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Ep. 103: Brow Stencils! How Maddie Thompson, CEO of Madluvv Brows Took One Idea And Spun Gold With It, Changing The Permanent Makeup And Brow Game Forever!

 

Have you ever dreamed of being an entrepreneur, creating and selling your own products? Have you ever wondered what goes on behind the scenes? What goes into thinking up new ideas, executing them, and selling them to customers?

  

It can be overwhelming to start a new venture, especially when you don't have an example of someone to look up to. That's why I reached out to Maddie Thompson, CEO of madluvvbrows, and asked her to be on this episode of the podcast with me.

Maddie and her team at madluvvbrows have seriously changed the brow game - not exaggerating. Not only are their stencils and brow stamps life-changing for PMU artists like myself, but they're also incredibly useful for the every day beauty product user. Seriously, I have my brows microbladed but I still use her stencils to do a nice touch-up day-to-day.

She started as a self-taught makeup artist, got certified in microblading, and realized there was a need for high quality, reliable eyebrow stencils. That's just a little teaser, we'll get more into her story in the episode.

 

 

Here are the episode highlights:

‣‣  [22:26]  Maddie walks us through the early stages of her career, how she got started, and how she realized there was a need in the industry that she could fulfill.

‣‣  [25:34]  All microbladers are artists but some are also entrepreneurs. So here I ask Maddie to introduce us to Entrepreneur Maddie and share how she realized this specific idea was the one to run with.

‣‣  [28:13]  There's a lot of controversy in this area within the beauty product world that Maddie was stepping into with her brow stencils and stamps. It takes a lot of guts to sell people a product like that and a good strategy. Here, Maddie talks to us about her marketing strategy.

‣‣  [32:17]  I ask Maddie what the biggest shift in her life was. She talks about learning to work with others and handle constructive criticism.

‣‣  [38:12] Madluvv Brows is actually a dream team made up of Maddie and her husband. Maddie the artist and her husband the business brains. We talk about that shift in their relationship and how they learned to work as a team.

‣‣  [45:38]  Maddie's creative, entrepreneurial mind never takes a break, something I feel like many of you are probably familiar with. So I ask her for a little hint at what's next for Madluvv Brows.

  

 

I WANT TO BE A SUCCESSFUL ENTREPRENEUR! (Listen Here) 

 

I LOVED getting to pick Maddie's brain for a bit in this episode. If you enjoyed it make sure to keep up with her and all of entrepreneur adventures on Instagram right here!

You can follow me, Sheila Bella, on Instagram @realsheilabella!

  

Here are the links that were mentioned in the podcast!

Grow Your Gram

Online Course Workshop

 


 

FOR MY LISTENER BOSS BABES

You can enjoy this podcast by downloading it on iTunes here.
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FOR MY READER BOSS BABES

You can enjoy a transcript of the podcast here.

(INTRO)

Maddie Thompson:

Something that sets me apart from a lot of other different personality types is when I feel like I want to do something, I will do anything and go to any length to accomplish and get that done. One day, I was just like, "You know what? I think I want to create a stencil line." So, I just sat down, and I drew out eyebrow shapes for hours. I cut them out. I put them on myself. I taped them. I tried them on my friends. I really just had the moment where I'm like, "I need to do this." I feel like those are some really amazing moments in your life where you just feel like, boom, it hits you. And that's when you need to really act.

Sheila Bella:

Maddie Thompson, she says you need to really just act when you have these, boom, light bulb moments. I'm so excited to introduce you guys to her here on Pretty Rich Podcast. She's an amazing woman and CEO of Madluvv Brows, which is taking the brow world by storm. Here we go.

You're listening to the Pretty Rich Podcast, where you are totally the heroine of your own story. I'm your host, Sheila Bella, and I built a seven-figure PMU biz without a degree, without a fancy website, or a sugar daddy. And if you and I hang out here long enough, you're going to start to believe that you can do it, too, because you really can.

Sheila Bella:

I know you think I don't know you, but I do. I really, really do because I am you. And I believe we're all on the same journey together. My perfect job didn't exist, so I created it. The job I wanted wasn't hiring me, so I skipped the line and hired myself as CEO, just like you can. So, consider me your secret beauty biz BFF in case you need to be reminded that power is never given to you. You just have to take it. Are you ready, beauty boss? Let's jump in.

Hey, friend. It's Sheila Bella. You and I have been hanging out on Pretty Rich Podcast for a little while now, and I think it's time that we move on to a texting relationship. Yup, I'm going to give you my phone number. And please, go ahead and text me. Text me anything you want. Text me a cool song you listened to, a quote that you loved, or what you had for lunch this morning. You can even text me any business questions you might have. My number is area code (310) 388-4588. And the reason why I give you that number is because I am serious about building a relationship with you and building a community. The texts from this phone number, honest to God, comes to my phone. So yeah, go ahead and use it. And you know the thing that I love getting texts about the most are your biggest takeaways from this podcast. So, go ahead and text me, area code (310) 388-4588, and I'll text you back soon.

Hello, hello. What's going on, you guys? I don't have my podcast mic today. I hope you guys don't notice. You noticed? Okay. I'm just using my iPhone headphones. Yes, you can start a podcast and just use your iPhone headphones as long as you have GarageBand and you know the settings. Anyway, yeah, DM me if that's something you're interested in. I'll hook you guys up.

I'm so excited for today's guest. Maddie Thompson is a force to be reckoned with, honestly, in the brow world. I feel like that's kind of oversaid, but, no, for real. Especially the brow stencils that she invented are a force to be reckoned with because I reckon with them every single morning. I already have microblading, but, geez, gosh, they just ... It's just like the finishing touch. It's the finishing touch on my brows that I need on top of my microblading. And this isn't a plug. But really, you got to try it. It's insane. She's incredible.

