EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH CHERYL YANNOTTI FOLAND, FOUNDER OF LILAH B.
by Alyaka.com Editor on Oct 18, 2022
Cheryl Yannotti Foland, founder of color cosmetics brand, Lilah b., talks to Alyaka.com to reveal what stands behind the challenge of creating a minimalistic, design-driven and aesthetically flawless make-up brand, name her own Lilah B. must-haves and outline plans for the future.
Cheryl Foland, Brand Founder of Lilah B.
“LESS IS MORE” PHILOSOPHY IN COLOR COSMETICS WHERE EXCESSIVE AND INCLUSIVE SHADES RULE SEEMS QUITE REVOLUTIONARY. HOW YOU CAME UP WITH IT?
Cheryl: “I adopted a much simpler and healthier lifestyle when I made a big move from Manhattan to San Francisco thirteen years ago. When I lived in New York, everything in my life was quite frivolous and excessive from the hours I worked on the clothing and beauty products I bought and used. After working in the cluttered and confusing world of color cosmetics – and enjoying my new-found life believing that “less truly is more” in California, I set out to create a line what the modern-day woman could and would embrace – encouraging them to ‘be more with less’.”
LILAH B. SOUNDS WONDERFUL, BUT IS THERE ANY SPECIAL MEANING BEHIND IT?
Yes!!!! Lilah is my 90-lb. Rhodesian Ridgeback. Shortly after my move to California, I adopted Lilah who completely added to the healthier mindset and philosophy of my new life – I run with her every morning on the trails behind our home and she is a fun member of the Lilah b. team in the office each day.
YOU ARE A BEAUTY VETERAN WITH A 20-YEAR CAREER. CAN YOU PLEASE TELL US MORE ABOUT YOUR PAST EXPERIENCE?
Sure. I was actually in Finance for 20 years – 10+ of them in the Beauty industry focused on Marketing consultancy to mass and prestige brands. I learned a lot about the industry in this decade and recognized the huge white space for a luxury, clean color line with a minimalistic approach and philosophy. And so lilah b. was born!
WHAT MADE YOU CHANGE YOUR LIFE AND EMBARK ON A BEAUTY STARTUP?
Overworked for someone else. Recognizing I could fill the void with something the modern woman was missing (and many were looking for). It was a combination of so many things, but the timing was right. It was the best decision I’ve ever made and I love what I do every day.
WHAT WERE THE BIGGEST CHALLENGES [WITH THE STARTUP] IN THE VERY BEGINNING AND WHAT ARE THEY LIKE NOW?
Lots of challenges along the way, but nothing that wasn’t entirely expected. I have been fortunate to have created a line that is really resonating with consumers, retail buyers, beauty experts, etc. so selling the lilah b. collection has thankfully been pretty easy. It was making sure I had the right team in place to execute flawlessly (I am a perfectionist) and to make sure we stay on track to deliver what the lilah b. woman is looking for next while still keeping it simple.
PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT AND PROCUREMENT AS A PROCESS – WHAT IS IT FOR YOU? HOW YOU CREATE YOUR PRODUCTS – FROM THE IDEA OF WHAT IT SHOULD BE TO CHOOSING THE EXACT FORMULA?
I work with the best and most innovative chemists in the industry in Milan, Italy. I give them my bucket list and we work through many, many rounds of submissions before we nail it. All of our product formulations are clean, healthy, good-for-you and my objective has been to create all multi-tasking heroes so that women can use one product in many different ways.
YOUR LILAH B. ULTIMATE STAR PRODUCT?
Our AglowTM Face Mist has been a fan-fav right from the start. It’s one of my favorites as well and is carried in my tote no matter where I go. This multi-tasking mist sets, refreshes and hydrates with a fabulous essential lavender oil to round out the sensory experience.
ARE YOU GOING TO GROW THE COLLECTION AND TO WHAT AN EXTENT?
We are definitely growing the collection into other categories but will continue to be mindful of keeping the lean beauty routine top of mind without cluttering or confusing the consumer. We believe three products is all you need to achieve a finished, effortless look with lilah b.!
IF ONE LOOKS INTO YOUR BEAUTY POUCH, WHAT PRODUCTS WILL BE FOUND THERE, I.E. YOUR EVERYDAY BEAUTY MUST-HAVES?
I never leave home without my AglowTM Face Mist, my b. kissed Lip Balm and whatever lip color I choose for the day – at the moment, it’s our Divine Duo lip + cheek in b. fearless!
HOW DO YOU RELAX IF SHORT OF TIME?
I don’t get to relax very often these days but relaxing might consist of a long bike ride with my husband in the vineyards on the weekend or just a bath salt-filled tubby with a good book.
YOUR BELOVED HOLIDAY DESTINATION?
I adore Pienza, Italy in Tuscany and try to get back every year. It’s where my husband and I eloped!