Celebrating Our Fearless Founder, Lily Garfield
Elegant, fearless, inspiring: words that encapsulate our founder, Lily Garfield. As we celebrate the upcoming International Women’s Day, we knew exactly where we could find the best advice. Read on for Lily’s take on success, passion, and self-love.
What is your proudest achievement?
My proudest professional achievement was in 1977 when Clinique went out of their wheelhouse of only selling to department stores to sell to Cos Bar. We were the first freestanding store to carry the brand. After that happened, the floodgates opened for all the other top brands to come in. My second proudest moment was celebrating 40 years of Cos Bar. The lifespan of a retailer is usually very short, and to celebrate that milestone was a testament to our hard work over the years.
What does being successful mean to you?
Being successful means never forgetting where I came from originally. I started my career working behind a counter for a cosmetic company and worked my way up. I never forget that I used to clean my store everyday, throw the garbage out, unpack merchandise, and do everything myself to learn everything it takes to run a successful business. I try to stay grounded and never let success go to my head by always treating everyone on my team with respect.
How do you celebrate success?
The greatest luxury is being able to pay it forward by helping young female entrepreneurs in business and giving back to grassroots charities that help women and children. And of course, doing all I can to benefit MD Anderson, the cancer center that saved my life.
How do you take time for yourself?
You have to maintain balance in all areas of your life. I always used to say that I work in my spare time so I can appreciate what I've accomplished. It's not about quantity, but rather the quality of time I put in.
Any tips or advice for women on their paths to success?
Be very passionate about what you're setting out to do. People will tell you "no", but don't let that stop you from working hard to succeed. I always kept going in the early days of Cos Bar. Own your own boundaries, make your own reality, and be persistent in what you want. Be creative, stay creative. Know your competition and always remember why you set out to do this. Never let anyone tell you what can or can't be done.
Thank you Lily, for all that you’ve done and for all you have shared.