Q&A 4Her – Linda Seidel
Linda Seidel is a Baltimore native, who has been a successful, inspired business woman and beauty professional for over 35 years. In those 35 years she’s seen a lot of things and learned a lot about business and life in the process.
Linda candidly admits she has lived through some great times and not so great times. Surprisingly for someone who has achieved so much international acclaim and success she is incredibly gracious and humble and doesn’t skip a bit to tell you “life is a work in progress and I’m still working on it!”
Linda suffered from terrible acne as a child, and her personal experience not being one of the ‘beautiful people” led this academically trained fine artist to use the art of make-up to help others learn to love themselves, and the beauty they could be. Along the way, frustrated that there existed no products to truly address the particular needs of people dealing with severe scaring, port wine stains and other challenging imperfections to mask, she developed an innovative and proprietary way to give people seemingly flawless complexions. Soon plastic surgeons and dermatologists were flooding her phone lines with requests for appointments for their patients. Lind and her product’s reputation grew. Drawing national attention and bringing business growth rapidly.
After being featured in national publications like Family Circle, and a repeat guest on the Sally Raphael Show, as well as other television shows and the darling of the cosmetics world, Linda’s rising accomplishments were gilded with the publishing of a book in 1984. It goes without saying she and her business, were on a roll and things were snow balling. The world was her oyster. She trade marked her flag ship product called Natural Cover and everything seemed to be on the up and up. Then, in 1987 things suddenly to change and all of a sudden life wasn’t quite so glamorous. At that time, Linda suffered terrible personal and professional losses, despite all this – she kept on keeping on. “I was working hard on learning” she says “and I wasn’t always getting the lesson the first time.”
Linda says despite multiple fantastic opportunities, she admits at various stages in her life, in different ways she was running her(self) and her business into the ground for a variety of reasons. She shares she didn’t understand the mechanics of running a business… “no one ever explained it to me, and I didn’t know better to ask”, not to mention making sure she took take care of herself. Somehow though – she got through those dark times and her passion for her profession and her product, prevailed!
Fast forward to 2007 where Linda entered the Towson Global Incubator, suddenly things started looking up. Linda knew things had to change and with the help of an incredible business advisor, and the incubator’s support she finally got her wings and she and her company began to fly high again, and straight. She admits it hasn’t been an easy 5 years, but is pleased to reflect that indeed – things are better than ever.
There’s a happy second book to this story because the ebullient, infectiously enthusiastic artist eventually bought her company back, and launched a whole new product line that is poised to take the beauty world by storm. Her company is tracking GREAT projections for 2012 and the future looks very bright for this determined and inspired female entrepreneur.
MyCity4Her caught up with the ageless beauty recently to hear incredible story of true renewal, the power of daring to innovate, learning along the way and what success really means.
Did you ever imagine yourself achieving what you have?
Since the inception of my company in 1973, I have been imagining and consciously creating its success.
What in hindsight would you say you underestimated about your industry or business and why?
I underestimated the amount of jealously and blatant attempts by my peers to undermine my success.
What is the best business related advice you have ever been given?
The best business advice is something I had to learn on my own, and it is only from years of experience; and that is to trust my instincts and not give it up to someone else.
What do you love most about what you do and why?
I love using my God given talent to help women, men and children through the “Art of Makeup” because it changes lives. My work is my absolute passion.
What – if you knew then what you know now – would you do differently and why?
Every choice that I have made has led me to this moment. It hasn’t been an easy road, but it’s my road and now I’m in the driver’s seat.
When you’re not working how do you like to spend your time?
I love spending time with my two amazingly talented daughters and five grandchildren. Other than that, I am a dancing fool!
How do you define success?
Success to me is finding true happiness and fulfillment.
If you had to share one final thought with our audience of thousands of women in business – what would it be?
My final thought and piece of advice is to focus on the “big picture” when the chips are down, which will put everything in perspective.
About Linda Seidel: With a talent for portraiture and drawing, Linda Seidel thought at one time she’d pursue a career in art. She did just that, but her medium was makeup, not paint or pastels. Very early on, Linda realized that there was no correlation between the shades of makeup sold and the color of human skin. Then, when she was asked to conceal a tiny scar on a client’s face, the challenge set off a chain of events that would be life-changing for Linda. With a great deal of determination and passion, she set about creating her own makeup line, Natural Cover, and a career was launched. Through innovative application techniques, specialized cosmetic products and a humanitarian approach to business, Linda has personally transformed the daily lives of thousands of women, children, and men over the last 35 years.