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Nina Vargas: Dare to be different

Jedna od najpriznatijih poslovnih stratega u industriji lepote, mode i velnesa, u intervjuu za Harper's BAZAAR Serbia otkriva kako postati i ostati uspešan.

Nina Vargas, jedna od najboljih biznis stratega u oblasti lepote, mode i velnesa, preko tri decenije uspešno vodi lični brend, ali pomaže manjim i većim kompanijama da postanu i ostanu bitne na svetskom tržištu. Osim toga, ova Latino lepotica vodi LA Fashion magazin i osnivač je LA Fashion Multimedia (LAFM) haba, koji donosi vesti i savete iz sveta lepote i mode za široku publiku. Vlasnica je brojnih nagrada i priznanja u biznisu, a u poslu se nikad nije vodila zaradom, već je želela da napravi uticaj koji će našu planetu učiniti boljim mestom za život.

Spolja gledano, vaša karijera izgleda kao meteorski uspon ka vrhu – kulminira počastima kao što su osvajanje AEG Women in Entertainment nagradom (2018), pa Beverly Hills Publishing priznanje, a članica ste i savetodavnog panela AEG-a za žene u iondustriji zabave. Kako ste došli dovde?

Spolja uspeh izgleda tako jednostavno, zar ne? Iskreno, nijedan uspeh nije moguće ostvariti preko noći. On zahteva mnogo teškog rada i odricanja – ali i mnogo srećnih okolnosti, kada sve samo dođe na svoje mesto. U ranim danima, kada sam započinjala karijeru influenserke i imala samo 500 dolara na svoje ime, nisam mogla ni da sanjam da ću da postanem neko ko drži lekcije i pomaže drugim brendovima da ostvare uticaj. Prvih godina naučila sam mnogo o tome šta treba da radim, a šta ne, da bih na kraju napravila pokret sa različitom publikom i platformom za društvene medije. Sa te tačke, prirodni korak je bilo to da pomognem u traganju za talentima koji će raditi za globalne brendove kao što su Armani, Steve Madden, Jones Group i drugi. Tačno sam znala šta tražim, kako da oblikujem i vodim mlade, još uvek nebrušene ljude. Čast mi je što sam partner nacionalnim i međunarodnim organizacijama sa kojima razvijam one – stop multi medijalnu platform za kozmetičke brendove, kako bismo zajedno dostigli snažan reach na užurbanom američkom tržištu, koje ima svoje specifične izazove.

Šta vam se najvišew dopada u vezi sa vašim poslom?

 Volim da podržavam dostojne brendove u izgradnji jakih veza sa njihovim kupcima, da pomažem da se izjednače uslovi za izvanredne pridošlice koji su možda mali, ali su neverovatno moćni, upoznajući ih sa novim tržištima. Praktično, volim da vodim sopstvenu operaciju, da pravim rezultate i da učim da verujem sebi. Na početku svoje influenserske karijere, oslanjala sam se na pravila i smernice koje su mi davali brendovi koje sam predstavljala. Trebalo mi je neko vreme da steknem iskustvo i shvatim da mogu da razvijem sopstveni put do vrha – a zatim da ga ponovim za druge koji nisu sigurni u vezi sa pravim koracima koje bi trebalo preduzeti. Danas je neverovatno zadobiti poverenje klijenata, pomažući im da ostvare veliki uticaj, a zahvaljujući tome što sam prethodno kreirala sama taj put za sebe.

Imate li neke uzore?

Kao što će većina ljudi primetiti, velika inspiracija su mi žene u mojoj porodici, rođene i izabrane. Moja majka je, na primer, pravi šampion – bila je samohrana majka koja je radila u radionici. Učinila je sve i svašta kako bi osigurala meni i bratu da imamo sve što nam je potrebno za ovo što smo danas. Tu su i moji prijatelji koji su prevazišli sve moguće prepreke kako bi izgradili sopstvene biznise. Jedna od njih je moja dobra prijateljica i PR menadžerka, Jessica Kopach. Ona mi je inspiracija! Ona vredno radi, veruje u svoj tim, a najviše od svega – nije dozvolila da posao promeni ono što je ona. Zatim, naravno, tu je najnovija moćna žena koju mogu nazvati ikonom, dr Laura Purdy iz AFD-a. Kada sam je prvi put srela, bio sam oduševljena i znala sam da je ona prava stvar. Skromna, strastvena, pametna i prelepa duša koja će zaista doneti promenu u svet zdravstvene zaštite. Žene poput njih dve, teraju me da verujem u sebe i podsećam se da dobri ljudi postoje i da je budućnost koju želimo da stvorimo zapravo moguća.

