From eye surgeon to emerging entrepreneur!
Dr. Anika Goodwin Hilderbrand is the entrepreneur behind the magnetic lash brand that appeared on ABC’s “Shark Tank.”
“Lashes are the new boobs,” shared Dr. Hilderbrand with the Sharks according to an official press release. “Every woman wants a bigger, better pair.”
Dr. Hilderbrand offered the Sharks a $75,000 investment opportunity in exchange for 5 percent of her company.
Not only did she catch the attention of the Sharks, but Dr. Hilderbrand walked away with a $100,000 offer from fashion entrepreneur Kendra Scott.
“It was surreal,” said Dr. Hilderbrand when asked about the experience on “Shark Tank.” “I have yet to watch it back all the way through by myself because there is still a tiny bit of disbelief that it really happened. The most rewarding part was having them say complimentary things about my products. It really let me know that my goal to have an amazing offering had been achieved.”
As a board-certified ophthalmologist who specializes in eyelid care and procedures, Dr. Hilderbrand knows exactly what customers in the eyelash space could benefit from, but she decided to create her own spin on magnetic lashes.
OpulenceMD Beauty was created out of Dr. Hilderbrand’s love for beauty products and noticing the lack of safe, comfortable, and most importantly, easy-to-apply lashes for the professional woman.
“Vision and health are my passion,” said Dr. Hilderbrand in an email interview with AfroTech. “I don’t believe it was initially a conscious decision to become a part of the beauty industry, but rather an attempt to solve a problem for myself that I realized many other women had as well. It has definitely allowed me to combine my passion for vision with my purpose of being an innovator and problem solver.”
As both a vision advocate and beauty enthusiast, she wanted to showcase that women don’t have to sacrifice safety for the sake of beauty.
“As much as I love wearing lash extensions, I suck at putting them on correctly,” shared Dr. Hilderbrand during her “Shark Tank” presentation. “And worse, it bothers me that I’m using harmful chemicals like formaldehyde near my eyes.”
The beauty line’s Siberian Minx lashes are cruelty-free and also prevents users from not having to worry about toxic glue, latex, and parabens. Each pair of lashes are also reusable for up to 40 uses, completely taking the trial and error out of the lash process.
A portion of the proceeds of her profits will go to individuals who don’t have access to affordable eye screening exams.