The Herald Bulletin

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September 4, 2013

Susan Miller: From AU to the 'Today' show – MBA grad Sparkles

Tune into the fourth hour of NBC’s "Today" on Friday and you might see a familiar-looking face on screen.

Two years ago, Sparkle Myers was a student at Anderson University’s Falls School of Business, earning her MBA in business management while working full-time as the owner of a boutique makeup studio.Tomorrow, she’ll be sharing her entrepreneurial secrets with Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb. At just 35, Sparkle is the owner of MakeUp by Sparkle Cosmetics & Spa (MBS) and creator of a signature cosmetics line that will make its national TV debut Friday. How did this dynamic wife and mother of two make the transition from corporate IT to successful beauty entrepreneur so quickly?Pursuing a Passion: A former software testing engineer, Sparkle was fascinated by a different kind of science – the science of skincare. She’d grown up influenced by a grandmother who continually pressed upon her the importance of skincare. Following her grandmother’s passing, Sparkle decided to pursue her passion for healthy skin. Education: While passion is paramount, investing in the knowledge to achieve one’s entrepreneurial dream is also important. Case in point: When the entrepreneurial bug bit, Sparkle enrolled in Anderson University’s MBA program. She said the theoretical classroom work merged nicely with the practicalities she encountered running a business.“Earning my MBA helped me tremendously, because there were so many projects that allowed me to integrate my business challenges directly with the course lessons,” she said. With MBA in hand, Sparkle committed to earning her esthetics license so that she could expand her makeup business to include skincare and medispa offering a breadth of high-tech treatments. She enrolled in beauty school at Tricoci University near Fishers.As a beauty school drop-in, Sparkle worked behind the scenes at fashion shows and industry events to learn and connect. When Madonna performed at the 2012 Super Bowl, it was Sparkle’s team that touched up the “Material Girl” during her halftime performance. Sparkle’s makeup artistry has also graced the face of recording artist Prince. Networking: I met Sparkle at a fashion event last fall where she had just finished working as a volunteer makeup artist. Sparkle struck up a conversation and before long, I was mesmerized to learn that although she was still in beauty school, she would soon be opening a second location upon graduation. After interviewing her for a beauty trade magazine, I couldn’t help but feel that a bigger audience was ready for Sparkle. Turns out the folks at NBC thought she’d make a great story for a segment on starting a business. Looking the Part: Sparkle’s image supports the philosophy of her business — beautiful makeup is rooted in healthy, well cared for skin. When you meet Sparkle, you don’t see a lot of makeup, but instead someone who radiates from the inside with a healthy glow. But don’t take my word for it. Tune into WTHR tomorrow at 10 a.m. and watch her “Sparkle” and shine. Susan Miller is owner of Ewing Miller Communications, an Anderson-based marketing and media relations consulting firm. Her column appears in the Herald Bulletin the first Thursday of each month. Write to her at susan@ewingmiller.com

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