I'm so excited, you guys, to be sharing with you somebody who's in the permanent makeup industry who has created a product that is outside what we typically see artists create. And I hope it can inspire you guys to do your own dang thing. I know it will inspire you guys by listening to her story. The questions I ask are like, "How did you even create a physical product? What did you do?" And she answers all that and so much more.

Truth be told, it is Sunday morning here in my house, and I've been real busy. I've been real busy with one-on-one clients that I get to work with inside Pretty Rich University inside my Pretty Rich mastermind. So, I haven't had a chance to podcast all week, but I really wanted it to happen to you guys and also for me because I love podcasting. So, I woke up extra early on a Sunday morning while everybody else is asleep to get this podcast out there. And I just wanted to start by reading the review of the week.

This review is from Christa Nordquist. I recognize this name. She says, "The best beauty podcast. Listening to Sheila's podcast every week since the beginning has been a complete breath of fresh air of motivation for me. Positive vibes I get from this podcast I haven't gotten from any other podcast. Sheila's bright and bubbly personality literally makes you feel like you're hanging out with one of your girlfriends." Aw. "Sheila, you are truly an inspiration to so many of us beauty boss babes. Please don't ever stop doing podcasts because I'm not sure I'll find one I love better. Thank you, Sheila, for your constant dedication to the permanent makeup industry and being a great leader."

Christa, girl, I'm going to send you a DM right now. Thank you so, so much. You're somebody that I know has supported me for a very long time. I recognize your name. I see that you repost a lot of things. I see that you comment on a lot of things. I've even DMed a little bit with you. I want all of you to know that you guys supporting another female goes a really long way. Goes a really long way. For those of you who look at people's Instagram profiles and think like, "Everything's so perfect. Everything's so curated," I don't know. Maybe we just like to post pretty pictures. I just want to thank you so much, Christa, for taking the time to support me and to empower me. I definitely want to support you back in any way that I can. Hopefully I can do that by creating content for you that speaks to you and helps you grow in your lives and in your businesses.

But for real, though, you guys, these reviews mean so much to me. So much. It helps this podcast rank, and it helps this podcast be seen by other cool people like you. Aside from reviews, I love it when you share it. I love it when you share it on Instagram. I'll reshare it, too. Because when I spend a lot of time on these episodes and ... Like I said, I woke up early. I woke up early. So yeah, hook a sister up and write a little review for me. Would you? Thank you.

Today, before we get started with Maddie Thompson's podcast of Madluvv Brows, I wanted to talk about setbacks. I think especially today in today's day and age, 2020, a lot of people are experiencing setbacks. Setbacks, whether it's big or small, your business had to close because of COVID and then now it had to reopen ... Or it could be an illness, a serious one. It could be a fight, like a fight you had with your mom over the phone. It could be your kids screaming or maybe a misunderstanding you had with your husband. Whatever it is, setbacks make weak people want to do self-destructive things. Are you one of those people?

Believe it or not, the temptation is still there for me. And for those of you who have those inclinations, I don't blame you one bit. I don't because it is hard out there. Life is hard.

I also have my moments. But, I want to encourage you guys to take pause. Take pause before you say the wrong thing or react in a way that's not going to help the situation or just throw in the towel completely. It makes no sense to sabotage your progress when you feel discouraged.

And guys, I'm not even just talking about business. I'm talking about business for sure when you're on a sales call and it doesn't go well or you had a terrible week. I'm not just talking about business. I'm talking about your life, like your life setbacks. Maybe you're on a diet right now and you sabotaged the process over the weekend. Or maybe you're making ... You're learning how to control your temper with your kids, but then you lost your temper. Then, you're like, "Dang it! Dang it! I'm a bad mom." That's self-talk that we do. Maybe not clearly, but we do it in our head. We create these stories in our heads when we feel super discouraged. It's true.

I just want to invite you to take a pause, sister friend, okay? Because I think it ultimately boils down to whether or not you feel like you deserve success. Do you feel like you deserve success, and fitness, and parenting, and business, and relationships? When you feel discouraged, you all of a sudden feel like you don't deserve it. You're like, "Dang it. I don't deserve it." So, you start that negative self-talk, and you start that self-sabotaging process. You're so, so discouraged. You got to force yourself. You got to force yourself to do some mirror work or just coach yourself, even if you don't feel like it and everything in your body says, "This is so stupid. This is so stupid."

You have to be your own best friend. You have to give yourself grace. Because when you don't forgive yourself for things, that's usually when ugliness comes out. You have to give yourself a sales meeting, a pep talk. And quitting this, this thing that you know you were destined to have ... And you know it. Especially once you've calmed down. It's not an option. Grit is imperative. You need to forgive yourself for being human. Your response to setbacks is a chance to show the world what you're made of.

I think when we get into this self-sabotaging spiral, it reveals what we truly feel about ourselves. Really. If you feel that you're undeserving of success, you're going to self-sabotage. But if you feel like you deserve to win, that you will not accept anything less but an amazing life, then you're not going to let it deter you from reaching your goal. There is power in being able to show the world who you are with your response to setbacks.

I think a big part of this is planning, planning a way out. Because if you don't have a plan, once you're in that low point, that low like, "Ugh, woe is me. Everything sucks. I suck. This'll never happen," once you're in that low state, you can't think rationally. You can't possibly create a plan for yourself to get out of that funk right then and there. You need to have an exit plan when you're calm. You need to learn what are the things that you can do to support yourself through a difficult time and write it down. Is that taking a walk? Is that listening to the Pretty Rich Podcast? Is that meditating? Is that praying? Is that journaling? Is that calling one of your best friends? You need to know what your coping mechanisms are going to be. You need to understand what they're going to be and plan what they're going to be before you get into that situation. Because if you don't ...

You crying in the fetal position, you think that girl is going to help you through ... No. No. Write it down. Write it down so you can remember. Write yourself a letter. Write yourself a letter. Even write it on your phone and address it to the girl who is feeling so down about herself. So next time you feel down about yourself, go to that letter. Go to that letter and read it.

