By Sarah Curtis – Mode Lifestyle Magazine
Mode Lifestyle Magazine’s Editor-in-Chief, Alexander Michaels, met Carola Seminario at a lunch with some powerful and influential women in Broward County. For those that do not already know this affable and most energetic lady, she is the founder of LuLu Cosmetics and seems set on becoming a household name in the beauty and skincare industry.
Carola was a professionally trained and licensed makeup artist for some 20 years before embarking on her quest to create an exciting and different kind of cosmetics company. Although based in the United States, she was born in Peru and wanted to bring the passion of her native country together with the advanced technology available in the US to create a company with products that would enhance the natural beauty of any woman, whatever the hue of her skin color or skin type. Not wanting to leave the men behind, LuLu cosmetics has also started a new range of products specifically geared to the needs of the modern man.
At a recent interview MODE asked Carola to tell us a little more about her company and the plans she has for the future:
MODE – When did you first realize that you had an interest in beauty products and the industry?
CAROLA – My interests in the beauty industry, as far as I can remember, started when I used to visit Miami with my Father in the 70’s and 80‘s. My Father had a very good friend with whom he did import/export business and who had a store in Downtown Miami that was established in the late 60‘s. He was a Cuban refugee and an entrepreneur in the cosmetics industry. His store still stands in downtown Miami till this day. I remember waiting for them in the store as they smoked their Cuban Cigars and enjoyed Cuba Libres while discussing business and politics. I entertained myself with the boxes in the storage room and make-up products. Now mind you, I was a true tomboy girl, but that moment, which is still is embedded in my mind, is the first time I discovered make-up.
I moved to Texas in the mid 80‘s and then moved to Ft Lauderdale in 1988. I was in the corporate world, a 9-5 kinda girl, and had no interest in the beauty industry. When I moved to Florida and wanted to start a new career the beauty industry reignited a childhood interest. I began working in a spa and my talent in applying color flourished. From there the rest is history.
MODE – What made you decide to create LuLu cosmetics as a business rather than just having interest in beauty products as a hobby like most people might have done?CAROLA – I feel that many people who use make-up lack necessary education both on product content and the artistry of properly applying make-up. Over the years I have seen many times how consumers would buy awesome make-up but lack the knowledge to apply it correctly and how it mostly ends up decorating the bathroom rather than the person!
MODE – Where you daunted by the competitive nature of the industry and if so how did you overcome that?
CAROLA – I love and thrive on competition and the cosmetics Industry is naturally competitive. I feel that I have been blessed with a talent for making people feel beautiful and confident when they use any of my products. My products are top quality sourced from all over the world but the majority are made in Italy. I only provide the best of the best for my customers irrespective of where its manufactured. I search for the best products and that’s exactly why we’ve been able to grow as much as we have and have repeat customers using LuLu products. People who try LuLu products for the first time instantly become enamored with the quality and that makes me very happy indeed.
I have a very strong and clear vision that differentiates me from some of the competition. I set goals and set standards and I don’t rest until they are met. I have terrific ideas and I welcome the competition, knowing that competition can actually be a good thing. Competition keeps you on your toes and those that are not afraid become easily identifiable as true leaders in the industry. Additionally, competition forces the industry to produce better products ultimately benefiting the consumer.
I am grateful for the knowledge I have acquired while representing other cosmetic lines and have strong respect for them and their brands. My foundation and continued success has been because of them and my years of training with them. I will be forever grateful for such experiences.
MODE – How did you arrive at the name LuLu and does it have any special significance to you?
CAROLA – LuLu is near and dear to my heart as it’s my daughter Luciana’s nick name. Luciana, aka LuLu, grew up in Plantation playing several sports with her nick name “LuLu” on all her sports shirts. I could easily locate her on the field by just looking for LuLu. Also LuLu is a catchy name!
MODE – Is there a family history of involvement in the beauty industry or would you be the family pioneer?
CAROLA – I am the pioneer in manufacturing and producing makeup and beauty products in my family. As I said, my Father imported and exported beauty and cosmetic products but never manufactured and branded his own. It is the continuation of his entrepreneurial spirit that has given me the drive to conquer this industry and work hard to be successful. I do this not only in memory of him, but also for my mother, siblings and especially my daughter Luciana and son Derek. I may not be the first business pioneer in the family but I’m definitely the pioneer in the beauty and cosmetics industry.
MODE – Are any other members of your family supporting you or working with you in this venture?
