Name: Maria Maddox

Major at Baruch College and Degree Obtained: B.A. Corporate Communications

Graduation Year: 2011

School within Baruch College: Weissman School of Arts and Sciences

Company and Title: Co-Founder and CEO,

1) Tell us about your organization and your role there

Rumore - which stands for “more Russian beauty” - is the first and only Russian beauty store in the United States. I was born and raised in Russia and while I’ve been seeing beauty products from all parts of the world available to the American consumers, there were no beauty products from my home country to be found. I knew that Russian beauty industry had a lot to offer – for example, clean formulas, potent botanical ingredients that have been used by our ancestors for generations, sustainable production practices and so much more – so I decided to introduce Russian Beauty to the US market. That’s how the idea for was born and we opened our virtual doors in February 2021.

As co-founders, my husband Max Karr and I have to wear multiple hats - building an e-commerce site, curating our product assortment, working with our brand partners overseas, developing content, conducting consumer research, marketing, PR and so much more. Talk about multi-tasking! Luckily, we both come from different backgrounds that compliment each other – I’ve spent the last decade managing PR/Communications for leading beauty brands, and my husband – also Baruch College graduate with an MBA in Entrepreneurship – has years of experience in management consulting and finance.

2) What made you interested in the beauty industry and what drives you in your current profession?

I’ve landed in the beauty industry by chance when I started working at a boutique beauty and lifestyle PR agency in New York City and quickly fell in love with everything about the beauty world. As a woman, I do enjoy exploring beauty products and trying new things, but as a beauty industry professional, I love how dynamic the industry is. I love watching (and driving!) the trends that are constantly evolving, telling brand stories, unveiling new ingredients and formulations, and observing how consumers’ interests and preferences are changing overtime.

Russian Beauty is something that is widely unknown to the US consumers or consumers outside of Russia, overall. I’m driven and honored by an incredible opportunity to be the first in the US to tell the Russian Beauty story and pave the way for brands and products that deserve attention and recognition.

3) What were some unique challenges you faced in your professional career and how did you solve them?

I’ve been working in the corporate world for over 10 years, so starting my own business has been an adventure. As a new business founder, I’m learning and discovering something new every day, and I know it’s just the beginning. While my experience in PR and communications has been a huge asset, I’m very much a beginner when it comes to some other things, so I’m grateful to have my husband who brings different experience to the table and our external partners who help guide us in some areas that we’re still learning.

It’s been important for me to realize that it’s OK not to know everything – that’s simply impossible. And it’s absolutely OK to ask for help – whether it’s asking friends to take a look at your site before the launch, seeking professional expertise on a complex project, or asking industry connections for a second opinion when in doubt.

4) How was your experience at Baruch like? How did Baruch impact your life and career?

As an immigrant, my college years weren’t a breeze – I was working full-time to pay for my tuition and support myself. Regardless, I graduated with 3.9 GPA and saved some time along the way by taking 18+ credits each semester. While I may not have had a traditional student experience, studying at Baruch taught me that everything is possible – all you need is hard work, can-do attitude and determination.

These have become my core principals throughout my career in public relations and this is something that is more important that ever to me now as a business owner. Sometimes you may not have a lot of time, you may not have a lot of resources, but you just move forward because you have a goal in mind and you can reach it if you work hard and persevere.

5) What is one of your favorite memories you have from your time at Baruch?

It always felt special to be a part of the Baruch family with students and professors from all over the world. I loved the camaraderie between students. Actually, I met my best friend at Baruch in a Corporate Communications class – we’ve been friends for over 10 years!

6) What is some advice can you give to current Baruch students and alumni about working in the beauty industry/entrepreneur field of your profession?

Beauty industry is very fast-paced and calls for wearing multiple hats - no job is too big or too small. It may seem glamorous and it absolutely is, but there’s a lot of hard work that happens behind the scenes. Whether or not you’re considering a career in the beauty industry, my advice is to be curious – question the status quo, don’t be afraid to try something different, explore new horizons and most importantly, don’t limit yourself and your abilities. Being proactive and thinking outside of the box are very important qualities too, regardless of the career path you decide to choose. If you’re still in school, dedicate some time and effort to take as many internships as you can so that they could help lead you to your dream career path. Always look to expand your network and meet interesting people even if they are not from your immediate field of expertise – you don’t know what opportunities your next connection may connect you to.

7) How can people contact you? (Social Media, LinkedIn, Email)

Instagram: @maria_instalife

Email: [email protected]


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