Wende Zomnir

Wende Zomnir

Founding Partner and CEO

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.


My road in life has been direct.
Growing up in Texas in the 80’s, makeup was always a big part of my life.
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.
I worked at an ad agency in Chicago after college and learned the basics of marketing.
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.
We launched Urban Decay in 1996 with a line of 10 lipsticks and 12 nail polishes.
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.
L’Oreal acquired Urban Decay in 2012. Now, I focus more on big picture ideas and supporting my team.
Keep following my journey


Founding Partner and CEO

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

Career Roadmap

My work combines:
My work combines:
Being Creative

Day to Day

My day isn't very task oriented unless I’m shooting a video or doing a PR event, and then its highly structured. What I love is that my job is so different all the time. In the beginning I was basically laying out boxes, figuring out UPC codes and focusing on every little minute detail, and now it’s much more big picture. It’s a lot of creative collaboration with different teams and making sure I’m there for my employees when they need support or need to bounce ideas off someone.

Advice for Getting Started

Here's the first step for everyone

Getting a business off the ground is going to require more work and innovative problem-solving than you think, so buckle down. Practice saying no to things. A lot of people feel obligated to do certain tasks or feel backed into a corner, so learn how to evaluate what’s really necessary and find balance.

Recommended Education

My career is related to what I studied. I'd recommend the path I took:


The Noise I Shed

From Society in General:

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

Challenges I Overcame

Gender Discrimination
Work Stress
Working Parent