Thursday, January 10, 2019

"What will readers take from the Maybelline Story" Interview by Athena Karsant, Internationally renowned Master Corrective & Cosmetic Tattooist in Beverly Hills & San Francisco.

 Sharrie Williams author of The Maybelline Bo
Sharrie Williams
I am so very excited and honored to have my second guest blogger (the first was my daughter Krysten)! Sharrie Williams is the author of The Maybelline Story. She is the heir to the Maybelline legacy, is Tom Lyle William's great-niece and the granddaughter of Evelyn Boecher Williams. I am so excited to have the beautiful and wonderful Sharrie on my blog this week and I know you will enjoy every word below - I surely did! 

As a blogger yourself, what advice can you give others and myself about the blogging world?

I find it incredible how a blog grows organically just by showing up at the computer everyday and posting good material.  Three years ago I was excited to receive 66 hits my first month.  Now I can't believe I have over 35,000 hits a month.   Of course adding Twitter followers has been a big boost and Facebook expanded my online presence as well.   

Like Mabel in the book that burnt off her eyelashes on a hot stove, can you share some of your makeup secrets?

After I finish putting on my eye shadow I dab the tiniest bit of eye cream on my lids. This is an old Hollywood Movie Star secret I learned from my grandmother.  Another favorite trick of mine is, once I have my face make up and powder on, I buff it with a terrycloth washrag so it doesn't look thick and dull.  I also blot the oil during the day with rice paper or sometimes even a piece of a toilet seat cover in a public restroom.  Try it you'll be amazed. 

What is your must have Maybelline product?

I still use Great Lash mascara. The number one mascara in the world and I like Maybelline mineral Power make-up. (It looks great after being buffed.)

What inspired you to write this book?

It's been a long process.  My grandmother began telling me the Maybelline story when I was a young girl and the seed was planted.  After her untimely death I was determined to finish it.  I knew that if I didn’t tell the story it would be lost forever and that would be a shame.  The Maybelline Story is a thread in the fabric of American history and a big part of vintage Hollywood glamor.  I also wanted my great uncle, Tom Lyle Williams, the founder of the Maybelline Company to be remembered for his tremendous contribution to the Cosmetic industry as well.  

What is the best benefit to you being the heir of the Maybelline dynasty?

Growing up with a great uncle who made my life so magical.  It wasn't about the money; the money only complicated matters and destroyed us in the end.  It was about being so close with my cousins and the fun of sharing our excitement as the Maybelline grew into a global giant.  Now as an older woman I hope to give back some of the wisdom and strength I gained ridding this roller coaster experience.

Growing up did you understand your family dynamics and who your great uncle was and how he contributed to the world of beauty?

My grandmother, Evelyn Williams was married to Tom Lyle's brother Preston, my grandfather.  After Preston's death, at only 37 years of age, she and my 12-year-old father followed Tom Lyle from Chicago to California.  The three of them remained extremely close and loved to talk about the good old days when Maybelline was a little mail order business sold through the classifieds in Movie magazines.  I was so fascinated by their stories as a little girl that all I wanted to do was hear more, as often as possible.  Soon I became my grandmother’s little protégé and eventually her little clone.  So yes I was indoctrinated at an early age with the rules of the game, the family dynamics and I did know and appreciate the tremendous contribution Tom Lyle bestowed on women and the world of beauty. 

Original Maybelline 1916
What advice can you give others who want to follow in your uncle’s shoes? For the underdogs.

Tom Lyle Williams was the biggest underdog of all, of course.  That's what the Maybelline Story is all about.  He started out with nothing more than a good idea, lots of determination and a $500 loan from his brother and turned it into a worldwide brand.  It's all about building your brand and your reputation.  Brands come and go if it's not built on integrity.  Like doing a blog...It takes about three years before you really see results and during that time, you develop discipline and determination, or you give up and never see the results of your labor.  As my great uncle would say... It's easy to be excited and happy when it's new and easy... the true test of success, is keeping the momentum going during the down cycles.  If you believe in your project, you have to keep going even though it might take years.  It took me 20 years to get published and I wanted to give up and burn my manuscript all the time.  When I least expected it, the miracle happened and now the energy I put forth building that momentum is expanding the blog and my voice into the world - Because I never gave up.

