Founder/CEO of One Two Cosmetics and the inventor of the magnetic eyelashes
LinkedIn: Katy Stoka
“Effortless” is one of my favorite words in life. It’s also a part of the motto of my company.
One Two Cosmetics was founded in 2014 when beauty enthusiast Katy Stoka invented One Two Lash® – the world’s first magnetic eyelashes. The groundbreaking, patented design was inspired by Katy’s love of the look of false lashes and ignited by her determination for a better way to achieve the look without having to use messy glues and time-consuming salon appointments.
One Two Lash® was immediately heralded as a revolutionary game changer and won the Allure Best of Beauty Award 2016: Breakthrough. All lashes are certified cruelty-free and vegan, and hand assembled in the United States.
THE BIG IDEA:
I call it “my shower story.” I’ve always loved fake eye lashes, loved the way they made me look and pretty much never left the house without them. I didn’t like the mess, the time, the glue, and the expenses associated with wearing fake eye lashes. In 2014 I had a career, two kids and no time left for things like salon appointments. On a Saturday night I was in the shower calculating if I had enough time to do my hair, make-up and put my lashes on before going out to an event. This is when “lashes should be easy like an accessory” thought came to mind and an idea of using magnets instead of the glue to put them on. I did my research and I started the company one year later.
ON GROWING UP/LIVING IN MIAMI:
I was born in Nebraska, went to school in Wisconsin, started my professional career in Chicago, moved to Miami with my husband in 2002. We wanted to be urban and warm.
The best way to describe Miami lifestyle is with my favorite word “effortless.” It doesn’t mean that we live in a perfect beach life utopia. Instead, we get our work done first and then we enjoy our life. This is something that doesn’t happen in many other places.
ON WOMEN IN BUSINESS:
The naivete women are bringing with them into all the new areas they are entering can be helpful as it removes a lot of self-imposed barriers. One great thing about business is that you can pretty much copy-paste its many models. Once you’ve done business in one area you can shift over to another. Founders need to surround themself with wise advisors and mentors but at the same time, one has to be careful, especially during the building stage. I learned that mentors with limiting beliefs about themselves can project those limiting beliefs onto people looking for guidance.
ON BEING AN ENTREPRENEUR:
Being an inventor and a business founder puts additional psychological pressure. From the very beginning, I knew my product would be copied. What took me years to build required 90 days for others to copy.
I launched the company on my 40th birthday and I’m glad I did it as a mature woman. It took every single bit of personal strength that I’ve built up in 40 years of my life to have a proper response to all the challenges. People stealing your idea and benefiting from it is unfair to the inventor but using the word “unfair” as a founder makes you a victim, which is a damaging attitude for a business leader. It takes emotional maturity and professional experience to reframe the situation and focus on your advantages in order to move forward. In my case the advantages were plenty: being an inventor, having the original idea, being three years ahead of all the companies copying my product. In addition, anyone who copies you has no mission, no brand identity, no story, they will copy anything that comes along. People will always do nasty things in business, but as a founder you cannot spend time watching them, you have to focus on your plan, update it if necessary.
ON WOMEN’S EMPOWERMENT:
It’s silly to think that makeup is antifeminist. Policing how women should look and what beauty practices they should adopt is more damaging than makeup itself. Makeup in general isn’t for everyone. One Two Lash was specifically designed to make the experience healthier, easier and more fun for lash lovers of all genders.
We are now in a 124 Sephora stores across the country. We are looking for more retail opportunities and expanding our product line.
#MIAMIFOUNDER campaign celebrates Miami’s top 30 Female Founders for their significant innovative contributions today and tomorrow. With the generous support from the Knight Foundation and with the help from the (WIN) Lab Miami we want to tell the story of Miami as a place where women lead, innovate and engage in meaningful entrepreneurship. JOIN THE CONVERSATION