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#LADYBOSS, #STARTUPSTORIES, Beauty, Interview, Shopping

Katia Beauchamp On How a Box Full Of Sample Sized Beauty Products Became A Billion Dollar Business

July 28, 2016

Subscriptions have definitely taken over the market, and with how convenient it has made our life, we are very happy about it. Together with her co-founder Hayley Barna, Katia Beauchamp has created Birchbox, a beauty editor approved box of samples delivered to your door every month. I mean, it’s basically like having a birthday every month. Who wouldn’t want a box full of beauty surprises to try 12 times a year? Read below to find our more about how this #LADYBOSS developed her addictive business.

What was the inspiration for Birchbox? How did you get started?

We started Birchbox while we were in business school. We had noticed there wasn’t a lot of activity happening in the beauty industry when it came to the internet, because beauty is so touch, try, and feel. So, we thought, how can we change that trajectory? The other inspiration was real life; my co-founder, Hayley, wasn’t the type of person to seek out beauty on her own, but she always had the best products because her best friend was a beauty editor. That crystallized the opportunity – we wanted to build a beauty company that could sell products online and serve as everyone’s beauty-editor best friend. We then developed the business model, which included personalized sampling for $10 a month, content to teach you about the products you received, and an e-commerce shop so you could purchase anything you really loved.

Who is the Birchbox customer and how are you able to identify the niche in market?

Our target customer is a woman we define as a “discerning multitasker”. She uses beauty in some way, shape or form, but has an average relationship with it – she’s not passionate about beauty. And she’s been underserved by the industry. Hayley and I represent this customer ourselves. We thought, why is beauty so hard? The majority of women don’t want to do the work of figuring it all out – we just want it to be as easy as possible to get the best things. So, we created a company for the majority of women, celebrating being your best self in an elevated, natural kind of way.

How has your business model changed since the beginning, how much of it focuses on the sample sizes in your boxes and how much of it is the full-sized products?

The biggest change is the growth of our e-commerce business, specifically sales of full-sized products. Our revenue split is 65% subscription and 35% full-sized product sales, which is the fastest-growing part of our company. Our goal is to become a new way to shop for beauty and to make it really fun and engaging; it’s not just about the discovery but being with the customers from the first touch all the way through the transaction. There have been other big changes such as international expansion, launching Birchbox Man, allowing customers to choose specific samples, and adapting our algorithm to personalize our boxes even further.

What was your experience like raising money? At what point did you decide to raise capital? And were there any specific markers that pointed out to you that there was a need to raise money?

We decided we were going to raise capital pretty early after we tested the concept. When we were in business school we launched a beta test to understand whether the model was viable or not. We invited 200 people to pay upfront for two months of Birchbox and had really great results. So, at that point we knew we wanted to raise some money but didn’t know if we were going to go the angel route or venture capitalist. We met with so many people and we decided to go venture capitalist, which was based on how big we thought the opportunity was. The more we realized this could be a massive company, we needed investors that could grow with us.

What do you think made Birchbox a good gamble for those investors?

A lot of it was timing – investors were looking at industries that had stagnated in terms of delivering a new customer experience. There wasn’t anyone else out there disrupting beauty retail online, and the market size and our unit economics were really strong. It wasn’t easy though until we had actual revenue and proof points to show that people would actually change their behavior and buy samples.

What are your day to day responsibilities as a founder of Birchbox?

That’s changed overtime. Hayley and I, plus our first and second and third employees did a lot of everything in the early days. I used to be the one, for several years, that was responsible for creating the relationships with beauty brands and negotiating deals. Today, my day-to-day is running and financing the business. I focus on what’s changing in the market and how to plan for that long term; continuing to make sure that our board is getting the right information that they need and to grow the board and add the right people to it. I’m more focused on longer term than I used to be.

“You have to take small steps and let the customer shape what product becomes. The sooner you can get a product to market and test it, the sooner you’ll know whether you have a product with purpose.”

What do you enjoy the most?

The people. From an internal perspective it’s so motivating to have such talented people of this caliber that really want to be here and want to work hard to build something together. It’s so inspiring. I also love rallying around our customer – the woman I spoke about earlier who has a more average relationship with beauty and has been an outsider in the category. We’re showing her that we respect her and are delivering the best experience in the most efficient way.

What are the marketing channels Birchbox is focusing on?

Mostly digital. Social is a really core place for us because it allows the customer to tell our story. We’ve also done some television and digital radio to get a wider reach.

You see everything as far as what’s out there in the beauty market, what’s your number one beauty product that you can’t live without?

Being able to get ready quickly is really important when you have so many other things to do, so dry shampoo, in my opinion, is a critical development for feminism. I don’t know what women did before it.

What tips would you give to young female entrepreneurs just starting out?

It’s important to test your idea and move from the business plan stage to actually getting real feedback from customers. To do this you need to understand and accept that, at first, it will not come close to your full vision. You have to take small steps and let the customer shape what product becomes. The sooner you can get a product to market and test it, the sooner you’ll know whether you have a product with purpose.

What were your early challenges with starting the company compared to the challenges you’re facing today?

Everything from getting brands to give us product and trust us as a marketing and retail partner to hiring and developing the team. Today, the biggest challenge is making sure we’re thinking long-term and that whatever we’re working on today is a step towards that long-term vision. Also, executing and investing in things at the right time and making sure we’re communicating effectively throughout the company so everyone is clear on the priorities.

You are extremely busy woman and a mom with twins, how do you make time for your family?

