Celebrating International Women’s Day 2020: Day 2

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Day 2 of our International Women’s Day celebration is here! This year we’re celebrating our favorite women in leadership who are working to create a healthier, more inclusive, and more sustainable beauty industry. If you missed out on Day 1, click here to read.

Ali Perry-Hatch: Founder & CEO, Earth Harbor

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

As a certified toxicology scientist + herbalist + humanitarian engineer, I couldn’t find premium natural beauty products that lived up to my strict standards of being effective, ethical, purely natural, rooted in science, and all-around indulgent (while not breaking the bank!). That’s when I started making my own right out of my tiny treehouse kitchen — and Earth Harbor Naturals was born!

What does International Women’s Day mean to you?

It is a day that we will hopefully have no need to celebrate one day. #EachForEqual

How do you empower your team when facing an issue?

With Earth Harbor being only 18 months old, I recently started hiring team members. As an empath, I’ve always naturally been a “servant leader”, so that unique form of leadership has carried its way seamlessly into Earth Harbor. I love empowering and uplifting my team by putting them above myself. It organically unlocks potential, creativity and sense of purpose that turns any problem my team faces into a positive possibility.

Please share the one accomplishment you are most proud of.

I’m just happy to have been able to grow Earth Harbor from the most difficult time in my life — after a near-fatal car accident that caused me to lose my job and struggle to provide for my family — to where it is now — wondrously thriving with awesome customers and retailers, helping others and our oceans, with many more super exciting things on the horizon!

Dominique Caron: Founder & CEO, Apoterra

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

In 2008 my skin was dry and I had tons of breakouts. Nothing seemed to work and all the products on the shelf were either really expensive, seemed unhealthy or were not environmentally friendly. After studying skin health, herbalism and aromatherapy, I created a skincare line that is clean, conscious and effective.

What does International Women’s Day mean to you?

When reading a book to my 4-year-old, I was really surprised to find out that the first computer programmer was a woman. To me, International Women’s Day is a day to highlight the achievements of women and hopefully change the perception of women's role in history and society.

How do you empower your team when facing an issue?

When facing an issue, I like to present as much information as is useful to my team. I find, above anything else, information, training and education are most useful in empowering others. I also try to foster a team culture that encourages speaking up and taking initiatives.

Please share the one accomplishment you are most proud of.

I am proud of having the courage to not only start my own business while also starting a family, but also for having the perseverance to maintain our clean + conscious standards while growing Apoterra.

Natalie White: Founder & CEO, Be Well Company

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

I began reversing my diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis in 2014, after being carried into the hospital unable to walk and talk. I regained my health by harnessing a clean eating/living lifestyle bypassing all conventional drugs. Becoming a student of real food and the power it had on my health ultimately led me to launch a superfood skincare line loaded with probiotics and plant-based enzymes to help skin be healthy and glowing at any age.

How do you empower your team when facing an issue?

1. Hire well to start — Meaning independent, creative, problem solvers that enjoy the freedom and autonomy to truly be a contributing part of the be well team. 2. Allow every person to feel their input matters and counts. 3. Creating an atmosphere that can pivot quickly and we all celebrate in each success.

Please share the one accomplishment you are most proud of.

Reversing my MS naturally and reclaiming my health and wellness is my superpower. Sharing my story and inspiring others through my skincare is my absolute passion.

Renee Reeser: Founding Partner & Creative Director, Kudarat Skincare

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

Joining forces to develop an anti-inflammatory clean beauty brand was key. Finding partners who had personal experience with overcoming disease and acumen dealing with an underserved autoimmune population was paramount. That’s what I found in co-founder Wendi’s survival story of cancer and autoimmune issues.

What does International Women’s Day mean to you?

Last year for IWD I worked with Action Against Hunger and co-created a video that captures the essence of how women can become empowered to create local change that can reach beyond the local community — click here to see:

How do you empower your team when facing an issue?

Education is the first line of defense. Identify, predict, decide and execute. Find out the what, when, why and who before you “Do”…

Please share the one accomplishment you are most proud of.

Well, the Hawa Effect video for IWD last year was pretty darn great. And finishing grad school at age 50 after a lengthy absence was pretty cool.

Jennifer Carlson: Founder, Thirsty Naturals

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

As a mom, my biggest responsibility is keeping my kids safe and healthy. That is why I created Thirsty Naturals, a brand dedicated to serving young adults with natural ingredients that address all the common skin and body concerns of teenhood. Real ingredients for Real Teenagers.

How do you empower your team when facing an issue?

I empower by asking for their ideas, insights and trust their intuition when making decisions on how to move forward. I use leadership as an opportunity to develop and mentor my team to think outside the box and stay positive even when faced with challenges.

Please share the one accomplishment you are most proud of.

I am most proud of raising 2 interesting, independent, well-rounded and genuinely kind kids.

Rebecca Lacouture: COO & President, Silk Therapeutics

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

When I was diagnosed with cancer at 27 and undergoing chemotherapy treatment, I struggled to find safe skincare products that worked for my ultra-sensitive skin. As a bioengineer specializing in natural silk’s therapeutic benefits for the skin and tissue, I knew that silk could be a groundbreaking skincare ingredient if I could find a way to convert it into liquid form. So I brought together a team of fellow bioengineers and aestheticians, and together, we began to formulate our own clean skincare that oncology patients could trust.

What does International Women’s Day mean to you?

Women’s Day is important to us because we believe it’s imperative to honor the trailblazing women before us and to remind women that they always have the power to make a difference in this world.

How do you empower your team when facing an issue?

It’s easy to get caught up in the day to day challenges of running a business, so it’s important to remember why we’re doing what we do. It’s really rewarding to know that we’re all working together to enact positive change, and this helps us to overcome adversity and find creative solutions to issues when they arise.

Please share the one accomplishment you are most proud of.

Skincare is such an important part of people’s daily routines, and it’s an honor to be included in this aspect of our customers’ lives. We now have 12 products, all free from ingredients of concern and ideal for even the most sensitive skin. It’s amazing to hear that our skincare is helping people to feel their confident and healthy best, inside and out.

Wendi Sudhakar: Founder & President, Kudarat Skincare

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

After suffering for years with autoimmune diseases, I decided to take my background as a scientist and discover the causes and search for a way to heal. The eureka moment was when I discovered that what’s in our products is a huge factor when it comes to our health and wellness. From that, Kudarat was born!

How do you empower your team when facing an issue?

Whenever we have faced issues, we have an open and honest conversation where everyone freely voices what’s on their minds. Instead of letting what’s going on bring us down, we talk about solutions and remind ourselves of why we are doing this in the first place. Some of our best ideas have come out of these conversations!

Please share the one accomplishment you are most proud of.

Being a finalist in the ThinkDirty awards was huge! It really showed us that we are accomplishing one of our main goals — being a major player in the truly clean beauty arena!


Celebrating International Women’s Day 2020: Day 2 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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