Guys, these are just little ways that I've come up with to be able to coach myself through difficult times. Because it happens to me, too. It does. But, it happens less frequently. The more I've implemented these little tips and tricks, these strategies, which they don't teach you at school ... And guess what? My mom didn't teach me these things. This is me being super vulnerable and open with you guys by sharing with you like, "Hey, this is what works for me. It's kind of weird, but I think it'll work for you, too." Because I've asked several people. They've tried it, and it seems to have helped.

So guys, this entrepreneurial journey we're on, lot of you guys have lofty goals of making a million dollars a year. A lot of you guys want to be millionaires. That seems to be the number. And if you're a millionaire, maybe you want to make 10 million.

A lot of us have these lofty goals. We put so much pressure on ourselves to achieve these goals. And hey, I love it. It's super fun. It brings a lot of meaning in my life, and I feel like I'm helping a lot of people. And I think we also need to recognize that that is a tall order. If you are putting a lot of pressure on yourself to make six figures a month, to make six figures a month, I think it's important for you to have grace with yourself and to more than ever learn ways to cope and to support yourself. Because not only are you dealing with that kind of pressure, on top of it, aside from just business pressure, you're also dealing with husbands or boyfriends. And if you're dating, maybe the guy you're seeing or your lack of dating life if that's something for you. You're dealing with health. You're dealing with fitness. You're dealing with the freaking news that's so depressing. You're dealing with your parents, your sisters, your friends.

I mean, especially if you're a type A like me, you just want to control everything. You want to make sure everybody's happy. You want to make sure that ... And I take on a lot of responsibility to control outcomes. That's something that I've learned to shelf. To shelf because I know I won't get rid of it completely. But, you just need to shelf it for a little bit that, hey ...

Something that I realize that I need to start saying out loud more is I trust God. I trust God. I feel like I don't say that enough. Because saying it out loud, hearing it back from the words in your mouth I think is really transformative. And it's a reminder of my core beliefs, and my truths, and my pillars.

So, yeah. And you're listening to this podcast right now because you have lofty goals, you have lofty dreams, and you're probably in the beauty industry. The woman I'm about to introduce you to is going to show you how she got there. I'm going to ask her some questions about what she does when she's discouraged. So, I'm sure you're going to learn a lot from her, too.

Hey, if this resonated with you or if this helped you in any way, or at the very least helped you feel like you're not alone, let me know. Send me a DM. Send me a DM. I love chatting through DMs on Instagram. I think it's a really, really great way to stay connected. I am very reachable. I try my best to get back to messages. If I don't get back to it right away, I will get back to it at some point because sometimes messages get lost. But, I love hearing from you guys. I love hearing the opinions and the stories on the other side of this conversation that I'm having with myself. Because I understand it's not just a conversation with myself. It's a conversation with you guys.

Just like Christa said, I feel like I'm just hanging out with you guys in the car or in your headphones while you guys are cleaning. It makes me feel really good to know that there is a community, and a human being, and a heartbeat on the other side of this microphone.

All right. Here we go. Maddie Thompson of Madluvv Brows. She's here, and she is going to slay this interview, just like she did on our IG live. Here we go.

Maddie Thompson:

Hey. How are you?

Sheila Bella:

Hi. How are you, gorgeous?

Maddie Thompson:

I'm great.

Sheila Bella:

Oh, I'm so excited to have you here. Look, we match.

Maddie Thompson:

Thank you for having me.

Sheila Bella:

Yay!

Maddie Thompson:

Yeah, I'm like, "My AirPods are dead, so here these are."

Sheila Bella:

These are way more reliable anyway.

Maddie Thompson:

Awesome.

Sheila Bella:

Oh my goodness. We have been trying to do this for a while.

Maddie Thompson:

Yes. It has been a long time coming, and I'm so happy to be here. Thank you so much for having me on and reaching out to me. I'm just so excited to chat.

Sheila Bella:

Awesome. Well, let's get right to it. So for those who have never seen you before or don't know who you are, I don't know you guys. You guys are in permanent makeup. Get with it. How do you introduce yourself at parties?

Maddie Thompson:

Oh, at parties?

Sheila Bella:

Yeah.

Maddie Thompson:

Well, I would say, "My name is Maddie. I own a beauty business that specializes in eyebrows. I create products for professionals and for just the everyday consumer that shops for makeup." My personal mission is to make products that are not just cool, but I want to make life easier for not only professionals but for consumers as well to do their eyebrows.i just feel like eyebrows are such a focal point. Or, your eyes are such a focal point that ... And I just see a lot of people that need help with their eyebrows. That is what my specialty is and, I feel, like a calling that I have in life.

Sheila Bella:

But, you used that to build a platform for other things, for meaning. Can you tell me more about your company, like how many employees you have? Are you guys remote?

Maddie Thompson:

Yes.

Sheila Bella:

What's that culture like?

Maddie Thompson:

We have a very tight-knit office. We have a handful of employees. We have a few employees that work remotely that do our platform, like our website design. But, as far as the number of employees here, we have just a handful of employees. It's a very small business, and I love that because we truly, truly care about our customers and their experience. We have a few girls that work in the customer support side, a few employees that work in the fulfillment side, and a team that works on the academy side, so yeah.

Sheila Bella:

And you are over here with your super cute daughter with your designer earrings running this entire empire while having fun. Your life looks like so much fun.

Maddie Thompson:

Oh my gosh.

Sheila Bella:

[crosstalk 00:21:33]. I stalk her on stories on both accounts. I'm like, "Oh my gosh. I love this girl's life."

Maddie Thompson:

Never a dull moment. I have a lot to say. But, yeah. I failed to mention that my husband and I actually run Madluvv together. He is the business side of Madluvv, I would say, and I am the creative. He's just been amazing. He's gotten ... taken us to places that I would've never known. He's really pushed me as far as my creativity goes.

Sheila Bella:

That's awesome.

Maddie Thompson:

So, that is one thing that a part of our team that is super amazing and crucial and has been really life-changing.

