Loren Ridinger: My Elle Taiwan Cover Story
Wow! What an incredible honor. Thank you, Elle Taiwan for featuring me on your cover this month. The photo shoot was done at my amazing NYC apartment, so I was right at home. I felt blessed to do the shoot wearing all Motives Cosmetics (makeup by my number one Jackie Gomez). June Howell interviewed me while Troy Wang photographed the whole shoot. I wore some of my favorite designers including Balmain with the help of stylist Jazmin Gonzalez. Check out the photos below!
Loren Ridinger: My Elle Taiwan Cover Story
June and I talked all about Motives, running a business as a woman, and my family.
“We are raised in the belief that men control everything. If you are able to have a bunch of kids, a house, dogs, you have a wonderful life. But I believe women can follow their dreams and create their own career at the same time they have a happy family.”
“For me, Motives means being a strong woman,” she said. “It is more than the cosmetics themselves. I hope women will understand that makeup is not only about how you look, but also about a deeper meaning in the heart. It’s like how my mother felt more confident when she greeted my father at home. She was so beautiful, and my father was so handsome. It made them feel like they were at their wedding again. It was all so beautiful.”
“One thing that I have learned is that the biggest mistake women often make is not surrounding themselves with positive people. If you are surrounded by people who criticize you, you begin to doubt yourself. You simply need to readjust and stop paying attention to negative people. This is just like turning off the TV; shut out people who have a negative influence. Instead, surround yourself with people who can encourage you and support your dreams — people with positive energy that will lift you up.”
Read the full translated story here:
The Beauty Inside
Loren Ridinger’s Motives®cosmetics brand empowers women with the confidence to find their strengths as it reveals their true beauty inside and out.
Written by June Howell. Photographs by Troy Wang. Style by Jazmin Gonzalez.
It was a beautiful sunny day in Manhattan, N.Y. when the ELLEteam met with Loren Ridinger, creator of the iconic Motives brand of cosmetics, to learn about the life of this internet mogul. Stepping into Loren’s house, we were greeted by an all-white décor set off by a large volume of Chanel photographs. An attractive hallway and living room feature contemporary paintings and more photographs, with an emphasis on the beauty and allure of women.
Floor-to-ceiling windows adorn the house and afford a panoramic view of the Hudson River and the Statue of Liberty rising from New York Harbor. As we walked toward Loren’s study we noticed shelves filled with her Motives cosmetics, and a visitor is touched to find a display of numerous photos showing Loren with her beloved family and friends. These are clearly the centerpiece of her life. And we were thrilled to see some ELLETaiwan magazines, too!
Down a spiral staircase we came to Loren’s bedroom. It is full of fashionable clothes and shoes; it’s easy to see that Loren is a passionate fashion icon. As we admired her style, Loren’s husband, Market America Founder, Chairman and CEO JR Ridinger, entered the room. Dressed casually, he warmly greeted his guests from Taiwan.
I finally came into another bedroom where Loren was doing her makeup, preparing for her feature cover photo. I was a bit nervous, but she greeted me with such warm enthusiasm that I soon felt as if I was an old friend she had not seen for a while. As we began to talk she told me how much she loves Taiwan, the people there — and how much she loves ELLE! Her passion shone through as we began our day of photographing and interviewing Loren in wonderful New York City.
The beginning of true beauty
I watched the makeup artist use the Motives Bloom Palette to create gorgeous smokey eyes for Loren. “For today’s ELLECover shoot, all the cosmetics we are using are Motives,” she said with a smile. Why did Loren, the Senior Executive Vice President of Market America, decide to create her Motives brand? “When I was a little girl, every night I watched my mom putting on makeup before my dad came home. She would put on beautiful eyeliner and mascara,” Loren said. ”I wondered why my mom spent so much time on her makeup for my dad. Later, I understood that makeup didn’t just make her look beautiful, but also made her feel beautiful inside, and feel confident!” That life lesson from her mom planted a seed in the heart of Loren that later grew to inspire the creation of her Motives brand.
The other driving force behind Motives came from Loren’s soul mate, JR. Seeing her passion, he encouraged her to start her own line of cosmetics that would be affordable — and empowering — for all women. Loren agreed.
“For me, Motives means being a strong woman,” she said. “It is more than the cosmetics themselves. I hope women will understand that makeup is not only about how you look, but also about a deeper meaning in the heart. It’s like how my mother felt more confident when she greeted my father at home. She was so beautiful, and my father was so handsome. It made them feel like they were at their wedding again. It was all so beautiful.” Bestowing women with the means for inner confidence along with outer beauty is what drives Loren to keep moving forward.
