Doe Deere’s New Beginnings: Momtrepreneur in a Family Business

Makeup Maven and founder of Lime Crime, Doe Deere, welcomed her daughter, Loreli Elita, into the world last Friday, September 21st.

Deere’s daughter was carried by a surrogate due to medical complications that made pregnancy a risky choice for Deere herself. Deere was open about her choice to use a surrogate, taking to Instagram a couple months ago to explain her decision and open up about her experience. Lorelai is Deere’s first child.

Around the time that Deere announced the impending bundle of joy on Instagram, she also notified the public about her choice to step down from some of her roles at Lime Crime to launch a new venture. It’s truly a time of beginnings.

Because of her willingness to share her life with the public, Deere invites us along for a new journey. Her commitment to starting her boutique jewelry line, Poppy Angeloff, with a new addition to the family, highlights the experience of momtrepreneurs everywhere.

Deere is joined on this journey by her sister, Kat Dey. Deere is as enthusiastic about the family involvement as she is the jewelry itself. The foundation of this business is strong and full of love.

Also Announcing Poppy Angeloff

Poppy Angeloff is Deere’s other new announcement. She founded the jewelry brand with her sister, Kat Dey.

All the women in my family are petite, so the catalyst behind our jewelry company is that we couldn’t find intricate jewelry to flatter our small hands,” Kat says. “And I can’t wait for people to watch this fairytale unfold. – Kat Dey, Petite Studio

Kat is also a new mom, so these sisters will be running the business with babies on their knee. This is familiar to thousands of women across the world. The energy behind this venture is, therefore, full of hope, love, excitement and the genuine creativity that comes from those feelings.

By the way, Deere’s and her husband’s cats are also a part of the family business. There will soon be one more in the household to show them some love.

The company, which Deere is marketing creatively as usual, is still in its infancy. Access is exclusive; she calls it an ‘invisible’ online boutique and in the beginning at least, it’s invite only.

Entrepreneurship is a lifelong passion of mine. I constantly look for what’s missing in the market and think about the next innovation. Listen to your inner voice and pay close attention to what you like and what you want to exist. Then go out and make it happen! – Doe Deere, Stylist

This is a smart marketing tactic that has served Deere well in the past. She’s currently nurturing a following for the brand’s Instagram page and showing off designs and prototypes on her own account.

She was seen in the comments of her personal Instagram page and the Poppy Angeloff page reaching out to long time supporters to assure them they’ll love the brand’s aesthetic.

doedeere@taramisioux You of all people will like it! 💖 Can’t wait to share. It’s going to be fun being mommies and juggling our businesses…

The page’s first post explained her vision:

Pansy: the ever-blooming symbol of Poppy Angeloff. You’ll see it adorning our packaging, website and even incorporated into the designs. Did you know that back in Victorian times, pansies meant ‘I love you’ or, rather, ‘I think of you’? Because when drooping, a wild pansy flower resembles the downcast head of a person absorbed in thought.

[H]onestly the best advice that I can give is to follow your heart because I believe that every person has something special about them – some kind of unique skill or quality that only they have in the world. And when you tune into that, that’s when you really start to blossom and reach your truest potential. I like to say “go where you love” and just really explore that. It’s important to be n touch with yourself and to really know yourself to provide the best value because even though growing up we feel, at least I felt, I was very different and alone in much of my thinking perhaps. But I learned later on, not at all, I was part of the universe just like everyone else and things that I felt strongly about lots of other people felt the same way and that’s how Lime Crime the makeup company was born. – Doe Deere, Guest of a Guest

The aesthetic will appeal to anyone who wants a touch of femininity and beauty in their life.

Who is Doe Deere?

In 2008, Doe Deere, whose legal name is Xenia Vorotova, was a newcomer to the cosmetic space but extremely familiar with how to reach people online. In fact, she could be one of the first online influencers.

Deere was a popular user on LiveJournal and MySpace and cultivated a large community of followers who identified with her. In those early days, Deere sold vintage and reconstructed clothing on eBay going by the name Thunderwear!, eventually becoming Lime Crime.

Along the way, she shared some of her music with her followers as well. That’s actually when she christened herself Doe Deere. She also met now husband, Mark, when the pair were in a band together. For Deere, the music really inspired her creative and entrepreneurial journey.

