Smashbox Cosmetics, based in Culver City, Calif., is launching a digital initiative to showcase local businesses across Los Angeles. The content series, hosted by the brand’s vice president of product development, Jill Tomandl, kicks off via Instagram Live on May 15.
Occurring every other Friday, the talks will first feature Rachel Gomez, founder of streetwear label Viva La Bonita, at 2 p.m. PST. The fashion brand is one of many partners among Smashbox Cosmetics’ L.A. community.
“We’re born and bred in L.A., and this is something we started thinking about doing earlier this year,” said Kimberly Villatoro, vice president of North America marketing at Smashbox Cosmetics. The beauty company — founded in 1996 by Dean and Davis Factor and now owned by the Estée Lauder Cos. Inc. — launched the program pre-quarantine in February inside their hub at an event space referred to as Studio 5. Now, they’re taking the affair online. “We’re featuring people making a difference in the home city of L.A., help to tell the story of the community they’re building or who they are as people. Small businesses are hit hard right now.”
The conversations are expected to cover a range of topics, from launch stories to the impact the coronavirus pandemic is having on the founders’ wellbeing, personally, and on their businesses. The roster includes Jeni Castro of the West Hollywood shop Coffee Dose and Las Jefas, a collective of Latina entrepreneurs.
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The goal is to create an accessible initiative that supports and brings awareness to the companies, continued Villatoro. Consumers engaged in the live chats will receive gift cards from the enterprises, she added.
“We want to rally around the community,” she said. “We see it expanding the ethos of what we believe in, fostering community and collaboration.”