No’s Not An Option For ModelCo CEO

ModelCo is a cult Australian beauty brand renowned for premium quick-fix beauty solutions.

Their products combine cutting-edge creativity and technical innovation and are all wrapped up in their siganture hot pink packaging.

We were lucky enough to chat to ModelCo CEO and Founder Shelley Barrett.

Shelley Barrett ModelCo CEO_3_(3MB)-1

1. Where did the name ModelCo come from?
At the time I started ModelCo I still owned a modelling agency, and as the inspiration behind most of these products came from my models, ModelCo seemed to fit well. Hot pink was my favourite colour and also the colour of the agency! I felt that ModelCo was also a great lifestyle name.

2. How would you describe the typical ModelCo customer?
She’s fashion-forward, savvy and time-poor. She wants products that are convenient, dual purpose and products that really work.

3. How did MODELCO come about?
Whilst running my modelling agency I observed the frustration models and makeup artists had with their lashes being damaged by manual curlers. This led to the creation of Lash Wand Heated Eye Lash Curler, which was my very first beauty innovation. It wasn’t just a beauty product; it was a smarty beauty solution for women who wanted to have fabulous looking eyelashes in an instant. It wasn’t without difficulty though – I was creating a product with no retailers on board. I did it all on instinct and it paid off. When self-tanning started to become a regular part of a woman’s beauty regime, I immediately saw a niche and created the world’s first tan in a can. This product truly transcended convention and created a whole new beauty category throughout the world. It was this one product that really propelled ModelCo into the international arena as an innovative brand and after launching numerous other unique tanning and beauty products we quickly became a global leader in the cosmetics and self- tanning.

I didn’t wait until I was an expert in the field. I saw an opportunity, surrounded myself with people I could trust and took action. You can’t wait until you’re comfortable as that day may never come. You have to be prepared to act and be prepared to take risks. In the saturated cosmetic industry we focussed on creating a point of difference in providing unique and innovative products, then labelled them in standout hot pink. From the first global airbrush self-tan in a can, to the lip gloss complete with a inbuilt lights and mirror (Have you ever tried a quick touch-up in a nightclub or taxi?), a concealer built into the lid of foundation and the Sun Sponge custom self-tan (I was doing the washing up with one of those scourers that has detergent in the handle and had one of my “ah-ha” moments), we have continued to innovate the cosmetics industry.

4. Looking back now, is it hard to fathom how one heated eyelash curler changed your life?
As much as I ‘fell’ into cosmetics, being successful wasn’t by chance. I believe that everybody has within them the natural ability to succeed and I had drive from a very young age. I created a product that I was passionate about and as a result, this turned into a business. I believe listening, participating and getting involved is very important. Listening to what people want and need and being able to fulfil those needs is the key to success.

5. What advice would you offer to young female entrepreneurs?
If you’re passionate about something and believe there is a place in the market for your offering, then don’t take no for an answer. Believe in yourself, take risks and learn along the way.

6. What’s the best advice anyone told you?
No is not an option.

7. After the success of the Dannii Minogue collab, is there any other exciting celeb collars in the pipeline?
Ambassadors have been very beneficial for our brand and we are currently in talks with an international celeb – watch this space. (Ummm we are beyond excited by this)

8. What is your favourite part about your business?
The creative part of the business comes very naturally to me and I love to see a creation come to life.

9. Where do you see yourself and the brand in the next five years?
The world of retail is changing and you have to take advantage of different opportunities. At the moment, digital is huge! Being able to adapt to the fast pace of online retail and to the technologies currently available is essential. You need to be innovative and open to change, as well as one step ahead of the competitors. We’re relaunching our website in early April with a whole new strategy and I see the brand continuing to gain momentum, distribution and sales.

10. And lastly, what’s your fave ModelCo product?
That’s like asking me to pick a favourite child! I’m never without Tan Airbrush in a Can, Shine Lipgloss or FluidSplash 3-in1 Foundation.

Shortly after speaking with Shelley we found out that she had been inducted into the 2013 Businesswomen’s Hall of Fame! Congrats Shelley xx

Image: Shelley Barrett

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