What is this book about? Is there anything in this book that you did not publish? Care to share?

The Maybelline story is about a young 19-year-old entrepreneur who rides the ups and downs of life while building a little company called Maybelline. It’s also about his incredible sister-in-law, Evelyn Williams, (my grandmother) who is so deeply affected by vanity it leads to ultimate destruction.  In the midst of all the drama I grow up trying to sort out what's real and what has real value.  The book is a rags to riches story with an interesting morale in the end you won't forget.

Will there be a second part to your story?

There definitely should be, because everyone is asking me what happened to all the people they either loved or hated.  I do have a 350-page manuscript that is ready to go when the time comes.  But for now a movie or HBO series would be my next goal.

Who are your greatest influences and why?

My father Bill Williams was Tom Lyle's nephew and godson.   He grew up at the Villa Valentino in Hollywood where he learned the secrets to his uncle’s great success.  My father was an extremely talented interior designer and builder.  When my home burned down in the 1993 Laguna Beach, California Firestorm I lost everything because I wasn't home.  I wanted to give up and die, but it was my father who held me together and helped me get back on my feet.  I thrived because of his determination to see me overcome my doubts and succeed.  He designed and helped me rebuild my home, than helped me research and write my book.  I learned so much from him and now carry that spirit of “Yes I can!” with me to pass onto the next generation.  

What will readers take from this great read?

They will be inspired to make their dreams come true and believe anything is possible if they just keep going and never give up. 

What was the best advice your uncle or mother gave you about beauty?

My mother believed that beauty was an inside job.  That who you are n the inside is reflected on your face.  You see beautiful young girls turn into nasty middle-aged women and bitter old ladies.  All the Maybelline in the world can't cover up the truth of who you are inside.  If a woman doesn't grow, change and accept life she will remain a spoiled unattractive child in an aging body.  All women must work on their attitude and mature within, to keep their youthful effervescent beauty into old age.   Like the saying goes, Maybe She's born with it... Maybe it's Maybelline.

Describe your best achievement with your family name and without?

My best achievement with the Maybelline name so far, is writing my book and becoming a positive role model for women who want to achieve their goals.  It's not about make-up for me anymore; it's way beyond make-up.   Without the Maybelline name, my biggest achievement is being Mom and Nana and a positive role model for my family I grow into old age.  

Evelyn Williams (Nana), Bill Williams (my dad), Sharrie Williams (me)
& Tom Lyle Williams (my great uncle) 1965
What was your favorite childhood memory?

Going up to my great uncle's home in Bel Air California with my family and playing with him in the pool.  I remember he was such an unassuming man that he'd actually wear swim trunks pinned at the waist because the elastic had stretched out.  Here was a man who could afford the best and yet was so comfortable with himself around his family; he didn't need to show off.  On the other hand he was so generous hat he gave millions to them after the sale of the Maybelline Company in December of 1967.

How old were you when you learned about Permanent Makeup? Did your grandmother or anyone in the Maybelline family know about Permanent Makeup or have any?

I know permanent makeup has been around since the 1930's if not before, but I don't remember anyone in my family ever talking about it.  Probably because Maybelline was designed for women with light brows and lashes, so it never seemed necessary to have it done until now.

What are your current thoughts on cosmetic tattooing & permanent makeup?

I became aware of the process about 10 years ago, after a friend of mine had her brows, lips and eyeliner permanently applied.  She looked years younger and only needed Maybelline Mascara to complete her glamorous look.  My brows have faded to the point of being invisible and I'm seriously considering having permanent makeup done this year.  However, I would only trust the process to an artistic genius with years of experience and a talent for perfection.  Athena Karsant is the best in the business and would be my choice for sure.  Be sure to check out Athena Karsant's post on my Maybelline Book Blog…Click here to read Athena's guest blog!