Sheila Bella:

That's awesome. Love husband and wife teams. Usually, it's like that. As creatives, we need more of the wizards, like the techies [crosstalk 00:22:23]-

Maddie Thompson:

Yes.

Sheila Bella:

... just to kind of make it happen. Absolutely. You started out in PMU, right? Then, you brought innovation with a physical product.

Maddie Thompson:

Yeah.

Sheila Bella:

Tell us what that journey was like.

Maddie Thompson:

Basically, I first started out in the makeup industry just doing freelance. I'm a self-taught makeup artist. Then, everyone was asking about microblading, and so I chose to really take the leap of faith and get certified at microblading. After I started microblading, I really felt the need for a super ... just a really amazing line of eyebrow stencils. That was my first product, and it's been sold all over the world. Tens of thousands of people have seen the amazing impact that using eyebrow stencils, not only in your personal makeup application but in their microblading, brow henna, anything, any kind of brow application how much of an impact and just much easier and streamlined your services can be and your personal makeup application can be with an eyebrow stencil.

Sheila Bella:

I think that's really awesome because eyebrow stencils have gotten a bad reputation, I think.

Maddie Thompson:

Oh, yeah.

Sheila Bella:

I mean, I remember back then it was not cool to say that you use eyebrow stencils. As a matter of fact, I saw people make it a part of their marketing to say, "We never use stencils. It's always custom to your face." But, oh my gosh, you guys. I have two sets right now. I don't know how ... I think it's like eight sets of eyebrow stencils from Madluvv. I'm wearing ... What is this? Styelista? It's the one with an S.

Maddie Thompson:

Oh.

Sheila Bella:

It's the thickest, highest-

Maddie Thompson:

Socialite.

Sheila Bella:

That's the one.

Maddie Thompson:

Socialite. I'm like, "Wait, styelista? No, we don't have that."

Sheila Bella:

No.

Maddie Thompson:

It's Socialite. Yes.

Sheila Bella:

It's my go-to. I love it. It's so easy. And I'm a brow artist, and I'm around ...

Maddie Thompson:

I love that.

Sheila Bella:

And I have microblading.

Maddie Thompson:

Yep. Totally.

Sheila Bella:

Anyway, enough about the product because I just ... I rave about it all the time. I believe I tag you guys in a lot of my photos because I ...

Maddie Thompson:

I love it.

Sheila Bella:

Because I'm like, "Oh, my brows."

Maddie Thompson:

I seriously love it.

Sheila Bella:

"My brows. Oh, they're Madluvv." They're Sheila Bella and Madluvv.

Maddie Thompson:

Yeah, it's crazy how when you really use a product that makes life easier how you really can't go back to anything else.

Sheila Bella:

Yeah, it's hard.

Maddie Thompson:

You're like, "Wait, I have to fill in my eyebrows regularly now? What's that like?" That is one thing that ... Honestly, the first product that I came out with was what I believe really started ... really gave Madluvv its roots and its foundation for really being able to innovate in another level in the eyebrow and makeup industry as well.

Sheila Bella:

Absolutely. And I love that they're both for artists as well as for our clients. I want to get to the entrepreneurship side. I want to get to know the entrepreneur Maddie. What made you really know that this was a good idea? What made you truly decide that, "Oh my gosh, this is it. This is the one. This is the one I'm going to run with. This is going to be fun"? What made you decide that? Because as entrepreneurs, we have a gazillion ideas running through our heads all the time. But, what made you decide that, okay, I'm going to make this happen, and this is it?

Maddie Thompson:

That's a really good question. As far as the stencils go or the microblading side or what-

Sheila Bella:

The stencils. The stencils go.

Maddie Thompson:

Oh, yeah. The stencils, it was kind of just one of those decisions that I'm like, "I need to do this." Something that sets me apart from a lot of different other personality types is when I feel like I want to do something, I will do anything and go to any length to accomplish and get that done. One day, I was just like, "You know what? I think I want to create a stencil line." So, I just sat down, and I drew out eyebrow shapes for hours. I cut them out. I put them on myself. I taped them. I tried them on my friends.

Maddie Thompson:

I really just had the moment where I'm like, "I need to do this." I feel like those are some really amazing moments in your life where you just feel like, boom, it hits you. And that's when you need to really act as an entrepreneur because that's ... It's just like my calling in life. So, I feel like that was just something that was a little split-second thought, but I really ran with it.

Sheila Bella:

Wow. That's awesome. Yeah, we all have that gut feeling, whether that stems from ... Because mine stemmed from desperation.

Maddie Thompson:

Yes.

Sheila Bella:

It doesn't matter what it is, but it comes from something, right?

Maddie Thompson:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Sheila Bella:

I relate to a lot of what you said, because I'm like you. Once I have an idea and once I've decided ... And I think true decision is a big part of it, truly deciding and not just dabbling. I just run with it and nothing ... I feel really unstoppable and just keep going and going.

Sheila Bella:

My next question for you is ... Like I mentioned before, I felt like ... Especially before when I first started getting into permanent makeup which is about 10 years ago. I feel like there's a stigma attached to the brow stamp, right?

Maddie Thompson:

That's essentially what it is, a brow stamp.

Sheila Bella:

But hey, it works real good. Anyway, so there's a stigma attached to the brow stamp. So, how did you get people to buy into the idea? Do you think they were buying into your brand? Do you think they were buying into your energy? Do you think they were buying into your marketing? How did you get all of us, all your loyal customers and fans now, to buy into it? What was your strategy?

Maddie Thompson:

My strategy was to just show people that how amazing ... To sell people on the fact that they can actually do their brows and do it amazingly no matter their skill level in seconds. And that was-

Sheila Bella:

No matter their skill level in seconds.

Maddie Thompson:

Yeah. So, that is the ultimate draw and the amazing aspect of the brow stamp that ... I am a brow professional, and I choose to use the brow stamp because it gives me the best shape brow possible. And it does, for a person that has absolutely no knowledge at all but can go like this and we'll both have the same amazing eyebrows. And I think that is incredible.

