2004 Westside alumni Erin, Missy and Mandy Maynard have spent their whole lives working together to eventually merge their two biggest passions: makeup and stories. Now, their passions have become a multimillion-dollar makeup brand. Storybook Cosmetics is a new style of beauty built on the founders’ love of books, movies and stories, or what they know as geek culture.
The brand immediately went viral when the sisters first teased their Wizard Wand makeup brushes in October of 2016. Their fast growth has earned them over 400,000 Instagram followers and features in BuzzFeed, Cosmopolitan and Seventeen. Storybook Cosmetics’ founders refer to their explosion as “viral weekend.”
“It was inexplicable,” Erin Maynard said in an email. “At one point we were trending number one on Facebook, directly above Donald Trump [on] election week. We immediately called a long-time friend who is a [public relations] genius. She helped steer all of the attention to our new brand.”
Since their first brush with fame, Storybook Cosmetics has continued to shape the beauty industry. From “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” and “Mean Girls” inspired palettes to rose brushes, the company has not slowed their production of unique products and doesn’t plan to anytime soon.
“We want to be the go-to brand for high-end themed cosmetics,” Erin Maynard said. “Working with Disney and Paramount has been a dream come true. We want them to continue to come to us when they have a new movie, book, anniversary, you name it. We are also working on expanding our own line of products not attached to specific stories.”
In February, Storybook announced their deal with Ulta, that is now selling many of the brand’s lipsticks, brushes and palettes online. Although this shows the sisters’ success, Erin Maynard said that it is also unexpected.
“When I was a student at Westside, I didn’t even see myself graduating, let alone becoming successful in business,” Erin Maynard said. “Luckily, a very few special teachers saw our creativity and drive and those few are to thank for our continued perseverance to accept our uniqueness and to always think outside of the box.”
Despite Storybook’s success, the founders still embrace their love of geek culture that brought them where they are today, and encourage their customers to do so as well.
“To all [of the] oddballs out there, find your people,” Erin Maynard said. “Find the teachers who believe in you … Learn how to balance your checkbooks … A little math never hurt anyone, either. Don’t try to be mediocre at everything, just be great at something.”
Story by: Abby Schreiber
Image courtesy of Storybook Cosmetics