Monday, June 11, 2012

Spotlight on Mommy -- Tarsia Mah, Creator of the grumpy princess/Tween Skincare Line

This week's Spotlight Mom is Tarsia Mah, of the grumpy princess, a tween skincare company that offers products for children ages 6-12.  I first stumbled across Tarsia's site, while looking for mom entrepreneurs a few months ago, and fell in love with her products and their fun and quirky labels (which are made from stone and not paper -- neat, huh?  If you have young daughters, then you know how they want things that their older siblings have, or want products that are designed specifically for them.  Now, with the help of Tarsia and her tween skincare line, the grumpy princess, parents/grandparents can give their little "grumpy princesses" skincare products made especially for their delicate skin.  Even though my daughters are too young to try these products, I enlisted the help of my niece, who loved the products.  Head back here on Friday, when I will share more about my review of these great tween skincare products, which includes face and body cleansing cloths, 2 in 1 hair and body wash and sparkle face and body lotion.  In addition, Tarsia has graciously offered to give one lucky reader a chance to win a set of the grumpy princess products for your tween.  But, in the meantime, please enjoy my Spotlight on Mommy interview with Tarsia Mah, creator of the grumpy princess tween skincare line.

Name: Tarsia Mah
Company Name/Product/Service: the grumpy princess/ tween skincare
Company Location: Los Angeles
Company Website:
Twitter Handle: @GrumpyPrincess8
Age of Company: 1 year old
Favorite Inspirational Quotes: "Work smarter, not harder"
Favorite Book: Right now I'm reading The Year of the Dragon by Oliver Chin (Illustrated by Jennifer Wood) to my kids. So cute!! And my guilty pleasure these days is Lucky by Alice Sebold

Tell us a little bit about yourself.  How many children do you have? What are their ages? Your hobbies? Etc.
I have two children. My daughter, Milla, is 8. My son, Sky, is 5.  I love to entertain, and will often host special events where I decorate our house according to a specific, festive theme. As a family we also enjoy getting together with our extended relatives and close friends to spend time together cooking, eating, playing games, and basically enjoying each others company.

Briefly explain your business.  How did it come about?
The grumpy princess was inspired by my daughter, Milla (age 5 at that time), whose sudden interest in my make-up and skincare products resembled more of an artist's fascination with a paint set. Naturally, I allowed her to explore her curiosity, resulting in an explosion of mineral dust across the walls and a blue faced girl. Although I embraced her creative license, I was now out of some expensive products! Seeing her need to explore I headed to a local drugstore to pick up a make-up set and skincare products for her to have fun with.

It was only after I brought the products home that it dawned on me to look at the ingredients.  After some research, I was shocked to find that the products marketed to her age group were both unnatural and unsafe. This was a pivotal point for me in deciding to create an equally fun, natural skincare line for her tween age group. I wanted to offer her natural products that looked, felt and smelled like something she could have fun with. And I wanted to feel confident that no matter if she used a drop on her skin or poured the whole bottle in the tub that she would be safe from potential harmful chemicals.

The creation of the grumpy princess skincare line came about organically on a part time basis for the past two years. The majority of the brand and business was built with my own elbow grease, and then eventually began to collaborate with some amazing partners. 

What is a typical work day like?
Actually, every day brings on new challenges with deadlines, meetings and childcare. However, this would be a pretty normal day for me: I start my day by getting my family ready for school (breakfast, pack snack or lunch, morning bathroom routine, etc.), and then I walk them to school. While they are in school, I juggle all business-related meetings, work on design projects, and answer as many calls and e-mails as I can before 2:30pm. I then pick up the kids from school, help with homework and make dinner. Then I finish up the day with a couple more hours in front of the computer planning the next day items.
What has been a struggle while starting up your company? 
The biggest struggle when I initially started the business was figuring out the right partnerships. I explored many different directions earlier on as I was refining my brand vision. Once I had a clearer idea of what I wanted to accomplish, it made it easier to focus.
What did you do in your past work life?
Previous to starting my business, I was a creative director at the international advertising agency called Select, working on the P&G Salon Professional brands. Prior to that, I was a creative consultant for Noah's Naturals skincare & Salon Grafix, and an art director for Paul Mitchell. I have launched several haircare and skincare brands into the salon and mass retail market through packaging, promotional and advertising.
What have been some of your major successes?
Well, I would have to say having my two kids for sure! They rate far beyond any professional success in my book. But if I have to toot my own horn, I'm very proud of the impactful packaging and promotional designs I've created for former employers and clients as they have contributed to opening many new retail doors.

Currently, I find each day brings small successes within my new business that lead to better tomorrows. I try to celebrate what I have now rather than what I don't, and plan for greater successes to come.

What have been some of your major challenges?
Well that would have to be having kids too. Can I say that? No really, it would probably be juggling time with my kids and time spent building the company. Laughter helps.

On those impossible days, what motivates you to keep going?
As a mother of two and a business owner, I find each day comes with unique struggles and opportunities. What keeps me going is knowing that I don't know everything and can't be everything to everyone. Every day, life brings something new to your door. It requires passion which has become more important than the project itself to me.
What is your balancing secret in managing a business and family?
I feel there is no secret to this. Focusing on what you move towards generates success in any area of one's life. 
What is next for your business?
I'm seeing stars! Bigger distribution and line extensions. I have tons of ideas of where I'd like to take the brand. I get excited about all the possibilities and partnerships that I'm eager to explore!
Do you have any advice for other mom entrepreneurs that are starting out and struggling, or are on the fence about starting a business?
Figure out what you believe in and stick to it. It's more important than just making another item on a shelf.

1 comment :

  1. This sounds like a great idea for a company and one that so many tweens would love to try.
    heather [email protected]