President and Founder, The Beauty Agents and Beauty Goorus Consulting
Co-founder, Naked Audience Productions
For more than 30 years, Bonnie Bonadeo has been "connecting people with the power of beauty." Her experience in the industry started as a stylist, which eventually led to managing salons, working for some of the world’s most notable manufacturers and distributors, and producing some of the industry’s most celebrated events, including NAHA, Beacon, Symposium, ISSE and Beauty Changes Lives. In the past several years, Bonadeo followed her passion for the industry in a totally new direction—founding The Beauty Agents, a speaking bureau and training company, and Beauty Goorus Consulting, then co-founding Naked Audience Productions. She is a certified Emotional Intelligemce Speaker and Facilitator and specializes in leadership and branding programs. Bonadeo volunteers her time to Look Good Feel Better and student mentoring programs and she is recognized by the consumer media (Cosmopolitan, Oprah’s O Magazine and the New York Times) as a go-to beauty expert and is a frequent blogger on modernsalon.com.
From where does your entrepreneurial drive originate?
It started when I was five and I rallied the entire neighborhood to go to this church with me so I could win an eight-pound cupcake! I won and I shared it with everyone, but I also then realized that I could be very persuasive with others. I have always had an independent and creative spirit anchored by my gift of communication skills and ability to engage others. I am discovering that it is not great technical skills or a high level of education that makes a good entrepreneur. Instead, it is the ability to engage others and take risks. I had good training for most of my life working for others and when I finally took the leap I created three companies in three years—all to fill a need and buy all the cupcakes I want.
As you grew your company/brand, what “ah-ha” moments of clarity helped you shape its future course?
What is the current and motivating need for others, and how can I fill it? If there is pain in an area, where can I create pleasure for others? I continue to stay nimble and flexible as the needs may change, but as long as I stay within my core brand message of connecting people, I can and will figure it out!
As you shaped your company, what have been some of the biggest stumbling blocks?
The struggles are always around the right resources when I need them—money, time and people! Being an entrepreneur means going with the ebb and flow but also knowing I can’t do it all and having to decide what is the most meaningful priority in this moment and accepting that is enough for now.