Women, follow your dreams!
“We are raised in the belief that men control everything,” Loren said. “If you are able to have a bunch of kids, a house, dogs, you have a wonderful life. But I believe women can follow their dreams and create their own career at the same time they have a happy family.” Loren shared that many women say there is no time for them to realize their dreams because they are busy taking care of the children and their husband. They feel stuck amid the rocks of life, unable to move and change — they’re trapped! How can they change this? “You prioritize your life and start focusing on the most important things,” she said.
Loren offered a metaphor: “Imagine you have a jar,” she said. “Take a big rock that is your main dream and vision and put it in the jar first. Then you will find that there is plenty of space in the jar for sand, and that is your time for sleeping, eating and hanging out with friends. But you have to put your dream in the jar first.”
This defines Loren’s mission. Every time she gives a speech about Motives, she inspires and encourages women to use their time well to break the status quo. The thing she wants to do the most is to empower people to act and to make their dreams come true.
“I don’t want you to be inspired. I want you to be irritated!” she said. “I was irritated enough to do something to change my life.”
They had nothing when they started
Many women envy Loren, thinking she married a wealthy husband. But the truth is that when JR and Loren began Market America they had nothing.
She recalled that she met JR when she was in her first year of college. They fell madly in love. “We had no money. JR could not even afford a nice dinner,” Loren remembered with a laugh. “We went on dates at fast food restaurants like Wendy’s, McDonald’s. But he kept telling me, ‘One day, we will succeed. One day, I will take you to the fanciest restaurants. One day, we will have everything we’ve ever dreamed of.’” That was hard for Loren to grasp at a time when there was no money and her mom supported them by bringing them macaroni and cheese — along with a lot of love. Everyone questioned them: How could they make their dreams come true without any financial support?
“We had and still have passion and belief,” Loren stated firmly. “The power of belief is greater than that of money. We believed that one day we would have the best products in the world. We would have our own sales channel. JR saw that the future of shopping was online, and we knew we would be able to choose the best products for people to buy from their homes. Now it has been 26 years and this is what we are doing as the best online shopping site in the world!
“When we think back, almost no one was willing to share our belief and provide us products to sell. But if you let those who don’t believe in you hold you back, you will never be able to make your dreams come true.”
Loren and JR encouraged and inspired each other every day. To help maintain their passion and enthusiasm, for example, they created dream boards that helped them visualize their goals, checking them three times a day. Some people thought it was silly. JR and Loren knew it was part of a winning strategy for success.
Surround yourself with people who exude positive energy
In the process of pursuing your dreams, it is hard to avoid criticism. Loren shared, “One thing that I have learned is that the biggest mistake women often make is not surrounding themselves with positive people. If you are surrounded by people who criticize you, you begin to doubt yourself. You simply need to readjust and stop paying attention to negative people. This is just like turning off the TV; shut out people who have a negative influence. Instead, surround yourself with people who can encourage you and support your dreams — people with positive energy that will lift you up.”
Loren’s initiative is to empower women. In our culture, it is acceptable for girls’ childhood dreams to be undervalued or overlooked, to have dreams that are small and their goals set lower than their male counterparts. For example, if it is a girl’s dream to be a doctor, she may be encouraged to simply be a nurse, or a stewardess rather than a pilot.
When society tells women than their dreams don’t matter, how do we educate our children that they can and should be whatever they want to be? Loren recalled asking her daughter Amber at the age of six, “What do you want to do when you grow up?” Amber answered, “I want to be a dolphin trainer.” How did Loren respond to her daughter’s dream? On a Saturday morning, she and JR took Amber to Key West, Fla. to experience working as a dolphin trainer. At the end of the day, Loren asked her daughter, “How do you feel?” Amber answered, “This was an awesome experience; however, I do not want it to be my job.” As Loren reflected on this memory, she said, “The point is that she had the experience; no one told her what it might be like. She could make her own choice.”
Loren has always strived to provide this powerful concept to her daughter: “I am not afraid of hard work, although your dad can provide whatever I want.” Giving children a powerful role model lets adult women understand that they can support themselves, and satisfy their goals and desires. “This is the goal of Motives; this is also why the brand is called ‘Motives,” Loren proudly confirmed. “Motives can empower women and let them become whoever they want to be. They can control their time, control their own financial status, and work in the career they want to.”
