via Bluemercury/Facebook"> clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Bluemercury Co-Founder Dishes on the Beauty Biz

Photos <a href="">via</a> Bluemercury/Facebook
Photos via Bluemercury/Facebook

Racked is no longer publishing. Thank you to everyone who read our work over the years. The archives will remain available here; for new stories, head over to, where our staff is covering consumer culture for The Goods by Vox. You can also see what we’re up to by signing up here.

When we found out that Bluemercury is celebrating its fourteenth anniversary, we wanted to congratulate its co-founder, CEO, and visionary Marla Malcolm Beck. Then, we wanted her secret for thriving in a competitive biz. And then, we wanted to know what she was like when she was 14. Moral of the story: don't invite us to your birthday party. We may grill you.

Read on for the scoop; then, get thee to Bluemercury. If you spend $150 on any products or service this month, you'll get a bag stuffed with goodies from Fresh, Trish McEvoy, and more (while supplies last, of course.)

Happy 14th anniversary! Bluemercury is quite the sleek, sophisticated teenager. What were you like at 14?
I recently found my high school, freshman-year picture.  My eyes are lined top and bottom with navy blue eyeshadow. I have a shimmery blush on my cheeks and a shiny nude lip gloss on.  And way too much mascara. Clearly I loved makeup!  I always knew everything about beauty products, makeup, and skincare. I knew what to buy where, what all of the new launches were.  I read Seventeen Magazine and was obsessed.  I think my love for beauty products helped me see an opportunity that was missing in beauty retailing.  

Fourteen years ago, when you opened your first shop, what was that day like? What was the feeling you had when you first flung open the shop's doors?   
I remember thinking what am I doing?!  Here I have a college degree and two graduate degrees and I am running a retail shop!  But I loved skincare and makeup and beauty products so much that I got such a high from helping clients.

What is your business M.O. that has kept you going strong for 14 years, and will help you succeed for another 14?  
A few things. One: We are focused on one thing: being the best at giving beauty advice. I always say, "I don't know what products will be in our stores 10 years from now, but I know we will still be the best at giving advice."

Two: It's about our beauty experts, the people helping our clients.  We are insanely focused on having amazing beauty junkies in our stores helping clients find the best products. We focus on creating a warm, family-like environment for them to work in and give our team a career path so they can really grow and develop with us.

Three: We don't pay attention to what everyone else is doing. We've always done things our own way. Industry veterans always say, "no one does things like you do." I think because I didn't come from the beauty industry, it let me really focus on creating a neighborhood store feel that makes the customers feel cozy and comfortable.

What's your 14th birthday wish for BlueMercury?
That we continue to have fun and, our clients continue to have fun with beauty products! And that we continue to spread our friendly, neighborhood stores across the country.

Complete the sentence: True Beauty is...
Feeling good about yourself and comfortable enough in your own skin to do whatever you want!
· Bluemercury [Official Site]
· Marla's Beauty Blog [Official Site]

Bluemercury Lincoln Park

2208 North Halsted Street, Chicago, IL