Kako biste opisali uspeh?

Za mene, novac ili priznanja ne znače mnogo, ako nisu dostignuti integritetom i uzajamnim poštovanjem. Umesto toga, uspeh mi izgleda kao spisak stalnih klijenata koji nastavljaju da veruju svojim brendovima i projektima, znajući da radim najbolje što mogu za njih. Uspeh takođe znači jake odnose, ne samo sa brendovima mojih partnera, već i sa drugim profesionalcima iz industrije, kao što su mediji i kolege; nešto što visoko cenim i oko čega sam izgradila svoje ime. Velike stvari se mogu postići samo timskim radom i važno je znati kako biti dobar saigrač, čak i kada vodite emisiju. Ali pored svega toga, sveukupni uspeh uključuje izdvajanje vremena za činjenje dobra van posla, podržavanje lokalnih i međunarodnih ciljeva koji pomažu da svet postane bolje mesto.

Imali ste ključnu ulogu u dovođenju nekih od najboljih novih i etabliranih kozmetičkih brendova na američko tržište – toliko uspešno, u stvari, da smo nedavno videli bilbord za vaše poslovanje na Times Square-u u Njujorku! Koje su to velike stvari koje trenutno spremate?

Trenutno pripremam veliki omaž-dokumentarac – Plesači su rođeni, a ne napravljeni, koji se bavi ženama devedesetih koje su postavile hip-hop na svetsku mapu, zajedno sa prijateljicom Tamalom Lewis. Zajednička produkcija okuplja neka od najvećih imena industrije iz oblasti muzike, plesa i specijalnih talenata širom sveta. Počinjemo sa snimanjem u avgustu i objavićemo ga na December’s Women in Entertainment Luncheon zabavi – na kojoj ću i ja ponovo biti deo panela, deleći scenu sa nekim od najmoćnijih žena na svetu koje nastoje da razbiju barijere u svojim industrijama. Ostali veliki projekti u radu uključuju produkcije sa magazinima kao što su Time, Forbes, L’Officiel, Glamour, InStile i drugim globalnim publikacijama.

Za kraj, možete li da date neki savet, mladim ljudima koji kreću da grade beauty brendove, kako bi došli do što veće publike?

Neka novac ne bude vaš motivator, mnogo je drugih aspekata na kojima treba da radite, i da ih gradite, kako biste stvorili uspešan brend. Usudite se da budete drugačiji, posebno kada uspostavljate intimnu timsku kulturu. Nemojte se plašiti da rizikujete, posebno onda kada vam stomak kaže da činite pravi potez. Dajte prioritet zdravlju i pauzama da se napunite, čak i kada ima toliko posla koji treba obaviti; ponekad se najbolje ideje za nešto novo jave kada se na trenutak udaljimo od ludila.

English below:

Nina Vargas, one of the best business strategists in the field of beauty, fashion and wellness, has been successfully running a personal brand for over three decades, but she also helps smaller and larger companies to become and remain important in the world market. In addition, this Latina beauty runs LA Fashion magazine and is the founder of LA Fashion Multimedia (LAFM) hub, which brings news and advice from the world of beauty and fashion to audiences around the world. She is the owner of numerous awards and recognitions in business, where she was never guided by profit, but wanted to make an impact that will make today’s world a better place to live.

From the outside, your career looks like a meteoric rise to the top, culminating in honors like winning the AEG Women in Entertainment Award (2018), receiving the Beverly Hills Publishing Grant, and sitting on the AEG Women in Entertainment advisory panel. How did you end up here?

