Rodial Founder Maria Hatzistefanis on Finding Her Passion

  • Written By:Bobbi Brown
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Founder and CEO of Rodial and Nip + Fab, Maria Hatzistefanis has done it all. She built her company from scratch, all while raising a family and keeping up on social media. Born and raised in Greece and now living in London, Maria is also a best-selling author and a speaker on beauty and fashion panels around the world. On the podcast, we talked about everything from Snake Serum to Kylie Jenner — listen here.

On her first work in the beauty world…

I was a freelancer writer [at Seventeen] and I was doing a lot of beauty interviews. I was researching about beauty and I got to try a lot of products. That was my first interaction with beauty and I got really excited about the world of beauty. I was raised in a place where beauty just wasn’t around me. It was really exciting when I moved to Athens and started university and could work in the industry.

On how being fired helped her find her passion...

I was working in finance for two years and got fired. I was devastated but at the same time, it was a job I wasn’t passionate about I was exhausted. I was working days nights and weekends and at the end i lost my passion. I wasn’t upset that I lost the career of my dreams, i was upset that I failed. It was a big embarrassing moment of my life. That was the first thing that really shook me up.

Over the next few months, I reconnected my life with beauty. It was a time when a lot of beauty start ups were happening. I was reading about Marcia starting Bliss and Jeanine Lobell starting Stila. That really inspired me. I thought, I’m passionate about beauty and I have some ideas. I thought that could be a career for me that I could be passionate about.

On working with her husband...

It is very hard, especially at the beginning. Now there are days we come back from work and I want to ask him a question, I know that even if I want a quick answer, I know it will turn into an hour. I hold back. I wait. It’s not easy and sometimes we’ll get into a conversation and I’ll say, let’s just wait until Monday.

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On her breakthrough product…

I got some samples from the lab. One of the new product was going to be an anti-aging serum. I went through the ingredients and one of them related to viper venom. I thought, oh wow where did the lab even find this ingredient? I said to my team, ‘Why don’t we name the product Snake Serum?' They thought I was crazy. We took the risk. Something magic happened. People started getting interested and we got a story on Daily Mail. We got calls from all over the world. That was the product that put Rodial on the map.

On working with Kylie Jenner…

There was a making artist we were working with for a while and he used the Nip + Fab palettes on a shoot with Kylie. She liked them and posted them to Instagram. The minute she posted that, there was a lot of interest in the brand. I connected with her on Instagram and six months later she was shooting the first campaign for Nip + Fab.

On one thing you can do to make a change in your life…

Try to do something different every day. If you always go right, turn left. If you always execute your work in the same way, try changing something. Make a new contact, go to a different coffee shop. Shaking things up, even in a small way, can result in many changes. If we keep doing the exact same thing, we will get the same result.

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