Becoming a mom made me more efficient, better at time-management and a better delegator. Before having kids it was hard to turn my brain off from work – it was always on my mind – but now I’m able to do that and it’s beneficial to the company and my life. I just try to think about what is really important and then make space for it.

What’s the company culture like? What’s it like to be a mom and work at Birchbox?

The company culture is really ambitious but also very supportive. There is a true appreciation here that new moms can be ambitious. The transition back to work is tough – it’s hard to come back those first few months and get readjusted as a working mom. Our employees understand and respect that needing more flexibility doesn’t mean they don’t have ambition.

How would you describe your leadership philosophy?

It has really changed as the company has needed it to change. The most important thing is that there is a willingness to put the company first and focus on making sure that the people working at Birchbox are getting the information and access they need to take the company to the next level. We’re the sum of our parts, so it’s important to make sure that everyone feels appreciated and empowered.

What are you looking for when you’re hiring people? Any tricks or questions?

How they problem-solve and their approach to challenges. People who have an optimistic perspective in their ability to solve problems. At the higher positions, we look for people who empower their team and give their team the support and access they need.

What are you excited about? What’s coming up on the horizon? Anything in the works you can share?

We are about to be six years old in September and anniversaries are always exciting. Plus the holidays are coming up before you know it so we’ve been working on that, and we also have several new brands and products launching in the months ahead. We’re really focused on continuing to evolve how we do things so we can surprise our customers and stay as relevant to them as possible.

Photos by Julia Elizabeth

Beauty, Business, Interview

Botanica Bazaar Is The Holistic Pharmacy That Will Leave Your Skin Glowing All Summer Long

July 27, 2016
Lelani Bishop and co-founder Bethany in front of Botanica Baazar

Treating our interiors as well as the surface is something that we hear more frequently everyday. Model turned entrepreneur, Leilani Bishop tells us that beauty comes from the inside, out and, together with co-founder Bethany Mayer, has opened Botanica Bazaar, which is curated with all of your summer beauty essentials. The beautiful shop is stocked with all natural products that will keep you radiating all year round.

Tell us the story behind Botanica Bazaar? Where did the idea come from?

The store is a passion project for both Bethany and I. We each have our own companies based in fashion and beauty and were often asked about our beauty and health routines. Having both been raised by health conscious parents and doing the same for our kids, we wanted to provide the same options to our community.

Your partner Bethany Mayer’s line Surf Bazaar has an outpost at the Surf Lodge! We’re so excited to be hosting our #STRONGLIKEAMAMA event there, it’s a pretty cool spot. Have you two had some great times there?

We have the BEST memories at SURF LODGE. For the first 2-3 years Surf Lodge was still under the radar and our good friends were the main owners. It was very special and a bit like our own social/party hangout, my husband would dj on the deck on Sundays and we had many a dance-off without having to deal with the huge crowds that exist today.

What’s it like working with your friend? How do you divide and conquer?

It’s really amazing how seamless it has been, Bethany has had so much retail experience that I feel really lucky to have her as a partner. I like to think that she is the CFO, I am the COO and we are both the CEO. We are both involved in everything, but we focus on our strengths.

Botanica Bazaar products, Shiva Rose body butter

What’s your favorite workout? How do you stay fit?

I have gotten totally obsessed with the Tracy Anderson Method, it is the perfect workout to get me through the winter. It is in a heated room and helps me build and maintain strength. I couple that with yoga and surfing.

What’s your wellness routine like?

I try to eat as many whole foods as possible, and am super into my ingestibles. I use The Beauty Chef, which is a line that promotes beauty from the gut, all of her products are probiotic based and easily assimilated into the system. I also take Royal Jelly and Sun Potion products. Not to mention I juice at home as much as possible..completely obsessed with the benefits of pineapple juice right now and add it to all my juices!

Sometimes it’s hard to bring that gap between natural beauty products and really amazing products that work, what are some of your favorites that are both?

I think that has been a problem for a while and I am seeing a whole new scientific approach to natural beauty these days. Brands have really done their homework and are creating lines that have been proven to work, creating real benefits.

One is Tata Harper’s line. Hers is an anti-aging line that has incorporated botanical ingredients that are proven to work better then synthetic ingredients would or could, because of the active ingredients in them. Immunicologie is another amazing brand that uses the benefits of clay to create effective beauty benefits, and simultaneously provides immune support reintroducing minerals into your system that act as antioxidants.

Botanica Bazaar products, purosoma resurrection bath

“I think the biggest trick I learned is that less is more and beauty comes from the inside out..it is in your attitude as well as what you put in and on your body.”

What are 3 sun products we need to scoop up now?

We love:

Pratima Rose Neem for face..

Coola and Badger or both great for kids ..

I love the zinc continuous spray by Soleil TouJours

How does community play a role in what you’re up to?

Community was the driving force behind Botanica Bazaar. We wanted to create a conversation of well being, and provide a place to take that conversation further.

Having spent your career in fashion and beauty, how do you think this influenced your beauty choices today? You must have learned some great tricks to look fresh all the time! Anything you can share with us?

I think the biggest trick I learned is that less is more and beauty comes from the inside out..it is in your attitude as well as what you put in and on your body. Things like dry brushing and keeping yourself hydrated are big components  as well as sleep, sleep, sleep and Mascara!! Love my mascara ))

What’s been your favorite new product you’ve discovered?

It is really hard to choose as each category is so great..as far as beauty though, I really love Pratima’s products and am in love with her Pearl Face Cream..which to me is as good as La Mer.

How do you do the buying for Botanica Bazaar?

To open the shop we bought lightly in each category, with a combination of both Bethany and I’s favorites. Now a lot of it is getting feedback and seeing what the needs of our customers are.

