InFeatures, Interview, Make Up

Q&A with Shelley Sullivan, CEO of Modelco Cosmetics

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What a year 2015 has been. Connecting with so many inspirational, motivated and successful women has continually pushed me forward and getting my hustle on. To add to the already long list of fabulous featured women, today I’m sharing my recent Q&A with Shelley Sullivan. For many, Shelley needs no introduction as the Founder and CEO of well-known cosmetic brand ModelCo Cosmetics!

Shelley says of Modelco: “We’ve learnt that beauty doesn’t have to be hard. At ModelCo we create products for women who want to look and feel their best whilst enjoying a busy lifestyle. That’s what ModelCo is about – achievable, every day glamour”. From the launch and to the consequent complete sell-out of TURBO LASHWAND Heated Eyelash Curler in 2002, the brand has reached new heights with the newest product lash+line, a revoluntary mascara and eyeliner in one – which was recently reviewed here at Why Hello Beauty!

ModelCo Cosmetics are sold worldwide and has been featured in global publications such as VOGUE, Harper’s Bazaar, marie claire and Instyle. Shelley recently took a few minutes to chat to WHB and I’ve shared it all below!

Hi Shelley, thanks for taking a few minutes to chat with me – it’s such an honour! Where did the idea of ModelCo come from, do you have a background in beauty? “Owning my own modelling agency I experienced firsthand the limitations of innovative beauty products and the lack of accessibility professional makeup artists had to premium products. When I first started ModelCo there were only two products, LASHWAND Heated Eyelash Curler and then TAN Airbrush in a Can, I certainly didn’t realise at the time that I was starting my own beauty company. What started as a pet project turned into a global brand before I knew it. I had an innate desire to create products that help women to look and feel more glamourous and help simplify their beauty routines”.

What was/is the biggest challenge with creating such a high profile cosmetics business? “I think international expansion was challenging. It sounds glamorous but I have learnt not to expand too quickly. It is far more strategic to conquer one market at a time”.

What’s been your biggest achievement so far? I notice you were recently featured in the Collective, I’m such a huge fan of the popular magazine! “My most notable career achievement was when the idea for Tan Airbrush in a Can hit me. I just knew there had to be a smarter and more user friendly way for women to self-tan and had often thought about the idea of marrying self-tan and a spray can. I knew that if I could create way to a product that put an end to stained hands and uneven coverage that it would be a success! When TAN Airbrush in Can – the world’s first aerosol ‘tan in a can’ self-tanning product hit the market it truly changed the way that woman self – tanned, delivering professional results with the convenience of an at-home application. To this date, one unit of Tan in a Can is sold every 36 seconds worldwide.

Another career achievement would have to be signing, hosting and shooting Rosie Huntington–Whiteley for ModelCo in 2013 and then again in 2014. I am a believer in organic partnerships, so it was important and gratifying to know how much Rosie loved and identified with our products”.

How important is social media for ModelCo and yourself as the CEO? “It is hugely important. I am constantly thinking about our consumer and trying to understand what she wants. I am across her social media channels so that I can best determine which products she wishes she had in her beauty cupboard that I can then deliver!

ModelCo has a specialist digital and social media in-house team responsible for driving traffic to the ModelCo website and engaging with our customers on all levels. ModelCo’s rapidly expanding social media following has allowed us to build a strong, modern brand identity that engages with our customers and community 24/7, a focus with is a critical priority for our brand.

My personal social media allows me to share ModelCo brand news and allow followers a glimpse into my life which I think it key to building a brand rapport and relationship with customers”.

Do you have any exciting new product launches coming up Shelley? “We have just launched our new self-tanning products for Summer 2015/16. I am very proud of the new ModelCo One Hour Tan Mousse and ModelCo Exfoliate Double Sided Body Wipes. We are working on a contouring range which will be released early next year”.

Do you have a favourite ModelCo product, can you pick just one? I have to say mine is the new Lash+Line, it’s certainly a revolutionary time and space saving product! 
“I have to say Tan Airbrush in a Can will always have a special place in my heart! But I definitely agree with you on Lash and Line – I love a bold eye and the 2-in-1 feature is genius!”.

Thank you so much Shelley for the Q&A feature, I always have had a soft spot for ModelCo due to the stunning packaging equally luxurious cosmetics but now you have a fan in me for life! Cannot wait to see what else is released in the months to come!


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