In a recent interview with Cosmopolitan,  Wende Zomnir relates different ways as to how she found her love affair with makeup and eventually began the makeup brand with an obsessed cult following, Urban Decay.

She starts life with a strict mother who doesn’t want her to read fashion magazines like Seventeen or watch movies rated PG, but who also has a fairly ostentatious makeup collection. When she eventually got her hands on Calvin Klein and Boots makeup, Wende spent hours trying to recreate looks from beauty magazines she had secretly purchased. She mentions that her first lesson in figuring out businesslike ways of getting what she wanted was when she entered in the Miss Texas pageant. Dresses were expensive, so she pitched the idea of sponsoring her to different businesses. She got a big bag of Maybelline makeup for being a contestant, and as an art student, she fooled around with her paintbrushes to get the looks she wanted for the pageant.

Wende interned at ad agencies and worked for marketing agencies, but never really felt like she was doing what she wanted to be. When she met Sandy Lerner (businesswoman and co-founder of Urban Decay), things started happening.

They may have started out with a Laguna Beach apartment, a fax machine, and 12 nail polishes and 10 lipsticks, Wende and Sandy had a vision. They figured out ways to pitch their ideas and use their backgrounds and interests to make their dreams happen. They backed up their ideas and makeup concepts with impeccable customer service, and that makes Urban Decay one of the most sought after makeup brands out there today.

That’s the kind of woman we want to be.

You can read the full interview over at Cosmopolitan.