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Wende Zomnir
Wende Zomnir

Wende Zomnir

Urban Decay

Newport Beach, CA USA

"There's always going to be noise. If you cultivate your tenacity and resourcefulness, then it doesn't matter what people will say. You will be unstoppable."

Career Roadmap

Wende's work combines: Entrepreneurship, Business, and Being Creative

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Day In The Life

Founding Partner and CEO

I foster teamwork and creativity within my company, and act as the outward face and voice of the brand.

Skills & Education

Here's the path I took:

  • High School

  • Bachelor's Degree

    Art/Art Studies, General

    University of North Texas

Here's the path I recommend for someone who wants to be a Founding Partner and CEO:

Bachelor's Degree: Art/Art Studies, General

Learn more about different paths to this career

Life & Career Milestones

My path in life has been direct

  • 1.

    Growing up in Texas in the 80’s, makeup was always a big part of my life.

  • 2.

    My dad wanted to open a sports club, but he stuck to his corporate job and it never really made him happy. That’s when I decided I wanted to work for myself and have my own business.

  • 3.

    I worked at an ad agency in Chicago after college and learned the basics of marketing.

  • 4.

    I met Sandy Lerner, founder of Cisco Systems and co-founder of Urban Decay, through friends in the mid-90s and she became my mentor.

  • 5.

    We launched Urban Decay in 1996 with a line of 10 lipsticks and 12 nail polishes.

  • 6.

    Before the days of social media, I would make press-kits in my home and cold-call buyers and magazine editors to pitch my products.

  • 7.

    L’Oreal acquired Urban Decay in 2012. Now, I focus more on big picture ideas and supporting my team.

Defining Moments

How I responded to discouragement


    Messages from Society in general:

    You don’t have what it takes to break into the beauty industry, there's no place for you.

  • How I responded:

    In the ’90s, the beauty industry was all about aspirational beauty and telling people “you’re not pretty enough, skinny enough, feminine enough, white enough- you aren't enough.” We totally flipped that on its head. We really took this whole idea of beauty and democratized it.

Experiences and challenges that shaped me

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  • I grew up in Texas in the 80’s. While my family loves me and thinks I’m smart, I think they didn’t envision much for me aside from becoming a housewife. That’s just how things were.

  • It was daunting breaking into the beauty industry. There was really no established place for “edgy” beauty, so I had to forge my own path.

  • I have two sons, and sometimes it’s difficult finding a balance between my work and personal life. My boys are proud of me, but I worry that there are some things I miss out on.