CAROLA – I have an extremely supportive family. My oldest sister is a retired school teacher, my youngest sister is a stay-at-home mom with her medical billing company and my brother is helping me realize my dreams. At some stage my brother and I had a conversation and I told him I wanted to be the ‘Latin Chanel’ and, he said, “Lets do it!” Nevertheless, being a single mother, I know the struggles many of us face. My drive is made stronger because of my children and my goal to support them in whatever career they choose. A united family can conquer anything!
MODE – The beauty products industry is ever changing and spans a wide spectrum from simple and affordable makeup and beauty products to the exotic and ultra-expensive. Where would you place LuLu cosmetics in this spectrum?
CAROLA – Its not about the price – its more about the quality and LuLu cosmetic products are of high quality. I am a firm believer that its not about the price, it is also about the person wearing the product and how they feel when they put it on. Customers instinctively sense good quality and should demand it of their cosmetic products. The ingredients in LuLu products are carefully selected with known beneficial ingredients. Working with many trendsetters in the beauty industry has enabled me to focus on what is best for our customers, especially when it comes to preserving and enhancing the skin.
MODE – What would you say makes LuLu cosmetics unique from the other companies out there?
CAROLA – There are several components that differentiate LuLu Cosmetics and makes it unique from other companies. We have products that are clay baked pure minerals, baked under the Tuscan sun. Some other companies use synthetic ingredients but a fewer number offer baked minerals in their products. It is easy to identify the quality of the product you are using – my products don’t clog your pores and can be used for every skin type. We have different colors for all skin types and colors and shades of skin since you, as the consumer, are supposed to wear the make up and the make is not supposed to wear you.
MODE – We hear that you have been busy and are in the process of opening up a new spa in Broward county, Florida. Can you tell our readers a little about this?
CAROLA – Definitely. Actually it would be easier to follow us on our website, www.lulucosmetics.com and you’ll be pleasantly surprised where you will notice LuLu products appearing.
MODE – Which are your strongest selling products?
CAROLA – Our strongest and best selling product are the baked mineral powders, concealers, and of course our well known lipsticks that make everybody ‘lululicous’.
MODE – You are currently based in the US. Do you have plans for international expansion or do you already have representations abroad?
CAROLA – We are based in the United States and most of products are Italian, but the parent company is expanding globally. We already have plans to expand in Latin America and in Europe. We are also in preliminary communication with potential business partners in Asia. We do not believe in standing still.
MODE – You have a reputation for being always on the go. How do you keep up your energy and when do you find time to relax? What do you do for relaxation?
CAROLA – I have only one word to answer this, “The Beach”. That’s one of the many reasons why our family is still in Florida. And also I love my job so much that it is quite relaxing and at the same time I’m utilizing my creative mind. One is never working when they are showcasing their passion, and the beauty industry is my passion.
MODE – You take an active part in the International Esthetics, Cosmetics & Spa Conferences. How did that come about and how do you think these conferences benefit the industry?
CAROLA – I am fortunate to have a strong relationship with the IECSC management. I have attended their conferences/shows since 1997. There are several other shows worldwide that I am also a part of where I showcase my products and brand. IECSC has seen me grow and I consider them a continuing partner in LuLu’s success.
After attending the trade shows for so many years one starts to view the other attendees as family. These folks have seen me eight months pregnant with my son Derek, he is now 16. More importantly, all of the shows in the industry are vital for continuing education and the evolvement of the beauty industry. These shows keep us up to date on new trends that are always revolutionizing the industry. The IECSC show is definitely a must and I’m very thankful that they are going to be in my area in November this year. I am honored to be one of the show’s ambassadors to the South Florida beauty products and spa services community.
MODE – What are your plans for the future for LuLu and do you see yourself branching off into other areas?
CAROLA – LuLu is growing, we are expanding the line to be able to support other areas of the beauty and skin care industry. LuLu will also expand with a men’s line, a boutique women’s line, and with a focus on the demographics of young girls with educational workshops on how to apply make up and how to maintain their skin to always look its best. LuLu’s parent company is planning to offer women’s apparel, accessories, jewelry and an exciting line of pajamas. This year LuLu Cosmetics and its products will also be featured at a major local spa! That announcement will become public on November 9th at my VIP Luncheon at the IECSC show in Fort Lauderdale.
MODE – Where can our readers go to find out more about LuLu cosmetics?
CAROLA – I invite MODE readers to visit our website at www.lulucosmetics.com where updates are constantly posted with special offers. There your readers can sign up for our newsletter, “Carole’s Corner”. They can learn about a revolutionary concept we created called “The LuLu Cosmetic Affiliate Program” where make up artists become entrepreneurs and can make their passion into a business and a career. Ultimately, my dream is to elevate the perception of the make up and beauty industry professionals. I would like the industry to be seen as any other professional industry with hard working people who proudly call themselves make up artists.
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