Victoria Curtis’ love affair with cosmetics creates multi-national enterprise

Victoria Curtis, Curtis Collection by Victoria

Victoria Curtis is an entrepreneur challenging some of the cosmetic industry’s leading institutions. Her boutique makeup brand, Curtis Collection by Victoria, is 5 years old but can already be found in over 250 locations across Australia and New Zealand. Victoria credits a supportive family, overseas study, a dream internship, and her Swinburne double degree in Accounting and Marketing to her success.

"Swinburne University prepared me in the best possible way, for running my own business. The unscripted, no routine, learning environment at university, forced me to go outside my comfort zone and take the initiative to be completely self-motivated. The most important trait all business owners need above everything else, is to be self-driven.

My double degree gave me the tools that I needed to secure a graduate position with L’Oreal Australia in their marketing department - a position which sparked my passion for the industry that my business operates in today. It gave me insight "behind the scenes" of the beauty world.

My life then took an unexpected turn when I met my now husband who is a professional athlete. He secured a contract in England and I made the decision to leave my job at L’Oreal to support him and his passion in the UK.

Having always had a passion for the beauty industry, I was able to use my time in England productively. I decided that I wanted to create my own line of cosmetics and launch my brand in the Australian market. I began to research manufacturers and worked tirelessly to source the best ingredients to create our luxurious makeup products. Traveling from London, to New York and throughout Europe I managed to bring together what I believed to be the ultimate makeup collection and in 2010 when my husband and I moved back to Australia I launched my makeup brand, Curtis Collection By Victoria.

This was the moment I drew on all of the skills that I learnt during my years at Swinburne in both accounting and marketing, as well as my time spent in the USA, and finally put them into practice. I believe accounting and marketing are two crucial elements in business that must work together harmoniously.

"I have found my double degree in accounting and marketing to be an asset in running my business. Marketing gives me a creative discipline and accounting allows me to take the emotion out of decisions based on the businesses financials."

I believe it is key is to have a big brand mentality. From day one I have always made decisions for the business as if I were an established brand in the market place. I did not allow my competitors or the industry to intimidate me or my dreams. I felt that if I worked hard enough, I might eventually be a threat to them.

My advice to young entrepreneurs is, if you have an idea, don’t be afraid to take the first step. Planning is important, however having the guts to take that initial step is the key. It takes courage and self-belief. 99% of the time fear holds us back from what might be. There really is no secret to success, it’s the combination of preparation, hard work, determination and self-belief."