Pinup Girls, Lotions and Potions . . . Ooh La La!

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If you visit the Margarita Bloom website, you’ll get an instant dose of fun, whimsy and retro glamour.

Of course, it’s also nice to be greeted with “Hello, gorgeous!” amid 1940s pinup girls.

Margarita Bloom, which launched in 2008, is a line of “beauty potions,” including lotions, soaps, scrubs and more. The creator of Margarita Bloom, or as she likes to call herself, the “head glam gal,” is Regina Debreczeni from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The 31-year-old entrepreneur created the brand and the website entirely on her own. She says she learned everything she needed to know about the beauty business from the Internet.

“It’s funny because I never used to use beauty products all that much,” Regina says. “But I just fell in love with this world—with beauty products, packaging, ribbons, paper, and putting it all together. It’s just really something I was meant to do.”

Regina’s interest in entrepreneurship started early in life. As a little girl, she wanted to be a veterinarian and take care of animals. Then she had her “Indiana Jones phase,” where she wanted to be an archeologist and travel the world. After dabbling in jewelry and writing, then studying graphic design in college, Regina discovered the beauty business.

“I wanted to leave my mark,” says Regina, who never considered getting a 9-5 job. “I wanted the world to know who I was.”

Inspired by the glamorous styles from old Hollywood movies, she created Margarita Bloom. The line features multiple collections, including “Oh Mademoiselle,” “Beach Bonita,” and “There be pirates here, beware!” just to name a few.

If you’re curious about Regina’s philosophy on branding, she was heavily influenced by a famous quote from none other than Coco Chanel: “In order to be irreplaceable, one must always be different.”

How did you come up with the idea for Margarita Bloom?

I’ve always wanted my own company and my own little business. I always wanted to have something that I could be really passionate about. I also thought that if I had my own company, I could help my family—my brother and my mom.

When I was in my late teens, I’d just gotten my first computer. The Internet was like the library of Alexandria—it opened up all this information. I found something on the Internet that made me realize I could have my own beauty product. I did a lot of research, and it got me thinking. I love lotions and potions. I found small DIY companies and indie companies, and I thought, “I could do that.”

What makes this different from other skincare on the market?

When you first look at my products, it’s obvious that they’re pretty darn different, especially in the branding. When you walk into a drugstore, the product packaging is so neutral, and the scents are just one word, like “lavender.” I wanted to bring some fun into bath time, so it’s not just “Here’s my lavender lotion. I’m going to put it on.” Instead, it’s, “Here’s my French Barbie Lavender Sweet Sniff.” It’s really fun, and it puts a pep in your step.

I also try to find really deliciously smelling fragrances, so they smell realistic. I don’t want something that smells off. I have fragrances like black licorice and caramel popcorn. My Aphrodite fragrance smells pink, sugary, fluffy—like cotton candy.

How did you develop your products?

I went through the Internet, and it had all the best places to go for sources and suppliers. I learned how to do my website. I picked up all that information all by myself.

There were some products that we got suppliers for and some that I tested out myself. I would find out ingredients, do research on them and see the benefits—like with cocoa butter, olive oil, rose water. I thought, “Is this something I would want to use?”

What have been some of your greatest successes so far?

I was able to do it myself. I did my website myself, and I love the graphics and the visual display. I’m also really proud of our customer service. I always get calls back saying they love our attention to detail.

What have been the biggest challenges to growing your business?

Marketing. When you’re a small indie company, it’s so hard to get good marketing out there. That’s been a big challenge. I use social media networking, and that’s been a big help to my company. I’m using things like Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter and word of mouth. We also sell wholesale. I call spas and boutiques to see if they’d be interested in some of our products. People usually fall in love with our branding.

Have the products evolved or changed from the original formulas?

They’re constantly evolving. I always want to better myself when it comes to packaging and new products. One problem I had with the sugar scrub was leakage. I thought, “How can I fix it?” So for a while, it became a cream scrub. Then I came up with a new scrub, the Brown Sugar Smash Scrub. I added some honey into it, which helps to keep it from leaking. I also developed better packaging, so I don’t have to worry about that problem.

Do you have plans to expand the brand? How so?

Right now, we’re adding some fashion accessories and clothing to our beauty goodies. I recently decided to start changing my eating and lifestyle habits, eating healthier and cutting out fast food and soda. When I did that, I ended up getting a lot healthier and losing 30 pounds! Booyah! My weight had been an issue that was something that had really bothered me my entire life, so when I lost that weight and started feeling so much more healthy, more vibrant and full of confidence, I realized that I loved fashion just as passionately as beauty potions. I knew I had to add that into my brand somehow.

We’re in beta testing now. We’ll have it on another site, Store Envy; it’s like a little marketplace. If people like it, then we’ll probably move it over to our main website. Right now, we have a cute pink polka dot purse, a cross body purse, heart-shaped sunglasses—adorable. They’re very fun, flirty kinds of fashion.

Do you have specific tips to consumers on the best way to get the most out of your products?

It’s not a good idea to store your beauty products in a bathroom because it goes to extreme temperatures with heat and moisture and makes your products less effective. Store your products somewhere dark and cold like in a closet or a vanity in the bedroom.

Read the reviews of French Barbie Lavender Cupcake Lavender Soap.

 

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