Interview with Randa Fahmy | Entrepreneur and Founder | Makeup America! | Fahmy Hudome International
Updated: Dec 30, 2021
Randa Fahmy is the Founder and CEO of Makeup America!. A made in America beauty brand which reflects the American Spirit of resilience, independence, and beauty.
Makeup America! products satisfy a growing demand by women who want premium American made cosmetics that meet the country’s high standards of quality, transparency, health and safety. All of their products are cruelty-free, non-GMO, paraben-free, and fragrance-free.
Randa is also the founding President of Fahmy Hudome International (FHI), a strategic consulting firm, which provides critical advice and counsel to Fortune 500 companies, foreign governments, media organizations, and private sector entities with an interest in global government affairs, communications, market access and international energy policy.
In our interview with Randa, we explore her career as a Lawyer and her entrepreneurial journey to date.
Hello Randa. We would like to start this interview by exploring your origin story. Please give us an overview of your background and decision to pursue a career in law?
Randa: I was born in New York, and raised in a wonderful small town in Pennsylvania. As the daughter of immigrants, I had a heightened sense of appreciation for the American Dream. My favorite day was July 4th 1976, when in honor of America’s bicentennial, I rode my red, white and blue Sears bike through the streets of my neighborhood, with red lipstick on, yelling Happy 200th Birthday America!
I always loved American history and politics and would watch the political conventions every four years with my dad. I also volunteered on political campaigns and put 2 and 2 together - that most politicians were lawyers and most lawyers were politicians. So after I graduated from Wilkes University with a degree in political science, I moved to Washington DC to attend Georgetown University Law Center.
When I graduated from law school, I worked for a large corporate law firm, then transitioned into a series of political positions, including Counselor for a U.S. Senator, and U.S. Associate Deputy Secretary of Energy in the Bush Administration.
For 8 years you worked in different capacities for the US government before starting your own company called Fahmy Hudome International, in 2003. What factors or circumstances made you start your own business?
Randa: I started my own business in 2003 after a wonderful career in the private sector and public service. I had accomplished all my career goals: worked as a lawyer & lobbyist, worked in the Legislative Branch on Capitol Hill, and worked in the Executive Branch. So I decided to launch my own consulting firm, and it turned out to be a great success. I just celebrated the 18 year anniversary of my business.
Please give us an overview of what your company Fahmy Hudome International does, its target market and, its unique selling point?
Randa: Fahmy Hudome International (FHI) represents clients before the Executive and Legislative branches of the United States Government. FHI provides critical advice and counsel to international and domestic clientele with an interest in international business transactions, global government affairs, and energy policy. The unique selling point is a principal with 35 years of Washington, D.C. experience who empowers clients to succeed in their efforts to educate policymakers. In addition, FHI develops advocacy plans to further its clients goals and ensure a successful outcome. You launched your second company called Makeup America! in 2017. Prior to this, most of what you had done in your career could still be traced back to you being a Lawyer by trade. What initially attracted you to the beauty product industry and why did you launch Makeup America!?
Randa: Throughout my career I traveled the world. Everywhere I went, I was intrigued by the cosmetics market and the amount of beauty products being sold to the consumer base, particularly in the duty free shops. As a consumer myself of these products, I was curious as to which country had the most consumers of beauty products in the world. To my great surprise it was the United States of America. So the next question I asked was: Is there an American beauty brand that makes all it products in America?
I had a very hard time finding a cosmetic company that made all its products in America. In fact, I was disappointed to learn that most beauty brands manufacture abroad. So I decided to create and launch a true Made in America beauty brand - called Makeup America.
What is the target market and unique selling point of Makeup America!?
Randa: Many American beauty brands do not make their cosmetics in the U.S, therefore, they cannot guarantee the quality and transparency of ingredients; testing on animals, abidance to health & safety regulations, and quality control within the manufacturing environment.
Particularly after this difficult year of the pandemic, we consumers are focused on health and safety.
Makeup America is satisfying a growing demand by women who want premium American made cosmetics that meet our country’s highstandards of quality, transparency, health and safety. Our products are cruelty-free, non-GMO, paraben-free, andfragrance-free.
Featured in Allure, Cosmopolitan, on Fox & Friends, Dancing With The Stars, and by the U.S. Olympic Committee, Makeup America products include super moisturizing lipsticks and long-wearing nail polishes that are named in honor of America’s most recognized icons.
Our products are affordably priced at $17.76 and $13.76. We also unite beauty consumers with a powerful social purpose that is reflected in our motto “Do Good Look Great” in which Makeup America! will donate $1 of every product to MadeInAmerica.org, a start-up non-profit organization whose mission is to change consumer behavior about the need to buy American-made products.
What impact did the pandemic have on Makeup America!?
Randa: The pandemic had a unique effect on Makeup America. Like most beauty brands, consumers were not using lipstick and nail polish. However, the pandemic highlighted the need to focus on American made goods - for health & safety reasons, bringing manufacturing jobs back to America, and supply chain issues, of which Makeup America had none, since our manufacturing plant is in the U.S.
What key challenges have you faced in your entrepreneurial journey, and how have you navigated these?
Randa: The key challenge I have faced in my entrepreneurial journey is one of education. Trying to educate the beauty consumer about the need to purchase Made in America beauty products for health and safety reasons. The beauty industry as a whole is used to manufacturing and sourcing its products abroad - from countries who do not have the same high regulation standards as the U.S.
Has your entrepreneurial journey been influenced by any past or present business leaders? Randa: Although I am just starting on my unique entrepreneurial journey, I am encouraged by those entrepreneurs who have traveled similar journeys. I highly admire Jamie Kern Lima, the founder of IT Cosmetics. I am reading her book now: Believe It, How to go from Underestimated to Unstoppable.
I am also grateful to Karen Young, of the Young Group, the founders of Mented Cosmetics, Amanda Johnson and KJ Miller, and the Founder of Winky Lux Natalie Mackey, who have taken the time to mentor me.
Before concluding this interview, we would like to know what you attribute your success to as a Business leader?
Randa: Perseverance, persistence, and confidence have been my tools for success in business.
I can trace these traits back to my immigrant parents who came to America pursing the American Dream and accomplished it!
Thank you Randa for participating in this Q&A session, we wish you all the best.
Randa: Thank you.