Follow her blog: The Maybelline Story

Thank you Sharrie for sharing some of your incredible story! To learn more about Sharrie and The Maybelline Story, visit her blog. To learn more about Athena Karsant visit her website.

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Interview with The York Management School The Center for Evolution of Global Business and Institutions (CEGBI)

Maybelline 1915

The original Maybelline Company formed in 1915 to 1967, though incorporated in 1954, was a private family owned company, based in Chicago. Tom Lyle Williams was President and was responsible for all advertising. Noel J. Williams, followed by Tom Lyle Williams Jr. was Vice President and ran the administrative part of the company. Rags Ragland, headed the Marketing department. Chet Hewes, (Maybelline’s namesake Mabel Williams’s husband,) headed the division of the company that produced mascara, called De Luxe Mascara.  Ches Haines, (TL’s sister, Eva Williams husband) was in charge of transportation. In other words these few men ran the entire world wide company,  that today takes hundreds of people, executives and employees. Maybelline was known as the “Wonder Company.”  Today it would be impossible to operate a corporation with such a small group of family executives.

Maybelline Founder, Tom Lyle Williams 1915
The original Maybelline Company focused on one idea. Eyes.  Tom Lyle Williams put every dime back into the company to expand its Advertising and Marketing as well as develop their product line. The secret to Maybelline’s success was the having a quality product at a price every woman could afford. Maybelline was and still is a dime store luxury, priced modestly and advertised in beautiful displays.

Maybelline's namesake, Mabel Williams

What is your opinion about the fact that so many top cosmetics brands were created by diaspora entrepreneurs?  

Tom Lyle Williams was an entrepreneur who didn’t want to work for anyone. There was a need in the market place and he was there at the right time in history. Beauty and creativity go hand in hand. I believe young dispora entrepreneurs have their own beauty secrets and don’t want to give them away. They don’t want to work or can’t get work, they are driven by their own need to produce something and be a success in their own right. Many dispora entrepreneurs have old fashioned beauty secrets handed down to them through the generations and are inspired to share them with other women. Like Maybelline… being concocted with ash and Vaseline a secret of the harem, according to a vintage movie magazine…it filled a need and it took off because women were ready for it.

Tom Lyle and Mabel's brother Noel J. Williams and his wife Frances 1916

How do you think the management of the cosmetics brand changes in periods of crisis such as the current recession?

When the economy is down, cosmetic sales are up. Women will give up a lot of luxuries, but they won’t give up their beauty products. With Maybelline, it’s even more pronounced, because of the price that most women can afford even though their money is limited.

I am looking at two periods in time such as the Great Depression and World War II. What are the marketing and branding strategies of your brand? Do you have an idea of what it was like during these two periods and what changed substantially?

During the Great Depression, Maybelline moved from being a product women ordered from the classified section of magazines and newspapers, to being a dime store product. Maybelline was the first to create carded merchandise in the 1930s. They also were the first to create swirling displays, we take for granted today. They went from black and white small ads in movie and fashion magazines to full page color ads. They were the first to come out with “Before and After” print ads. Thom Lyle was a visionary always ahead of the curve. He also targeted the youth market, who were going to the movie theatres to see Hollywood Stars, and wanted to look like them. He stalked the dime stores with new products that even teenage girls could afford. Maybelline went from a large 75 cent box mascara to a small 10 cent box. He sold in volume… that was his secret. He also had a quality product that would endure for over 100 years today.

