Indigena, a Newfoundland based company specializing in natural and organic skin-care products, was invited to showcase their products at the Secret Room Events 2013 Golden Globe Awards Red Carpet Style Lounge in Beverly Hills, California.
Being in Beverly Hills and sitting in the trendy lobby of the SLS Hotel feels great, as I write this blog for NLOWE. I have been self employed for most of my career and Indigena is my third business. I started out at 18 as a Hair Designer and spent the next seven years putting myself through Memorial University’s Arts and Education degrees. I have always enjoyed working from a creative and academic perspective. Often that confused people and they questioned why a Hairstylist wanted to learn Shakespeare? Or why an English and Canadian Studies major liked working on hair and make up? Well every step I took in both my careers have converged on making my interests, dreams, and goals a reality. Do what you love and eventually the training, preparation, work ethic and insane ambition to succeed will propel you to your goal in the most unexpected ways. When opportunity knocks you are prepared to put your best foot forward.
Nothing happens easily or otherwise in business without a strong team and a supportive home. With Indigena I have been very fortunate to have A-list investors, employees, models and mentors. Everyone involved with the brand has a specific role and we all work hard toward maintaining and building our brand image. Our designer lives the brand and assists me 24/7, which has been one of the most important aspects of elevating and promoting the brand.
So here we are in Hollywood, myself, Meaghan Lee and Carolyn Chaplin. As we get ready for the celebrity lounge it is hectic and I am very nervous. The ladies are primping and deciding on their jewellery choices and dresses. I quietly reflect on my choice of models and feel more relaxed immediately. We are not a typical brand for this venue; our models are smart, strong, athletic and most importantly normal in size. I know they will represent the brand extremely well from a visual and educational point of view.
Walking into the secret celebrity style lounge is exciting; we are the first to arrive. I want to make sure we have enough time to set up and scope the room to make sure our banners, table and lighting is as perfect as we can get it. Everything always takes longer than you anticipate and never goes as planned. I have my “trade show emergency kit” that I bring everywhere, LED lights, scissors, tape, etc., all the little things you need to pull off an event without extra stress. It is all set up and the event is about to begin. Publicists, Directors, Actors and Actresses start to arrive at the hotel; the doors will open in 10 minutes. I quickly rush to the bathroom to apply a little touch-up to my makeup. Applying makeup relaxes me for some reason. The washroom is super glam, all glass and black! It’s bad enough to need bifocals but applying makeup in a dark bathroom was a challenge. I met two ladies there that asked me if I was an exhibitor, we had a little chat and they wished me luck. They are local celebrities I find out later, the gracious and beautiful wife of the Incredible Hulk and singer songwriter Sheri Pedigo.
I walk the red carpet to the lounge and the action begins and lasts over 6 hours. We meet stars, nominees and all kinds of professionals involved in the movie industry, as well as some of the most prominent Entertainment Media in the USA and Canada. It is wonderful to meet these world class people and chat with them about my choice of models. We are complemented all day and several actresses ask Carolyn to come back and train them! Her arms stole the show and I am so happy that our healthy, attractive brand image is accepted and complimented by both men and women.
Lauralee Bell from the Young and the Restless, Susan Ward from Major Crimes and Victor Ortiz, former World Welter Weight Boxing Champion are all impressed with Carolyn’s physique. Meaghan’s charming disposition and supermodel looks also attract a lot of attention, including a local LA television station who interviewed Meaghan about the brand. She is quick to tell them the Blueberry Bliss Sugar Scrub is edible and happily demonstrates. Every time we meet a celebrity the secret room photographers capture the memorable moments. E! Canada’s Claudette Omrin and Leah Miller drop by the booth and interview me about our Iceberg Mist. In addition, they are so impressed with our acrylic business card, which represents full disclosure of our brand information, that they say it may be a possible story they would like to do on us. Allure, OK, Star Magazine, TMZ, Entertainment Tonight, and LA Splash magazine drop by our booth as well. A lot of these media people do not let you know who they are so it is very exciting to talk with and demonstrate our products and wonder if our pitch makes it in the top gifting stories.
Before I came down to LA I connected with our Consulate, which was a great opportunity for Indigena. It is something I would highly recommend to all business people who are trying to export anywhere in the world, these professionals are there to help you and they open doors that are unavailable otherwise. Our products are now going to the Canadian Grammy nominees and they are assisting us with finding venture capital in California and we have been invited back to explore other opportunities with distribution later in the year.
California is a market that fits with our product brand and we were so fortunate to be able to attend such a prestigious event. If you plan on exhibiting out of country I would also recommend speaking with IBRD and ACOA, both of which are very supportive to hard working companies aggressively pursuing their goals.
Lisa Walsh began her career in the beauty industry at the age of 18 and has worked in all areas of the industry from consulting to product development and is now the owner of Indigena, a company specializing in manufacturing natural and organic skincare products. To learn more about Indigena visit: www.indigenaskincare.com or check out Indigena’s Facebook page.