Motives changes women’s lives
Because of its quality products and strong social media presence, Motives has changed and empowered the lives of many women. Loren recalled that one of the most remarkable testimonies she received was from a woman in the U.S. state of Arizona. For 17 years, she suffered daily from domestic abuse. Finally, she decided to end her marriage and moved into a shelter. She started a career with Motives and now she earns up to US$5,000.00 per month, which is the most money she has earned in her life. She left her violent marriage and rebuilt her confidence. She has also been able to help women who have suffered the same thing regain their freedom. There are countless stories like this. These women not only earn a living financially but more importantly, they earn a lifestyle that is built on their terms.
“Whenever I hear a story like this, that Motives has the power to change a life, it reminds me that every day I wake up has meaning,” Loren affirmed. “I do not need an alarm to wake me up because when you have passion, every morning you can jump out of bed by yourself. If you have no meaning in life, you will be lost. You must know your ‘why’ for reaching your dreams and goals.”
For Loren, the best part of Motives is its ability to give women the opportunity of a successful career; join an international group of like-minded people; and learn, with entrepreneurs all over the world, to control their time and finances. It is really wonderful!
Love and support each other through life’s challenges
Looking at Loren, who is always energetic with a big smile, I cannot help wonder how she overcame difficulties during the 26 years of building a business, and how she, as a wife and a business partner, encourages JR when he is low. “I’m not that kind of wife who makes coffee, makes the bed or gives massages to my husband,” Loren said. “I give him a spiritual massage.”
Indeed, for couples who love each other, work together and run a business together, sometimes there are still bad days, or times when things don’t go as planned, and there will be chaotic moments. At such times, the best place to talk is in the bedroom, Loren said. “We need to talk to each other in person, not by phone or email, but face-to-face communication. The more successful you are, the harder it is to have private time, because there will always be people around. At night, no one would come to our room. Bed time is our meeting time. I will ask JR, ‘How are you today? What happened? What about the children? What has been troubling you? If you want to rest tonight, then rest; tomorrow is a new day.’” Loren and JR are always encouraging each other with the reminder that “our goal is only one step away!"
The biggest challenge of Loren’s life came in 2013, when she began to feel pain at the back of her head. Even though she had seen doctors and had several brain scans, they still could not discover what was wrong. However, she felt there was something wrong with her head. One day as she was in her office doing a video conference, she suddenly felt very uncomfortable. She then saw her hands turning grey. She recalls that it looked like she had just touched a newspaper. She was scared. “What is wrong with me?” she remembered thinking. “I have never seen symptoms like these. I had a bad feeling.”
She went to a hospital again for a thorough exam that found there was indeed something bad in her brain, and she needed surgery. However, there was no doctor who was willing to do surgery for her because they felt it was too dangerous. But she finally found a doctor in New York who was willing to do the operation.
The doctor told Loren that he could not do the brain surgery directly. Instead, the doctor advised it should start from her leg. Loren remembers that before the surgery, the doctor told her that it is very dangerous, and she might not recover; if she did, she may not remember her child and husband.
“I have never cried in front of JR, my daughter, or my siblings because I am very strong,” Loren said. “When I heard the bad news, I thought, ‘What should I do? How do I get through this?’ I wrote a letter to JR. I hoped that he would not cry, so that I would not cry. I needed him to be strong, so that I could be strong, and my daughter would not cry. I did not want to make her feel that her mom may leave her.” When JR finished reading this letter, he stepped out of the room, his eyes full of tears. He told Loren, “I read the letter. We must be optimistic. You do not have one doctor, you have a 20-doctor team.”
On the morning of the operation, Loren did not want to see her family cry. She wanted everything to “go now!” and did not want to give herself time for hesitation. She recalls saying that morning that “fear will not change anything. I told JR, ‘I hope you will give me a hug and tell me you can’t wait to see me.’” The operation was successful; everything turned out to be OK.
When I heard this story, I could not help saying to Loren, “JR is really lucky to have married you! You are so strong!” There’s a saying that there’s a woman behind every successful man. But Loren does not stand behind JR: She walks with him side by side through the highs and lows of their career and life. She demonstrates great vitality, living the spirit of Motives and bringing women plentiful spiritual strength!
Thank you Elle Taiwan for the opportunity to inspire other women as a leader and female entrepreneur. I had so much fun on this shoot.