Celebrating International Women’s Day 2020: Day 1

international-womens-day iwd-2020 women women-in-tech

Every year on International Women’s Day, we like to show our love and appreciation for the women who pave the way and create more space for women to grow and thrive in the workforce. As a female-founded and female-run company with majority female employees, representation in the workplace is something we take very seriously, and an issue that is very near and dear to our hearts. This year we asked some of the amazing women who hold leadership positions at our favorite beauty and wellness brands to talk to us about their journeys to success and some of the challenges they have faced along the way.

We asked them to answer the following questions: (edited for length/clarity)

  1. In 3 sentences please share your founding story (i.e. what inspired you to start your business.)
  2. What does International Women’s Day mean to you?
  3. How do you empower your team when facing an issue?
  4. Please share the one accomplishment you are most proud of.

Karina Birch: CEO, Rocky Mountain Soap Co

In 3 sentences please share your founding story (i.e. what inspired you to start your business.)

It was 20 years ago, I was 24. I was passionate about natural ingredients and I loved the challenge of creating natural formulations at a high quality.

What does International Women’s Day mean to you?

Women’s day is a global conversation around female roles and opportunities. It’s a celebration as well as a reflection on how far we’ve come and what’s left.

How do you empower your team when facing an issue?

Questions. What does success look like? What are you learning along the way? What possibilities exist to move forward?

Please share the one accomplishment you are most proud of.

Pioneering natural products at a time when no one else was doing it.

Bethany McDaniel: Founder & CEO, Primally Pure

In 3 sentences please share your founding story (i.e. what inspired you to start your business.)

I was frustrated by the lack of success I had with using conventional skincare products to treat my acne, so I started making my own products using natural ingredients I could pronounce.

What does International Women’s Day mean to you?

International Women’s Day is a time for women to be celebrated! I’m proud of what myself and so many others who I know and love have accomplished (whether as women in business, stay-at-home moms, whatever!) and think that IWD is a great time for us to rally around each other and support one another.

How do you empower your team when facing an issue?

Everything is figure out-able! There are always variables we can manipulate in order to achieve the desired outcome — it’s just a matter of taking a step back to figure out what they are.

Please share the one accomplishment you are most proud of.

When I think about my team, I’m so proud. They are the most hard-working, ethical, fun people I know and I genuinely enjoy coming into the office and seeing them each day!

Marcela Cacci: Founder & CEO, One Ocean Beauty

In 3 sentences please share your founding story (i.e. what inspired you to start your business.)

I grew up by the beach and it has always brought balance and happiness into my life. I knew that I always felt and looked better by the beach but it wasn’t until I read The Blue Mind that I fully understood the powerful psychological and physiological effects of the ocean. The ocean truly is medicine and has incredible beauty benefits and healing powers.

What does International Women’s Day mean to you?

It’s a day to celebrate women’s achievements and help create equality and raise awareness against bias.

How do you empower your team when facing an issue?

I encourage open discussion and try to get the team to work together and think through the issue for themselves.

Please share the one accomplishment you are most proud of.

I am most proud of developing the One Ocean Beauty brand, which has had an effect on changing the beauty industry’s views on sustainability and ingredient awareness.

Amy Briant: Founder, LUMIONskin

In 3 sentences please share your founding story (i.e. what inspired you to start your business.)

I was working around the clock while opening a pilates studio and my skin started to suffer. Being a lover of natural products, nothing was working for me. My father had been working on the LUMION formula and after 3 days of using, I noticed a huge difference in my skin and I wanted to share the magic with everyone.

What does International Women’s Day mean to you?

It is a day where women come together to support and recognize all women.

How do you empower your team when facing an issue?

We empower our team by doing group activities outside of the office. We get together for a dance class, dinner, or a yoga class. This helps them to remember their “why”.

Please share the one accomplishment you are most proud of.

Creating a community of women where they have a place to feel good and products that feel good.

Ada Polla: CEO, Alchimie Forever

In 3 sentences please share your founding story (i.e. what inspired you to start your business.)

Looking good means feeling good means doing good. To me, skin care is more than skin deep. Taking care of our skin helps us feel our best, and put our best selves (not just faces) forward!

What does International Women’s Day mean to you?

International Women’s Day is a reminder to celebrate women across cultures, industries, ages. Personally, it is also a reminder to say thank you and express gratitude to all of the amazing women in my life.

How do you empower your team when facing an issue?

I tell my team to always speak and act from a place of kindness and to give others the benefit of the doubt. Also, sometimes it really is best to pick up the phone versus writing a long email!

Please share the one accomplishment you are most proud of.

I am proud of creating jobs! As an entrepreneur, creating opportunities for my team is really what gets me going.

Heasung Won: Founder & CEO, YULIP

In 3 sentences please share your founding story (i.e. what inspired you to start your business.)

When I was a beauty editor, I was asked to try new beauty products, including lipsticks. I was unable to wear many of them because my sensitive skin reacted to their harsh chemicals and additives. When my dermatologist told me that the ingredients of lipstick linger on your face even after cleansing, I decided to start my own brand that’s safe for all of us. My dream lipstick is safe enough for you to share with your little ones and still looks great.

What does International Women’s Day mean to you?

International Women’s Day reminds me of my own career path as a woman and makes me reflect on what I am doing right now. Also, it helps me to be aware as a strong woman/leader who will eventually change the world my daughter will live in.

How do you empower your team when facing an issue?

As I’m leading a small company with only 3 people, I’d say it’s always about overcoming issues. However, as I strongly respect our team’s abilities and insights, I listen to their issues and always try to give positive feedback. This way they can resolve the issue by themselves with confidence no matter what the result will be.

Please share the one accomplishment you are most proud of.

I’m so proud that YULIP creates beautiful lipstick without using any artificial or synthetic colorants and satisfies the customers who’ve been longing for this in the market.


Celebrating International Women’s Day 2020: Day 1 was originally published in Think Dirty on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.


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