Delray Beach resident Nikki Oden is taking over the beauty industry with her one-of-a-kind products specifically designed to be effective, functional and fashionable.
Originally from the Washington, D.C. area, the University of South Florida alumna broke into the beauty business when she opened Eleven Salon and Spa in 2004. Since then, the cosmetics connoisseur has gone on to create three successful beauty brands: ElevenSkin, Hickey Lipstick and Foot Rescue. Together, they make up the Living Eleven brand.
We reached out to Oden to discuss her journey into the beauty business, her different brands and what makes Fort Lauderdale-based Hickey Lipstick unique.
You went from working in investment banking to breaking into the beauty industry. Tell us about that transition.
I really didn’t plan it. It just evolved. My love for fashion and beauty inspired me to take a risk and open a salon and spa/boutique with everything I wanted as a consumer under one roof. The biggest transition was having a baby (surprise!) at the same time, combined with going from being surrounded by all men to being surrounded by all women. The worlds are very different and I am blessed to feel like I have not worked a day since.
How did your brands first get started?
So often I’m asked what products I’m using on my skin. I really was not loyal to any skin care brand because I never saw real results. With my background managing money for so long—I love research—my research resulted in [discovering] that the most magical ingredients are found in the ocean. ElevenSkin was born. ElevenSkin is different because it works. It not only works, but it is an experience that makes you want to use it.
What inspires you?
I love the process of bringing a new brand to life, which is why I continue to find myself in new business ventures within the beauty industry. For ElevenSkin specifically, which was the first product brand we launched, I wanted to create a results-oriented skin care line that works for everyone in every environment, especially South Florida. When it came to Hickey Lipstick, I wanted a way to stop digging in my purse through my eight or 10 lipsticks I'm always carrying.
Hickey Lipstick products come with a ribbon and chain for women to wear the lipsticks as accessories. How did you come up with the idea to wear lipsticks around your neck?
Anyone that knows me knows that I have to have my lipstick. I created Hickey so that your essential beauty item is always readily available, instead of being buried at the bottom of your purse. Hickey can be worn as a necklace, bracelet, tied on your purse or on your ski jacket, on my jeans belt loop when I’m just running around shopping, etc. The options are endless. I loved the idea that every piece of the packaging can be repurposed, from our satin bag to the grosgrain ribbon that allows you to turn your lipstick into an accessory.
What benefit do you think people will get from wearing their lipsticks around their necks?
It is definitely a conversation starter. Hickey is all about women expressing their own personal style and making a statement, whether it’s with their bold red lips, in their careers or at home with their families. Everyone knows with the right lipstick, you can conquer the world.