5 minutes with Mii Cosmetics founder Susan Gerrard

We had the pleasure of catching up with Susan Gerrad, founder of Mii Cosmetics and creator of its Length Lash Lover mascara, featured in the limited edition Female Founders Edit.
 Mii Cosmetics founder, Susan Gerrard

“I wanted to create a ‘wow mascara’ that instantly made people feel good, giving super length and volume for a false lash effect,” she tells us. “Feature Length Lash Lover is our number one best-selling mascara, so I wanted to share my secret with everybody. When people use it, I want them to feel the best that they can about themselves.”

I decided to set up my own brand because of… years of experience in the beauty industry. Having been a manicurist for so many years. I brought nail brand Jessica into the UK and it revolutionised the nail market. After that success, I decided to found my own make-up and nail brand, because I felt then I was master of my own destiny, and I could deliver what I really knew clients wanted. 

The inspiration behind Mii is… to make the most of what you have, and don’t try to change who you are. It’s the best beauty tip I have ever received, and it is also the essence of Mii.

I think the secret of my success is… how much input I have into everything Mii creates. I didn’t just want to fill in the gaps, I wanted to create a range with the products, formulas and shades that I knew would become make-up bag staples, giving women confidence in their everyday look. 

The five words I would use to describe myself are: passionate, driven, empathetic, caring and unselfish

If I could only have two products from my range I’d choose… the gel eyeliner, for make-up, because it’s very easy to apply and it stays on from morning to night with no smudging. For nails, it would have to be our Shine & Shield topcoat because it is the nearest thing to a salon gel polish. The finish is like glass and it's touch dry almost immediately.

To me being a female founder is about… having real empathy for other women, from my time in the beauty world. I’m proud to represent them.

My advice for anyone wanting to set up their own brand is…  do thorough research and make sure that there is a gap in the market for it. I have also found it is so important to be surrounded by a great team whose strengths in different areas complement each other.

I get the balance between work life and home life by… having my husband, our two daughters and our son in the business! So we have family time all the time which is great. 

A typical day in this job is… something that doesn’t exist! We are blessed to have many leading spas and salons who embrace our brand, and sometimes I travel to meet them.  I am involved with new product development and seasonal shades.  The list is endless and I am never bored!

The best thing about being my own boss is… the self-satisfaction of achieving my goals. The worst is some sleepless nights, worrying over something that will turn out to be completely unfounded the next day. Somehow night time always magnifies worries!

The best compliment I’ve ever had about the brand is.. that it has the ‘wow’ factor and our products are addictive! 

I think that beauty is so important in our world right now because… it’s a relatively low cost way for us to get that ‘look good, feel good’ factor which is so uplifting in times of worry.

The biggest challenge I’ve ever had to overcome is… breast cancer which I had 28 years ago when I was just one year into developing my business, and 12 years ago when my daughter was also diagnosed. Thankfully, all is well with both of us but we certainly make the most of every day.

If I need to pick myself up I… do something positive then I feel better.  Retail therapy is magic! 

My motto is… life is not a dress rehearsal so make the most of every day.  I like to remember what I have achieved and think about what I will achieve tomorrow.