“From Avocation To Vocation: How I Turned My Hobby Into A Career” With Heather Marianna of Beauty Kitchen

An interview with Phil La Duke

Phil La Duke
Oct 18 · 10 min read

I do enjoy being able to make my own schedule. I do enjoy the work that I do. I love that I’ve been able to transition my passion for beauty and helping people into a thriving business. There are of course downsides. When you have a lot of employees there are A LOT of different personalities to deal with, that can be difficult. But I am blessed with a great staff who loves me and the brand and I honestly couldn’t do it without them. To overcome those drawbacks — long days being tired and crabby — I try to take some me time. I need to work on that more. I love taking a quick flight to Sedona and getting zen, or OC by the water is always good for me. Or I just cry it out. LOL!


a part of our series about entrepreneurs who transformed something they did for fun into a full-time career, I had the pleasure of interviewing…Heather Marianna a popular YouTuber, whose sassy DIY beauty videos using common kitchen ingredients has been viewed by over 3 million fans in conjunction with her all-natural whimsical skincare line, Beauty Kitchen, founded in 2013. In 2015, Heather starred on Bravo’s luxury-reality TV show, ‘Tour Group,” where 11 soul-searching strangers traveled the world together to resolve a variety of inner-personal issues. A respected and reputable expert in the beauty industry, Heather, has appeared on over 80 national TV beauty segments and been featured on prominent websites including The Today Show, E! Online, Yahoo, The Huffington Post and more. Beauty Kitchen celebrity fans include: Vanessa Simmons, Christina Milian, Dascha Polanco, Lisa Vanderpump, Viola Davis and more. Beauty Kitchen products have also been gifted at high-profile award show events including The Grammys, Golden Globes, Emmys and Espy gifting suites. Beauty enthusiasts can shop the brand including collagen eye gels, face masks, bath bombs, sugar scrubs and more at beautykitchen.net or at Beauty Kitchen Boutique — located in Boulder City, Nevada, right outside of Las Vegas, and their pop up location inside DROP Sauna + Athleticouture in Henderson, Nevada.


Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell us a bit about your “childhood backstory”?

very since I was younger, about 15 or so, I started making face-masks and body items in the kitchen. I loved everything about it. I’ve always wanted to be an entrepreneur and had a huge passion for beauty and skincare. I grew up in Coronado, California and was raised by my grandmother.

What was the catalyst from transforming your hobby or something you love into a business? Can you share the story of your “ah ha” moment with us?

I moved to Las Vegas in 2011 and I was working a corporate job, which as not fun. I was a consultant for the profitability of food and beverage for a company called Profitable Foods. They were a great company but it wasn’t my thing. We really saved clients a lot of money! So once I decided to quit and move forward with my life I asked a lot of my friends what should I do what do you think I am good at? Hands down everyone said I need to be making the skincare I was making. I had helped a lot of friends with skin issues and really solved their problems. I was determined to succeed.

There are no shortage of good ideas out there, but people seem to struggle in taking a good idea and translating it into an actual business. How did you overcome this challenge?

I started slow, I started a YouTube channel (Heather Marianna) and showed people how to make their own stuff using common household ingredients and it was a big hit. After that people started asking me to make them stuff, so I started with bath bombs and sugar scrubs and the rest is history.

What advice would you give someone who has a hobby or pastime that they absolutely love but is reluctant to do it for a living?

You have to first find the customer and do your research. If you’re the friend who’s always giving great advice maybe get a life coaching certificate and start a blog, grow your audience like I did. Those people will be customers and as long as you are giving a great product or service they will stay. I have had a lot of the same customers for years. Remember there is nothing wrong with working your side hustle until you feel comfortable leaving your job. I encourage it, honestly.

It’s said that the quickest way to take the fun out of doing something is to do it for a living. How do you keep from changing something you love into something you dread? How do you keep it fresh and enjoyable?

My job is creative and we are always evolving and we are constantly growing which keeps it fresh, since I create all these products I get to be artistic and that’s really fun and refreshing. Currently I am working on a complete re-brand for Beauty Kitchen. I’m really enjoying wearing a creative director hat- per say. are also taking the company public, which is exciting.

What is it that you enjoy most about running your own business? What are the downsides of running your own business? Can you share what you did to overcome these drawbacks?

I do enjoy being able to make my own schedule. I do enjoy the work that I do. I love that I’ve been able to transition my passion for beauty and helping people into a thriving business. There are of course downsides. When you have a lot of employees there are A LOT of different personalities to deal with, that can be difficult. But I am blessed with a great staff who loves me and the brand and I honestly couldn’t do it without them. To overcome those drawbacks — long days being tired and crabby — I try to take some me time. I need to work on that more. I love taking a quick flight to Sedona and getting zen, or OC by the water is always good for me. Or I just cry it out. LOL!

Can you share what was the most striking difference between your actual job and how you thought the job would be?

You don’t have time off, ever. Someone always needs something. It’s a constant struggle. When you have a job you get paid vacation, time off and enjoy the weekend. Not when you’re the boss. It’s all worth it though,

Has there ever been a moment when you thought to yourself “I can’t take it anymore, I’m going to get a “real” job? If so how did you overcome it?

