We fell in love with New CIDs eyebrow pencil and brush a couple of years ago, and have been fans of the line ever since (we love a strong brow). But far from being a big faceless corporate company behind the brand, we found Kelly Colman, wife, mother, entrepreneur and philosophical spirit. We were intrigued to meet her and wanted to know how she’d got started in the beauty industry and what lessons she’d learnt along the way.
Kelly grew up in a small town in the Midlands with three older brothers. She often helped out in her mums pet shop whilst her dad worked away, and credits her parents with working hard to juggle their home and work life, for her work ethic today. At the tender age of 16, Kelly moved to London to attend dance college; dance being a passion from an early age. She worked as a commercial dancer travelling all over the world before starting her own dance school at the age of 23. A chance meeting on a flight to Chicago, led to her falling in love with and marrying London hairdresser Clive Colman in 2001. They have been married for 11 years and now live in a converted barn in Hertfordshire with their two children.
After marrying, Clive and Kelly went on to open a makeover photographic studio; one of the first in the UK, where women would go to have their hair and make-up done by stylists, followed by a professional photo shoot. “The concept was simple. Every woman wants to feel glamorous and look a million dollars, and not only did we make that happen but we gave them a portfolio of images to cherish forever,” says Kelly.
But this wasn’t to last and the business folded during the recession.
“Knowing that your past doesn’t equal your future and tough times don’t last keeps me motivated through difficult times”
But undeterred, Kelly had already started thinking about her next business venture. To create a beauty brand that was not only functional in it’s packaging, but that also suited all skin types and colours and was long wearing.
With over 50,000 women having visited their studios since they opened, Kelly had access to all of the research she needed, and found that women weren’t one hundred percent happy with the beauty products they were purchasing on the high-street. “We also worked with various make-up brands in the studios and I found there was a lack of innovation. I wanted products that offered quick results, that were simple to apply and would also stand-up in a photo-shoot environment,” says Kelly.
The New CID Cosmetics line launched in 2006 and consists of products well known for it’s range of colours that suit all skin tones, including black and Asian skins, and has innovative packaging featuring lights and mirrors that has won them numerous beauty awards from the likes of Tatler and Woman & Home.
“I truly believe you have to make things happen in life. If you work hard enough and genuinely have faith in your vision, then great things will happen.”
TRS: When you were younger what did you want to be when you grew up?
Kelly: A professional dancer (which I was first!). This was my complete passion.
TRS: What is your favourite quote?
Kelly: Wow, this is a difficult one, you only have to see my twitter account and Instagram to see how many inspirational quotes I post daily. I love The Secret and Tony Robbins. Can I have a short list?
If you think you can or you think you can’t your absolutely right.
Whatever the mind of man can conceive, it can achieve.
Ask, believe, receive.
If you do what you have always done you will always get what you’ve always got.
If opportunity doesn’t knock build a door.
Happiness is a journey not a destination.
TRS: What inspires you?
Kelly: Everything around me really from colours, objects, architecture, products and of course my kids it goes without saying.
TRS: What’s the best piece of advice you have ever been given?
Kelly: To trust your instincts and if you feel something isn’t right then it usually isn’t.
TRS: If you could go back in time to when you were 20, what would you tell yourself?
Kelly: Live a little and laugh a lot.
TRS: What are you proudest of?
Kelly: My kids, my marriage and my achievements so far.
TRS: What are the biggest, most important lessons you’ve learned?
Kelly: There is no substitute for hard work.
TRS: Who has been the biggest influence on your life? What lessons did that person teach you?
Kelly: My mother and father, for how hard they have worked for us as a family and for the life lessons and values they have taught me.
TRS: How do you keep motivated during difficult times?
Kelly: Knowing that your past doesn’t equal your future and tough times don’t last, tough people do!
TRS: Are you a feminist?
Kelly: Not really.
TRS: What challenges do you feel female entrepreneurs face that men don’t (if any)?
Kelly: Not that many actually, I am lucky to be in the beauty world so it’s the norm. I wouldn’t say that this is typically the same for other sectors though.
TRS: How did you successfully raise your profile in the early days?
Kelly: We had a PR company that worked primarily on the brand, but of course there were several features that came out that focussed on me personally. Really it’s been about keeping my head down and focusing on the tasks ahead.
TRS: What advice would you give to someone in the early stages of setting up their own business?
Kelly: You need to take the emotion out of it and look at the hard core figures and business plan, to ensure you have every possible chance of succeeding.