Lelani Bishop and co-founder Bethany in front of botanica bazaar

What’s a perfect day in Amagansett for you?

I love waking up and biking to the beach for a walk and a dip. Then I come home to shower and make a juice or smoothie, after which I bike to the shop and work there for a bit. I either end the day with a surf in Montauk or swinging by a farm stand to grill up some fresh fish and veggies for dinner with friends.

Three places we need to check out in Amagansett?

Honestly there are so many great places..it is hard to choose..

Clothes you have ..TIINA, Ganeaux, Rube

Food… Hampton Chutney, Cavinolas, Marys Marvelous

Home.. Lazy Point, French Presse, THE LINE

 

You can learn more about Leilani here.

#FeelGoodMama, Balance, Beauty, Health

Not Just Juice: Amanda Chantal Bacon, Founder of Moon Juice, Shares Her Secrets To Good Health

June 16, 2016
Screen Shot 2016-06-16 at 9.05.52 AM

Los Angeles by way of downtown New York City, Amanda Chantal Bacon is the green juice goddess. No really, she swears by the stuff and after realizing her love for all things green and good-for-you, this healthy hot mama decided to make it her business. In 2012, Amanda opened the first Moon Juice in Venice Beach, CA and the company is now a cult favorite of health conscious celebrities including Gwyneth Paltrow and Shailene Woodley. Celebrity followers aside, the real reason heymama loves Amanda Chantal Bacon is that she has taken her passion for a healthy lifestyle and used it to help others feel better through food! Read on to learn more about Amanda, Moon Juice, and why YOU should start rubbing carrot oil on your face.

 

1.  How did you go from chef to making juice? Was this an easy jump to make or did people think you were crazy?

I started Moon Juice in 2012. I was a chef and had worked with Alice waters and Suzanne Goin and was poised to open a restaurant in LA. Through divine inspiration I took a brief pause to really open myself up to what was truly needed in the world and how to use my voice to change it. I wanted to bridge the gap between the healing world and the foodie world as I had done for myself.

Amanda Chantal Bacon Moon Juice

 

2. How do you start your day? What is a typical breakfast like for you?

A warm morning chi drink on way to school drop off, I drink it in the car! It contains more than 25 grams of plant protein, thanks to vanilla mushroom protein and stone ground almond butter, and also has the super endocrine, brain, immunity, and libido- boosting powers of Brain Dust, cordyceps, reishi, maca, and Shilajit resin. I throw ho shou wu and pearl in as part of my beauty regime. I chase it with three quinton shots for mineralization and two lipospheric vitamin B-complex packets for energy.

3. What’s your advice on staying healthy when you’re really busy?

I work non-stop and have a three-year-old, I’m on a mission and its go, go, go. My body and brain couldn’t keep up with my life if I were on a low fat diet. I have personally felt the effects of getting enough good fat into my diet and it has radically enhanced my energy, stabilized hormones, and nourished the nervous system. Also, setting your pantry up with a bunch of the staples and eating a lot of live food is easier than cooking meals every day.

 I have personally felt the effects of getting enough good fat into my diet and it has radically enhanced my energy, stabilized hormones, and nourished the nervous system.

Amanda Chantal Bacon Moon Juice

4. I just read an interview where you outline your meal plan for the day and felt instantly jealous and inadequate thinking about my carb and take out filled food day. What are two quick healthy changes a New Yorker on the go can make to her diet?

Eat more live food – even if that means sprinkling some fresh herbs on your pasta. Also, adaptogenic herbs are the most important group of herbs to take in the now age; they’ve been treasured in Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine for centuries, to boost energy and resilience. Adaptogens not only increase the resistance to the negative effects of long-term stress, but can relax you and energize you at the same time, while also being tonic, meaning they are immune-stimulating and increase your peace. I am always snacking on adaptogenic herb mixes. You start your day with something that’s so heavy with these herbs that have so many minerals, aminos and adaptogens that really get into your system. Something like my morning drink which is loaded with good, raw, healthy fat, so you’re feeling great. You’re not feeling like you need to have that bagel and cream cheese or the crash after coffee. So it’s snacking but it’s a purposely potent snacking. All you need in most cases in ½-1 tsp so a jar can last you months!

Adaptogens not only increase the resistance to the negative effects of long-term stress, but can relax you and energize you at the same time, while also being tonic, meaning they are immune-stimulating and increase your peace. I am always snacking on adaptogenic herb mixes.

 Amanda Chantal Bacon Moon Juice

5. What are some things we can keep in our pantry to create healthy simple meals?

Fresh herbs and organic vegetables, fermented veggies, good quality olive oil and sea salt.

6. What’s been your biggest pinch me moment?

Every day on this ride of my life called Moon Juice!

7. You opened you first store while you were pregnant? What was that experience like? How did you juggle everything with no sleep?

I found out I was pregnant with my son Rohan a week after I signed the lease on the first Moon Juice Shop, on Rose Avenue in Venice. It was the size of a shoebox, but as a New Yorker, I knew that small and cramped could work. What I didn’t know was how I could possibly nurture and give birth to both a human and a business at the same time. Once Rohan was born, I barely slept, I would get up in the middle of the night to feast on juices, avocados, and coconut yogurt to feed my own body as I was providing sustenance to my ravenous baby boy. I was completely energized by the bliss of birth and meeting Rohan and of seeing my dream become a reality, I will never be able to separate the birth of my child from the birth of Moon Juice, but it was a time that really pushed me to put these foods and herbs that I believed in really on the line.

