A Polished Partnership
The Biz: Chrome Girl (est. 2013)
The Founders: Jaime Boreanaz and Melissa Ravo
What inspired you to start this venture?
Melissa and I were introduced at Hidden Hills summer BBQ. I invited her family to our home for dinner and we, including our children, became great friends. Melissa and I always talked about maybe doing business together, because we were bouncing entrepreneur ideas off one another, but our ah ha! moment came when our two young daughters were painting their nails together on a playdate. We were unsure of how unsafe polish was on their tiny nail beds. We did some research and sure enough, we were floored to see all the unsafe chemicals that are inside nail polishes used by consumers regularly. We decided to create a nail polish line that was safe enough for all ages, high quality, and affordable.
You both did this all on your own without any help from investors. What was the earliest goal you set to prove to yourselves that this could be a viable endeavor?
Jaime and I built this brand from the ground up all on our own, and with that comes trail and error. However, the one goal that we strive for is to bring awareness and educate women to make healthier choices for themselves and young daughters. You don’t need harsh chemicals to have a quality product in cosmetics.
What are some of the challenges that you did not anticipate?
One of the challenges we would say would be receiving a sizable purchase order, not having the man power to support it, and in turn having to handle carrying this out just the two of us. That equals to: “Panic at the Disco”, “Mood Swings”, and having this huge responsibility fall in our laps. It’s added to pressure to make sure everything is executed accurately.
Have there been any unexpected positive outcomes?
Jaime and I stand behind our brand 100 percent and know that we have an amazing product. It’s so gratifying to hear others sharing the same love and passion about our brand. Our partnership with HSN has been an incredible one to not only sell out of product on air, but seeing our product and hearing the positive feedback and comments is extremely rewarding.
How do you balance family life with the business demands?
Jaime and I both have the upmost respect for one another as friends and as business partners. It definitely is a balancing act juggling motherhood, and being business women, but we make it work. Family is always first, but our work is very important to us as well. That being said, our passion and love for Chrome Girl is shared equally, and we have each other’s back always. Aside from our incredible partnership, Jaime and I have built an incredible brand tribe. It would be very difficult and time consuming without our incredible team. It takes a tribe to run a successful business, and having people who share the same vision and direction you want to take your company, allows us to have more time with family.
Do you feel anyone ever discounted you because you were going into this without any prior experience? Did anyone ever discourage you from starting Chrome Girl?
We definitely felt discounted by some. Those that mentioned, “what do you know about business,” or “it’s a huge risk,” or “are you sure you want to do business with your best friend?”.
Truthfully, with all the negative remarks, the overall support from the community has been amazing,. The people that tried to steer us away from starting up this company, actually had no profound effect on preventing us from going after our dream, our extreme passion to want to produce something so great, and see our vision come to life. Jaime and I both were willing to take this leap of faith, take the risk, and we couldn’t wait for the journey to begin.
When things get difficult, what keeps you going?
Wine. Melissa and I definitely had some moments where we needed to hold each other’s hand to get through tough moments. But without the trial and errors, we wouldn’t have learned anything. We have learned so much about business and friendship that we are so fortunate to know what we know now. We feel we have grown so much, but also have a lot of growing to do.
Have you ever felt like you wanted to give up?
We never wanted to give up. There have been moments of frustration, however having a partner that you love so much on a friendship level as well and can lean on to keep you going, and motivate you, and to continue to push hard definitely helps. Giving up is the easy way out, and we both are not ones to ever give up without a fight.
What is the next big thing for Chrome Girl?
We will continue to expand and grow our brand, evolve into cosmetics and more amazing products that are true to our brand in that they are safer products with amazing quality. Continue our success on HSN and grow distribution.
What is your ultimate goal?
To build Chrome Girl into a global brand.
If you could go back to day one, what advice would you give yourself?
I would say to not put so much pressure on ourselves. We know we are doing the very best we can be in a new business venture and also to have a little more patience along the way.