Alumni Entrepreneur Q&A: Skincare Company Founder

  • Kasi Santarelli
  • Class of 2015
Kasi Santarelli

By earning her BBA in Marketing from LIM, Kasi took a critical step toward launching her own skincare line. Using lessons she learned in branding, time-management, and more, Kasi has steadily grown her brand, which has been featured in TV segments.

Why did you enroll at LIM College?
I’ve had a passion for the fashion and beauty industry since I was a little girl, and New York City has always had my heart. I knew I wanted to be an entrepreneur, and after visiting LIM, I knew I’d found where I needed to be to gain knowledge in that area.

What’s happening in your career now?
I’m the founder and CEO of Leeor Skincare. We’re a luxury, clean beauty line that aims to conquer multiple skincare concerns in single products. In my career before launching Leeor, I had grown tired of traditional marketing gimmicks and wanted to make a change that would save customers time and money.

Did your LIM internships help you in starting your company?
My first internship was at Burberry Beauty in the PR department... I loved the PR aspect, but also knew I wanted to be a creator. Once I graduated, I became an Account Executive with a major skincare company. I loved my position and implemented a lot of my ideas, but the consumer had no idea where these fun trends came from. Sometimes, because the company was so big, ideas would get overlooked. That's when I knew I had to create my own brand.

What was the process of starting your own company like?
The experience was time consuming, humbling, and it showed me how much work is involved in being a startup entrepreneur! I had to do a ton of research and take everything I learned from LIM and my previous careers in the beauty industry and mesh it all together. I made a business plan and daily to-do lists and tackled one task at a time. If there was something I couldn’t figure out, I’d try to teach myself.

What skills that you learned at LIM have helped you run your business?
I learned a lot about time management at LIM. Through my internship, I learned how hard you have to work to promote a brand name, even one as huge as Burberry. I learned about making press releases, working with celebrities, and sending PR packages to generate buzz.

What advice would you give to a young, aspiring entrepreneur?
You must be a go-getter. I was always two steps ahead at every job I had; my boss never had to ask me to do something. On the train home from school, I’d be researching new influencers and I’d present them to the PR manager the following day. The most valuable advice another CEO gave me was: Perfection is the enemy of the entrepreneur. Everyone's version of perfection is different, and by the time you’ve spent so long trying to make something "perfect" … someone’s already stolen your idea.