Once Rohan was born, I barely slept, I would get up in the middle of the night to feast on juices, avocados, and coconut yogurt to feed my own body as I was providing sustenance to my ravenous baby boy.

Clair de Lune – it’s a collaboration I did with Odacite. It’s a box set that comes with a little spray made of Bulgarian organic rose and fresh aloe that you spray on your face. And then I take two to three drops of the pressed wild carrot seed oil and I spread it with my fingertips on my face. It’s like juice for your face. It’s not cut with anything. It smells like a perfume-y dirt. I put this on three times a day and it just sinks in and is on par with my advocating for us to be eating good raw fat internally, we should also be putting pure essential oil onto our face. I think that we were all taught in the ’90s if you eat fat you get fat and if you put fat on your face, you get pimples. Both of those things are incorrect. Part of doing this collaboration was to get the re-education of anointing ourselves with oil.

I think that we were all taught in the ’90s if you eat fat you get fat and if you put fat on your face, you get pimples. Both of those things are incorrect.

The other thing I drink all day long is Beauty Dust, which has schizandra, pearl and goji mixed with water. I just tap it into a water bottle, though you can do it hot or cold. Skin and hair love it. I don’t brush my hair or put anything in it. I feed my hair from the inside and the Beauty Dust keeps it shiny and lustrous throughout the seasons. It’s like drinking the new-age version of Snapple iced tea all day.

I feed my hair from the inside and the Beauty Dust keeps it shiny and lustrous throughout the seasons. It’s like drinking the new-age version of Snapple iced tea all day.

To learn more about Moon Juice visit their site here.

#LADYBOSS, Beauty, The Great Jane

#LADYBOSS: Alli Webb Founded Drybar, Wrote A Book, And Has A $70 Million Business

April 22, 2016
Alli Webb

After years of struggling and finally learning to manage her unruly curls, Alli Webb founded Drybar, and man are we thankful! From starting a business that consisted of doing her friends hair at their homes (we want a friend like that!) to building $70 million business, Alli’s #LADYBOSS interview is a must-read, and so is her new book, Drybar: The Guide to Good Hair for All! The book is what Alli calls, “the ultimate handbook,” bursting at the seams with all her tips and tricks as a stylist and life-long curly hair tamer, includes three in-depth sections featuring over 100 style-inspiration photographs and step-by–step tutorials, and is bright, happy, and fun — just like us girls after a bomb blowout!

P.S. Alli will also be participating as a panelist, along side other creative, entrepreneurial mamas, at our uber inspiring and mindful weekend retreat, The Great Jane (get your tickets here!)

1. We are so excited to read your book! Congratulations! How did it come to be?

Woman have always asked me how to make their hair look good when they blow it out themselves. When I ask them questions like, “are you sectioning at all” or “are you using the right brush size or products for your particular hair type,” I usually get a blank stare back. The truth is, most women struggle with doing their own hair (or parts of it). Which is one of the reasons I believe Drybar has resonated with so many women.  I’d love for everyone to go to Drybar 2-3 times a week and let us tame their locks, but that’s not always realistic. So when I was approached about writing this book, it felt like the perfect way to share the thousands of tips, tricks, and hair secrets that I have accumulated over the course of my career, as a stylist, and a naturally curly haired girl.

Alli Webb holding book

2. Tell us your startup story. Did you raise money? How did you get off the ground? Did you have a hard time convincing the men in your life that women would spend money on blowouts?

I have always struggled with my naturally frizzy and curly hair and I have been on the hunt for bouncy straight locks pretty much my whole life. After exploring several career paths, becoming a professional hair stylist, and then a stay at home mom, I decided to start a mobile blow dry business, Straight at Home, where I would go to all my mommy friends’ homes and blowout their hair while their babies were napping. That little side business quickly took off and it dawned on me that I was not alone in my journey for gorgeous hair. Not only was I not alone, but there was actually a big hole in the market for a place to get a great blowout in a fun, beautiful environment at an affordable price. I realized I needed to do this. So I went to my big brother and business partner, Michael Landau, to help make Drybar a reality. He put the money down to open our first Drybar location, but that definitely took some convincing! Michael (who’s bald!) worried that people wouldn’t really understand our concept of a blowouts-only salon, but he took a chance on me. My other business partner, Cameron (also bald) got it right away — he knew all too well the difference between my naturally crazy curls and the magic of a great blowout, and how happy it made me!  ‎

3. What is your philosophy as a businesswoman and as a boss?

Don’t be afraid to speak up and voice your opinions and thoughts. I think it took me some time to grow into my role and find the confidence to say what I was thinking. However, I spent a lot of years listening and learning, which is really important as well.

4. You had a career in PR before becoming a full-time hair stylist and starting a salon at your home.  What lead you to the realization that women needed a haven where they could go for just a blow dry?

When operating my mobile blow dry business, I was seeing such high demand that I could barely keep up. I asked my clients why they didn’t go to salons for their blowouts, and their answers were all the same. Their only options were to either pay way too much money for a blowout at an overpriced salon or go to an inexpensive salon and end up with a subpar blowout. So I began thinking about opening my own shop where women could get a blowout in a fun, beautiful environment, at an affordable price. That’s where the idea of Drybar was born.

5. What do you think has made Drybar so successful even as new competitors enter the market every day? What’s your recipe for success? 

I think it’s a combination of a lot of things. We put a great deal of emphasis on extraordinary customer service, training, and growing our people. We also take our 10 Core Values very seriously; one of them, “We Are Family” is another differentiator for us. When you work at Drybar, you’re part of our family and it’s nice to work somewhere that you feel taken care of.

