Grads Are Founders of Scrandie Beauty
Yasmine Dabgotra ‘18 (pictured above, left) and Miriam Cruz-Uribe ‘08 are both graduates of the Beauty Industry Merchandising & Marketing program at FIDM, but they didn’t meet one another until they were working together in the industry at a professional nail company. After their work relationship turned into a friendship, and they both left their positions, the two FIDM Grads teamed up to co-found Scrandie Beauty, an affordable line of vegan and cruelty-free makeup products with high-quality formulas and minimalist packaging. We recently caught up with the entrepreneurs to learn more about their Los Angeles-based brand.
Where were you born and raised?
YD: I was born in Scottsdale, Arizona and raised in Southern California from the age of five.
MC: I was born and raised in Los Angeles, California.
When did you first realize you were creative?
YD: Creating things always interested me since I was a young child, from projects during school to dance classes. It is through dance performances where I became particularly interested in makeup. My mother was a single mother so she could either be backstage helping me get ready or watch me dance. She chose the latter, so I quickly learned how to do hair and makeup. This turned into full-blown themed photoshoots in elementary with my friends to doing hair and makeup for their 40-year-old mothers for events at the ripe age of 13, and yes, I was getting paid.
MC: I was always in some sort of art program growing up, whether it was performing arts from a young age, or visual arts in high school. I was always attracted to the idea of creating something that brought me joy and sharing that with the world.
What was your path to FIDM?
YD: My sister attended FIDM five years before me. After taking a tour in high school, I knew it was just the place for me. At this point, I knew I wanted to be in the product development side of the beauty industry.
MC: A FIDM Representative did a presentation at my high school and the moment they said, “We are the only school with a Beauty Industry Merchandising & Marketing major,” I knew FIDM was the place for me.
How did you decide to study Beauty Industry Merchandising & Marketing?
YD: Since high school, I wanted to create original beauty products and this program would give me the tools to do exactly that.
MC: I loved beauty ever since I was in middle school, but I knew I didn't necessarily want to be the one behind the chair, even though I currently have a manicuring license. I wanted to create things behind the scenes, but I didn't know what that meant until I got introduced to FIDM. The Beauty Industry Merchandising & Marketing major immediately stood out to me and I knew that's what I wanted to do for the rest of my life.
What were some of the most valuable lessons you learned at FIDM?
YD: The most valuable by far would be that the industry is small so put your best foot forward and be professional. It is super important to take school seriously because everyone knows everyone. Your peers or professors might be in the position to hire you or be asked to share their experience with you when you apply for a position. Another valuable lesson would be to get as many different internships as possible while you’re in school. This way, you get to experience different departments and roles so when you look for long-term employment you have a preference based on experience. Sometimes the role you always wanted isn’t a good fit.
MC: FIDM taught me how to effectively communicate in groups and drilled into me presentation skills that became invaluable in my career.
Did you have any internships or part-time jobs while in school? If so, did FIDM help place you in any of them?
YD: I had five internships at different times throughout my time at FIDM before landing my first long-term job in the industry. Teachers and counselors played a part in helping me land each one. I have to be clear though, the opportunities didn’t land in my lap; I had to do my part in asking teachers for leads and working with my Career Advisor regularly to land internships that interested me and fit my school and commuting schedule.
MC: I was working part-time at a Victoria’s Secret store. I made it very clear to them that I was only interested in working in the beauty section and they were very accommodating.
Tell us about some of the jobs you've had since graduating:
YD: During school and after graduation, I worked for a professional nail brand as a Marketing Assistant, then later as an Associate Brand Manager. After that, I took a Marketing Coordinator position for a medical-grade skincare brand startup.
MC: I've worked in marketing for an LED light device company and in brand management for a professional nail company.
What do you enjoy most about entrepreneurship and why?
YD: I most enjoy the freedom to bring ideas in my head to life alongside someone I work well with and very much enjoy being around.
MC: I love that you can set the vision for your brand/company and make it happen. The flexibility is a major plus, as well as being able to contribute to causes that matter to you. The main reason why I wanted to go into business for myself was the fact that I can devote more time and/or resources to causes that I value, such as animal rights, environmental causes, and education.
Anything else you'd like to share?
YD: If anyone reading this wants to start a business, don't be scared to go for it! It’s much scarier to wonder “what if?” Be resourceful, be creative, and take chances. When I started to do that, wins and opportunities started to emerge.
MC: Don't be afraid to do what brings you joy, because it can lead to many wonderful paths in your life. I know this sounds cheesy, but it's so true, if you follow your heart and have the right intentions, you will never be steered down the wrong path.
Learn more about Scrandie Beauty brand and FIDM Grad life when Yasmine and Miriam do an Instagram takeover @fidm on Sunday, April 25, 2021.
Find Scrandie Beauty online at scrandiebeauty.com and on Instagram @scrandiebeauty.