One simple, bright idea was all it took for lawyers Terry Chan and Monieka Bos to launch a new business. The product: a makeup mirror equipped with LED lights. The duo call their hot new item, designed to look like a backstage makeup mirror, the Model Mirror.
“Women can now conquer dark clubs, dimly lit powder rooms, romantic restaurants and even the great outdoors looking as polished as ever,” their website explains. “See that your makeup stays picture perfect no matter where the night takes you.”
Chan and Bos were inspired by similar merchandise they’d seen in Asia. “We wanted to start with something small and manageable for our first product and the mirrors seemed like a perfect fit,” says Chan.
The entrepreneurs are both graduates of Osgoode Hall Law School and Ontario-called lawyers who practised on Bay Street. They didn’t meet, however, until their first day on the job at White & Case LLP in London in September 2007. Bos is still in London while Chan now lives in Amsterdam. Both now pursue their business full-time.
What do they say to those who might think it’s crazy to leave a big law job to market fashion accessories? “It’s not a decision we took lightly,” Chan explains. “We felt we had a good idea, some resources and a good partnership. We are definitely taking a chance.”
Their gamble has already started to pay off. In the fall, the mirrors launched in Holt Renfrew stores across Canada and in Selfridges high-end department stores in the U.K. Online sales from Europe and the U.S. are also taking off. “We’ve had a really great reaction from retailers,” says Bos. “We still have so much to learn, but we couldn’t be happier about our first few months.”