Alli Webb at DryBar

6. We love how you really stuck to the bar concept within Drybar—the locations have bartenders and the hairstyles are named after cocktails. Where did this concept come from?

When we were first developing the idea, we went to our incredibly talented designer/architect Josh Heitler and we described, at length, our vision, which was based on so many years working at various salons and, more recently, what I witnessed visiting clients at home. ‎ First and foremost, for reasons that could (and may some day!) fill an entire book, I didn’t want Drybar to look anything like a traditional salon. ‎I also didn’t want women to be staring at themselves in a mirror while getting a blowout. ‎We wanted our clients and stylists to be able to easily interact, like you would, with your friends, at your favorite bar. I proposed the idea of it looking like an actual bar and Josh and his team took all of this in and came back to us with a bunch of different prototypes and concepts, and we all immediately gravitated to the “bar” concept and ran with it!

7. Before you started Drybar, you were a stay at home mom who started taking salon clients at home “to get out of the house.” How did that transition into a $70M business?

I was actually going to their homes :). The transition to a big business was honestly, at first, way more out of necessity than opportunity. We had this crazy busy one location in Brentwood. I remember calling Michael after about three months and saying, “can you please go find us more locations asap!” He did, and we quickly opened in Studio City, West Hollywood, and The Palisades. Fortunately, we saw the same demand and success in each new location. Michael initially thought it was “an L.A. thing,” but once we opened in Dallas, TX and Scottsdale, AZ and saw the same results, we knew we were on to something big and began to get serious about hiring a team and raising real money.

8. What 3 things would you tell a mama with a dream who wants to build her own business?

Find the right partners, especially those who are good at what you’re not. ‎In my case, it was my brother who had the business acumen and experience I lacked at the time. And for him, I brought the skills and knowledge about hair and how to operate a salon. Also, have a great support system at home so you have the time and mental energy to devote to your business.

9. What has been the biggest challenge you’ve faced in growing and scaling Drybar and how have you worked through that?

The toughest part of growing into a big company is learning to let go of things and allowing the really smart people we have hired, take the reins a bit. You just can’t be involved in and/or make every single decision. ‎ It’s still a constant struggle for me, but it’s all about ongoing communication with my team.

10. Any thoughts to expand your services?

Nope! We feel really passionate about focusing on one thing, and being the best at it! It takes a ton of time, energy, money and effort to properly execute.

11. Blowouts used to be just for special occasions. Taking time and doing something to make ourselves look and feel good can be a game changer for a mom in her self-confidence. That little bit of self-confidence could be the thing that seals the deal for her and helps her take things to the next level. Do you feel like beauty can be a powerful tool on our search for success? How do you think Drybar has changed up the game for busy women?

Our philosophy at Drybar has always been that it’s not just blowouts we’re selling, it’s confidence and happiness. I have always felt more confident and powerful when my hair looks great! I want women everywhere to be able to have that feeling every day, not just on special occasions. I know for sure that Drybar has been changing, and continues to change that behavior. We see it over and over (and over) again in every new city we come to. At first, ladies predominately come in for a special occasion or event; but then they quickly realize that coming to Drybar is fun, relaxing, affordable, and they look and feel great after, and think, “why shouldn’t I do this on a random Tuesday?!”

12. Can you tell us about your 10 core values?

As we expanded from just a handful of us to several hundred team members (can’t believe we’re over 3,000 now!) we wanted to establish a set of values to help keep us focused on the things that are really important to us, as well as to help us bring in new folks that would gel with our culture. We spent soooo much time discussing and debating internally to come up with just 10 ideals, which we now call the Drybar Heart & Soul. We still spend a lot of time talking about them and making sure we live by them. In fact, my sister-in-law, Sarah, who is our Director of Team Member Experience, recently launched an awesome program whereby people can callout a fellow team member who’s living our values by sending them a Heart & Soul card. The recipients are so touched when they receive one and if you visit any one of our shop’s back rooms you would see tons of them posted on the wall; it makes me very, very happy and proud.

13. What does it take to be a stylist at Drybar? What are you looking for?

Above all we are looking for really happy and friendly people. Of course, you have to be a licensed cosmetologist. But we know we can teach somebody how to do an excellent blowout– we’ve got that down pat! What can’t be taught, however, is how to be a nice and thoughtful human, and that’s what’s most important to us. As we say in our values, life is too short to be someplace lame.

#SOCIALBOSS, Beauty, Blogger, Fashion

#SOCIALBOSS: Tanesha Awasthi Is More Than A Girl With Curves

February 17, 2016
Tanesha Awasthi

Tanesha Awasthi wanted to be a fashion designer, stylist, dermatologist, psychiatrist, or journalist as a little girl but found a job in tech. Fast forward to her husband encouraging her to start her blog Girl With Curves and she’s all these things and more.

Tell us your story.. What’s your background and how did you get started blogging ?I’ve always been passionate about writing, skin care and psychology, but my first love is fashion and styling. I dreamt of attending fashion school in NY or LA since I was 12, but couldn’t bare to be away from my family, (I’m the oldest of 6 and we’re all very close), so I opted to go the traditional route and got a degree in English from UC Berkeley. I’m also the first in my family to attend college, so getting a degree from a traditional college was really important to my parents.
In high school I landed an internship for Johnson & Johnson as the youngest employee in the corporation and floated my way through technology positions, building a career in tech I was great at, but wasn’t fulfilling my inner need to be creative. After venting to my husband almost daily about not going after my dream to be a stylist and designer, he suggested I start a blog as a creative outlet. At the time, I had no idea there were people sharing their personal style online!

