Nonie Creme is the Founder & Creative Director, Nonie Creme Colour Prevails. Nonie Creme Colour Prevails was launched only last week and has been rolled out in Walgreens stores nationwide. Nonie was Former Founding Creative Director of butterLONDON.
In this interview, Nonie discusses the challenges she faced in starting a new cosmetics line and her partnership with Walgreens.
1. You said that you felt like you were able to identify a blank space in masstige. What was that blank space, and how does Colour Prevails fill it?
Think about your local drugstore. You are in there 3-5 times a week, even if you don’t want to be! Now think about what’s on offer in the beauty dept. All the big mass brands are there, but what if there was this beautiful, exciting, luxurious brand that looked like it walked out of a dept store, sitting there too? What if the formulations rivaled brands that cost 5080% more? What if the packaging were worldclass, and patented to guarantee a better result? Well, it’s real!
2. I’m always interested in the challenges that entrepreneurs face. When I’ve asked other movers and shakers in the beauty industry about challenges they faced when starting out, I’ve received several different answers: financing, finding suppliers, production schedules, and even eagerness and impatience to get the products to market. What challenges did you face in starting Colour Prevails?
Well, all of those are true, but before you even get to the broke, stressed, impatient phase, there is a whole other mountain to climb. To be truly successful as an entrepreneur, you have to be willing to take enormous risks. I have had to take risks and make decisions that have put my entire way of life into uncertainty. I’ve moved across the globe, I’ve starved, I’ve walked away from huge job offers, and all of those things had to happen in order for me to get where I am. I’d say the biggest challenge I faced in the beginning was fear. These days I take what’s coming – and it’s NOT always good. I move forward with purpose and utter belief in myself and my business, and if it all goes to s@#t, then I will dust myself off and try again. You have to fail to succeed, and if you are not willing to fail as completely as you succeed, then you won’t make it.
3. Why did you choose the butterfly wing as the symbol for Colour Prevails?
Conceiving and founding Colour Prevails has been a hugely transformative experience for me. I wanted to use brand iconography that appealed to me aesthetically, but also has some significance for me and my customers on a personal level. The wing is beautiful and mysterious in its own right, but it also points to metamorphosis and the idea that we are always growing, always changing, and always discovering ourselves.
4. You said that Walgreens was your first and only choice as a retailer. Why did you choose Walgreens? How did you partner with Walgreens?
I thought a LOT about who the right retail partner would be. I knew I wanted to work with a mass retailer, and I knew I wanted the broadest reach I could possibly get. Walgreens are 8,500 stores strong in the USA, and have recently acquired Boots Alliance in the UK. They are without question, the most important player in mass. They bring more depth of knowledge to my business than I could ever hope to have. Apart from that, Walgreens is just a fantastic fit for me. I’m about as far-out as you can get in the beauty biz, and that fact that they weren’t startled or put off by me, and were ready to celebrate me as I was, and for my expertise over my notoriety, meant that I had found the perfect home. Walgreens has treated me like family, I’m very lucky.
5. Your products may be purchased through walgreens.com, but I see that many are web exclusives. Could you tell us anything about the rollout of Colour Prevails in Walgreens stores? How many Walgreens stores will carry Colour Prevails?
Actually, the entire range is available in all 3,000 stores where you can find us. There are no web exclusives. (Probably just says that while we roll out the stores)
6. When you’re not working on Colour Prevails, what you enjoy doing?
I have a very rich social life. My friends are my family, and we gather at least 3 times a week with our kids and just hang out, drink (we are all drinkers!), and play music by the fire pit. I’m a workaholic, it’s just hard wired, but my little girl and my friends give me a sense of calm and support that keeps me grounded.
7. Any parting thoughts on beauty?
YES! Don’t ever listen to someone else’s opinion on how you should look. We all have our gripes about ourselves (my fat belly…), but try to focus on something that YOU like about yourself and make that your jumping off point. If you feel beautiful with green hair and winged liner, then you need to wear that! Truly beautiful women are the ones who are confident in their own skin. Be fearless in trying different looks until one resonates for you. Oh, and remember not to judge other people for their beauty experiments. Everyone is beautiful, and variety is the spice of life.
Thanks to Nonie Creme and her awesome PR