Entrepreneurship is becoming more diverse, with female representation – being the highly debated subject since the past decade – increasing at a steady rate. The business sector, be it any industry, was fairly dominated by males and the prospect of women thriving and succeeding in the dynamic realm of entrepreneurship laid in stark contrast.
However, as of the last decade, many influential women entrepreneurs are retiring this concept. Women at the head of multi-million-dollar companies, built from scratch to being an a-list of Wall Street, are setting remarkable examples. This article covers the journey of Mona Maine de Biran, one of a new generation of beauty entrepreneurs and a woman leader with admirable talents and abilities.
She is the principal founder of KIERIN NYC, a New York-centric niche perfumery which continues to draw popularity and is regarded as the indi beauty brand leading the fragrance industry into the Gen Z era with its direct to consumer, digitally driven business model. Mona is also recognized for having been on the other side of the business, a classic beauty herself and a successful former model, television personality, and author of her blog, @ManhattanMinds, where she shares her love for New York City, art, fashion and beauty.
Celebrating women entrepreneurship, we profile Mona Main de Biran and present exactly why she remains a source of inspiration to others moving forward into 2021:
- A woman of many talents
Mona is a voracious reader and avid student of philosophy, self-educated in the works of notables including a family ancestor, the French philosopher Count Francois Maine de Biran. She is an advocate for Philosophy for Children and yoga and meditation enthusiast practicing afirst principals approach to thinking. Sometimes called reasoning from first principles, it is known to be one of the most effective strategies you can employ towards complicated problems and one that helps to pave ways to original solutions. She considers it the single best approach to learning how to think independently, live authentically and unlock new dimensions of thought. A lyrical woman with an indomitable spirit and a mindset that is at once frighteningly fierce in its intensity as it is disarmingly direct, inviting and simple, she seems balanced between a churning, logical process and heart centered idealism.
The entrepreneur can speak French, Spanish, Italian and English, with fluency, and also knows Greek, and Japanese to an extent. She recognizes herself as traveler with a developed sense of adventure, and appreciation of diverse cultures, and has demonstrated excellence in a diverse set of industries thoughout her career from entertainment to real estate to publishing to big tech where she received national recognition in sales at ADP. Ceridian and Oracle. Mona clearly is that kind of highly-adaptable personality limited only by her own choices, time and will.
- Championing a challenging prospect
Being a co-founder of KIERIN NYC, a fragrance brand, she faced a multitude of challenges at the beginning of her journey. Mona was frustrated by conflicting opinions about doing business in a highly saturated beauty market and in the fragrance industry which prioritized the brick-and-mortar distribution model over online. Undaunted, Mona introduced a novel concept in the market of eau de parfums, bringing prestige products direct to the consumer online at a price point that would be more receptive to markets of a wider public. In the empty space between masstige and prestige, Mona envisioned affordable luxury perfumes marketed direct to the consumer online and through social media.
Rather than enlisting celebrity endorsements from her friends from the entertainment industry, Mona’s approach capitalizes on social media micro-influencer networks and seeks to elevate the individual to “celebrity”. From the start, Mona’s brand stepped away from conventional practices of aspirational marketing and dedicated itself to the inspirational values of real people with diversity, inclusivity, equality, self-love, racial tolerance, and empowerment of marginalized groups. She espouses a “good vibes only” philosophy through perfumery with a clean, vegan, cruelty free, sustainably sourced collection. And she stands in opposition to her competitors offering the same high quality fragrance experiences online for a fraction of their prices.
Mona’s company employs strict environmental and ecological practices in production and operations of business. Her products are cleanly sourced and developed using cruelty-free methods, never tested on animals, vegan, sustainably sourced, and recyclable. Adored by the brand’s fans for her philosophical stances, Mona stands as a prime example of a new breed of conscious entrepreneurs with products disrupting and leading the market towards better principles and practices. She represents qualities of being one of this new era of entrepreneurs in America who are taking social considerations as primary factors of business operations, rather than simply accumulating profits.
Her example as an entrepreneur overcoming a significant challenge in a male dominated, conventional fragrance industry goes down as an admirable accomplishment for women beauty entrepreneurship.
- Heart-centered leader
As a founder, keen entrepreneur, and mother, Mona is faced with choices in her professional and personal life where her leadership is called to the surface. She has always represented the highest merit of ethical leadership. Overcoming the challenge of succeeding in male-dominant industries like big tech and fragrance without the validation of a college diploma or speciality education, Mona exemplifies perseverance and good judgement, decision-making, technological proficiency, and management skills in the multiple areas of business operations. Her journey as an entrepreneur is a valuable use-case on the strength and endurance of self-empowered female leadership in business, which is continuing to be a popular subject in the 21st century. Mona took it upon herself to roll her sleeves up, discover and experience every aspect of business, the creative and the strategic, and producing a customer-focused brand with her experience interacting with the internet public. During the coronavirus pandemic, many small-and-medium-sized businesses, as well as mammoth corporations, have gone into bankruptcy and their management succumbing to plummeting market conditions. Mona reflects that while she has also faced challenges there have been more opportunities and has seen her company to significant growth.
- Work-life balance
A woman tied with professional and personal duties can find it incredibly difficult to manage the balance in her life. She is often faced by the challenge of prioritizing her family, especially when duty calls. But when asked by her blog followers about her secret of work-life balance, Mona has expressed the value of cutting the halves, approaching business and family with an equal level of importance and priority. She understands that her relationship with her family is as meaningful as strategizing a marketing campaign for a business or setting up a business direction plan. And suggests to her readers that is fundamentally a question of organization, leveraging support systems and scaling resource management. Work-life balance is achievable but, like anything, it requires work to keep balanced.
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