What do you think has made your site so successful? I think consistency and connecting with your audience on a personal level is key to building any type of brand. When I started the blog in 2011, I didn’t have any plans to turn it into a business or a career, I was simply having fun being creative, but when I started receiving emails from women saying they could relate to having a curvy shape like mine and they were inspired seeing a woman who was larger than a size 6 have fun with fashion, I decided to take it a step further and offer style tips and beauty tutorials. I think that really set me apart from other bloggers at the time.

I think consistency and connecting with your audience on a personal level is key to building any type of brand.

I’ve noticed you like to do things your own way in fashion and break a lot of the “rules,” like not wearing horizontal stripes if you’re bigger than a size 2. Are there any rules you do follow in fashion?I’m all about wearing what you love with confidence, so no, there aren’t any rules I follow, but as I get older and my style gravitates towards a more sophisticated esthetic, I do find myself thinking more about what’s flattering to my figure.

Tanesha Awasthi

What are 3 essential items every girl with curves needs to have in her closet? I think every woman, regardless of shape or size, needs the exact same closet staples: a great pair of dark wash jeans, a tailored blazer and classic pointy toe pump. When you keep the base of your wardrobe classic with timeless wardrobe staples, you can easily mix in trendier, seasonal pieces according to your personal style.

How would you describe your personal style?  Modern, sophisticated, classic and ladylike, with a touch of edginess on occasion.

What’s your goal with girlwithcurves.com? I’ve recently re-branded to TaneshaAwasthi from GirlwithCurves, because I felt GirlWithCurves was much too limiting for what my brand stands for today. The content I cover and the brand as a whole has expanded and grown to include so much more than just my personal style and tips relating to being plus size. I share beauty, as well as many aspects of my lifestyle, including motherhood, travel and recipes coming very soon- I’m so much more than a curvy body, so the change just makes sense!

 

Style Icons? Audrey Hepburn, Olivia Palermo, Diane von Furstenburg. I adore women who carry themselves with confidence and have major sex appeal without showing a lot of skin, while having their own unique style.

Tanesha Awasthi

Who are the women you are most inspired by? I’m most inspired by women who are confident in their own skin and with who they are in general. So many of us grow up wanting to be like someone else and when you reach a certain age, you realize that being yourself is okay and it’s an amazing feeling to wake up everyday completely comfortable and proud of who you are. My Grandma inspires me greatly- she’s 84, in great health and never leaves the house without lipstick and accessories. She speaks her mind and isn’t concerned with what others think, although she does it with grace and elegance.

I think all women struggle with self-confidence at times no matter what their size. Do you have any ritual or something you do/wear to help you feel confidant before a big meeting or event?
I was painfully shy growing up and still get anxious before a big event or important milestone, but being a public figure sort of forces you out of your shell and has made me into a much more confident person in general. However, I enjoy relaxing and just taking time for myself before a major function or meeting. I’m super organized, so I’m typically packed a day ahead and my boys (Narayan age 2 and Kingston, English bulldog age 4) are settled in with my parents a day ahead of time, so hubby (who’s my business partner and photographer) and I can relax and rejuvenate.

Tanesha Awasthi

You work with fashion brands both in the plus size market and the straight market- what have been some of your favorite brands to work with and what did you like about the experience?
My favorite brands to work with are those that stand for the same message I aim to share with the world about beauty beyond size and self-confidence, like Dove. In terms of fashion, I really love and appreciate brands that carry a range of sizes vs. straight or plus, because they truly understand a woman’s need to have amazing options, regardless of size. Being able to collaborate with companies I respect and admire, like Old Navy, is really exciting.

Do you have any tricks for looking great in front of the camera? There are so many! I’m planning an article on how to look better in pictures with posing tricks, but the easiest one to explain without an image to demonstrate, is crossing one leg over the other vs. standing with your legs apart. This also creates a nice hourglass shape.

Pinch me moments? Going to Fashion Week as one of Tumblr’s top 20 bloggers just 5 months into my blog and meeting Oscar de la Renta, being on a Billboard in Times Square for Forever21, and my very first magazine feature which made me the first plus size influencer in the world to appear in a major publication.

 

Going to Fashion Week as one of Tumblr’s top 20 bloggers just 5 months into my blog and meeting Oscar de la Renta, being on a Billboard in Times Square for Forever21, and my very first magazine feature which made me the first plus size influencer in the world to appear in a major publication.

 

Tanesha Awasthi

Best career advice you’ve ever received? Trust your instincts.

What advice would you give to someone looking to get in to the fashion blogging game now?
Start a blog because you’re passionate about your interest or talent, not for the fame or fortune, because it’s a ton of work, time and sacrifice!

At what point in your career did you feel like you were a success? (What does success mean to you?) When I realized my work was helping women, that’s when I felt truly fulfilled in knowing I was doing something that made a difference. It’s nice to make a living out of sharing my insight on fashion, beauty and lifestyle with the world, but knowing that I’m helping and inspiring others is what makes me feel successful.

 

It’s nice to make a living out of sharing my insight on fashion, beauty and lifestyle with the world, but knowing that I’m helping and inspiring others is what makes me feel successful.

 

What did you want to be when you grew up, as a little girl? A fashion designer or stylist, dermatologist, psychiatrist and journalist, which is funny, because in a way I get to do all of those things as a fashion, beauty and lifestyle blogger!

What’s your favorite can’t live with out piece of clothing? A great pair of jeans.

