Founder, NYX Cosmetics. Los Angeles
We don't think you're quite ready for this ultimate #GirlBoss-meets-American Dream jelly, but here goes. Ever heard the one about the Korean transplant (who arrived in Los Angeles without so much as a lick of English in her teenaged vocabulary)? Who, in her mid-20s went on to found a beauty brand that made two million dollars it's first year? No? What about the one who, fast forward a decade, found their same brand making an appearance in the videos of virtually every YouTuber worth their weight in followers and bringing in revenues of over 100 million dollars? And in today's Sorkin'd schema of only one thing being cooler than a million dollars, guess who then went on to sell said beauty brand to the behemoth that is L'Oreal for considerable pocket change? Oh, and that's to say nothing of how her brainchild manages to maintain all that color pay-off (it's RuPaul approved) at prices akin to the cost of your daily latte? Allow us to introduce you to Toni Ko. Entering Ko's downtown Los Angeles home, we were almost immediately greeted by the spoils of her hard work in the form of a shoe closet that spanned roughly the size of our apartments. Organized ROYGBIV style, our eyes scanned the rows on rows of Saint Laurent, Valentino, Dior and CHANEL before plucking pairs and finding the perfect home for each. Ditto her collection of Hermès Collier de Chiens, Birkins, CHANEL jewelry, Céline and Tom Ford shades... girl's familiar with the concept of treating oneself. But in case you're wondering, Ko's not exactly the type to indulge in any 'Juicy'-narrated self-reflection—turns out she saw the whole thing coming. Yeah, we might have dusted off our mom's dog-eared copies of The Secret when she told us this one: "I started NYX with two goals from the very beginning. First was to create and deliver the best quality products at the most affordable price and the second goal was to one day sell the brand to L’Oreal. I had my bullseye on them since the inception of the company.” See what we mean?