It's a problem that plagues many women: how to get the rest of the makeup out of the bottom of a cosmetics bottle.
Local entrepreneur Nicole Manns (pictured at lower right) came up with a solution with her product Nikki's Magic Wand, a mascara bottle-shaped container with wand that can scoop foundation, lip gloss, mascara and more out of those hard-to-reach corners other makeup applicators often cannot reach.
The product will be featured today and tomorrow in a New York Fashion Week gift lounge at The Empire Hotel on Manhattan's Upper West Side. The lounge will feature other beauty and fashion selections for media and industry insiders to browse.
I created Nikki's Magic Wand because ... I was frustrated with wasting my product and money. I had JUST purchased a tube of lip gloss just a few weeks prior to having this idea and could no longer get another drop out. I thought that there HAD to be a better way than just throwing away half-filled tubes of makeup.
To me, being an entrepreneur is … something I NEVER thought I’d do. I never had any interest in owning my own business. I just figured that I’d be a 9-to-5 worker forever. One “light bulb moment” turned me into a business owner, and I love it! Making decisions that will affect the success or failure of my business can bring stress, but more often it brings pride.
The greatest challenge of inventing something is ... also the source of my greatest joy. It is learning something new every single day. I had ZERO knowledge about any of this: prototypes, manufacturing, patents, marketing. But I know it now, and it is my knowledge to keep forever.
The thing I've learned about myself through launching this product is ... Wow! So many things: to be patient, to understand that rejection can be a great thing, that I have some amazingly supportive friends, that things aren’t always going to go the way I want them to but that is OK and, a lot of times, for the best.
At New York Fashion Week, I'm looking forward to ... making connections that will benefit the business, whether it be possibly securing a celebrity endorser or getting the wand in front of boutique owners. I am viewing this as an opportunity for Nikki’s Magic Wand to put its best foot forward and show people what they’ve been missing.
If I could collaborate with another cosmetics company, it would be ... Oh man, there are so many great, great companies out there, but one of my dreams is Sephora. I’d LOVE to be sold in all Sephora stores.
My Fashion Week survival tip is ... take deep breaths and be sure to be “present” in each moment because it will be exciting and I’m sure overwhelming. And have fun!
In five years, I'd like to be ... healthy, peaceful and the owner of a highly successful cosmetic tool company with multiple product offerings.
Being an entrepreneur in Pittsburgh has been ... great because the mid-size aspect of Pittsburgh allows me to get exposure to great salons, spas and the beautiful people but not be eaten up by a big group of other entrepreneurs doing what I’m doing.
When I'm not in Pittsburgh, what I miss most is ... a lot. Even though I am from Philly, I have called Pittsburgh home since I started college in Oakland, so I have a deep affinity for the restaurants and, most of all, my Pittsburgh friends who are my family.
My advice for aspiring entrepreneurs is ... to save your money (you will need every penny), be very thoughtful about what you decide to spend that money on and follow your instincts. If it doesn’t feel right, then it probably isn’t.