Here is an excerpt from our hashtag #weggchat (follow @weggtoday) held on Wednesday, February 6, 2019 at 11:00 a.m. Central time.
Starting Up and Taking a Personal Care Product Global
weggchat™ guest: Jacqueline Smith, CEO
weggchat moderator: Laurel Delaney, President
Women Entrepreneurs Grow Global™ (www.womenentrepreneursgrowglobal.org)
Welcome to our weggchat™ everyone. Thank you for joining us. Today we are excited to have Jacqueline Smith, CEO of Chicago-based Kiesque (www.kiesque.com) with us. Morning Jacqueline and all!
Here is how our weggchat runs. We have 12 questions. I’ll send the first one as Q1, which shows it is official and then Jacqueline @Kiesque can respond w/A1. Everyone feel free to comment or share your experience relative to the questions. Let’s have fun, learn and grow global together! Don’t forget to include #weggchat in every tweet. Here we go!
Q1: What prompted you to start your business @Kiesque?
Jacqueline Smith: I always wanted to have my own company some day. When I had the concept of my first product it seemed the right time to begin.
Q2: What does @Kiesque stand for?
JS: Kiesque, pronounced key-esk doesn’t have a specific meaning but the name was created with a few goals in mind. It was to have a distinct uniqueness to it, have no google returns, and not have any translations in a foreign language.
Q3: You have a patented product called Liquid Palisade. I’ve heard it called “painter’s tape” for nail art. How did you come up with that product? Explain what’s unique about it.
JS: I imagined a liquid applied to the cuticles before polishing and peeled away afterwards to reveal a clean manicure.
Q4: You received a patent on Liquid Palisade. What steps did you take to make that happen?
JS: The very first thing I did was to spend hours researching patents on the internet and searching every store I entered to see if this concept existed. Next, I paid for a professional patent search to double check my findings and spent time learning about the process.
Q5: Can you share a video on how the product works?
JS: All videos can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/user/kiesque1
Q6: Think back: when did you first start selling internationally and how did it happen?
JS: I was very fortunate that several international outlets reached out to us directly after we had exposure in the press.
Q7: Where’s your biggest market outside the USA and why?
JS: My biggest market outside the states is the European Union because I signed an exclusivity with Sephora Europe for an all store launch.
Q8: You have received phenomenal press coverage (https://kiesque.com/pages/liquid-palisade-in-the-press). How did that come about?
JS: When I was ready for market, I emailed 3 influential nail bloggers to ask if they would like samples and within a week or so they posted their reviews.
Q9: Tell us about any recent awards you earned, if any, and what that experience was like?
JS: Most recently, I was invited to participate in an Export Pitch by Chicago Metro Exports (http://www.metrochicagoexports.com/pitch_competitions-2-2-2/) and sponsored by Chicago Regional Growth Corporation along with UPS.
Q10: What’s the most fun thing that happened while running @Kiesque?
JS: One of my best memories was going viral on Instagram but not for the reason you might think.
Q11: What’s the biggest challenge you experienced and how did you overcome it?
JS: One of the biggest challenges was creating educational packaging for a prestige market. They just don’t go hand in hand.
Q12: What advice do you have for other women entrepreneurs and business owners in growing a business globally?
JS: Move at your own pace and make decisions that are best for you. Listen to your instincts.