The Beaming Beauty Empress
When you meet Kim for the first time, you will be blown away. This girl knows how to make an entrance. You won't forget her awesome blond curly hair, her big smile and her great sense of humor. She’s so witty and sweet. But she’s also a successful businesswoman in her own right. In 2016 she took over her mom’s business, schminkbar, which is a little feel-good destination for all things beauty. Together with her sister Lia she runs 6 salons around Zurich, Winterthur and Luzern. On top of that, she’s raising two little kids who also keep her on her feet.
Read all about this unstoppable Doyenne, her thoughts on women in leading positions, running a business with over 100 employees and how she’s dealing with the current Covid-19 situation.
Tell us a little bit about yourself? What is your background?
About 20 years ago I completed an apprenticeship as a gilder, a very rare profession, but an incredibly beautiful one. To be honest, after completing my apprenticeship, I didn't really know what to do, so I signed up to become a make-up artist at my mother's cinemask school. After initial difficulties, I quickly developed a great passion for the job and wanted to learn everything there is to know about being a make-up artist. Many further trainings and workshops in Los Angeles, New York and Berlin followed. I eventually started working for my mother's company as a make-up artist for television, film productions and photographers. Ever since, I can't imagine a more beautiful and fulfilling job.
Together with your sister Lia, you run a very successful beauty business which your mom founded in 2003 - tell us a little bit about schminkbar, what is the secret behind your success??
Since my mother and I had worked so well together before, it was absolutely clear to me that I wanted to build up schminkbar with her and my sister, and grow with our then still small cosmetics company. Today, 17 years later, I can still say, there has never been a day where I did not enjoy going to work. I love our schminkbar and I'm so proud of it. That is probably one of the most important secrets of our success.
But it is also the passion. The three of us (my sister, my husband and I) simply enjoy what we do. I am infinitely grateful to be a blessing to pursue a profession that gives so much pleasure to people. I also appreciate having amazing people around me. My goal has always been to work in a healthy and beautiful work environment. Today I know that this is not something you can take for granted.
There aren’t that many females in leading positions. This often has to do with women stepping back after having children. Yet you and your sister are both mothers. How do you do it? How do you manage both?
Yes, this really still is a big issue. But I don't think it's only because of women having children and becoming moms. I can do it because I have a great husband and loving father for my children by my side. We support each other and have each other's backs when it comes to childcare - this of course is an ideal situation. I often feel that women lack self-confidence and courage. Women be courageous! But I know this is a very difficult topic. Also because one is often simply exhausted, constantly having a bad conscience towards family, friends or the business. You have to find the right balance.
The gender pay gap is a huge topic in Switzerland at the moment. Just because women don’t talk about money as much as men doesn’t mean they don’t understand finances as well as their male counterparts. Yet it still feels like women are more uncomfortable around this topic. Why do you think that is?
We are very proud to say that equal pay for men and women has been part of our company philosophy for over 17 years. But it is generally a difficult question. I think that in many families it is the mother who goes into part-time work, and because of that many women still depend on their partner's income and therefore feel less valued. I find it incredibly important to have my own bank account and not having to explain myself to anyone on how when or where I spend my money. At the same time, husbands and partners should also be open to work part-time. Equal pay is so important that there is no loss of income for the family. Fortunately, this topic is becoming known now and wheels have been put into motion. it is illogical and wrong that I as a woman should be paid less than a man for the same work. But we are still at the beginning!
You’ve had many famous clients before. Who would be your dream customer and why?
It's always been my dream to do Kate Winslet's makeup. I think she has the most beautiful and flawless face. I'd like to know if that's really the case. But the question of the dream customer is much more a question of respect for me. When I work with a person, they should first and foremost be friendly and kind. And of course I wouldn't say no if Leo Dicaprio needed a make-up artist 😉
What’s a mistake you see get made all the time, even by very smart people? What have you learned from that to handle it the right way?
Taking things for granted. Because nothing in life can be taken for granted. You've got to appreciate what you have and be grateful for it. A business like schminkbar is not just a business that works well. There is a lot of work and passion that goes into it. Our employees are our top priority, and we are also very grateful to our customers. We do not take the customer, nor the work and loyalty of our employees for granted.
Covid-19 hit really hard and you just recently reopened the Schminkbars. What is work like these days and how are you feeling about the future?
We are happy we got to reopen again. I think that's the most important thing. We were able to keep our whole team and secure their jobs thanks to the possibility of short-time work. We are happy that our customers trust in us and our hygiene concept. What the near future will bring and what the "new normal" will look like is still uncertain - but we are in good spirits.
Zodiac sign: Scorpio
Currently listening to: A lot of podcasts, i.e. friendships in times of Corona
Best delivery restaurants in Zurich: My husband 😊 just kidding. I like Auswärts Daheim.
How to unwind after a long day at work: In the bathtub
The best book of all time is: The never-ending story by Michael Ende
Most used emojis: 🥰
Most overrated word: Diet
Mani or Pedi: Pedi
Finish this sentence "Women should be more: courageous."