During WW ll, Maybelline was shipped to All the Army and Navy Barrack stores, where they carried ciggerates, beer, candy, chewing gum etc.  Enlisted women, and wives of the enlisted men,  insisted on having their Maybelline. (The American Government almost stopped the production of mascara during the War, because petroleum was rationed. Whoever, Tom Lyle went to the Pentagon and said, “You stop us from producing Maybelline and the moral of our soldiers will go down. Maybelline kept its doors open.)  One the War ended, Maybelline took off Globally, because though the Army Barracks stores closed, women all over Europe, who were also able to shop at the stores, demanded access to their Maybelline.  It was during this time, Tom Lyle Williams, contracted the biggest Hollywood Stars to represent Maybelline in full color, glossy ads, on the back of movie magazines. Women in the States and Soldiers, overseas, pinned these pictures up in their bedrooms or in the lockers of the barracks’. They were signed by the Stars and looked like they were personally autographed to them. This was a huge advertising campaign helped sell War Bonds. Maybelline also produced a more glamorous line of products that young women enjoyed carrying in their purses while out dancing in clubs. It was all done to boost morale.

In your opinion, do you think the motivation has changed from that on the date of the brand’s creation and why? 

I believe Maybelline today wants to reach a larger market of women, women of color especially. They now have a much larger line of beauty products that cater every woman’s needs. Face makeup, nails, lipstick, powder you name it they do it. Maybelline is about to come out with Organic products. Yes they are going Green. They don’t do animal testing anymore and they are still the premier cosmetic brand in the world. Ever 1.5 second a Maybelline mascara is being sold in the world. To think it started 104 years ago, by my Great uncle, a 19 year old entrepreneur with a 500 dollar loan is really unbelievable. I believe the Brand today is still motivated by Tom Lyle Williams original concept of producing a quality product at a sensible price that all women can have access to and afford. And, to continue producing the most beautiful print ads and TV commercials in the Cosmetic field

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Czechoslovakia is the latest Country to purchase Foreign Rights and print The Maybelline Story and the Spirited Family Dynasty Behind It.

The Maybelline Story is now printed in Hard Cover, in China, Spain, Poland, Estonia and now Czechoslovakia. 

The Maybelline Book Blog, has had over three million views, from over 110 Countries.

 There are Over 100 Amazon Reviews with 4 1/2 Stars.

You can now listen on Audiobook as well as Kindle, $5.99 and paperback, $18.95.

 The English version can be purchased on Amazon, Amazon UK, Amazon.CA or Barnes and Nobel. 

I am very pleased and honored to have my book available in Czechoslovakian, and hope to see it translated in more countries in 2019.

Here's to A Happy New Year to everyone around the World and soon you will be able to read this incredible story in your own language.  

Isn't it time you take a look for your self and see what all the buzz is about?

Maybelline Story, Czechsolovakia

Maybelline Story, China 

Maybelline Story, Poland


United States
United Kingdom

on November 1, 2018
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
I like to read real history and being an entrepreneur myself I found this so close to home. You have all and lose it, have it again and lose it, but win at the end. The win does not come without the family dynamics and issues that face the every day family. An interesting read, but so many good lessons to be taken from the advice and knowledge of Lyle.

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on October 28, 2018
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
This was quite a page turner. It kept my attention throughout the book. This true story that read better than a novel.

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on October 5, 2018
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
Anything is possible with the right motivation. Exciting Intimate family history of ambition, love, death, hard work, and love of family. Educational story of the changing times in America. Characters were exciting, descriptions of the surroundings were vivid and emotions could be felt from the words. Highly recommend the purchase.

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on September 15, 2018
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
I enjoyed this book very much, but was saddened and disappointed in all the family turmoil. Anyone who likes biographies would surely enjoy this book. It was a fascinating story of the family behind Maybelline.

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on September 3, 2018
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
I remember the red box and little brush. What a story ! It was fascinating. Fortune, family, fame and even history. A remarkable man and a generous patriarch was Mr. Williams. I would recommend to anyone who loves a good story, with unexpected players and unexpected endings.

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on September 1, 2018
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
This was an interesting read.A very twisted odd family with lots of back story and a fascinating rise into the make up business.

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on August 28, 2018
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
I like the extensive detail regarding the building and maintaining the Maybelline brand! Probably would be a better read of in book form so you could see how long the book was.

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on August 17, 2018
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
It revealed history at the time relevant to the story. Good read.