You skin is glowing what’s your beauty secret? Thank you! I’m really passionate about skin care and I’m a licensed Esthetician. I got my license in Esthetics after realizing becoming a dermatologist would be too much math & science, so a license in skin care was the next best thing. I never go a moment without SPF, or to bed without removing my makeup, and I have a strict skincare routine.

What are your 5 favorite fashion-shopping sites? Nordstrom, Asos, Nine West, Eloquii, Sam Edelman.

You can see more of Tanesha on her website here, Intagram here, and her heymama profile here.

#LADYBOSS, Beauty, Health, Lifestyle, Travel

#LADYBOSS: Supergoop! Founder Holly Thaggard Works To Get Sun Protection Into Schools

November 9, 2015
Holly Thaggard

Winter is just around the corner and we’ve got you covered with our awesome package of beach ready goodies to kick-start your winter vacation. Sign up to win over $2,000 prizes from Kid & Coe, Sakara, Sunuva, Supergoop!, Lem LemMini-Mode  here. While daydreaming about a beach get-a-way and making our packing list Supergoop! always makes the list. So it was a no brainer to get them on board for our Ocean Air, Salty Hair Giveaway!

Every summer and vacation we’re really diligent about coating ourselves and our little ones in sunscreen. What we didn’t think about was all the time kids spend outside during the school day, while at the playground, with no protection at all. Holly Thaggard started Supergoop! to create feel good sun protection. She started Project Black Dot to raise awareness and get the message out that kids need to be allowed to wear sunscreen in schools; to do this in most states kids need a signed permission slip to be able to apply their own sunscreen. Project Black Dot provides a simple, sunscreen permission slip found on ProjectBlackDot.org, to tackle this issue as well as educate parents and policy makers about the importance of updating antiquated laws that exist today. Let’s protect our kids at school the same way we protect them at the beach!

 

 

What motivated you to start Supergoop!?

My close friend was diagnosed with melanoma when we were 29 years old. It was shocking to me that someone so young and healthy could get skin cancer. Through this experience I learned the alarming reality that one in five people will be diagnosed with skin caner. It’s the most common cancer in the United States and a majority of the damage that leads to skin cancer later in life is actually done during childhood as kids are exposed to 3 times more sun than adults. In exploring the market for a product that I would use to protect my family, the products that were available in suncare were chock full of harmful ingredients and simply didn’t feel good on the skin. This was my motivation to create a brand that stood for feel-good UV protection without all of the controversial ingredients.

….a majority of the damage that leads to skin cancer later in life is actually done during childhood as kids are exposed to 3 times more sun than adults.

 

How is Supergoop! different than other sun blocks on the market?

Supergoop! is 100% dedicated to delivering highly efficacious UV protection in the form of multifunctional products that feel great on the skin. Most suncare products contain skin-irritating ingredients like oxybenzone, retinyl palmitate and various parabens. While these ingredients are effective UV filters and preservative systems, they often are the agents responsible for skin irritation and potentially cancer. Supergoop! delivers not only highly efficacious UV protection without the use of these unhealthy ingredients but when you compare price per ounce, our products are only a slight premium to drugstore prices. And best of all, Supergoop! actually feels good on the skin! You want to apply your sun protection every single day when it feels good, and this daily regimen is the path we believe is going to stop the epidemic of skin cancer.

Holly Thaggard of Supergoop

Tell us your start up story? What’s your background?

I grew up wanting to do nothing but two things: be a teacher and perform as harpist. While most of my twenties were spent as a professional harpist, I did teach third grade right out of college. After my friend was diagnosed with skin cancer, I reflected back quite a bit on my time as a teacher. I realized that as an educator in the U.S., we teach kids a myriad of daily healthy habits — how to brush their teeth, wear a seat belt, look both ways when crossing the street, but healthy skincare habits were never even a consideration . I never once saw sunscreens at school yet the kids were on the playground under the intense sun at peak hours every single day. So while my time in the classroom was short, I still feel today that I’m fulfilling a life of teaching, only not from within the four walls of a classroom.

 

Where you self funded or did raise money?

Supergoop! was self funded for the first several years and well into our retail launch. I was still learning about the suncare and beauty industry and really feeling my way around and gauging consumer interest in the brand. Once we had some serious traction as a likeable and real brand in key markets, my brother invested. This investment helped me continue building on significant year over year growth and only recently we closed our Series A round that includes strategic investors in the world of beauty and personal care.

 

What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given? 

I love reading non-fiction, real stories of brand building. Pretty early on I ran across some entrepreneurial advice in that “it takes a lifetime to be an overnight success”. While I’m a big fan of Sharktank and my DVR is filled with past episodes, the perception that every company can get the awareness, the following and the revenues in a quick 15 minutes of fame can be misleading to young entrepreneurs. When starting a company, it’s important for entrepreneurs to understand and accept that it will often take 10 times longer than they expect. But, if they keep their head down, and are willing to work hard it will eventually pay off. It just might not happen tomorrow.

 

 Pretty early on I ran across some entrepreneurial advice in that “it takes a lifetime to be an overnight success”….When starting a company, it’s important for entrepreneurs to understand and accept that it will often take 10 times longer than they expect.

 

What is something in your career that you see as a marker for success, a moment you’ve had or are working towards when you feel Supergoop! is a success?

I’ve always been a big fan of writing things down. Recently my mother reminded me that my mirror in my bathroom growing up was filled with colored sticky notes that included my daily, weekly and monthly goals. I’ve definitely held myself accountable on paper to reaching very specific social and financial goals and it is always nice to reflect back and see that your hopes match a reality.

