Beauty bosses come in many forms! While we’ve been celebrating the women behind our favorite hair and beauty brands, the business of beauty stretches much further. We’ve also got our eyes on those who help gets those brands in front of customers and people talking about them. That’s why this month’s Beauty Boss is RoseMarie Reyes. As the founder of boutique agency Handz Dirty Public Relations, the rising publicist works with a growing list of beauty and health brands to get them maximum exposure.
Her experience, both behind the scenes and on camera; her expanding list of powerhouse contacts; and her exposure to A-list celebrities are what set RoseMarie apart from other publicists. With celebrities like Kelly Rowland, Naturi Naughton and Tamar Braxton rocking products from her clients, the company has a strong foundation to continue growing. And, as her company name suggests, RoseMarie isn’t afraid to put in the work and break a sweat.
Hype Hair: Let’s allow our audience to get to know you a bit, shall we?
RoseMarie: My pleasure! I was born and raised in Brooklyn with strict Dominican parents who, still to this day, do not speak English. Sadly, my father was absent throughout my upbringing. Naturally, I rebelled against my mother’s tough-love style of parenting. In retrospect, I dearly love her for keeping me on the straight and narrow.
HH: Did you ever think you would be running your own public relations firm back then?
RM: Never. Until seven years ago, when I launched Handz Dirty Public Relations (HDPR), the thought had not crossed my mind.
HH: How exactly did you get into public relations?
RM: The owner of the luxurious wig brand Sassy Secret needed some assistance in generating media and press coverage. I believed in the brand and decided to dive into it. Fortunately, I had already developed media contacts in the beauty space and thought of myself as an asset to this brand. In addition, my mentor at the time and now best friend gave me the chance to expand into the public relations field. He helped guide me along the way. He believed in me and introduced me to multiple brands that subsequently became clients.
HH: We have to ask what inspired your company’s name?
RM: Initially, I came up with a few names. I settled on Handz Dirty because I knew I would not be shy about rolling up my sleeves, digging in and getting my hands dirty on behalf of my clients.
HH: Tell us about your current clients.
RM: I am very fortunate. My first four clients have stayed with me from the onset of HDPR. I represent clients whose product/service orientation is in hair care, cosmetics, skin care, travel and lifestyle, photography and fundraising.
HH: What precisely do you do, public relations–wise, for your clients?
RM: I provide quite a wide range of services—everything from leveraging my portfolio of beauty influencers to tout client(s) product line(s) to orchestrating campaign shoots and seeking potential brand ambassadors to securing TV appearances, radio interviews and print and digital placements to producing electronic press kits, revamping websites, setting up trade shows and support, rolling out new product launches and securing celebrity endorsements. In a nutshell, all the behind-the-scenes work that ultimately gets more eyeballs on the client’s products and/or services.
HH: What’s your most fulfilling accomplishment?
RM: There are really two! Personally, it is being able to give back to the young Latino/African American community. Several times a year, each year, I team up with Progress High School in Brooklyn. I am able to bring in celebrities to deliver inspirational/motivational messages to those students who are most in need. Professionally, it is the end result of gaining my clients national exposure on major television networks, including CNN and ABC, in addition to securing placements in prestige publications such as Elle, Cosmopolitan, Teen Vogue and Hype Hair!
HH: Where do you see HDPR in five years?
RM: People tell me all the time, “You are doing so well in such a short period of time, why don’t you hire a few talented people and expand?” To that I say: No! I prefer to keep HDPR as a boutique firm: small enough for me to be personally involved with all my clients on a granular level and be immersed in the projects and campaigns they entrust HDPR with. I intend to keep my hands dirty for a long time! [Laughs.]
HH: Where can we see more of your work?
RM: Go to handzdirtypr.com.