Profile: Dineh Mohajer
By the end of the year, Mohajer was running a successful cosmetics company grossing about $70,000 each month. But there were several setbacks, like finding a bottler. The Mohajer sisters and Dineh's boyfriend were mixing and bottling the polish themselves until the orders got too big and the fumes almost killed them). And then there were the knockoffs - cheaper products in similarly bizarre colors, with names like 'Crazy Candy' and 'Urban Decay'. Even Revlon eventually sauntered onto the bandwagon and tried to imitate the Hard Candy palette with its 'Street Wear' line.
Mohajer has managed to survive right along with her competitors. She had the marketing savvy to know that it was smarter to use only the finest quality ingredients and packaging, to sell her products exclusively in high end-stores. She expanded her line of colors, and coined trendy names for them, like Gold Digger, Pimp, and Trailer Trash. But as the business expanded, she realized that the company needed more direction than she could give it. She eventually hired executive William Botts to be the company's CEO.
Since then, Hard Candy has streamlined its operations, and expanded its product mix. The company has moved beyond nail polish to include Candy Man ('male' polish), lipsticks, eyeliners, and an eyebrow training kit. Will Hard Candy survive the craze for so-called "ugly" colors? Don't bet against the scrappy Mohajer.