EVERY DAY LOL! You just have to keep going and have your eyes on the prize. Its isn’t easy and it’s a LOT OF RESPONSIBILITY — like I am responsible to make sure the company is doing well to pay peoples paychecks. When those moments happen and I think why didn’t I just marry rich, I remember the good things that out weigh the bad. I like being independent making my own rules in life, schedule and so forth. I don’t like having anyone and I mean anyone tell me what to do.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began leading your company?

There are so many I always think its interesting when a celeb messages me and says she or he loves my products. I love that.

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

I made many mistakes when I was in the early stages of launching Beauty Kitchen. I mixed scents that didn’t smell that great but it was a learning process for me and the best way for me to perfect my line. I learned to push forward through all mistakes. It’s a part of growth.

Who has inspired or continues to inspire you to be a great leader? Why?

I think my grandmother, she struggled in life and pretty much raised me. I don’t have parents. I try to be the best person I can be all around in life at all times. I also have to work on not putting so much pressure on myself.

How have you used your success to make the world a better place?

One thing I always wanted to do was volunteer in Africa, and last year I went for three weeks ( you can read my blog on my site) and I plan on going there again this year. I plan on living there for a year after we take the company public and sell.

What are your “5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Started” and why? (Please share a story or example for each.)

  1. Work out — I make myself go to the gym every day. I have to so I can stay sane. It relaxes me and it’s my personal time I commit to myself a few days a week — that helps me become the person I want to be, strong, both physically and mentally. Going to the gym helps me discipline and hold myself accountable — and I love myself for that.
  2. Take time every morning to relax. Every morning I sit on my balcony for 5–10 minutes just to look outside and drink my coffee — without any phone or distractions. I just sit and reflect on what is going on for the day and set my intentions. It allows me to fall in love with my goals and find peace.
  3. Read in the bathtub. Yes I take baths. I love it and I just sit in there even if its 11 pm and read usually mindfulness’ magazine or the latest Time or Forbes. Reading is so powerful.
  4. Work trips can be brutal. I never put myself on a time schedule. I pick a place I will be at and have my meetings at the hotel. I send everyone a text on where I will be and a time and that’s that. I am always on time most are not and this gives me way less anxiety on meetings and it runs smoother.
  5. Skincare! With my Beauty Kitchen at-home spa products, I feel refreshed, pampered and beautiful. Even at my desk while working, I use my collagen eye gels, rosewater mist and face masks. It’s important to always take time for yourself and especially as busy and stressed as we all are, identify what gives you joy and relaxation — and do more of it!

What person wouldn’t want to work doing something they absolutely love. You are an incredible inspiration to a great many people. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger.

I would encourage people to do three things: give back, travel and volunteer. My recent 21-day volunteer trip to Africa was life-changing. It really opened my eyes. Besides reminding me how lucky I am — it reminded me of the bigger purpose in life, which is to make the world a better place and helping those in need. I actually wrote an in-depth blog about my experience, which can be viewed here. It’s super insightful and I tried my best to convey the stream of emotions I experienced abroad — in my journaling. Give back in any way you can — whether it be through your time, a thoughtful gesture or donation. I often pay for the person behind me in the Starbucks line you never know what kind of day they are having just pay it forward. Travel, open your eyes to the world we live in. Stop buying purses and start buying experiences. Volunteer, your time and knowledge given to others can make all the difference in the world, if you can this while traveling do it.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

I think the best lesson quote would be to take your time and live patiently. So many times I wanted to just be like I give up, but you can’t. We all have good and bad days and if you’re not where you wanna be in life, just work towards it, believe in yourself and be patient. It will all work out. Sometimes you have to realize things take time and in this socially driven automatic reply society we live in its not always all IG perfect posts and designer handbags at brunch. Its life and we have to live it.

Some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this if we tag them.

Princess Diana. She was so eloquent, loving and kind. She’s a huge inspiration to me!

Thank you for these fantastic insights. We greatly appreciate the time you spent on this.


About the Author

Phil La Duke is a popular speaker & writer with more than 400 works in print. He has contributed to Entrepreneur, Monster, Thrive Global and is published on all inhabited continents. His most recent book is Lone Gunman: Rewriting the Handbook On Workplace Violence Prevention listed as #16 on Pretty Progressive magazine’s list of 49 books that powerful women study in detail. Follow Phil on Twitter @philladuke or read his weekly blog www.philladuke.wordpress.com

Authority Magazine

Leadership Lessons from Authorities in Business, Film, Sports and Tech. Authority Mag is devoted primarily to sharing interesting feature interviews of people who are authorities in their industry. We use interviews to draw out stories that are both empowering and actionable.

Phil La Duke

Written by

Author of “I Know My Shoes Are Untied. Mind Your Own Business” and “Lone Gunman. Rewriting the Handbook on Workplace Violence Prevention

Authority Magazine

Leadership Lessons from Authorities in Business, Film, Sports and Tech. Authority Mag is devoted primarily to sharing interesting feature interviews of people who are authorities in their industry. We use interviews to draw out stories that are both empowering and actionable.

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