Maddie Thompson:

Also, I was a self-trained makeup artist. I felt like I am amazing at doing eyebrows. But, sometimes I still have those super annoying moments when I'd be getting ready for a date night or for an important day at work, and I'd be doing my eyebrows with my makeup and one wouldn't turn out well, or it took 15 minutes, or I'm rushing out the door, or something happened. I just feel like no matter the skill level that you have in makeup and everything like that that you are ... You're still a human, and you still have those bad makeup days.

Maddie Thompson:

Anyways, I think that I sold ... Back to your point, or back to your question. I think I sold people on the need for time saving and amazing eyebrows in seconds and symmetrical eyebrows. One of the best and craziest things that happened in my whole life, which was amazing, was that the Today show, one of the style experts and beauty experts ... Her name is Bobbie Thomas. She stumbled across my eyebrow stamp, and gave it a try, and had her people reach out to us. They just raved about it to us and said how much she was obsessed with it. I think that, honestly ... And it all came back to one of the videos that I posted on social media about the brow stamp. Honestly, I just think that social media is such a huge, huge, huge deal for even small brands to really to be seen by the big dogs, you know?

Sheila Bella:

Yeah.

Maddie Thompson:

So, it's amazing.

Sheila Bella:

So good. And I totally agree with you. My next question is this. First of all, how long have you been in business in the beauty industry, would you say?

Maddie Thompson:

Madluvv started about four and a half years ago.

Sheila Bella:

Four and a half years ago. Wow. I feel like that it's been longer than that.

Maddie Thompson:

I know.

Sheila Bella:

Only four and a half years ago.

Maddie Thompson:

Well, four and a half years ago was when I started doing eyebrows and training. The actually products I probably actually started three and a half years ago.

Sheila Bella:

I see. Now, I want to go back to your humble beginnings. I want to know a little bit more about that. Where were you? Where were you? What were you doing like at your lowest low? And what do you think the biggest difference is between that Maddie and the Maddie that you are now, like the Maddie that started on this business venture? Let's start there. What's the biggest difference? Like the biggest mindset shift that you have now versus back then. I'm sure it's a ton, but what do you think the biggest is?

Maddie Thompson:

Let's see. I think that the biggest mind shift that I have had to overcome in my life and in just in general is that I can use other people. Other people can work with me as a team, and that we can ... And that I can go further with people's input, with my employees, with constructive criticism, that I can go further with that.

Maddie Thompson:

I think that I was in my lowest point ... If we're talking personally, I was ... Well, I'll just get really honest. I recovered from a really, really severe eating disorder when I was in college. I think that I really just relied on myself and I really worried about feedback. I think that that really ... I wanted full, full, full control because that's-

Sheila Bella:

That's what that comes from.

Maddie Thompson:

... what a lot about what it is, you know?

Sheila Bella:

Yeah.

Maddie Thompson:

So, I think that, honestly, through all of my therapy, counseling, everything like that, what I really found is that when I work with people, I can 10x my moment in who I am as a person and just the reach of my brand and everything like that. So, yeah.

Sheila Bella:

Aw. That's beautiful. Thank you for sharing that.

Maddie Thompson:

Yeah.

Sheila Bella:

I can totally relate. I've had eating disorders too in the past. And yeah, it really does come from just control. Just control. You have this set of rules in your head, these made-up rules, and you reward yourself for following through.

Maddie Thompson:

Totally.

Sheila Bella:

It's a made-up game. It can be good, but it can also be really bad. It can be really unhealthy. Because I have nonnegotiables for myself now in entrepreneurship. I think it does take just time, maturity, and experience. I think being a mother now has-

Maddie Thompson:

Totally.

Sheila Bella:

... helped me understand what reality is and what I should be prioritizing.

Maddie Thompson:

Totally.

Sheila Bella:

But yeah, I could definitely relate to that concept.

Maddie Thompson:

100%. Yeah.

Sheila Bella:

Was there a moment where you found ... where you had that mindset shift where ... Before, I mean, I know for me, I just wanted control over everything. I still want control over everything. I still struggle with that.

Maddie Thompson:

Me, too.

Sheila Bella:

But, where you're just like somebody else did it for you, and it was great.

Maddie Thompson:

Yeah, yes.

Sheila Bella:

When was that? Do you have a moment in particular or a season where you grew and it wasn't even your doing necessarily?

Maddie Thompson:

Mm-hmm (affirmative). I am such a type A control person when it comes to especially my brand. This is like my baby. I made this. So, I think that the biggest moment was when my husband actually joined Madluvv. He left his job at a super ... He left an amazing job. This was like a very big risk that we were taking. But, I thought that it would be for the betterment of our family. So, that [inaudible 00:36:51] we agreed, and he came over.

Maddie Thompson:

I mean, I'm not going to paint this picture that it was all butterflies and daisies because it was super hard. It was a huge adjustment. Just the roles, communication, everything like that. He came over, and it was one of those things that I'm like, "I have to let go if I want this to really work." My husband, his name's Justin, he did things that I would have never ever thought to do. He got us on Amazons all over the world. He's gotten us these products made and has really done things that I would've never ever done. I would have been probably near where I started out as in creating products.

Sheila Bella:

Wow. Wow. How did you guys meet? He's on here, by the way. He just commented.

Maddie Thompson:

I know!

Sheila Bella:

It's so sweet. So proud of my wife. Number one fan over here. So sweet.

Maddie Thompson:

Aw. That's so sweet.

Sheila Bella:

How did you guys meet? Typically, from what you're describing ... Sorry to interrupt. From what you're describing, you're opposites.

Maddie Thompson:

Yeah. Totally. Yes.

Sheila Bella:

So, tell us about that and your working relationship and your romantic relationship.