Deere began shooting makeup tutorials and posting them on her Livejournal. By October of 2008,  Lime Crime cosmetics launched with a number of eyeshadows, a primer, glitters, and brushes.

Being a musician helped me learn things such as gorilla marketing and taught me to show appreciation to the people who come out to your events. That’s how I started out, with dreams of being a musician. Somehow, I ended up in makeup… But I have always been entrepreneurial. I had my first little business back in Russia when I was 13 years old, selling temporary tattoos to classmates, which was novelty at the time. I popularized them by wearing them myself and insisting that temporary tattoos are cool. – Doe Deere, Guest of a Guest

Lime Crime grew quickly thanks to the cult following Deere had been long nurturing. Its humble beginnings have always stayed close to Deere’s heart and mind.

How Doe Deere Already Gave Birth to an Iconic Cosmetics Company

The Lime Crime vision was fanciful, saturated withcolor, and magical. Deere somehow rode the line of childish fancy and grown-up girl power. In the beginning, her wares appealed to subcultures like the Dollies, the Lolitas, the Punks, the Goths, and anyone who has ever gone to a festival.

While the rest of the cosmetics market was subdued, Lime Crime offered a chance to play, be creative, and show individuality. Some even trace the inception of the still popular unicorn aesthetic to Deere and Lime Crime.

At the same time, Deere’s creativity was grounded by staple products like Lime Crime’s Velvetine lipstick. Yet again, Deere was innovating, delivering one of the first matte liquid lipsticks to the mainstream market.

In truth, Lime Crime was also one of the first indie beauty brands to achieve success through online sales. Long before Instagram, Doe Deere had figured out how to use the power of the internet and online communities to build a successful brand.

After nurturing a cult following with an ever expanding line of cosmetics products, retailers like Nasty Gal, ModCloth, Dolls Kill, and Urban Outfitters picked up the brand.

Doe Deere has always been publicly committed to cruelty free makeup. Because being a vegan and animal lover is a huge part of her identity, it quickly became part of the brand’s as well. In an age when there were scant few options for socially conscious glam lovers, Lime Crime forged ahead with a vision that was before its time.

This reflects my personal attitude towards things like animal testing as well as the goals of the brand. We do a lot of animal related charity work, so it made sense for us to be completely vegan and cruelty free. – Doe Deere, Stylist

In contrast, the Poppy Angeloff brand is a bit softer, a bit more feminine, and more refined. In Deere’s usual style, she infuses a playful energy into the designs so they’re full of color and never stiff. Based on antique aesthetics with a focus on the beauty of nature, Poppy Angeloff’s almost Victorian style feels like a natural next step.

They’re not closing the door on their first baby, Lime Crime, however. They’re an asset to the company and will remain involved.

A Deere in Transition

Doe Deere recently announced a change in her role at Lime Crime. She explained that she and husband would remain on the board but were stepping down as head of the company. They reassured their customers that the brand’s commitment to cruelty free beauty would remain.

Deere also said the pair will remain a presence in developing new products, social campaigns, and as consultants.

Rest assured, that both Mark and I will maintain an active role at Lime Crime as members of its board of directors! As founders, we are the guardians of this brand and it’s our job to ensure that the original animal-friendly values and culture of female empowerment and radical inclusion remain intact. We’ll provide key insight and guidance to the team to ensure we remain mindfully committed to our brand’s mission, and you–our loyal fans. I will also still happily contribute to product development and even pitch in on Social Media sometimes. We may no longer be in charge of the day-to-day, but our hearts and minds are still passionately invested in Lime Crime.

Tengram is strengthening Lime Crime’s commitment to providing cruelty-free, Vegan-friendly products and will not compromise quality, value, nor our whimsical trademark. Mark and I were very careful in vetting potential partners. We chose Tengram because they understand that these commitments are essential to Lime Crime’s identity, and therefore to its long-term success. We also personally interviewed and approved Stacy Panagakis, our new CEO – whom we adore! Mark and I are so proud of what we’ve built… a truly unique brand, a liberating company culture, an amazing team, and a global fanbase – which includes you! I am looking forward to working closely with the brilliant professionals at Tengram, and providing you with more of what you love!

