Lime Crime Creator Doe Deere Reveals The Secret Behind Female Entrepreneurship
You may have seen pictures of Doe Deere on Instagram, her luminous face painted with the bright hues that define her brand, Lime Crime. Deere is more than just a pretty face with a makeup brush, she’s a business woman and an artist who has been named one of the Top Inspiring Female Entrepreneurs by Self-Made magazine since creating her explosive brand. I talked to Deere about everything Lime Crime, from choosing the brand’s quirky name to becoming the leader of a pack of fearless unicorns…
Stephanie Janetos: How did your upbringing influence your desire to create a cosmetic line?
Doe Deere: I was an artistic, imaginative kid from the start; hardcore into color, with paints and pencils always in hand. I would put as much color on myself as possible: clothes, accessories, my mom’s makeup… It’s unreal to be able to create color for a living as an adult —I feel like I’m cheating sometimes! Grown-ups shouldn’t be allowed to have so much fun, yet we are!
Of course, makeup is only a small part of my colorful world. There is more — so much more! — that I cannot wait to share when the time is right.
SJ: Tell us your first makeup memory.
DD: That’s easy, it was a slumber party with my two best friends. We were nine years old and trying to conjure ‘spirits’. We had some great outfits on: witchy, long skirts and ragged tops. But something was missing… I couldn’t embark on the ritual without my face looking dark and mysterious, like our clothes. I pulled out a makeup bag and began piling dark pink eyeshadow, crooked winged liner and brown lip gloss (also crooked) on all of us. My friends probably thought I was nuts, but I didn’t care! Makeup made the whole experience more memorable and authentic to me.
SJ: Tell us about your best and worst makeup moments.
DD: Oh, goodness… In spite of what everyone thinks, I was actually pretty bad at makeup until I was well into my 20s, but that didn’t stop me! I began posting ‘experimental’ (ok, BAD) makeup looks online in 2006, after discovering theatrical makeup brands like Kryolan and Ben Nye. Nothing was off-limits: rhinestones glued to my brows and forehead? Check! Entire look done with different color glitters? Sure, why not! Looking good wasn’t the point – I was on the journey of discovery and experimentation, and had so much fun with it. It showed — my following exploded overnight, with website traffic sky-rocketed as thousands of girls logged on to see what I’d come up with next. Experimentation and FUN is something I brought into Lime Crime, when I started the brand in 2008.
SJ: Why did you decide to name your brand Lime Crime?
DD: Back in 2004, I needed a name for my new eBay store and the first thing that popped into my head was ‘limecrime’. The Internet was a different kind of place then— nobody thought of themselves as a “brand” and silly handles were picked all the time.
Lime Crime was available, so I registered it. I thought it was pretty cool — it invoked my favorite color, bright green, and rhymed on top of that. Wow, what a find! Today, the name stands for color revolution, breaking the rules, and not being afraid to color outside the lines! It encourages us to have fun with color and not to take ourselves too seriously.
Had I known that my company was going to blow up, I probably would have chosen a different name, something more subtle, versatile. But what’s done is done. I’ve come to see our weird name as a blessing in disguise. For one thing, it’s very unique, which makes it instantly Google-able. And it makes sure we always stay on track: if we can’t imagine putting ‘Lime Crime’ on it, it shouldn’t be made!
SJ: Overall, would you say you’re glad your business is so internet-based?
DD: It has its advantages and challenges. My favorite thing is the immediate feedback you get on social media — as a brand that is strongly connected to our customer, it’s huge for us. The downside is the rumors. Because the internet is a largely anonymous place, anyone can say anything scandalous without credentials and without attaching their face or name to it. As a result, misinformation can spread very quickly: ouch! I’ve definitely had my share of trouble on the internet, but as long as you grow and improve from it, it’s all part of the entrepreneurial journey.
SJ: What’s with all the internet hate? How do you deal with haters?
DD: Oh, internet. You are an awesome but also very strange place! People can say whatever they want and manufacture scandal, but they don’t need credibility, or to endorse their words with a face or name. As a result, some bloggers have circulated some pretty nasty – and totally false – rumors about myself, Lime Crime, and our products. While it is unfortunate that some choose to do that, it comes with the territory of running any successful business, blog, or site online.
I deal with the ‘haters’ by ignoring them. It’s the only thing you can do, especially when you know that everything they are saying is inaccurate. (I’d like to distinguish here that someone with a legitimate concern is not the same as a ‘hater’ and will receive proper attention through our Customer Care Department.) At the end of the day, I’m way more excited about our supporters who by far outnumber the naysayers! My unicorns are the inspiration behind everything I do!
SJ: Why do you call your fans Unicorns?
DD: To me, unicorns are people who were born different, are aware of it and proud. I think it takes a very specific kind of a person to rock the shades we produce — someone brave, someone who loves color, someone who defies expectations. In other words, a true unicorn!
SJ: Who are some of the women you’d name as your top inspirations?
DD: I love a true visionary with a fearless sense of style. I am inspired by everyone, from the more well-known figures such as Dita von Teese to girls on Instagram like my friends Elena and and Stella Rose.
SJ: Tell us about being named one of the Top Inspiring Women Entrepenuers. Was that always a dream of yours?
DD: It was pretty surreal to find my picture on the cover of Self-Made magazine alongside other female business legends such as Suze Orman and Arianna Huffington. I love what I do, and it feels good to be recognized. I hope to make a fine role model for other ladies looking to start their own business!