Meet Simone Xavier, Sigma Beauty

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Simone Xavier

Introducing MN Cup’s Women Wednesday! Throughout the winter season we will be featuring a series of women entrepreneurs in our community. Today we are featuring Simone Xavier, Chief Creative Officer, Sigma Beauty.

This special blog series is part of MN Cup's women’s initiative. Launched in March 2014, MN Cup hosted its first annual Women’s Event featuring a terrific list of women panelists and speakers including Marilyn Carlson Nelson. Our plan for 2015 is to host three events to expand our support and efforts regarding women entrepreneurs including our annual event on February 17 featuring Ann Winblad. 

How did the idea for your business come about?
Our business was heavily based on identifying a need and supplying a product in a way that made sense to the clients, acknowledged their needs, functioned properly, had excellent quality, and was priced fairly. Makeup brushes already existed in the market, but very few brands catered very specifically to clients needs by eliminating all the guesswork in brush selection. Our company was born by combining the most desirable and functional makeup brushes into one no-brainer, functional kit. 

Sigma Beauty has been featured in articles in the Pioneer Press, MSP Mag, Star Tribune, and Artful Living Magazine.

You can watch videos about Sigma Beauty featured on CBS here and here.

What are the top 3 skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur?

  1. Listen to the clients' needs.
    A successful entrepreneur will identify trends and opportunities, understand client behavior, and provide solutions. 
  2. Never settle for average.
    A successful entrepreneur innately sets the goal of going beyond whatever the competition has to offer. This involves creativity, excellence in everything the company has to offer (products and services), and persistence to always improve, non-stop. Very few things are set in stone when your goal is to be the best. You are constantly looking for ways to improve.
  3. Be creative and change the status quo.
    A successful entrepreneur is not in the business of doing what has been done or settling for old or widely accepted ways to doing things. A successful entrepreneur is a visionary that dares to challenge the status quo and propose new concepts and ideas, no matter how out of the ordinary they seam. Innovation is core to being successful. 

In one word, how would you characterize your life as an entrepreneur?
Challenging (with regards to strategic decisions). Daily, no days off. 

What is the best piece of advice you have ever received?
If you tried something twice and it did not work, change it. It is simple, but it is not uncommon to get used to old routine ways of doing things and not realize you hope for change but you don't change your ways.


What is one of the biggest challenges facing women leaders today and how can we overcome this challenge?
I am going to be honest. I thought about this question for a while and nothing really comes to mind. Not in my experience. And I've been an entrepreneur in science and in business. I never thought I could not do something or I had a disadvantage as a woman. The only thing that always mattered to me was: can I do this better than anyone else? If you can, case closed. People will notice you and respect you. If you are producing something that matters and is the best out there, people will resist for a while but they ultimately give in - if you are really the best on the subject. Gender has never been an issue. So, maybe the answer to this question is - confidence in your own skills.