That said, one specific moment that really made me feel our brand was making a difference happened a couple of years ago while standing in the security line in the San Francisco airport with my Supergoop! tote in tow. A mother with her family in front of me noticed my tote and commented that they love Supergoop! while pulling a tube of lotion out of her handbag. Then without pause, the couple behind me blurted out their love for Supergoop! too and the gentlemen pulled a lip balm out of his pocket. It was a pretty proud moment for me.

Holly Thaggard and her family playing soccer

Do you have an advisory board? If so how did you go about building that?

My co-owner, Maria Sharapova, and I are just now today in discussion about putting a very informal advisory board together to bounce ideas around. I believe that one of the real benefits of being a young brand is that you can be quick. There really weren’t too many people early on to get in the way of the vision I had for Supergoop!. Eric Ryan and Adam Lowry, of Method, say that when you’re small, being faster than your competitors is your biggest and sometimes only advantage. I believe in this whole-heartedly.

 

What’s a good way to start talking to your kids about the dangers of the sun and applying sun block? Is there a way we can make this fun and start out kids early?

At Supergoop!, education is one of our main priorities. Healthy habits are most easily formed and followed if they are started early in life and so youth education is paramount. SPF application should be as common for kids as brushing their teeth and washing their hands. I’ve found in my own life that my children are most receptive to new habits if they feel ownership over them, so I always encouraged them to not only wear sunscreen, but in fact be the one responsible for applying it. If your children are old enough to brush their teeth, they are certainly old enough to apply their suncare.

The trick is to make it fun –which is where Supergoop! comes in. We’ve got some great ways to make getting “goop-ed up” a bit more playful. Parents can encourage their kids to make a living art project by creating fun shapes with sunscreen like squiggles, dots, stars and hearts. My daughter Emery actually loves drawing smiley faces on her pink Beauty Blender before applying to her face, neck and ears. By using a beauty tool, this makes her feel very grown up. I’ve also been known to randomly ask both of my kids if they are wearing Supergoop! at any given time of day. If they can both honestly answer yes, we drop everything and head to the toy store. This also makes them look out for each other when I’m not around because if one can’t answer yes to this question, they both lose!

 

The trick is to make it fun –which is where Supergoop! comes in…Parents can encourage their kids to make a living art project by creating fun shapes with sunscreen like squiggles, dots, stars and hearts.

 

What is you favorite Supergoop! product?

While my favorite is always the formula I’ve most recently been working on in the lab, our Sun Defying Sunscreen Oil SPF 50 is in every bag I own. I’ve always loved how bath oils feel on the skin –how luxurious and hydrating they are and how they make your skin glow. I felt if we could layer a beauty oil with a foundation of broad spectrum, high SPF protection without a drop of greasiness, we could prevent photoaging, and this would be the ultimate skincare multitasker. It is really a beautiful formulation and I’m very proud of our work on this one.

Supergoop

What sun protection should we be wearing every day? Not just when we are at the beach, but during our normal city life?

Hands down our City Sunscreen Serum SPF 30 is the holy grail of multifunction. It is super lightweight and milky and it not only protects the skin from day to day sun exposure but it also counteracts the signs of aging and acts as a great moisturizer and primer for under your foundation or CC cream. This is also the go-to product for many of our male customers. It’s not a bit shiny on the skin and doesn’t leave a white build-up on facial hair.

 

I’ve heard that some SPF’s can be bad for you. What kind of ingredients should we beware of on sunblock labels?

Steer clear of parabens, synthetic fragrances and oxybenzone. Oxybenzone, declared Allergen of the Year by the American Academy of Dermatology, has also been connected to hormone disruption and cell damage that can cause skin cancer. Another ingredient to avoid is Retinyl Palmitate (vitamin A) as studies suggest that while this is an antioxidant, it can actually accelerate growth of skin cancers. SPF’s over SPF 50 can also be irritating and the SPF benefits reach their maximum at 50.

 

How did you meet Maria Sharapova and how did you become business partners?

Maria has actually been a huge fan of Supergoop! for years. She really believed in our product line from the beginning for its efficacy and performance in high pressure situations. She also really appreciated that our formulas feel great on your skin.

When we first met in person, I think what quickly resonated with her, and ultimately why she wanted to make an investment in Supergoop!, was the realization that she could genuinely help deliver our message of skin cancer prevention and education to a larger audience and so, here we are!

kids holding signed slips

What is Project Black Dot?

Project Black Dot is our education and awareness platform that is the foundation around which we will launch various activism projects with the mission to end the epidemic of skin cancer. Maria and I are both so excited to share our passion and help start this critical conversation about skin cancer prevention while delivering simple, convenient tools to help everyone embrace healthy sun protection habits.

Our first project, Project Permission, calls attention to the current regulations on sunscreen in U.S. public schools. Because children are exposed to three times more UV than adults, and we know that no SPF provides all day protectionMost people are surprised to learn that because SPF is an over the counter drug, per FDA, this classification restricts children from carrying and applying sunscreen during the school day without a signed permission slip. Kids really need to have access to suncare during the school day. By providing a simple, sunscreen permission slip found on ProjectBlackDot.org, we can tackle this issue as well as educate parents and policy makers about the importance of updating antiquated laws that exist today.

 

Children are exposed to three times more UV than adults, and we know that no SPF provides all day protection. Most people are surprised to learn that because SPF is an over the counter drug, per FDA, this classification restricts children from carrying and applying sunscreen during the school day without a signed permission slip. Kids really need to have access to suncare during the school day.

 

You can learn more about Supergoop! here, follow Supergoop! on Instagram here, Project Black Dot here, and follow Holly on Instagram here.