Maddie Thompson:

We're very opposite. I mean, I feel like women and men in business are just very different as ... At least in my own experience. But, we met through mutual friends and just dated, got married, everything like that. Anyways, so yeah. There's a ton of differences between my husband and I when it comes to work, the way that we communicate, the way that ... the things that we prioritize. I feel like women prioritize the look of something, whereas men are very more realistic, like the bottom line, all those kind of things. So, it's been like a really cool thing to be able to mix the two of those because I feel like it's made me smarter in a business sense and him started from a stylistic sense. So, I feel like it's made us both more well-rounded.

Sheila Bella:

Is that what attracted you guys to each other, you think, in the beginning was-

Maddie Thompson:

Yeah.

Sheila Bella:

... those opposites?

Maddie Thompson:

I think that, honestly, we're very different, but we're very the same in our communication to a certain extent. We're both very straightforward, and we are both very go-getters. I don't know if you have done the Enneagram test, but I talk about this all the time.

Sheila Bella:

Yes.

Maddie Thompson:

He's going to make fun of me.

Sheila Bella:

I love the Enneagram.

Maddie Thompson:

But, I'm a number eight.

Sheila Bella:

You're an eight, too?

Maddie Thompson:

Yes, yes. He's a three.

Sheila Bella:

Oh, that goes so well together kind of.

Maddie Thompson:

Yeah, yeah. I mean, it can be a little much.

Sheila Bella:

That's a lot. No wonder you guys are successful. That's the ultimate power couple.

Maddie Thompson:

Yeah. But, there's different strengths and weaknesses when it comes to just that personality type. And I challenge anyone that hears about ... or hears us talking about this to really look at their Enneagram number and see how it relates to your strengths and weaknesses about you and your loved ones and see how you can cultivate yourself to be a better business owner, or a better leader, or a better wife, mom-

Sheila Bella:

It's just self-awareness.

Maddie Thompson:

Self-awareness. Honestly, until that point, I didn't understand that people were different than me. I knew that, obviously, but I thought that people could understand what I thought was my version of the world.

Sheila Bella:

Yeah. This just makes sense.

Maddie Thompson:

Yes.

Sheila Bella:

I don't understand why you guys are taking it like this. I don't understand.

Maddie Thompson:

I know. So, that's been ... Yeah, we're different.

Sheila Bella:

I'm a three with an eight wing?

Maddie Thompson:

Really?

Sheila Bella:

Yeah. Then, I've taken the test before, and I've been an eight with a three wing. So, I feel like the three of us get along [inaudible 00:41:28].

Maddie Thompson:

I know. Seriously.

Sheila Bella:

Maybe I can be your translator.

Maddie Thompson:

Seriously. Yeah, please.

Sheila Bella:

That's so funny. I do find a lot of entrepreneurs are threes and eights and creative types are sevens. You guys, take an Enneagram test.

Maddie Thompson:

Yeah.

Sheila Bella:

Google it. I don't know the exact website.

Maddie Thompson:

Google it.

Sheila Bella:

But, you need to take the Enneagram test. I want to ask you a couple of quick rapid fire questions. What's your favorite order at Starbucks?

Maddie Thompson:

Oh, I love the teas. I'm a tea person.

Sheila Bella:

What's a book that's changed your life?

Maddie Thompson:

The Four Agreements.

Sheila Bella:

I get that one a lot. Favorite quote of the moment?

Maddie Thompson:

Oh. Ooh. That's a good one. I don't know. I'm just drawing a blank right now, but I'll send you my favorite one. I just screenshotted this amazing quote that I saw. I sent it to my mom, and I'm like, "This is my new mantra of the week," and it was amazing.

Sheila Bella:

Ooh. What's the concept, like the general concept?

Maddie Thompson:

It's something about like when someone wants to provoke you, or to evoke an emotion, or to make you feel a certain way that, basically, your reaction, especially when you know what they're trying to do, makes you foolish. Something along those lines. But, it's super good. I liked it a lot.

Sheila Bella:

I feel that way when I'm getting provoked, like okay. It's all about how you respond.

Maddie Thompson:

Yes.

Sheila Bella:

It's really in the response.

Maddie Thompson:

Yes, yes. Also, another quote that I love is ... I love this quote. It says, "Never suppress a generous thought." I think that's taken me very far in life when it comes to ... I just think that when you give back to people or when you say what's on your mind, when you give a compliment that's one your mind-

Sheila Bella:

I love that.

Maddie Thompson:

... or when you really speak your truth that you will lead a more fulfilling, more authentic, and just overall more loving life towards everyone. So, yeah.

Sheila Bella:

I love that. Never suppress a generous thought. I think of times where I've held back and I regret it. Even if it's somebody I don't talk to anymore, but why ... I mean, to me love is free.

Maddie Thompson:

Right.

Sheila Bella:

I mean, especially if it's a thought. Thoughts are free, like thoughts and prayers. You know what I mean?

Maddie Thompson:

Yeah.

Sheila Bella:

It's free, so why wouldn't you? I love Jordan Peterson. I don't know if you know about him, but he ... The antidote to chaos is creating meaning, like chasing meaning over happiness.

Maddie Thompson:

Yes.

Sheila Bella:

And that's something that my husband and I live by.

Maddie Thompson:

I love that.

Sheila Bella:

So when you suppress generous thoughts ... Or when you don't suppress generous thoughts, what happens is then throughout your day, you just have a ton of meaningful moments. Why would you stop yourself from saying that? You just have a ton of ... Then, I think that builds a really fulfilling life.

Maddie Thompson:

Yeah. So, what I kind of ... How I really apply that quote to my life is that when I think to text someone, or I think to compliment someone, or I think to tell someone how much of an impact that they've had in my life, or when I ... You know, when I think something, or to say something, or to act, or to give service, or to reach out, I feel that when I do not suppress those and when I actually follow through and actually do those things that come to my mind that I'm led to better places, so yeah.

