The fairytale romance between indie beauty brand Storybook Cosmetics and fans may have started with wand-shaped brushes, but that was only chapter one. We have seen the company grow and expand, adding tools and makeup to their roster, as well as securing the rights to huge collaboration deals.
2017 just may be the year where pop culture and beauty collides. There has been an astounding demand for products that reflect fandoms, and Storybook hits the apple on the head with their designs and production. Identical triplets Erin, Mandy, and Missy Maynard create cruelty-free products that have set the internet into a frenzy. So far, items have been put up for pre-sale and sold out every single time!
We spoke to Missy about all things beauty, fiction, and building an empire. She spilled some (magical) beans on creating a Golden Ticket shade for their Charlie and the Chocolate Factory palette, working on highlighters (!!!), and what makes their brand so unique!
Hello Giggles: Tell us the tale of how Storybook Cosmetics began, how did you ladies get started?
Storybook Cosmetics: Storybook has been a dream of ours for years. We have been fangirls for as long as we can remember. Whether it was Star Wars as little kids, or Buffy The Vampire Slayer as teenagers. Being obsessed with fiction has shaped our lives. We started dabbing into makeup in the early 2000s and OF COURSE, that became a fandom in itself. We have fantasized about merging the two together for a long time. After years of saving and planning, it became a reality and took off faster than we could have ever imagined. We are completely blown away by the instant support of our brand. We are working so hard to make sure we put out high-quality products that most importantly do these stories justice!
HG: Since you are such big literature fans, how do you decide which story makes it to a palette?
SC: Honestly, we have a list about a mile long. We hope to get to as many as we possibly can but that would most likely take multiple lifetimes to accomplish. The current deciding factor is licensing, and demand. There are some things we would love to do but we know they aren’t as wildly popular and may not be a smart business move at the time. Once we become more established we are hoping to be able to do smaller runs of some of the less popular fandoms (especially ones that we personally love). Being obsessed with fiction has shaped our lives.
HG: Are there any books you have read recently that you totally fell in love with?
SC: My most recent read was a stand alone novel called Ready Player One. I was HOOKED from the first page and have been recommending it to everyone I can. I hear it is being adapted into a movie soon as well, so I am thrilled about that!
HG: You guys are an Omaha-based company, any plans to relocate headquarters? Perhaps somewhere with a castle?
SC: Two-thirds of the Storybook triplets are located in our hometown of Omaha. They run the warehouse and offices there. I am located in Los Angeles, though, I fly to Nebraska about once a month. I handle the cosmetics manufacturing and licensing deals and because most of those meetings take place locally, it makes the most sense.
HG: How did your knowledge of social media play a part in Storybook’s success?
SC: We don’t promote items or post sponsored content of any sort. We did it purely for the joy of getting to share our “nerdom” with like-minded people. We spent several years slowly building a social media following. Over the years, it almost feels like our followers have become friends. I have personally met quite a few and it’s always an amazing experience. The support of our followers when we launched Storybook was incredible. We wouldn’t be where we are today without them. From the first announcement they were sharing, tagging, and following. We had thousands of followers on the Storybook page and we hadn’t even made our first post yet. We are forever grateful to the people out there who have followed our story and who have shown us so much love.
HG: What are some of the pros of working with your sisters?
SC: People will make comments about how it can be hard to work with family, but you have to remember we are identical triplets. We basically share DNA. It makes this huge undertaking so much easier. We can convey ideas in just a short text, it’s almost bizarre how our brains are connected when it comes to execution of our ideas. Of course, there are a few cons. We tend to fight A LOT, but we move on in about 5 minutes and it’s back to business. All I can say is thank goodness for unlimited text messaging because we can easily send 1000+ a day in our group chat.
HG: Maybe it’s your engagement (congrats!), but you’re glowing! Can you tell us about your personal beauty regimen? Do you have any skincare product staples?
SC: All three of us are currently OBSESSED with the Obagi system. It’s a little pricey and you need a prescription, but all three of us have struggled with texture and cystic acne for our whole lives. The Obagi products are doing wonders for all of us! Skincare is something I wish I would have started much much sooner (especially listening to our mom about wearing sunscreen). It is never too late to start and it can get a little addicting once you start seeing the results!
HG: You guys have really excelled at high pigment shadows, do you think you’ll release singles or keep them in palettes?
SC: There are no plans as of now to release any individual shadows. Our book palettes really fit the theme of our brand. If we come across a collaboration that makes sense to have individual shadows, we are certainly not opposed!
HG: Can we get a hint at some shade names for the Charlie & the Chocolate Factory palette?
SC: Well, I can’t give too much detail, but I don’t think we would be doing the story justice without a Golden Ticket shade.
HG: Are there any types of makeup you’d like to try your hand at in the future?
SC: I can say we are formulating highlighter at the moment and of course our gel eyeliner is coming out soon. The sky is the limit for us. If we think of a story to tell that fits a specific product, we are going to go for it!
HG: Can we have any clues as to what the next Storybook Cosmetics collaboration might be? Be as cryptic as you’d like!
SC: We announced Charlie & The Chocolate Factory AND The Hunger Games this week so, we won’t be making anymore collaboration announcements for a little while so the dust can settle. We do have two more deals completed though and they are AMAZING! In addition to the collaborations, we have several products that aren’t specifically connected to one “story” that will be released throughout the year. Our Rose Brushes, Quill and Ink Eyeliner, and our genre named Liquid Lipstick collection to name a few!
You can check out Storybook Cosmetics’ Instagram for beauty inspo and major announcements! We’ll just have to keep our eyes peeled for more makeup goodies!