Create & Cultivate 100: Beauty: Rosie Huntington-Whiteley

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From acclaimed fashion model to actor, designer to businesswoman, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley has done it all. The multi-hyphenate mogul’s latest venture, Rose Inc., offers an insider peek at some of Rosie’s favorite beauty products, makeup tutorials, skincare tips, and interviews with some of your favorite beauty gurus. Rosie takes a hands-on approach to her site, with a “Memo From Rosie” section dedicated to personal notes from the founder herself.

In addition to everything she’s working on for Rose Inc., Rosie will be our keynote speaker at Create & Cultivate New York! Check out her interview below, then join us in the city to get all the advice she’s learned from launching her namesake brand.

You’ve become a household name after years of putting in hard work as a model, and some acting work. What prompted you to venture off into beauty?

Beauty has always been a passion of mine and a huge part of my life for as long as I can remember, starting as a passion and ending up in a career.  Growing up I would sit and watch my mother in awe while she would get ready for work or a night out. I loved seeing how she could transform into this striking, confident woman.  It was then that I began to understand the way makeup could alter a person’s demeanor or mood. As a teenager, I always enjoyed experimenting with makeup and trying out the newest products.

Over the last 16 years as a model, I’ve spent countless hours in the hair and makeup chair learning from all the incredible artists I’ve been lucky enough to work with.  Every time I’m in the chair I find I learn something new and creative and have made special friendships and memories along the way.

Rose Inc. for me is a place where I could bring my passion to light and hopefully create an inspiring online destination where I can highlight my favorite artists, peek inside the bathrooms of some of our favorite influencers, tastemakers and professionals, and where we could explore, interview and discuss new products, tips and tricks with the top experts in the industry.  

What was the inspiration behind Rose Inc. & its aesthetic?

In looking at the landscape of beauty websites, I thought it was important to create a space that was curated by someone who has been in the industry, sat in the makeup chair, and had firsthand experience of the impact that these products and routines can have on your life both physically and emotionally.

We have features and stories that cater to every type of woman, whether you want to know more about your favorite beauty icon or you’re in search of some serious advice for your next must-have product.  We want to reach women all around the world and hear what they have to say about the beauty space.

The brand launched in May and is taking off swiftly. How did you build that bond with your audience?

I think with any brand it’s all about authenticity and honesty. I hope that it’s clear when people come to the site or spend time with me that they can see I have a true affinity for everything beauty related. Building a bond with your audience is an ongoing process, it’s a two way street. We love to hear what our readers have to say, what they want to read or watch and then we try to deliver what it is they are asking for.

What characteristics make you successful in the beauty industry?

Passion, drive, and a clear vision.  When you embody those characteristics everything else will fall into place.

What does it take to build a beauty brand from the ground up in today’s world?

When I look at what’s happening in the beauty industry right now and see what’s working and what’s not, I see that it’s about having a clear point of view for your brand and believing in something bigger than the product itself.  Creating a sense of authenticity and dialogue with your consumer while exploring innovative and exciting products that make people feel their very best selves.

What about your job makes you feel the most fulfilled?

I love meeting new people who inspire me both creatively and mentally, as this has been an ongoing learning process for me.  Seeing each of our initiatives through to completion, and hearing positive feedback from our readers, makes this all incredibly worthwhile and gives me an immense sense of pride!

What’s the best piece of career advice you’ve ever been given?

I feel lucky I get to talk to so many brilliant people across this industry. I think the best thing I have heard lately was about the importance of delivering something that is unique and infused with your own personal style.

What’s been the biggest surprise or highlight of your career to date?

Without a doubt, launching Rose Inc.  It certainly feels like a new chapter in my life and while it feels like an organic next step for me because it’s my passion, becoming a founder is quite the departure from modelling, I do feel some days that I’m learning a lot on the go!

Where does your passion/drive come from?

This is a question I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to articulate properly because a passion for this industry is something that has been a part of me for as long as I can remember.  An appreciation for and fascination with all things beauty related is something that struck me from a very young age.

I often find that as women, we tend to attribute a lot of our success to a fluke.  I try to remember that while I absolutely would not be where I am today without a lot of help, and certainly some luck, it really comes down to my own determination and dedication.

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What are the common challenges you've seen among female business owners and entrepreneurs?

I often find that as women we tend to attribute a lot of our success to a fluke.  I am sometimes inclined to feel this way about my own life and career, and while I try to remember that I absolutely would not be where I am today without a lot of help, and certainly some luck, it really comes down to my own determination and dedication.

When you hit a bump or hurdle in your career, how do you find a new road and switch gears to find success?

I think that becoming a mother has given me a completely different perspective on the ups and downs that I face in my career.  My personal life is a priority for me, so when I hit a bump in my career, I am reassured by the fact that that is not the be all, end all.  I truly believe in visualizing what you want for your future, and eventually, you can get there.

Whose career really inspires you?

Any woman who has accomplished her dreams, through hard work and determination, while remaining true to herself and a good person.

What’s next for Rose Inc. in 2019? What are you most excited for?

I’m excited to work with even more unique and inspirational people from across our industry, and share their stories with our readers.  The beauty world is constantly evolving and in order to deliver the most thoughtful, and hopefully helpful, content, we will continue to seek out exciting new products, ideas, and innovators.