting and thinking ahead to be the best partner you can be.

Where do you find inspiration? Do you have any Instagram accounts that you love?

I am inspired by so many women around me – friends, family and team members. I’m always finding new inspiration, but my current go-to’s are: @kristinmcgee (a fitness & mom inspiration), @sangleefarms (my family’s organic farm), @kayla_itsines (workout queen), @Deepicam (killing the fem-trepreneur game), @zarialynn (my favorite artist), and @cntraveler (travel inspiration).

trèStiQue

What are your favorite beauty products besides your own?

I’m currently into Living Proof hair products, Naturopathica Sweet Birch Magnesium Bath Flakes, Pumpkin Purifying Enzyme Peel and Vit C15 Wrinkle Repair Serum, Dr. Hauschka Rose Nurturing Body Oil, and two new Korean skin care products that I recently discovered: SRB Stabilized Rice Bran Enzyme Powder Wash and Mizon Good Night White Sleeping Mask. My go-to sunscreen is Elta MD and Supergoop! SPF 50 Defense Refresh Setting Mist with Rosemary.

Your son Roman was born last year – he’s so cute! How has motherhood impacted your approach to your career? Life? Relationship?

It’s all about establishing priorities and finding your balance. Carving out time for your work, yourself and relationship is easier said than done but so important. I am a Libra, so balance is very important to my life.

You love to cook! What are your go-to dishes when entertaining?

I’m all about a good BBQ. I love local, seasonal food that’s picked up from the farmers’ market just hours before landing on your plate. Mecox steak, fresh local fish, Sang Lee Farms grilled veggies, a big salad and glass of wine never disappoint!

What are your Three Pearls of Motherhood Wisdom?

  1. Enjoy each moment because they don’t last!
  2. Approach life with curiosity and fearlessness like children do.
  3. Try to be adaptable. Be prepared for anything, but be prepared for it to change.

 

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