Jamie Kern Lima grew up idolizing Oprah. She was valedictorian of her high school class, and the first one in her family to go to college. After that, she began working as a journalist and news anchor. In her 20s, out of nowhere, she started suffering from a skin condition called rosacea. “I would get these bright red bumps that felt like sandpaper on my skin,” Jamie recalled.
“And I would be anchoring the news live and I would hear in my earpiece, ‘There’s something on your face, wipe it off, wipe it off.'” Only, she couldn’t. She went to a dermatologist and tried every makeup product available, hoping to find a fix for her not-so-camera-friendly skin disorder. Nothing worked. And you already know what happened next.
Jamie created her own products. She and her husband quit their jobs and went all-in trying to build a business around them. The first three years were tough times. They were running out of money, everyone was telling them no. “Women won’t buy beauty products from someone they don’t aspire to look like,” was one particularly hurtful objection that kept coming up.
Eventually they get a 10 minute window on QVC. Finally! This was their one shot. Mind you, at this point, they were only selling two to three units a day from their website, literally packing orders in their living room. As if that wasn’t enough pressure, every expert told Jamie she needed to feature models on the segment with flawless skin—something she was adamant she would never do. IT Cosmetics was created for real, everyday women. Jamie wanted to show that in her marketing.
So she sticks to her guns. Ignores the experts. Uses a before and after of her own rosacea, live on QVC, with everything on the line—and motherf*cking nails it! Sells out! Goes on to do over 1,000 live segments on QVC. Ends up hiring one of the head honchos there who told her no for three straight years, to work on her advisory board. And the rest, as they say, is history.
In 2016, Jamie and her husband, Paulo, sold IT Cosmetics to L’Oréal for a whopping $1.2 billion dollars. Now she’s on the Forbes list of America’s richest self-made women. These days, outside of spending quality time with her family, Jamie is an active investor, speaker, thought leader, and philanthropist. Her book, appropriately called Believe It, is out now. Celebrity Net Worth lists Jamie’s personal net worth at a mind-melting $450 million dollars. Cue the chorus: oo-chie wally wally, oo-chie bang bang.
Jamie was just on Ed Mylett’s podcast. He asked her, if she could go back in time and whisper some advice into her own ear, in those early days of struggle, what would it be? “Your gut is more powerful than anyone else’s advice. It just is. And learning how to get still, how to turn down the volume on all that other [negative] stuff, and hear your own gut, and trust it—to me, that’s more important than how smart you are, if you went to school or not, any of that other stuff,” she said.
Watch the full episode below. Some of her stories made my eyes well up. Just an incredible journey.