Heather Ryniec has been making Memphians more beautiful for over 16 years and is now the founder of HEATHER Cosmetics. With a discerning eye for subtle and natural looking beauty, she is a true artist. Heather has a penchant for remembering your favorite lipstick shade, even after all the lips she’s lacquered, which we find remarkable! Just ask her employee, Christopher Padgett, also noted for his work in fashion shoots across town. Heather and Christopher know how to cut up and have a good time, making the whole HEATHER experience a comfortable one.
Welcome the newest business owner on the beauty block as our FACE of Memphis today!
After a soft opening on December 1, it seems that word of HEATHER has spread like wildfire. What was it like preparing to open and now being the most sought after make-up artist in town?
First, thank you for that compliment! Yes, I am definitely excited that it has spread like wildfire! I am lucky, blessed, and HUMBLED. Preparing to open was, simply put, the hardest, most rewarding work I have ever done. Fourteen-hour days were the norm for the two months leading up to the opening. I have the most supportive, encouraging family and friends, and they pushed me on. I’m still running on adrenaline for sure!
What is your favorite thing about owning a cosmetics and skincare store and being your own boss?
My favorite thing is having creative control over my own company. I had a concept to create a more eco-friendly, animal friendly, user-friendly line, and I did it. Nearly every single product of mine is American made, as well. That is a good feeling. Customers are absolutely loving it and referring friends and family to me. There is no higher compliment and nothing more rewarding. That is the serious side about being my own boss. The other side is that I wear blue jeans to work! Finally!
What makes shopping at HEATHER an unique experience?
Well, shopping here is fun!! We are crazy busy, and it’s exciting. The company is fresh and new, and customers leave feeling good about the products they’ve bought. The fact that my prices compare favorably to most department store brands is a nice bonus. Who doesn’t love saving money?!
You’ve worked with several other high-end lines. How did you know there was a need for Heather Cosmetics in the market? Was it scary to take the leap?
It was very scary to take the leap, but no risk, no reward! I had faith in myself and in my mission to do this. I knew there was a better way. I wanted kinder choices, cleaner choices, more America-supportive choices, more eco-friendly and animal-friendly choices. I KNEW I couldn’t be the only one!!
I’ve seen your husband at the store, and cosmetics are a far cry from his day job. Is it true he helped build out the store?
We joke and say he’s the store mascot. I have a very smart and supportive, hard-working husband. He built most of the inside of the store by hand while running his own company. He is my love and my teammate. He’s with me at the store every morning, night, and weekend. At 6’3” and 270 pounds, it’s pretty funny to see an ex-football player behind the counter ringing up cosmetics. It takes a real man to run a trucking company by day and moonlight as a lipstick salesman!
You do wedding makeup. Is there anything unique that you offer for someone on their special day?
I have a lot of brides and clients in general who have been traumatized by a garish, clown-like makeup experience at one place or another. It is very rewarding for me to show them that cosmetics can be natural and beauty-enhancing. I also absolutely love to take something that a client sees as a flaw and show them how a little of this or that can make it disappear. I have had clients become rather emotional in that regard, and THAT is rewarding.
What beauty rituals help you get through the drying winter months?
I exfoliate with my microderm scrub twice a week and use a separate serum, face cream and eye cream. I also stay hydrated. I drink tons of water.
Speaking of beauty rituals and products, finish this sentence. I’d never leave home without ____.
Thanks to my cat, I never leave home without the beauty ritual of a lint roller! I also never leave home without my little brush pouch. I swear, it is the handiest thing! It has a little set of my vegan brushes and a side pouch that holds a variety of touch-up products. In mine right now, I have a compact with powder and blush, a tube of lipstick, lip liner and eye liner. I love it. Plus, it’s monogrammed, which is pretty cute!
What are your hobbies? Guilty pleasures?
My hobbies are pretty simple. I love being with my family. I also love to exercise. Don’t get me wrong. I hate it while it’s actually occurring, but I sure love the high afterwards! I guess that’s a good thing considering my guilty pleasures are Italian food and sweets. I like a whole lot of both.
What piece of advice would you give another woman with an entrepreneurial dream?
The best advice I can give someone professionally is to take the leap. If it’s something you believe in, take the leap. Never stay in an unpleasant work environment either. It affects you physically and emotionally. Life is too short to do that. Yes, you may sacrifice a lot sometimes, but the reward is greater.
What one word best describes you?
One word? Ugh, that’s hard. Determined.
What comes next for you in the New Year? What are your goals, both professional and personal?
You know, I want HEATHER Cosmetics to grow and flourish. That’s a given. I take one day at a time and appreciate all that has come my way. It’s overwhelming. Personally, all I want is a healthy, happy family.
What are three things you can’t live without (excluding friends, family and God)?
That’s hard, too! At the end of the day that’s all that matters. However, I can’t live without exercise, music and personal peace.
Thank you, Heather! The lovely photos of Heather were taken by another talented Memphis lady, FACES photographer Christen Jones.
Click on HEATHER Cosmetics’ Facebook page to learn more about this great new company: click here.
And visit Christen’s website for more on her photography: www.christenjones.com.