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Product discovery with Total Beauty Shops

Over the past six months, Total Beauty Shops, the ecommerce platform of TotalBeauty.com, has been bringing consumers an exceptional product discovery experience while allowing them to access the best in video integration, beauty content and product reviews.

The Total Beauty Shops platform presents brands with key benefits including:

• Expanding brand visibility
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• Increasing target customer base
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Beauty by Numbers

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Guest Guru

This month, Total Beauty chats with Jin Soon Choi, celebrity manicurist, owner of Jin Soon Hand & Foot Spas in New York City, and creator of JINsoon Nail Polish.

Q: How did you first get into beauty?

A: I was in fashion in Korea. When I came here, I had to survive, so I started working in a nail salon. At the time, a lot of Korean people were working in nail salons, so I had to follow in their footsteps. I got to be good, and I went to work in a hair salon as the only manicurist because I wanted to learn English. It wasn't easy to work at a hair salon as a manicurist, so I was struggling with what to do. A friend of mine suggested I go to people's houses, so I started doing that. And then a client who became a friend gave me a bicycle. I put a manicure kit in the front, and a footbath on my back, and rode my bicycle to clients' houses. Another friend suggested I send letters to editors to try to get work on photo shoots. So I went to Barnes & Noble, took every single magazine, and wrote down every beauty director's name and the address for the magazine. Another friend who was a client wrote a letter for me, and I sent about 50 of them. One person responded to me: It was Andrea Pomerantz Lustig, who was the beauty director at Cosmopolitan at the time. She liked my work, and asked me to work on a photo shoot. I didn't even know what that was, but I said yes, and she introduced me to agents. And very quickly I was busy.

Q: When did you open your first spa?

A: Two years after freelancing on photo shoots, I opened my East Village spa -- that was 1999. And then I met my husband -- he was an architect who renovated city-owned buildings around there. He helped me -- he did the design and construction for me.

Q: What inspired you to create a nail polish line?

A: I did everything: nail salons, editorial manicurist, and fashion shows. So what's the natural next step for me? Having my own collection.

Q: Did you have a feeling it was going to be as successful as it is?

A: I was very nervous. But it's not only about having good colors -- you have to have a good concept and good marketing, also. I had a strong background as an editorial manicurist. And I've worked with very famous fashion photographers. So I knew I had to use my background. And I wanted to create high fashion nail colors using my high fashion background. It's about being simple, elegant, and sophisticated. It's not a gimmick. My first collection was very classic.

Q: Where do you look for inspiration?

A: I love modern art -- that's my thing. My upcoming spring and summer 2014 collection is inspired by modern art.

Q: Do you have any advice for other women entrepreneurs?

A: I think they need to focus. Provide quality and a good concept at the same time -- you can't just provide quality. There has to be inspiration behind it. It's all about concept these days. Then, you have to work hard and focus.

Brush up on industry news

Fashion’s Night Out – On “Hiatus”

Update from Our CEO

Vogue’s annual highlight event, Fashion Night Out, is no more. Although cancelled throughout the US, events will still take place internationally.

Read the article »

Digital Salon Series at the Mosaic Hotel

Digital Salon Series

Representatives from across the beauty industry joined Total Beauty Media Group in Beverly Hills for an evening of networking.

View the gallery »

Retail and Venture Capitalism

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Nordstrom announces support for new ecommerce start up. Will more retailers follow?

Join the conversation »

The Future of Traditional Publishing

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Amazon CEO, Jeff Bezos, buys The Washington Post for $250M. Does this mark a turning point in tradition publishing?

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