On the weekends, I like to choose one day and get my nails done, go to the hairdresser, shop for clothes, or buy makeup. My weekend mantra is to choose one day out of the weekend to pamper myself. I greatly enjoy embarking on my “pampering escapades” and my first stop is always the mall.
I currently live in the Atlanta area and there are many malls that I enjoy visiting; however, two malls located in the Metro Atlanta area contains a secret ingredient that allows them to stand out from all the rest.
The ingredient is called, Colour U Cosmetics. Within the malls of Stonecrest and Cumberland in Metro Atlanta, this company strategically places its business out in the open hallways of malls. Upon passing a Colour U station, shoppers can see the staff doing makeovers on women of all skin colors. You get to witness first hand a Colour U product being placed on the beautiful canvas of a woman’s face and the makeup alone speaks for itself.
The makeup gives full coverage, it’s vibrant, not heavy on the skin, and affordable. The makeovers are also cost efficient.
Last week, I had the opportunity to interview the CEO and the brains behind the creativity that is Colour U Cosmetics, Karen Stallings. Together we discussed her “road to Colour U,” the current success of the company, and it’s bright future.
Stallings is originally from Norfolk, Virginia and has a 28 year background in hair styling. She is also a mother and a wife.
“Then I decided it was time I re-invent myself before I turned 40,” she said with a smile.
That’s when I started Colour U Cosmetics. I started basically by partnering with photographers. I am a makeup artist myself so, I used my product on the models. I also worked with magazines and fashion shows to get the name out. I wanted to use a product that I could stand by myself. For a lot of people their thing is Mac this and that. As a professional makeup artist, a lot of us don’t like Mac. We don’t use Mac to that extent that people go for because it doesn’t look good in pictures, or on stage. It’s very heavy. I wanted something that I could use for myself and stand by for client. So that’s how I came up with Colour U Cosmetics.
She begins to tell me that Colour U began its retail journey when when people began to ask for the product. She gave a laugh and said, “when went to fashion shows and things of that sort, they started asking for Colour U.”
With the help of family, Karen was able to learn and understand the ins and outs of owning a prospering business.
We opened our first store in Virginia and then we migrated here to Atlanta and we’re doing very well.
Karen use to work for Bronner Brothers and this caused her to consistently be in the Atlanta area. She formed a customer base here. She even recalled a customer celebrating when she found out that Colour U had opened up it’s doors.
Today, Colour U’s glam squad has grown and interest in their product is increasing tremendously as well. Their line not only has makeup but, skin care products as well to keep your natural beauty looking flawless.
Now, I’m not a chemist, I’m a hairstylist. I have chemist that I work with. I have a lab that I visit three times a year sometimes four depending on the weather. They’re in Canada so, they get a lot of snow.
When I am not there they are producing and when I go it is for a long period of time. Sometimes two weeks or more. This is what they specialize in. I tell them what the needs are for our line. Then they make it to what we know as Colour U.
As previously mentioned, Colour U is not located in a boutique but, it’s in the hallways of malls instead. This idea was birthed through trial, error, and a business mindset.
I’m not interested in Colour U having a boutique at this time because, I’m a business person. It’s going to take a lot of advertising dollars. So being in the malls, I don’t have to use those advertising dollars and instead use them to better the product. I get the traffic that is within the mall. A lot of people don’t know about mall politics.
At one point, Colour U owned it’s own in-line store at the mall. But, someone outbid their spot and they were the required to move. Her only options were to outfit the bidder or move to a cart kiosk.
I told the mall manager that I cannot be on a cart kiosk and I was just in a store. I said that I had this idea to do… what you see now. He told me to draw it out for him. Then he said, ‘ok, do it. I don’t think I ever want to back into an in-line store. We are more open. You are able to see us. We run it like a store without walls.
Another great aspect about Colour U is their Glam Squad. These women are the faces that customers see and build relationships. The women are also from all walks of life .
I hire a lot single mothers and young people who want to embark on makeup as a career. I have a lot of seasoned artist too. We bring in out of the year about eight newcomers.
In the future, Karen is looking at Charlotte, North Carolina as a new store location in the near future. She is also looking at Houston, Texas.
I like to be in a metropolitan city. What we do is, I will send out my district manager or one of the managers to go out and scout the mall. Or, my husband and I might take a weekend and look at a mall. We go as shoppers. I want to see a lot of women
Distributors are another potential desire for the company.
Karen Stallings professional and enjoyable personality was not surprising. The culture of a company always starts with the higher powers. They set the standard for what they desire in their company. Karen is the reflection of what Colour U radiates… sincerity. Our conversations were organic and she was real. The Colour U product desires to enhance your beauty without any gimmicks and their glam squad focuses on making sure their customers leave their care feeling beautiful.
Be sure you check out Colour U Cosmetics located inside the Stonecrest and Cumberland Malls in Georgia; and also online at www.colourucosmetics.com