Today we’d like to introduce you to Raluca State.
Hi Raluca, thanks for sharing your story with us. To start, maybe you can tell our readers some of your backstory.
From home vacation rental in Italy to Hollywood Glam in USA.
Hi Voyage LA, thank you for this opportunity. My name is Raluca State Founder & Ceo of Hollywood Glam. I am 34 years old, Romanian, living between Italy & USA. Five years ago I came to USA from Italy for a two weeks trip with my girlfriends. And guess what? They went back to Europe and I have stayed. I have met my boyfriend and fell crazy in love. At some point, I had to go back to Italy because my main business back then was Home Vacation Rental, where I was renting my personal home “Villa Castana” to tourists from all over the world. So, for a period of three years of my life, I was traveling back and forth between Italy and USA. Fast forward to 2020, when Covid divided our lives from friends and family, I’ve got stuck in Europe. I have lost the last flight to USA and I couldn’t come back for one year.
In the meantime, I was struggling to keep my business running but I had no chance. Borders all over the world got closed and as you know, the tourism industry has suffered a tremendous loss. I had no other option then to close my business and think about: What should I do next? I am stuck in Europe, I can’t go back. I have to come up with something and fast. Then I had a revelation: E-commerce! Obviously, I had zero knowledge about it so I took a three months online course. It has been the best decision of my life because after that, my life completely changed. I have embarked in the journey of life, discovered my true passion and three months after, I decided about what product I should launch and Hollywood Glam came to life.
I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey have been a fairly smooth road?
It took me one year to get everything ready. From hundreds of tests with suppliers, dozens of samples and in between, I have lost $9000 with an agency from NYC that was supposed to develop the website and they never ended the job. So, I had suffered a BIG loss. I call it today an investment into myself because after I have lost the money, I took the website into my own hands and I did it myself from scratch. I believe the website was my biggest challenge ever. It took me six months and I have redone it three times in order to be the website that you can see today. And still today, I am the one who is managing it.
I remember how I came up with the logo. I designed it on a piece of paper while I was having my nails done at the nail salon. All the products I have designed them first on paper and I was lucky to collaborate with a product designer from Indonesia that understood my vision and transformed them into reality. She designed the first lash box when I could afford to pay her the full price, but thankfully after that she understood that I wanted to launch more products and worked for the brand almost for free for the other product’s design. I am very grateful for what she has done and today she is the Director Designer at Hollywood Glam.
Hollywood Glam it should have been a small launch with five different lash styles and two magnetic eye-liners but soon after, I realized that it won’t be enough compared with my main competitors and I took a leap of faith by investing all my savings into more products. I have decided to launch 18 different eyelashes, eight magnetic eyeliners, press-on nails and accessories for a total of 39 products. Hollywood Glam is the first beauty brand that has launched an E-commerce business with three different product categories: magnetic eyelashes, press-on nails and accessories. I was blessed to have one of my closest friends as a fashion and luxury brand photographer so we had the shooting in Italy basically almost for free because I had no money left. I could only afford to pay the models.
When the launch date arrived in 2021, I was very nervous. For almost a year, I was teasing my friends and family with the products showing them the designs and the samples. I spent this time building up the mailing list for Hollywood Glam, teasing our social media with 87k followers about the launch date. One week before our launch date disaster came. We lost the Instagram page. Still to this day, we don’t know how it happened. We recovered the account for only two days and soon after Instagram closed it again. My intuition was that we got reported by competition because soon after launching, also our main Facebook Business Ad Account got suspended for no reason. I am still very upset and disappointed but I had no other option than to start again. Thank God I had the mailing list so when we launched, it was a big hit! I never expected that on our first day we will do 2k dollars in sales and in three weeks, we will sold out.
Currently, Hollywood has sold out two times and in June this year, we are launching all over Europe. We have two offices, one in USA and one in Italy. And we have grown our team up to 15 employees. Today my main goal is to make Hollywood Glam a successful international beauty brand. By 2023 we want to launch also a make-up line so we can expand our brand. I couldn’t be more grateful for what I have achieved so far on a personal and business level.
Appreciate you sharing that. What should we know about Hollywood Glam?
Hollywood Glam is the first beauty brand that has launched a line of reusable magnetic lashes with eight nano magnets and the Deep Black Pro 0.34 oz magnetic eyeliner with Nano-Tech Technology Grip. All our eyelashes are handmade from highest materials, reusable up t0 50+ wears and the entire brand is PETA Certified cruelty free.
We are proudly the first to launch an E-commerce beauty business with three different product categories: magnetic eyelashes, press-on nails and accessories. We have a wide range of eyelashes, magnetic eyeliners, magnetic felt tip colorful eyeliners, press-on nails, make-up removers, lash accessories and make-up bags.
Before we let you go, we’ve got to ask if you have any advice for those who are just starting out?
My biggest advice: START YESTERDAY! Stop procrastinating and start your journey as soon as possible. Do not try to be perfect! You will lose a lot of time, get burnout and lose interest. I have been there and it was not easy to keep myself together. Launch your business and you will have time and resources to grow.
Trying to be perfect is a loss. Starting with what you have, it will always be a win. Invest in yourself, take courses, do your research. My favorite book that I would recommend is: “ Rich dad, poor dad “ by Robert T. Kiyosaki.
Starting a business, it may not be easy but think about this: Next year today, I will thank myself for what I have achieved and for how far I am today because I believed in myself and I have started.
If you think you need advice or help, please reach out to me firstname.lastname@example.org. I will be happy to help as much as I can.
- Magnetic eyelashes $20.99
- Magnetic eyeliner Deep Black Pro $25.99, Jet Black Pro $27.99, Colorful Eyeliners $24.99
- Press-On Nails: $14.99
- Cloud Nine Pads: $19.99, Cloud Nine Towels $17.99
- Lash Grab: $10.99, Easy-Peasy: $8.99, Make-up Bag $13.99
- Email: email@example.com
- Website: www.hollywood-glam.com
- Instagram: www.instagram.com/by.hollywoodglam
- Facebook: www.instagram.com/byhollywoodglam
Mattia Valerio Photography