Michigan State University – Marketing
Ariana Pierce created Superstar Nail Lacquer because she saw a need. Realizing there was opportunity in the market for a beauty product that was as eco-conscious as it was fashionable, Ariana went to work connecting the dots in ways that got her noticed. And while fact that her nail lacquers gracing both the pages of Us Weekly and the digits of celebrities like Julianne Hough is pretty impressive, what really floors us is that she managed it at the ripe age of 18.
Now, in addition to Superstar Nail Lacquer, Ariana is the brainchild behind Style Shoppe. Offering “rich girl beauty” at an every-girl price point, she’s hit another big idea that sells-out product with just one social media mention. Lightening might not usually strike twice, but hard work, an understanding of brand development and a bit of sacrifice seem to make a pretty good conductor.
I wanted to inspire and help transform a woman’s image across the world, and I knew that would be possible through entrepreneurship.
What inspired you to launch Superstar Nail Lacquer and Style Shoppe?
It was my love for both fashion and convenience. Superstar Nail Lacquer was inspired from the fact that there were no fast-drying, eco-friendly and vegan nail lacquers on the market inspired by the runways of Fashion Week and created for the woman on the go. Then came Style Shoppe, which I created to offer women “rich girl beauty” but at a very affordable price point. Overall, I knew I wanted to inspire and help transform a woman’s image across the world, and I knew that would be possible through entrepreneurship.
What does a day in your life entail? How do you organize your day?
A day in my life starts with getting up in the morning to meditate and write out my goals, because I believe that a successful day happens on purpose. Once I’m done with my morning routine, I check on orders and marketing plans for Superstar Nail Lacquer and Style Shoppe. After completing my work, I schedule in workouts and family time for the evening. I stay organized by keeping a daily planner and scheduling my days in advance by keeping business meetings toward the beginning of the week and outings or adventures toward the weekend, because it’s all about living a balanced lifestyle.
What challenges keep you awake at night?
The challenges are usually things that have to do with launching new products to market. For example, the night before launching my Style and Travel Girl Passport Covers, I stayed up all night trying to figure out if my way of introducing this new product to the world would be effective. Once I felt settled about the matter, I went to sleep peacefully.
As an entrepreneur, there are times when you should listen to your gut feeling letting you know you are on track. At first I was worried, but after sitting quietly and meditating, I knew on the inside that this launch would be successful … and it was!
What are your go-to apps on your phone?
I absolutely love Instagram because of how beneficial it has been in growing my businesses and brand. So much inspiration can come from using this app in the right way. Camera+ is one of my favorite photo editing apps that I use to brighten or liven up a photo. Another good one is MyFitnessPal. This helps me to stay on track with my fitness and diet plans. It’s a great way to keep track of what you are putting into your body because as an entrepreneur, it’s important to be healthy on the inside and out.
Is work/life balance ever a problem with you? If so, what is one no-fail tactic you use to create balance?
In the beginning, work/life balance was an issue, but then I discovered this idea of planning and investing. I have to plan and invest time with what’s most important in my life. During my college years, I didn’t have much free time with friends because I was running two businesses. Instead of complaining about how I didn’t get to have party time like most other college students had, I adjusted my attitude. Being successful took some sacrificing and I was willing to do that in order to see the results I had always dreamed of. Because of that, I would schedule in fun-time with my friends by allowing at least one day per week allotted to having fun, going to the movies or doing some much needed shopping.
How do you unwind?
I unwind by reading a good book and writing my thankful list. I take about 30 minutes before bed to think over my day and give thanks for it. Even if my day seems stressful, there are always at least 10 things I can think of to be grateful for. Occasionally, I’ll watch Game of Thrones as I’ve become addicted!
What are some of the rules you live by?
I treat people like I would want to be treated. This means customers, clients and friends. As a business owner, I’ve always taught my team to treat others with respect and like VIP. It makes for great customer service and customer loyalty.
I also believe that business integrity is key. When people are investing in your brand, it’s important to deliver your best work. When you always give your best, you feel more confident, bold and valued.
What do you look for in candidates when expanding your team?
I look for individuals who are hard-working, honest and purpose-driven. These are the type of people I can depend on to get the job done in an excellent way.
What project have you worked on that you’re most proud of? Why?
The project I’m most proud of is my Style and Travel Girl Collection. My passion has always been to learn new cultures and languages, and travel the world. When I was able to turn my passion for travel into a brand of colorful and stylish passport covers, travel journal and travel affirmation cards, it was a dream come true. Though I love every single one of my products and projects, this one in particular is dear to my heart because I am able to share my love of travel with others who have the same passion.
What three things should someone do before starting their own business?
First, you should research the field of business you want to be in. Find out what it takes to succeed in that field. This will help you decipher on whether it’s really what you want to do or not.
Next, you want to get a mentor in your field who is successful. If you can’t connect with someone physically, go to the bookstore or order online from people who are doing what you want to do. Successful people always leave clues, so investing in what they have to offer will help and lead you in the right direction concerning your business.
Finally, creating a vision board is one of the most important, yet fun, activities to do before starting your business. On your board, paste on pictures that represent a successful business, paste down people you want to connect with, use words to describe how you will feel as a successful person. It’s a proven fact that what we consistently focus on, we attract into our lives. That’s why creating a vision for how you see yourself is so important.