Where Are They Now? Follow Up with Mizzi Cosmetics Founder Brenda Mierzejewski

Innovation Destination Hartford met with Mizzi Cosmetics Founder Brenda Mierzejewski in November 2016, when the startup was building success and a team of advisors (read the interview: Cosmetics Entrepreneur Creates Startup Success).

Since its launch, Mizzi hired two new employees. The startup is also moving out of its home-based office into a new facility in Portland, CT that will house distribution, manufacturing, office space, and retail.

In July 2017, Brenda was featured as one of Hartford Business Journal’s “40 under Forty” and Mizzi was recently nominated for a CT Entrepreneur Award as Best Venture.

Brenda notes that one of the challenges to running a successful startup has been finding the right consultants and contractors. Here, she provides some advice for business owners or people thinking starting their own businesses.

Interview multiple people.

Everyone will want a piece of your pie when you start becoming successful and known in your community and nationally. Everyone will want you to hire them because they are the “best” in the industry. They will woo you and promise you the world. Remember, some people are in it for themselves. Be smart, and interview multiple people.

Do your own research.

Get five or more references from your potential hire. Call the references and ask them about their experience and most importantly, if they received return on investment (ROI). I don’t care if this person was referred by your mayor, your priest, your president, Gandhi, or JLo, it doesn’t matter. Do your own research. You are a small business and your capital means everything to that business to stay alive! When you spend money on a service, you should be getting a return on your investment.

No ROI = no hire!

You’re in your business to succeed, not to become friends with people who want to suck you dry of your capital. Business is business.

Let them show you their worth.

In the beginning, do not pay employees until they actually provide their services. If they want to work for you so badly and they are so confident they can give you what you ask for, let them show you. Do a three-month trial. Then offer compensation. You are the one shopping around for a service. You can give anyone the job. Stay in control of your money. The right person will come along and prove themselves, and you will both be very successful. Good, honest, people are out there and truly want to help you!

Trust your gut.

Also, trust in yourself. Listen to your gut—it’s 97% accurate! If you’re smart enough to open your own business, chances are you’re smart enough to run it with the right kind of people. Need help and advice? I found the best help and advice I got came from my husband, my sisters, my parents, my family, friends, my staff, local help within my town in Portland and state of Connecticut. Use those resources first. Bigger isn’t always better.

Keep your advice “circle” small.

Too much advice will drive you insane and you can make bad decisions. Get a mentor, build your board of directors with people you trust, and look up to those who are successful and loyal—people who want to see you grow and succeed.

Starting out, if someone told me these same exact tips, I would have done things my own way and learned the hard way. But then, I never would have grown or learned some very valuable lessons. It makes you smarter—and more successful.

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