Manna Kadar is the self-made, self-funded minority mompreneur behind the globally know Manna Kadar Cosmetics. She is the creator of the “7 Minute Face,” Kadar’s three-step, award-winning Beauty Simplified System has grabbed the attention of national outlets such as Forbes, E! News, Good Morning America, and The Today Show. Manna is recently named the 2020 Young Entrepreneur of the Year by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).
Where did you grow up and what was your childhood like? Did you have any particular experiences/stories that shaped your adult life?
I was born in Paris but raised in California by a strong single Chinese mom and grandmother. I grew up in a tough neighborhood, so I witnessed first-hand the everyday battle to survive but was taught that education and enterprise were the way out of the daily struggle. So when I was 16, I purchased my first cosmetics kiosk at the local mall and started to play the entrepreneur game. At the same time, I worked hard to get accepted into USC where I studied Finance and Distribution Management. I really took what I learned in the classroom to the real world and was able to grow my mall-based cosmetics chain to 7 stores in 6 years. After that venture, I developed a chain of tanning salons but realized I could maximize revenue by having a beauty bar in the lobby…this eventually led to the creation of my own line: Manna Kadar Beauty. By really listening to the needs of my customers, I developed products that delivered real-world beauty solutions. It’s pretty crazy to look back today and realize I have grown it now to six brands with more than 600 SKU’s in 40,000 stores nationwide – all without outside investment.
What is something you wish you would’ve realized earlier in your life?
It’s ok to ask for help! People want to support you and so it’s important to realize there are resources all around you.
What are bad recommendations you hear in your profession or area of expertise?
I would answer that rather with the best thing that was ever recommended to me was to get a business coach! I have learned that there is always something to learn haha!
Tell me about one of the darker periods you’ve experienced in life. How you came out of it and what you learned from it?
My mother recently passed away and that was hard. I realize now that she is no longer with us just how much she inspired me, there has been so much heartbreak with the global pandemic it’s important that we value the time with our family & friends while we have them.
What is one thing that you do that you feel has been the biggest contributor to your success so far?
My team is amazing and I like to think that I empower them to make key decisions that give them autonomy and a feeling of worthiness, I value each and every one of them. Also, I believe in strategic alignments, aligning with the right people as well as giving back. Manna Kadar Beauty gives back 10% of its annual profits to local and global philanthropic organizations every year.
What is your morning routine?
I wake up a 5 am, make coffee and enjoy some quiet time – this is when I make my daily “to-do” list, then I get breakfast ready for the family and make sure the kids are sorted for the day, do my makeup (in 7 minutes with my Beauty Simplified System which is a three-step approach to glam time: prime, polish, and perfect) and I’m off to the office. I like to get there early to get organized for the day and it sets a good example as the leader of the company.
What habit or behavior that you have pursued for a few years has most improved your life?
Eating healthy keeps me feeling good and gives me the energy to do many things at once and working out helps keep my mind sharp!
What are your strategies for being productive and using your time most efficiently?
I am very scheduled, my assistant controls my time and I am so grateful for her because we can’t get back wasted time. I schedule in time for workouts, time for family, and time for myself so I can be a better mother/wife/and leader for the Manna Kadar Beauty team!
What book(s) have influenced your life the most? Why?
The 5 am Club: Own Your Morning. Elevate Your Life by Robin Sharma – because early risers are productive.
The ONE Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results by Gary Keller – because it helped me get focused.
Also all Harvard Business Review Books I like to read.
Do you have any quotes you live by or think of often?
“Do what you say you’re going to do!” (I post quotes on my stories a lot on Instagram @mannakadarbeauty and @anna_with_an_m)