GCE Exclusive: Chatting with Jaimie Cordero, CEO of Espionage CosmeticsApril 26, 2014
Jaimie Cordero is a glitter Jedi; she’s a professional makeup artist who started an independent venture three years ago to begin her own cosmetics line. It isn’t just any makeup line though; this is Espionage Cosmetics.
It’s been a rather recent movement with women being more socially accepted now as ‘nerds’ and ‘geeks’ and companies have taken notice by tailoring clothing, accessories and more to women. But Jaimie Cordero, CEO of Espionage Cosmetics and a geek at heart had an even better idea. Why not create a line of cosmetics based around a love for everything nerdy? That’s how her company was born and for the past three years she has steadily grown her fanbase with appearances at comic conventions and products like her new Nailed It! designs. After meeting Jaimie at the Austin Wizard World convention last November and falling in love with her products, I got in touch with her to talk about about the cosmetics line and what’s coming up next.
Tell us a little about yourself.
My name is Jaimie Cordero; I am a professional make-up artist in the Seattle/Tacoma area with a love for glitter and not growing up.
How did Espionage Cosmetics begin?
It began as a very small venture in the office in my house almost 3 years ago. I wanted to create a multipurpose makeup to use on my clients. My friend and now business partner, Sandra (who is a Staff Sergeant in the Marine Corps) listened to my plan and was completely on board. May of 2011 we launched our first collections.
As a makeup artist, how easy (or difficult) did you find beginning your own line to be?
It was as much work as I thought it would be, but in a lot different ways. When I began Espionage Cosmetics, I was under the impression most of what I would be doing was just formulating makeup. WRONG. What I have spent a majority of my time doing is creating brand awareness. Having a great idea isn’t the problem; it’s finding the resources and the time to execute it so that people want to be involved.
Many people turn to YouTube for makeup insight or instructions for a certain look — does Espionage have a YouTube channel we can check out?
We do! And we just launched a new fandom, tutorial, series called “Makeup Marvels”!
Was the idea of incorporating ‘nerdiness’ into the cosmetic lines always something you were going to do or did something change your original course of planning?
The intent was always there, but not as strong in our marketing mostly because I believed that it would scare people away. Then at some point I realized I didn’t really care; I wanted what my company was to represent what I loved. I can now say that if an 8-year-old me would be SO excited at how I turned out!
What are some of your personal favorite colors and products from Espionage?
My favorites are Josephine Baker, Not Today, Astral Plane, and Iron Price!
Do you have any upcoming makeup collections you can tell us about?
We are working on a few licenses for video game properties that I am absolutely in love with. So basically what I am saying is that I can’t tell you, but it is killing me not to!
Your ‘Nailed It!’ project was an incredible success in crowdfunding (over 350% funded) — can you tell us about how Nailed It! all started and did you imagine it could be as big of a success as it is?
I went into it with a really positive outlook about how it well it would go, but I didn’t expect it to get to that level! The incredible heights it reached blew my mind and is thanks in no small part to our team of passionate geeks at Espionage and the excitement of fellow nerds who boosted the signal everyday with social media! When we started the campaign we had only 8 designs total ready. Then the world exploded in nerd manicures and we quadrupled the number of designs in 30 days. That was all due to the overwhelming response on the “Nailed It!” project. Our backers excitement rubbed off on us which resulted in even more nail wrap designs.
Will you continue to make different Nailed It! designs and do you have any currently in the works you can tell us about?
We are working with Anne Wheaton and Bonnie Burton currently on their #VandalEyes campaign! The ladies were just at our HQ in December shooting with us for the promos! We launched officially at Emerald City Comic con and you can now purchase your very own, glow in the dark, Vandal Eyes wraps on our website.
You recently posted on Facebook about the 10 More Yards project — how did you get involved with that?
The 10 More Yards Foundation is something that my heart could not be more in and has been a long time in the works. It is a way for me to honor the memory of my little brother Joey who passed away very suddenly in 2009. The foundation came from a want to contribute good in the world on behalf of Joey. He was a huge nerd and had a way with people. He was the random kindness that people need in life. We felt like that was something the world still needed even if he couldn’t be here to personally deliver it in bear hugs and compassionate interactions. The elevator pitch is “Make a Wish for nerds”. We are actively gathering contacts, networks, and resources to continually treat someone fighting a hard battle to their “best day ever”. If Joey can’t be here to show someone they are loved and cared for acting as encouragement for them to keep going then we will stand in his place and do so in his honor. Here is a video of our very first 10 More Yards recipient. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tu3aM31Kzsk
You go to several conventions a year, where can people find you this year?
This year alone we will be at 15+ Conventions. St. Louis, Minneapolis, Nashville, Atlanta, LA, Chicago, Anaheim and many others!
Where can we find you online?
Thanks to Jaimie for taking the time out of her busy day in order to speak with us! Please check out Espionage Cosmetics, like their Facebook and follow their Twitter — their cosmetics are great and their nail wraps are a dream; perfect for that geeky girl in your life!