After 15 years in the beauty industry, Crystal Fox saw her livelihood and the industry she loved come to a screeching halt in 2020. Due to the pandemic, the beauty locations she advised were shuttered. However, Fox found a new way to serve her market—insurance.
Founder and Creator
After 15 years in the beauty industry, Crystal Fox saw her livelihood and the industry she loved come to a screeching halt in 2020. Due to the pandemic, the beauty locations she advised were shuttered. However, Fox found a new way to serve her market.
“When your job is to travel and do makeup and you can’t travel, everything is shut down and no one is really wearing makeup anymore, you have to pivot and figure out the next step,” Fox says. “So, I started at The Smith Sawyer Smith Agency in October 2020, working in the claims department.”
After a month at the agency, Fox noticed it did not write beauty policies. Encouraged by the initial support from one of the managing principals, Fox founded Beauty Queen Insurance, which is a division of the agency.
What do you bring to the beauty industry?
I love that I can be an advocate and explain the options and the premium. I can give a client an idea of how much the premium will be and what coverages they will need.
How do you serve your niche?
I can go anywhere I need to get the right coverage for clients. Currently, no standard carrier likes to cover permanent makeup, injectables such as Botox and fillers, or medical spa services, so you have to go to the excess & surplus market, which takes a little bit more time and effort.
Because the insurance industry is still new to the niche, we’re continuing to see it build out. Some exclusions are starting to pop up in certain policies and certain services aren’t being covered going forward. While the changes are minimal, they’re always evolving.
Every state has different requirements for beauticians. Some of them require a certain amount of in-person training and a certain number of live models to be completed. Some of them don't require anything. In the ones that don't, the premiums are much higher because there's more liability, so you're very limited on where you can go.
A positive change would be having a standard carrier relationship where we could cover permanent makeup or at least permanent jewelry. That would be truly amazing and a great change that we could work on. Right now, we have two carriers that we have a great relationship with for medical spa coverage. But again, it comes back to one of the toughest things: every state having different regulations.
Being in the beauty industry and the founder of an agency division?
This just kind of organically happened for me and I love it because I can still be in beauty and also in insurance. I'm involved in meeting people and anytime I go into salons and see new products or a product I love, it really creates that camaraderie when I say things like, 'I didn't know you had this brand, this is awesome, I love this product.' Clients realize that I'm not just an insurance agent, I'm an agent that knows the beauty industry.
Advice for getting into the industry?
Work with an agency that's open to where you would want to grow or where to want to go. Maybe start as a producer and, if that isn't for you, have a conversation and make sure the agency is open to a change. Make sure you have access to the different roles, you understand them and how they work.
Also, I couldn't really do anything without my license. I started in October 2020 and had my license by December. I realized that I really couldn't do much until I was able to produce, prospect and to do things to grow the brand. After that I was able to dedicate myself to growing the business and getting the brand out there.
Beauty Queen has seen a lot of growth over the past two years. It's amazing to see how far the division has come with support and referrals. It just blows my mind how it's taken off and hopefully it just keeps growing.
In the future, I'd love Beauty Queen Insurance to be like the Mary Kay of insurance and for it to be the name for beauty insurance. I'm also just excited to see where we end the year—hopefully in all 50 states and maybe someday I can dream that a standard carrier will write permanent makeup.
Olivia Overman is IA content editor.