Today we’d like to introduce you to Yulazki Lopez.
Thanks for sharing your story with us Yulazki. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I am 26 years old and started in the makeup industry in 2017. I always loved makeup and seen makeup as an art. I have always been very independent and have never liked to settle. I have always been very creative person. I started working when I was 16 inside mainplace mall, where I opened my first locations. It is crazy to me how I now have a business inside the mall I grew up going to and worked with when I was younger. I got married very young at 19 I was a full-time student (clinical psychology) full-time employee and a full-time wife. I worked many jobs from Marshalls, Chipotle. Time shares and banks but never found a job I genuinely enjoyed.
When I was 21 (winter of 2014), I was diagnosed with life-changing brain conditions called Pseudotumor Cerebri and Hydrocephalus. I could no longer work and had to drop out of school. I was always in and out of doctor’s visit and hospital for days at a time so I used to watch makeup tutorials and play with makeup to cope with my depression and life changes. In July of 2015, I had to undergo a 6 hour brain surgery were I had a VP shunt installed (a little machine that helps my brain control my spinal fluid I like to compare it an A/C controller in my head) it is located on the right side of my brain and drains with a little tube that runs down brain, neck, behind my heart, ribs and drains into my stomach. The headaches and pains I get with my condition are as strong as the pain of someone with a brain tumor when the pain is to intense I get blurry vision or loose my sight for a few seconds.
After recuperating from my surgery, I was sick of being of home and felt unfulfilled with my self. I told my husband Jr who has always been my biggest supporter and believer, I told him of my idea of opening a cosmetic store that only sold indie makeup brands that are popular on social media and can only be ordered online. He supported my idea completely and was going to help me fund it with both our savings. We looked for many spaces and never found the perfect one. I finally found a great space inside Mainplace Mall I knew rent in a mall would be much higher than in a regular plaza but I believed in the power of the brand and store I was going to build and I knew I could achieve it. We opened our first location a tiny closet size 600sq little store inside mainplace mall.
In three months, we outgrew our little space and moved to a 1800sq feet space. Way bigger than our current space and I knew I couldn’t fill it up with product immediately but I knew that if I worked hard I could. Two years later we now have three locations two retail locations Mainplace Mall and Westminster Mall opened June 2018 and our newly opened Makeup Stop Academy June 2019.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
It has definitely not been a smooth road one of our biggest hardship was there was a competitor who had a similar concept to us who was located 4 miles away from us and they were not happy with our rapid growth so the owner would tell brands to not sell us there product and closed many doors. We had to work extra hard to build our credibility so those brands would allow us to carry there product. Fast forward two years of consistent work and not giving we now carry every brand we wanted in our locations. Another huge struggle was doing it all myself and sacrificing a lot of my personal life to work the store. I was the only employee for four months worked day and night every shift with the help of my mother Rita Lopez. She quit her job to come help me and believe in me that I would soon be able to pay her she has always been m,y right hand and biggest supporter alongside my husband and dad. I now lead a team of 15 and have retail manager, logistics manager and a business adviser. My biggest struggle was learning to become a good leader and balance it all. I grow and learn everyday to teach my staff and offer amazing experience in my stores.
Please tell us about The Makeup Stop and Makeup Stop Academy.
We are a cosmetic store that carries only smaller indie brands that are mainly popular on social media. We are known for our large picture walls in our stores were pictures of influencers and local makeup artists are framed and they come to our store to sign their pictures. We are also very known for our over the top and super successful meet and greets with YouTubers/influencers. We hire influencer to host a meet and greet at one of our locations and we do not charge our customers to come meet the influencer. It is our way of giving back to our customers who support us and make us grow. We have lines of people who sleep outside our largest event has generated around 1000 people. We created the lash wall trend now found in many makeup stores our lash wall is a customer favorite we carry over 300 styles from many lash brands. We are most proud on how we give back to the community.
We have hosted huge donation drives when major natural disasters have occurred. We work with foundation to help abused women, we received a certificate from the Mexican consulate for our work with Casa Guerrero Foundation. We also have an internship/mentorship program with the Santa Ana unified high school district, where we mentor and offer work experience to local high school students. What sets us apart from others is we do everything in our own unique way we do not follow trends we create them.
Do you look back particularly fondly on any memories from childhood?
My favorite memory from my childhood is my childhood. I was raised by the most amazing, hard-working parents. I was an only child for seven years and had many years dedicated to myself from my parents and even when my younger brother was born, I can remember my parents going out of there way to make us happy and share as many special moments with us as possible.
- Address: Main Place Mall location and Academy
2800 N Main St Santa Ana CA 92705
Westminster Mall Location
1025 Westminster Mall, Westminster CA 92683
- Phone: 7145993395
- Instagram: @shopmakeupstop