Sheila Bella:

That's awesome. That's awesome. What is the next thing for you? What feels fun to explore right now for Madluvv? What are you being drawn to?

Maddie Thompson:

That is something that is so ... That has been on my mind so much lately. It's something that I've been definitely thinking about. When you're a small business owner and when you are doing something, you want to invest your ... I feel like when I get excited about something, I feel like that is my ... I want to chase that feeling and that I want to go that way. You know what I mean? I feel like where I'm really being pulled and where I'm really just excited to innovate, to just see what my options are is in the makeup industry, to creating cosmetic products and also creating more products for microbladers that will change their lives. Not just be something cool, but will actually change their careers, will stop someone from thinking that they might quit the industry or they need to look for a different career.

Sheila Bella:

Oh, wow. Wow. Excited for that.

Maddie Thompson:

Yes.

Sheila Bella:

Let us know. Before we wrap up, I have just a couple more questions. If you're okay with being a little vulnerable ... So, I'm going to ask you two contrasting questions.

Maddie Thompson:

Cool.

Sheila Bella:

Can you tell us about a fearful or an embarrassing moment that you had? Then, after that, your proudest accomplishment.

Maddie Thompson:

Okay. Embarrassed or fearful. I think that as it relates to my career in microblading, I think all of us have that one moment where we're just like, "Oh my gosh. Did I just do this?" Where we like ... Your client sits up and you're like, "Uh-oh." I think that when you first start your career, people's reaction, everything is just like, "Ah!" You just feel just so sensitive about ... You're so afraid to mess up.

Sheila Bella:

Yo, stop if you're interested in getting more followers, more clients, and more profit in your profit. Duh. Of course you are. So, here's my secret. And I wasn't going to say anything, but here it goes. Listen, if my BFFs had a secret butt cream that would get rid of cellulite, I would be so mad if they kept that to themselves. So, here's the tea on the biggest kept secret big beauty businesses have on how they have tons of followers and high engagement on Instagram.

Sheila Bella:

How are you slaving away at your Instagram content and nothing? Guess what? This stuff that I'm about to share with you works. And the stuff that I'm talking about is called Grow Your Gram. Grow Your Gram is where I teach beauty bosses just like yourself how to grow your Instagram account to get more influence and more clients. The IG math says the more customers you have following you, the more money you're going to have.

Sheila Bella:

Grow Your Gram, I swear, works, and it works wonders. You're going to see your followers and your engagement rise. Don't just take it from me. You got to go to the website and see all of the testimonials and see how fast it's worked for other people. And it can work for you, too. It will work for you, too. Like I said, don't just take it from me. Check it out. I promise you you're going to be blown away. Just go to sheilabella.com/growyourgram.

Sheila Bella:

And because I wanted to hook you up, if you use the code podcast at checkout, you're going to get 10% off. It's a small investment with a large return, so check it out. Sheilabella.com/growyourgram. And get ready to blow up your beauty business, get those appointments, and more influenced.

Maddie Thompson:

In one of these moments, that I was actually just thinking about last week when I was driving, I was kind of laughing at myself. But, my client, one of them when I first started out, texts me. She's like, "I don't know if I like my eyebrows," and I'm ... You know that impending doom feeling where you just feel your heart beating in your ears? It was one of the moments. We got that all figured out and everything, but that was super embarrassing for me. That was one of those hits on the ego that I was like, "Oh, I'm really good at eyebrows." I love doing eyebrows. I'm amazing at doing [crosstalk 00:50:42].

Sheila Bella:

It's your identity. It's your identity.

Maddie Thompson:

It's like, "Okay. Wow. I just had a total humbleness, wake-up call, ego-crushing moment." And that was something that was one of ... I mean, I've had a ton of those kind of ... Not those necessarily those moments, but those kind of moments in my career. And I think that if you don't have those moments, then you aren't putting yourself out there enough and you're not learning something new. But in contrast, my highest high was ... Well, I have two, but one was the Today show. I think that that was-

Sheila Bella:

I was going to say the Today show.

Maddie Thompson:

... one of those moments where I was like, "Is this my life? Is this product that I literally created, that I invented and have a patent pending on, is this really ... Are they featuring me?" This was an idea that I literally drew on a piece of paper when I was in my closet, and I just cannot ... It's just like one of those moments of full circle, like wow. I just cannot believe that this is happening.

Sheila Bella:

Wow.

Maddie Thompson:

So, that was one of them. Another one is just recently happened, but it's kind of in the works right now, so I can't really talk about it. But, I'm super excited for what's to come for Madluvv as well. Yeah, just super excited. And to go to new levels and to reach new highs.

Sheila Bella:

Aw. I am so, so excited for you. Thank you so much for sharing, getting vulnerable. One last question before we wrap up, or second to last. Fill in the blank. If you really knew me, you would know that I blank. If you really knew me.

Maddie Thompson:

If you really knew me, you would know that I am a rap-listening girl who only gets ready twice a week that wants people to be so successful in life and that ... Hey, I'm back. I truly want people to be successful in life. And I truly want people to be happy and their best selves.

Sheila Bella:

I love it. I feel that energy from you, truly.

Maddie Thompson:

Oh, that's so nice.

Sheila Bella:

That's also why I reached out.

Maddie Thompson:

That's awesome.

Sheila Bella:

Where can we find Madluvv products? Where can we find them? How can we work with you if you want to train with you?

Maddie Thompson:

Yes.

Sheila Bella:

Tell us all the things. How can we connect with you and your brand?

Maddie Thompson:

Yeah, absolutely. Thank you for asking me that question. You can find Madluvv products on madluvv.com if you are looking to purchase products, as well as Amazon. We are available on Amazon USA, UK ... Ooh. There's a few other ones, too. A few other countries. And Canada. We are a microblading product company and a training company as well. We do amazing foundation and intro trainings, as well as advanced trainings. Also, recently, I launched an online series of classes. And today, actually, I just launched a social media and marketing 101 course, which will-

Sheila Bella:

Amazing.

