Diversity Woman Magazine

FALL 2013

Leadership and Executive Development for women of all races, cultures and backgrounds

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We Mean Business > VERA MOORE Lights, Camera, Action Vera Moore took the lessons she learned on Broadway to create a cosmetics and beauty empire void in the market for a quality product for the ethnic market, people of color, especially of a darker hue," she says. "Tat was the genesis of Vera Moore Cosmetics." Launched in 1979, Vera Moore Cosmetics has expanded from makeup products sold in 2 stores to 52, including the national retailer Walgreens. Today she continues to be an advocate for women-owned businesses, as she grows her brand. Most By Tamara E. Holmes unning a business is like performing on Broadway, says Vera Moore, president and chief executive ofcer of Vera Moore Cosmetics. "You've got to have tenacity, you've got to be disciplined, and you've got to be able to take rejection." Moore should know. Not only did the entrepreneur once serve as an understudy to Melba Moore in the Broadway musical Purlie Victorious, but she broke barriers as one of the frst African American women to land a contract role on a soap opera when she portrayed nurse Linda Metcalf on Another World in the 1970s. It was while working on Another World that Moore was bit with the entrepreneurial bug. Tere were no makeup products for women with darker skin, so CEO Woman she sought to create a foundation that wouldn't rub of on her character's nurse uniform on national television. "I realized there was a R di ve rs i tywoman. com recently, her company became the ofcial makeup sponsor for Miss Black Illinois. Her products are used on stage, screen, and television. Diversity Woman spoke with Moore about breaking barriers, evolving as a businesswoman, and her desire to uplift others. Diversity Woman: You started your career as an actress. Was acting your initial career dream? Vera Moore: A lot of us young black ladies started in the church. I was a singer in my church choir. I always had a desire to be in the theater. I got an opportunity to do Broadway. Ten I had an opportunity to audition for Another World, and it wasn't easy. A lot of people were auditioning for the role. But eventually, you keep throwing things against the wall and something sticks. And I was able to get it. It was exciting because they were starting a black family. It was the frst black family on Another World. DW: How did your acting career prepare you for your role as a businesswoman? VM: In theater, you audition, and you know what they say to you? Tey say, "Oh it's not what I'm looking for, thank you." Meanwhile, you prepared weeks and weeks for this audition. So you have Fa ll 2 0 1 3 DI V E RSI T Y W O MAN 23

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