Exeleon Magazine

Mary Harcourt: Glowing up Lives with CosmoGlo

Mary Harcourt

The beauty industry has always been a market driven by technological innovations. These innovations have disrupted the industry and created opportunities for the players as well as the consumers in the market.

Upon identifying a potential market gap, Mary Harcourt innovated and introduced the perfect lighting solution catering to the beauty industry – CosmoGlo. Since launching in early 2020, the brand has grown in terms of reach and popularity, and is planning to introduce a line of innovative products under its banner.

In this Exclusive Interview, Mary Harcourt shares about her journey with CosmoGlo and her ideas related to entrepreneurship.

What according to you makes one an empowering woman? How do you integrate the same thought into your leadership?

An empowered woman is confident and feels in control of her life. It’s a beautiful thing to live a confident life that you are proud of. I integrate this in leadership by allowing my team to have a voice, in fact, it’s required. If there is a team member that is not contributing their opinion on the matter, I will ask why they should be a part of the team. Multiple ideas are better than a single idea. You are encouraged to see the problem from many different angles and piece together different solutions to arrive at the best solution.

How did the idea of CosmoGlo come about?

I had boots on the ground already. I was a service provider in the industry that was fighting with not having a great lighting solution to light up my workspace when I worked on my clients. The beauty industry is exploding and it’s only going to grow bigger. I thought to myself, ‘How has no one created the perfect lighting solution for service-based providers?’ If I could do this, I could change an entire industry. I invented and launched a light that is changing the game for many industries. All because I was going through the pain myself and created a solution.

What prompted your interest and subsequently your foray into the beauty and tech space?

I knew if I had an idea, and I could bring it into a reality, it could benefit so many others.  That launched me into the process of seeing if it was even possible. From the sketch of the light starting on a napkin to getting files created to show the light in 3d and then having a metal shop create our first prototype, it was a process of making it happen.

What was the thought behind the name?

This is a light used in the Cosmetology industry. That industry covers many different things such as skin care, permanent makeup, nails, eyelash extensions. I didn’t want to be limited to specifically a lash light. I wanted to leave the option available to have an entire line of products in the future. Using the Cosmetology industry as an umbrella, it was natural to use Cosmo and Glo as it was a light that would be lighting up a client’s face, and the workspace for the technician providing the service. Therefore, CosmoGlo became the name of our light.

Talk to us about the product designing process and the innovation that went behind it.

Product designing is quite a wild ride. You take a single idea from a brain that has never been a part of the manufacturing industry and marry it with engineers that are the ones that will be bringing the product to life.

I was told the concept was too hard to create and that I should change the design to be easier to produce. The changes took away everything that made it special, which I did not allow or agree to as a client. I was very firm on the design and requested they figure it out. This is what makes the item so special and innovative. Lighting in a curve shape had never existed before in the beauty industry and I was not going to take no for an answer. With my firmness and the great minds of engineers, we were able to develop what we now know as CosmoGlo.

As the CEO of CosmoGlo, what role do you play in the day-to-day proceedings of the company?

I am very active in my company on a daily basis. I closely work with my teams to develop new product ideas, strategize for sales goals, form campaigns for our social media accounts, maintain incredible customer service for my customers, and withhold our patents we have in 30 countries.

What would be your advice for entrepreneurs of a product-based start-up company?

When you’re doing something new and innovative, you have to remember that this has never existed before. Trust yourself, your idea, and your mind to bring it to life. Be careful taking advice from others, they only know what is already in existence. Do not let them water down your idea or passion based on what’s already out there.

I only take advice from three people. People that I deeply respect or admire, people that have already done what i am trying to do, or people I am willing to trade places with them in their lives. If they are not one of those three people, I do not accept their advice. They are not trying to do what you are doing, and you must stay true to yourself to pull off innovation.

Looking back at your journey, what would you have done differently when starting out?

I am so happy with how my idea became a reality. It was a scalable progression that was manageable. I am self-funded. I grew it from very little into what it is now. We are about to be a globally distributed product and I take great pride in that. I think so many people thing you have to start big or have funding. To me, I feel as though our success was because we were neither large or well-funded. The lessons you learn are the same in either scenario. However, they are much easier to learn and grow from on a smaller scale with less funds to recover when things don’t go as planned. I believe my success has been because of how the company was started. I am not sure I would change a single thing.

What does the future look like for CosmoGlo? How do you plan on scaling the brand?

The future is very ‘bright’ for CosmoGlo! We are increasing our production to keep up with the demand. We have had to switch manufacturers to get us to the next level. It was a very challenging move, however, it is behind us now. We control all of our American-based manufacturing. From here we grow internationally. I find when scaling a company, it is very important to have software that increases automation and decreases the need for brain power. Letting the software programs do the heavy lifting allows the team to focus on more planning and strategizing which is important for any company regardless of size.

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