“America’s Next Top Model” host Tyra Banks talked about her new business venture Tyra Beauty, “smizing” and empowering women entrepreneurs with “f-you” money onstage at the Wall Street Journal Live conference today.
“Every woman needs ‘f-you’ money’ to be able to do things independently,” she explained to an audience largely made up of upper-class white men.
The former international supermodel nabbed a business degree from Harvard a couple years back and is now jumping into tech with her new makeup startup Tyra Beauty. Banks hopes her new operation will give women a signature Banks “fierce” boost to get what they want in life (one of her lipstick colors is labeled “ask for a raise,” for example).
Banks, who wore a T-shirt with the words “I’m an entrepreneur, bitch.” is winding down her ‘Top Model’ show to focus more on her other business ventures and advised more women to reach out to mentors.
Banks said she started her journey into tech with a failed ‘smizing’ app (it basically made you look like you were “smiling with your eyes” but had the unfortunate effect of making users look like aliens). Banks said she learned from that experience and that one of the better things she has done was cold-call potential advisers like Tony Hsieh from Zappos.
The original Victoria’s Secret model self-funded her beauty startup but disclosed onstage she’d be seeking outside investment for it in the future. “Based on our growth, I’m not going to be able to afford to carry it forever so we’re going to be raising some money next year,” she said.
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