Continuing our interview series Shopping Small (With Big Heart), I am truly happy to be introducing you to Sarah Piccinini owner of S.a.l.t.y. Cosmetics .
Not only do I love her line of cosmetics, but I love her. She and I are lifelong friends, and I couldn’t be more proud of everything she has accomplished and everything she continues to achieve. She is truly my sister, and though time and distance seperate us, she is still one of the most beloved friends I have had the extreme honor of having in my life.
Studio Elaine ~ What is your background before being your own boss, or do you work both a 9 to 5 and run your own business?
S.a.l.t.y. Cosmetics ~ When I first created my company I was in college to be an Esthetician, I did not work a 9-5 job. I worked my business for 4yrs without having to work a regular job. But I was married at the time and it provided me a way to stay home with the kids and go to school in the evening. I went through a divorce over the past couple of years and had to get a regular job. But I stayed in my field while working behind the counter as a beauty advisor and makeup artist for Lancôme.
Studio Elaine ~ What first inspired and motivated you to open your own business?
S.a.l.t.y. Cosmetics ~ I have always had this dream since I was allowed to wear makeup. I remember ordering my very first makeup set out of the back of one of my teen magazines and when I got it in the mail I was hooked! My goal was to get every color in my outfits on to my eyeballs! And back then, in the 80s those sweaters were colorful!! LOL I LOVE eye makeup and especially eyeshadow. I feel its the most expressive part of the face where I can have the most fun. And still to this day I have a hard time keeping myself from not applying too many. I met a group of awesome women while in Esthetics school and we all had a passion for makeup and I confronted them with this crazy idea and it all just kind of fell into place. People motivate me, even more than an idea. So when they thought it was a fantastic idea it really helped me propel forward.
Studio Elaine ~ What does a day in the life look like? Walk us a little through the juggling act of balancing your business and home.
S.a.l.t.y. Cosmetics ~ Well when I first started the business, I treated it like my baby and it wasn’t very hard balancing everything because I worked it from my home. During and after the divorce is where I have found myself struggling a lot, trying to pick up the slack, with lack of another partner and having to work a regular job. Some days are a real struggle and trying to maintain the same amount of drive and passion I had when I first started. My divorce was a huge and devastating blow that came out of nowhere. So Salty has suffered these past couple of years. But I have done a lot of healing and I am now getting back into the swing of taking care of Salty and have a new job working in my field as an esthetician while also having my cosmetics line in the studio where I am working.
Studio Elaine ~ How has social media impacted your business and how you conduct business?
S.a.l.t.y. Cosmetics ~ Social media is a HUGE part of our business. Makeup is a very visual thing and young girls and women have come to appreciate and love cosmetics more and more due to such huge talents found on social media. It has really paved the way for several indie makeup lines such as myself. If one guru uses something of yours it can really propel your business into another level. Most of our business up until recently has been 80% online through our website and via social media. But now that Salty has an actual location I anticipate our business being the opposite and more local.
Studio Elaine ~ Looking back at how you first started as a small business owner, what would you have done differently, knowing what you know now?
S.a.l.t.y. Cosmetics~ Well that is kind of hard to answer because with out any of those mistakes I wouldn’t be where I am now. I am a huge procrastinator and that is one of my biggest downfalls in general. Always waiting until the last minute. And STILL working on this.LOL But I have lost a few opportunities because of this, but I don’t dwell on them because I know deep down those were opportunities that weren’t really meant to be and sometimes think my procrastination is my gut telling me its not right.
Studio Elaine ~ What made selling on your own online ecommerce site appealing to you vs. selling on Etsy?
S.a.l.t.y. Cosmetics ~When we very first started Salty we did use Etsy for a very short time. Its appeal was due to the very low overhead and a great place for handcrafted items . But we were making products so fast and just wanted a more exclusive place to showcase everything and have more space. I love our website now and can add and delete as we need to and conduct sales and it is simple.
Studio Elaine ~ Obviously I love your shop and items, what are you most proud of in your shop, and where do you find your creativity and inspiration?
S.a.l.t.y. Cosmetics ~ WELL! Of course I LOVE hearing when people love our products! Wow…well I find inspiration in almost everything. I am a very visual person so anything that has any color to it I am drawn to. Like right now I just noticed this Betsey Johnson earring laying here on my desk and wondered how I don’t have an eyeshadow in this amazing sparkly pink color! LOL! I also love the challenge of mimicking another color from other brands. I don’t do it often but I have clients that want something close to a brand that discontinues their favorite colors.
Studio Elaine ~How do you decide on all the fantastic names for your cosmetics? Is there a specific process, or do you simply wait for the name to come on it’s own?
S.a.l.t.y. Cosmetics ~ Lol, well the names just depend on what happens to be going on at the moment, life events and just crazy friends giving me inspiration. Sometimes I will come up with a name first and then create a shadow to suit the name. Or, I will create a color and then just wait for the name to come to me. Sometimes via music, movies, kids saying crazy things.
Studio Elaine ~ You are obviously very creative and talented, besides the items you create for your shop, what are some of your other talents, and what alternate creative outlets do you pursue?
S.a.l.t.y. Cosmetics ~ Hmmmmm, well you know I have played the flute for MANY years now and music has always been an outlet for me. But I love doing facials, and of course my favorite is applying makeup to people and find that the most rewarding. I am also a hairstylist and love coloring hair.
Studio Elaine ~ Why do you feel shopping small is important?
S.a.l.t.y. Cosmetics ~ I feel its important because there are so many talented individuals out in this world and we are missing them because of these huge companies and because of what we are being told to buy on television . I have never been one to conform to the mainstream and anytime I can buy small I will. I love trying other indie lines and being part of another persons passion and journey.
Studio Elaine ~ How do you feel the role of women as small business owners has impacted you, and what do you think the major challenge as a woman in business has been for you?
S.a.l.t.y. Cosmetics ~ The biggest impact I have had in my life from a woman as a small business owner is my very own mother. She has owned her own cleaning business for over 20yrs now. And I couldn’t be more proud or determined to one day be able to retire her because she works so very hard. She is a huge inspiration to other women , mothers, minorities and her family. And the biggest challenge is just the struggle of being a mother and a wife and doing something for yourself that makes you feel like your own person.
Studio Elaine ~ What do you want our readers to specifically know about you and your shop?
S.a.l.t.y. Cosmetics ~ We are a faith based business first and foremost. I would not have any of this in my life if it wasn’t from God.
Studio Elaine ~ What advice would you give to anyone out there, who thinks they might want to open their own small business?
S.a.l.t.y. Cosmetics ~ GO FOR IT!!!
Studio Elaine ~ One more thing before we go, What do you think the #1 staple is for any woman to have in her cosmetic arsenal?
S.a.l.t.y. Cosmetics ~The best thing a woman can have in her skin care arsenal is SUNSCREEN!!
Studio Elaine ~ I’d like to thank Sarah for participating in our interview series. If you haven’t done so already please visit S.a.l.t.y. Cosmetics online and follow them on social media. They are a high quality indie brand, led by one dynamic woman!
Click on the links below to connect with S.a.l.t.y. Cosmetics. One of my favorite looks from S.a.l.t.y. Cosmetics – Persian Goddess is linked above, head on over to get this look for yourself. We could all use a little more glam in our day, and S.a.l.t.y. is just the place to get it!