Finally, as a perpetual thinker & tinkerer, I’m already working on a new project — POPPY ANGELOFF is a collection of fine jewelry for those who want something different. There’s a big emphasis on color and symbolism in my designs, as I believe that jewelry reveals something about us, often acting as a ‘secret handshake’ to like- minded individuals. Our Invisible Online Boutique will only be accessible to those with a KEY in the beginning. – Doe Deere, Instagram

Panagakis released a statement saying she is, “delighted to be joining the company at this pivotal moment. Lime Crime is a millennial brand with a message that resonates with women everywhere – ‘it’s OK to be bold, experiment and have fun!’” She concluded by saying, “Lime Crime will continue to be a brand that stands apart, fulfilling its mission to revolutionize makeup, empower women and smash traditional boundaries.”

Who is Tengram?

Tengram is a private equity firm that invests in the consumer retail space. Tengram’s past investments include DevaCurl and Laura Geller Beauty. They currently invest in ThisWorks and Cos Bar, among others.

Spokespeople from the company released statements illustrating their understanding of the brand and hopes for the future.

Lime Crime is truly unique among beauty brands, with a powerful following and a deep understanding of its consumers and their expressive approach to cosmetics. We have tremendous appreciation for what Doe, Sasha Valentine and the team have built over the past ten years: a revolutionary brand that empowers consumers to express themselves and inspires them to push past the traditional limits of beauty. In an era of beauty brand proliferation, Lime Crime’s authenticity and innovation stands above the rest. Lime Crime is a tremendous fit in our strong portfolio of beauty brands, and we look forward to leveraging our experience to help the Lime Crime team achieve its growth prospects. – Richard Gersten, Tengram Partner

All signs point to a smooth transition for Deere and Dumbleton. Fans of the Lime Crime brand can also move forward confidently. It sounds like everyone on board is invested integrity of the brand’s identity and its continued success.

Next Level Nesting

Things are changing for Doe Deere and not just as a result of impending motherhood. She has a new venture that reaches back to her roots in fashion design as well as new home she is decorating in her signature style.

Deere has been slowly debuting the romantically feminine creation in equal measure with teasing the Poppy Angeloff launch.

In a way, the home extends the Poppy Angeloff brand. It drips with color and floral accents and inspiration. There is plenty of green, a color that Deere describes as her ‘power color’ which she relates back to gemstones. The glimmer of metallic accents are warm and antiqued.

It’s clear that she and Mark are positively steeped in the aesthetic. The new baby will only sweeten the scene.

Mark Dumbleton’s Stalwart Support

Dumbleton is no newcomer to Deere’s creative business ventures. He is the co-founder of Lime Crime and has been there from the company’s beginnings. Deere and Dumbleton have been creating together since their days in the band and the brand grew out of that connection.

The Deere-Dumbleton work style has always been to create a strong, united front. From the early days of Lime Crime, when the couple struggled to find a lab willing to handle small batches to their decision to hand over most of the reigns, they met the challenges together.

Although Dumbleton largely stays out of the public eye, he is always read to step up and publicly support Deere in her endeavors.

As their family continues to grow, the couple will rely on and benefit from Kat Dey’s shared experience.

This ‘we’re all in it together’ sentiment was expressed perfectly by fellow mom-entrepreneur, Lauren Thom, founder of Fleurty Girl.

“You have to make family a part of your business,” Thom told Entrepreneur. ”I’ve always considered my kids to be my board of directors… Make them a part of that journey.”

The Energy of New Beginnings

With all this change in Deere’s life, it would be understandable if she was taking things slow. It’s obvious by this point that she thrives on change, however. There is a palpable energy surrounding the launch of Poppy Angeloff and the new addition to the family.

She appears to have no problem multitasking, a talent that will serve her well once the baby arrives. Luckily, she has a wonderful network of support in her sister and husband. Together, they’ll share the burdens and successes of the life and business they created.

Deere’s creativity, courage and ability to ride the fickle waves of success are as much a part of her as her colorful style. She is always evolving, from music to makeup to jewelry design, and has a true gift for building an audience.

When the baby arrives, Deere’s updates will continue to bring the experience of mothers who run businesses into mainstream conversation. Just like those temporary tattoos from her childhood, she leads by example simply being herself.

Want more Doe Deere? Follow her on InstagramFacebook, and Twitter!

Written by Eric

37-year-old who enjoys ferret racing, binge-watching boxed sets and praying. He is exciting and entertaining, but can also be very boring and a bit grumpy.

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