Monday 16 November 2015

2Inspire Network Inspirational Woman: Denise Rabor, Founder of Wow Beauty and Leadership3Sixty

Denise Rabor has been making a living from her passion for makeup and beauty as an international make-up artist for over 15 years. In her latest entrepreneurial venture, Businesswoman Denise, who has worked with major publications such as Harpers Bazaar, Vogue, ELLE & Vanity Fair, is set to shine a spotlight on inclusivity in the beauty industry with Wow Beauty. She is also the Founder Leadership3Sixty, a leadership empowerment platform which celebrates diversity in the corporate sector. Read her inspirational interview below and find out how you can have LIMITLESS POTENTIAL.

Please tell us what is a typical business day for you?
To be honest, there is no typical business day for me, simply because I'm involved in more than one business, so I approach each day according to priorities. Like many people I can sometimes feel as though there are not enough hours in a day to get things done, especially when there are meetings to participate in, events to attend and of course the unexpected things that suddenly occur which can completely throw a planned schedule out of the window! One thing is for sure is that my days are always varied and never boring!

What made you start the business and how did you get started?
Having been in business all my life I couldn't help myself, I'm always looking for a new business opportunity. I am very fortunate that I'm able to create businesses out of things that I love. My love affair with the world of fashion and beauty began as a child, growing up in New York and has never left me. I was always a magazine junkie and still have a collection of US & UK Vogues amongst others going back to the 80’s.
While I was involved in running the family business I managed to have a successful parallel career as an international makeup artist; Wow beauty came about because although I always knew that I'd do something more in the beauty industry, I just wasn't sure what. Once I realised that I wanted to share my experience and expertise I took my time to get myself together in terms of collating my thoughts and ideas for the formulation of the website and launched wow beauty in May 2015. Wow beauty is a website devoted to inclusive beauty and wellbeing, encouraging women of all ages and ethnicities to be empowered by owning their unique beauty. There is beauty in diversity.

What would you say has been your greatest accomplishment in the business world to date?
In business I set clear outcomes which have so far exceeded my expectations. So doing this whilst being actively involved in my other businesses has shown me that I'm a resourceful and capable woman. I have two web based businesses that have diversity and inclusion at their core whilst being focused on female empowerment in different ways. I find them both satisfying because they allow me to express female empowerment on the inside and outside.
So, I have to say that my greatest accomplishment is that I own my story and that alone has been a journey.  The second accomplishment is that I still love everything that I do and that is a blessing.

What has been your biggest challenge in business so far?
I have never defined myself by my gender or my ethnicity, simply because my parents brought me up to to be myself, to put my best self forward and to ‘just do it’. Don't get me wrong there are always challenges but my attitude is to push past them.
As women there are challenges and barriers that we face in business on a daily basis, we need only look at the dire statistics for women in leadership roles, in tech or on boards; compounded by the challenge is of managing the doubting inner voice that sometimes appears, trying to sabotage our progress; as a woman of colour these challenges are even greater, but I am inspired more every day by the sheer power of women finding their voices and uniting those voices in pushing past the barriers, moving forward and refusing to be cowed. My mother is a successful female founder, my sister and I are female founders … Melinda Gates said “A woman with a voice is by definition a strong woman. But the search to find that voice can be remarkably difficult.”

What are your future plans for the business?

Wow beauty  is my newest venture and it’s going well. A lot of work has been done in the industry and I’m picking up the mantel and running with it. I’m known for my belief in pure limitless potential! For me there are no limits, and that gives me a buzz….I guess I got that from my parents and my New York upbringing.
I have a big vision for Wow beauty …I want to build on the way that women view beauty– firstly that they start to #own their beauty and that they see the connection that exists between beauty, wellbeing and the self awareness that is required for career growth. Secondly, I want to really make a stand for inclusive beauty. It's a big vision, it’s a shared vision and it's time.
Personally I am a work in progress so in 5 years I will be learning and growing, and excited about the future, pushing the boundaries of my potential and working to  make a difference in the lives of other women.

If you had to do it all over again, what would you do differently?
There’s nothing that I would change personally. Of course it feels different when you're in the thick of your journey, but when I look back  I can see the threads of cohesion and flow which makes it all make sense and ultimately feel timely. I'm a big believer in my two favourite words of serendipity and synchronicity! Ultimately in the words of the famous song ‘I did it my way’.

Why is it so important to inspire young women in particular to follow their dreams?
Because they need to understand that dreams and a vision are vital to a life of purpose.
It's essential for them to link dreams with goals and a clear timeline to achieve those dreams. That's the secret they need to know because dreams don't work unless you do! Women have over the years often struggled to find our voice in the world, whether educationally, at work or in business; fortunately over the last few years there has been a huge uplifting surge of woman power globally, and it's this that I hope is motivating and inspiring. I'm certainly motivated and inspired by it daily. There's a quote by Maya Angelou that I love love to see a young girl go out and grab the world by the lapels. Life’s a bitch. You’ve got to go out and kick ass." .

What advice would you give to somebody who wants to start a business in your industry?

It's a long list but it's worth remembering:

  • Do your research 
  • have a clear vision 
  • speak to and keep company with positive, growth orientated people
  • do some sort of business plan to guide you 
  • plan, plan and plan again
  • enjoy the journey
  • trust your intuition
  • have your cheerleaders nearby 
  • learn new skills
  • set sustainable targets 
  • control your budget
  • look after yourself.

What or who inspires you in business and why?
I have always been inspired by my mother, and my late father. My parents are phenomenal groundbreakers who in the 70’s took a chance, moved to NYC and started businesses. Today my mother continues to learn new skills and seek new business opportunities. I am inspired.

What is your favourite inspirational quote?
That's a tricky question because I have so many, a couple of which I’ve already mentioned so here's a few more…I love a great quote!
"Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it." Maya Angelou
"Don't tell us the sky is the limit when there are footsteps on the moon.” Unknown
“If one is lucky, a solitary fantasy can totally transform one million realities.” Maya Angelou

twitter: @WOWbeaute

twitter: @leadership3sixt 

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