Success always seems so simple from the outside, right? Truly, though, no success happens overnight. It takes a lot of hard work and determination – but also a lot of fortunate occurrences, with everything falling into place at the right time. In the early days, when I was just starting my career as an influencer with only $500 to my name, I had no idea I would end up using my own lessons in the field to support other brands seeking to make their own impact. Those first few years, I learned a lot about what to do (and not do) to create movement with various social media audiences and platforms. From there, it felt like a natural step to help with talent acquisition for global brands like Armani, Steve Madden, Jones Group, and more. I knew exactly what to look for and how to shape or guide fresh talent. Since then, it has been my honor to partner with national and international organizations, developing a one-stop boutique multi-media platform for beauty brands to establish strong reach within the bustling US market, with its own specific challenges. 

What do you love most about what you do?

I love supporting worthy brands in building strong connections with their customers. I love helping to level the playing field for extraordinary newcomers who may be small but are still incredibly mighty, introducing them to new markets. On a practical note, I love running my own operation, calling the shots and learning to trust myself. At the start of my career as an influencer, I used to rely on the rules and guidelines given to me by the brands I represented. It took awhile for me to gain the experience and realization that I could develop my own path to the top – and then replicate it for others who are unsure of the right steps to take. Today, earning a client’s trust by helping them to make a big impact feels incredible, because I created this path for myself.  

Do You Have Any Role Models?

As most people will note, a big inspiration is the women within my family, both born and chosen. My mother for instance, has been a true champion – she was a single mother working out of a sweatshop. She did everything and anything to ensure my brother and I had what we needed to be where we are today. Then I have those friends that have overcome everything in the world to build their own business. One of them is my good friend and PR Manager, Jessica Kopach. She is an inspiration to me! She works hard, believes in her team, and most of all, has not allowed the business to change who she is. Then of course there is the most recent powerhouse woman that I can only call an ICON/INSPIRATION, Dr Laura Purdy from AFD. When I first met her, I was just blown away and knew she was the real deal. She is humble, passionate, smart, and just a beautiful soul that is going to truly bring change to the world of healthcare. It’s women like them that make me believe in myself and act as a reminder that good people exist and the future we want to create is in fact possible. 

What does “success” look like to you?

To me, money or recognition don’t mean much if they weren’t achieved with integrity and mutual respect. Instead, success looks like a roster of ongoing clients who continue to trust me with their brands and projects, knowing that I’m doing my best work for them. Success also means strong relationships, not just with my partner brands but also with other industry professionals, such as media and colleagues; something I value highly and have built my name around. Big things are achieved through teamwork, and it’s important to know how to be a good teammate, even when you’re running the show. But besides all that, success overall involves making time to do good outside of work, supporting causes both local and international that help the world become a better place.  

You have been instrumental in bringing some of the best new and established beauty brands to the US market – so successful, in fact, that we saw a recent billboard for your business in New York’s Times Square! What big things can we look forward to next?

I’m currently prepping for a huge homage documentary called “Dancers Are Born, Not Made” that highlights women of the 90’s who put hip hop on the map in partnership with a great friend, Tamala Lewis. The collaborative production will bring together some of the industry’s biggest names in music, dance and special talent all over the world. We begin shooting in August and will release it at December’s Women in Entertainment Luncheon – which I will also be part of the panel on once again, sharing the stage with some of the world’s most powerful women who are striving to break barriers in their respective industries. Other big projects in the works include productions with Time, Forbes, L’Officiel, Glamour, InStyle, and many other global publications. 

What is your best advice to newer beauty brand builders seeking to reach bigger audiences?

Don’t let money be your sole motivator – there are so many other aspects to building a successful brand! Dare to be different from others, especially when it comes to establishing your internal team culture. Don’t be afraid to take risks when your gut tells you it’s the right move to make. Prioritize wellness and taking breaks to recharge, even when there is so much work to be accomplished; sometimes, the best ideas for something new emerge when we step away from the madness for a moment.

Team credits:
Talent: Nina Vargas @ninabvargas ninabvargas.com
Photographer: Mike Yi @mikeyi_photos
Stylist: Elva Wu
HnM: Eriq Moreno @eriq_moreno
PR: JKO Agency @thejkoagency   jessica@thejkoagency.com
Location: Omni Los Angeles Hotel @omnilosangele

 

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