VALDÉ CEO & FOUNDER
Margarita Arriagada has spent three decades discovering and cultivating many of the great designers, artists and founders in beauty, fashion and home interiors. Now, she introduces us to an incredibly unique beauty brand…her own.
As a merchandising and brand development expert, you’ve collaborated with many company founders. Was starting your own business a long-time goal?
The thought had never crossed my mind. I am grateful to have had many leadership roles, but the truth is I spent most of my career in the corporate world following someone else’s vision. Like many women, I went through the motions, weighed down by fear and self-doubt, never allowing myself to really dream. People often had more faith in me than I had in myself! My mother’s passing was an emotional turning point. At the top of my career, I left my job, pressed pause, and stopped to listen to my inner voice that said…it’s time. I gave myself the space to face my fears, embrace risk and begin the journey of self-discovery. This journey led me to create Valdé.
What do you hope to accomplish with Valdé?
Valdé began as an homage to my mom. She charted her own course, never letting herself be defined by someone else even in the face of hardship and uncertainty. Self-determination was her path to liberty, to happiness, and it sparked a confidence that attracted everyone to her. This inner strength is what made her beautiful. Nothing is more irresistible than having the self-assurance and courage to make and re-make yourself.
Valdé is my artistic tribute—a call to action for women to overcome fear, strip away preconceptions and write your own destiny. To be very you. The freedom to discover who and what you want to be is the ultimate gift a woman can give herself. It is the legacy my mom left me…and the one I wish to leave my daughter.
As a child, I would marvel at my mother’s ever-present ritual of applying lipstick. It was like a glamorous coat of armor…a way to project her femininity and inner strength as she battled to create a new life for herself and her children. Valdé celebrates this spirit of self-determination and every woman’s personal journey to self-discovery. A lip print is as unique to you as your fingerprint—lipstick a way to be you with emphasis.
A typical lipstick takes 6-12 months to develop…why did Valdé require 4 years?
Nothing of how this brand came to be is conventional, yet every detail intentional. We wanted to create a unique vessel, which we have named Valdé Armor, to encase our interchangeable, refillable lip products. However, a system that could accommodate different formats like lipstick, gloss and balm did not exist. It took a full team of designers and engineers several years to develop the inner workings and create a finished piece that is artistic yet seamless and reusable. Every feature has been carefully thought through from the magnifying mirror on top of the Armor to the secure click of the refill in the tube. This is the opposite of disposable beauty.
Valdé Armor is intended to become an extension of the woman who carries it, an external manifestation of her inner strength and beauty. That is why we offer personalization and there is no overt branding. We took no shortcuts, made no compromises—Valdé is a precious gift to yourself or someone you wish to honor or inspire. Likewise, our formulas are crafted to be timeless and selected to emphasize you…rather than a passing trend.