Maddie Thompson:

... go over everything about planning your social media, making it look pretty cohesive, teaching you what to post, when to post, your most effective ... Just like targeting your audience that you want. Also, not only that, but using word-of-mouth marketing, referral programs, how to actually take a picture and make content that your consumer wants. So, we just launched that today. I'm so excited about that.

Sheila Bella:

Oh, how awesome. That's exciting. What is that called?

Maddie Thompson:

It's called The Madluvv Marketing Course. Then, the first one that I launched was a brow mapping course, which is very, very in depth with our stencils. So yeah, I'm super excited about the marketing one because I feel like social media is one of my strong suits. I am a public relations and business management major from college. So, I feel like I've just always loved it. And I feel like that's one of my strong points when it comes to business. So, I'm so excited to teach you guys that and teach people how to also create ads for their own business on Instagram.

Sheila Bella:

Amazing. We should do another live on that topic-

Maddie Thompson:

Yes.

Sheila Bella:

... because I love jamming marketing.

Maddie Thompson:

Oh, yes.

Sheila Bella:

So, we definitely should.

Maddie Thompson:

Yes. Anyways, really excited about that. And I'm super excited that we have a wholesale program as well, or option, for our people who are either just everyday people or people who are in the lash industry, brows, who are in the aesthetics, cosmetology, the whole realm, for our brow stamps. This is an amazing product to upsell your lash clients, your wax clients, anything like that. It is the easiest thing ever, and your clients will just absolutely love it and ...

Sheila Bella:

Get more.

Maddie Thompson:

Mm-hmm (affirmative). We've seen our girls who are wholesaling it ... They are doing amazing, and there's been several ... A lot of reorders for inventory, so it's been amazing. It's just really exciting also because this adds another dimension for your upselling, for anything like that as far as just professional aspect goes.

Sheila Bella:

Yeah, I love it. When I think we first spoke, I had that idea, especially when we were in total lockdown, weren't able to see our clients. And I was wondering why aren't permanent makeup artists going out to get Madluvv brow stamps and selling it to their clients just to hold them over until their touch-up.

Maddie Thompson:

Yeah.

Sheila Bella:

It is easy. Like I said, I have microblading, and I have the stamp one. I mean, why not? We're women.

Maddie Thompson:

Why not?

Sheila Bella:

We want more, and more, and more, and more.

Maddie Thompson:

Seriously. Yes. But yeah, it's such an amazing product for really anyone. The easiest sell of all time. It sells itself. And a really good way for microblading artists to try on shapes on their clients if they are skeptical or want to add that to their service.

Sheila Bella:

True. True.

Maddie Thompson:

So, for a consultation. It's also great for colors and everything like that. So if someone can really visualize what they're going to have-

Sheila Bella:

What's going to happen.

Maddie Thompson:

... on their face ...

Sheila Bella:

It's so good.

Maddie Thompson:

Also, not only that-

Sheila Bella:

So good.

Maddie Thompson:

Yeah. Not only that, but we also do wholesale to trainers for our products, as well as for academies and for ... Yeah, just for people who want, like on the microblading side, to be able to put our products in their kits and everything like that. So, it's awesome.

Sheila Bella:

That's awesome. Where do we find wholesale information? Just send you a DM?

Maddie Thompson:

Yeah. Wholesale information, email [email protected] My assistants will get you all the info that you need for that. Also, you can visit madluvv.com as well. I do want to let you know that we created a discount code called Bella15 for anyone who's listening to this to take-

Sheila Bella:

Yay!

Maddie Thompson:

... 15% off your products.

Sheila Bella:

Oh, you guys, that's awesome. For those of you listening to the podcast, I'm going to put all that information in the show notes. IGTV, just replay. Just replay to get the info. Thank you so much, Maddie.

Maddie Thompson:

Thank you.

Sheila Bella:

This was so wonderful. I had such a great time.

Maddie Thompson:

I know.

Sheila Bella:

Thanks for eyebrows. I'll keep tagging you guys.

Maddie Thompson:

Yes. And we need to meet in person sometime soon.

Sheila Bella:

Yes. I would love, love, love that. So that way I can translate for you and your husband.

Maddie Thompson:

I know. Seriously.

Sheila Bella:

Okay, three. This is what eight is saying.

Maddie Thompson:

Seriously.

Sheila Bella:

And eight, this is what three is ... I'm both, so ...

Maddie Thompson:

That is amazing. You yourself are a power team. Look at you.

Sheila Bella:

Aw. Thank you. Thank you. It's a lot, okay?

Maddie Thompson:

I know.

Sheila Bella:

I appreciate you, Maddie. Bye, everyone.

Maddie Thompson:

Yay. Bye.

Sheila Bella:

That's it for today's episode of Pretty Rich Podcast. If there was anything in this episode that has impacted you in any small or big way, I want to know. You can reach me @realsheilabella on Instagram.

And by the way, if we are not text buddies yet, that needs to change. You can text my name, Sheila, S-H-E-I-L-A, to 31996 and we'll be connected. I really love hanging with you guys on here. And one last thing before we wrap it up, I got to include my kids, right? #momfirst. So here are Beau and Grey to close things out.

Beau:

Hi. My name is Beau, and I'm five years old.

Sheila Bella:

Can you tell everybody what our family motto is?

Beau:

I can do hard things.

Sheila Bella:

I can do hard things. Now, fill in the blanks. Hard is ...

Beau:

Fun.

Sheila Bella:

Easy is ...

Beau:

Boring.

Sheila Bella:

Good job, buddy. I love you so much.

Beau:

I love you the best, more, infinity.

Grey:

[inaudible 01:01:53].

Sheila Bella:

Grey, say, "Share with your friends."

Grey:

Share with friends.

Sheila Bella:

Please review my mommy on iTunes.

Grey:

[inaudible 01:02:02] mama iTunes.

Sheila Bella:

Thanks for listening.

Grey:

Thanks for listening.

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