CAROLYN K

By Alexandra Jardine

LONDON–It’s cute–it’s feminine–but above all–it’s pink. If you can’t stand pink–Carolyn.K is definitely not the brand for you. "Though I’m asked who the brand is aimed at–the idea is that there is no age range or particular type of person–but it’s definitely someone who loves pink," says Carolyn Nola–founder of the cosmetics accessories brand.

Welcome to girly–pampering heaven. From its packaging to its polka-dot satin sleep masks–the brand is pink–cute–and feminine. It’s a theme continued in Nola’s West London office–whose white carpet and walls are offset by a dazzling display of color. Swatches of bright–patterned fabric nestle among the well-thumbed copies of glossy magazines.

Nola–however–is dressed smartly in black–with only a studded wristband betraying her favorite colour. She may love pink–but there is nothing frivolous about this focused–businesslike 33-year-old–who–inspired by her Armenian businessman father–has always wanted to run her own company.

After working as a freelance make-up artist for 10 years–known in the industry as Carolyn Kafter her maiden name Karapetian–Nola spotted a gap in the market for beautifully packaged make-up accessories–and Carolyn.K was born. "Lots of make-up artists were launching their own cosmetics ranges–but there wasn’t much available to go with the make-up," she explains. "I would use these kinds of accessories as a make-up artist–but I bought most of them abroad."

Just under two years later–Carolyn.K is stocked in 80 stores–from London to Loch Lomond–and has secured its first international listing in Ireland.

Over the next five years–Nola’s plan is to secure further investment and expand internationally. She hopes to launch in France–Italy–and Germany next–and the US by the end of next year. Her ultimate dream–however–is to open her own chain of Carolyn.K-branded stores. Retail designers take note–and get the pink paint ready. Visit www.carolynk.com for more information.

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