Celebrating International Women’s Day 2020: Day 3

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Last but most certainly not least, today is Day 3 of our 2020 International Women’s Day celebration. This year we decided to celebrate by showcasing some of our favorite women in the beauty business and sharing their stories. If you haven’t had the chance yet, be sure to check out the women featured in Day 1 and Day 2 to hear more stories of inspiration and achievement!

Erin Williams: Founder, Erin’s Faces

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

I wasn’t finding purpose in the editorial world of makeup in NYC and wanted to be of service to everyday women — that’s how it started for me.

What does International Women’s Day mean to you?

Women’s Day is important to me because representation matters and generally women aren’t represented in most decision-making communities. Shining a light on achievements made by women hopefully will encourage more of us to get out there, feel the resistance and keep going anyway. We’re half of the population and I am really interested in what our voices have to say.

How do you empower your team when facing an issue?

We open up a discussion to get everyone’s vote and try to implement their ideas instead of making decisions without them. We are leaning into empathy and focus on doing our best to come from a generous place where we listen first and talk second.

Please share the one accomplishment you are most proud of.

I’m really proud of the community we have — how supportive they are of one another in our Facebook group and how people tell me how much the group means to them because it’s so positive. And our new mascara is 9 years in the making and I’m pretty proud of it too :).

Gretta Perez Licea: CEO, ZAO Organic Makeup

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

A terrible skin reaction to all chemical and “natural” makeup joined to a very bad eye infection due to my chemical mascara caused me to feel depressed about my look. I felt eager to share a true alternative to clean nature without compromising anyone’s health.

What does International Women’s Day mean to you?

One day means a lot, but even more, all the days to come where we as women have the opportunity to grow and show our inner potential!

How do you empower your team when facing an issue?

Be calm, be empathetic and do not stop until you resolve the matter, no matter how long it takes. This will teach you patience and perseverance.

Please share the one accomplishment you are most proud of.

Teach my kids how with hard work and perseverance you can go further than what you expect. Love for God and the respect for His teachings will make you a better person for everyone around you.

Suzannah Raff: Founder & CEO, Cleo+Coco

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

When I got married and pregnant, I became very sensitive to and aware of the chemicals that I was putting on my body, especially perfumed products and antiperspirants. I took out my essential oils and began creating my own deodorant that was natural, free from synthetic fragrance, sensitive enough for pregnant and nursing moms, and still powerful enough to combat odor. It took a good year of experimenting to get to the point where we could claim with complete confidence that Cleo+Coco offered all-day odor control. Our deodorants work and we have awards and thousands of happy customers to prove it.

How do you empower your team when facing an issue?

I try to stay positive and complimentary (not accusatory) in my tone. I ask for their thoughts and ideas on how to solve the problem.

Please share the one accomplishment you are most proud of.

Every step forward with a start-up is something to be proud of. But winning awards for best odor control product and getting a 0 rating on Think Dirty is definitely up there.

Allison Evans: Co-Founder, Branch Basics

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

People close to me experienced health transformations when we removed toxins from our lives. We became passionate about educating people on how to live a clean lifestyle, and we provide a product that replaces virtually all toxic cleaners, one of the biggest culprits for poor indoor air quality in the home.

How do you empower your team when facing an issue?

We stay positive. We have been through a lot of very low lows in our growth as a company, and come back when all odds were against us. Remembering this comeback helps us to persevere, but most importantly all the amazing feedback from our customers/followers is what keeps us pushing forward even during trials.

Please share the one accomplishment you are most proud of.

I am the proudest of our perseverance creating a formula that is truly safe and effective, never lowering our standards of ingredient purity. There were many doubters, yet 18 mos later and over 100 iterations, we created the formula we knew we could!

Julie Clark: Founder & CEO, Province Apothecary

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

I started Province Apothecary because I suffer from allergies and eczema and wanted to find a natural way to heal my skin. So I studied herbalism and aromatherapy and started blending products and offering facials out of my apartment.

What does International Women’s Day mean to you?

International Women’s Day means celebrating female founders, female entrepreneurs and females fighting for equality all over the world. After giving birth this November, this day also signifies a new chapter of my life as a female businesswoman and mother.

How do you empower your team when facing an issue?

Communication is key! We make a point to take the time to discuss and resolve issues together, as a team.

Please share the one accomplishment you are most proud of.

Starting Province Apothecary has been one of my accomplishments I am so proud of. I love helping everyone with their skin and all of their stories inspire us all every day.

Natassia Bezoplenko-Brazeau: Founder, Northlore

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

I was inspired to start Northlore after learning about how the properties in the plants that surround us in Canada provide so much to care for our bodies. I created a line of plant-based products that soothe and nourish your skin without causing harm to you or the earth, and that keep your carbon footprint light. My goal from day one has been to honour the land by sourcing our ingredients as ethically and sustainably as possible.

What does International Women’s Day mean to you?

While this day reminds us of how much work we have left to do towards equality in society, it’s also an opportunity to lift women up and celebrate each other’s accomplishments, which I’m so here for.

How do you empower your team when facing an issue?

I’ve learned that the more confidence and positivity that I can bring to a challenge, the more contagious that energy becomes. Having a small, team means that they’re always watching and picking up on my energy, so it’s important for me to take care of myself to cultivate a positive can-do approach to issues that arise.

Please share the one accomplishment you are most proud of.

I’m proud to have our products available at the spa in the Four Seasons Beverly Hills Hotel. As a brand that has uncommonly high standards for our supply chain and smaller distribution as a result, it’s affirming to know that a luxury spa such as the Four Seasons values our line for its efficacy and commitment to sustainability.

Christine Marie Mason: Founder & CEO, Rosebud Woman

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

I wanted to create beautiful formulas to enhance intimate joy and comfort to women around the world, and to support all stages of our sensual sexual and reproductive lives. The products are delivered along with clear messages of self-love, no shame, and celebration of the female body. We’re normalizing a conversation and mainstreaming a category that’s been too long ignored!

What does International Women’s Day mean to you?

IWD has focusing power- it’s one day where we can all get on the same page regarding the status of women in civil society- celebrating the advances we’ve made and acknowledging how far there is to go. It’s important to see this across the planet: across nationality, race, religion, class. This way we can craft inspired solutions to work through the other 364 days of the year.

How do you empower your team when facing an issue?

We just talk. Everyone on the team is emotionally intelligent, tolerant, optimistic, kind and committed. When things come up, we check our higher purpose and mission and act accordingly. Small and mighty!

Please share the one accomplishment you are most proud of.

30 years of yoga and consciousness practice have given me the sense that I’m never really the one “doing” anything- just a channel. I’m amazed at life more than proud- incredibly grateful to have the chance to be a parent, author, activist and inventor. But mostly I’m just happy to be alive, living from love.

Lindsey McCoy: CEO & Co-Founder, Plaine Products

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

Founded by sisters Lindsey and Alison Delaplaine, Plaine Products began with the dream of lessening plastic waste. After realizing how much plastic she owned, Lindsey called Alison and they started talking about how to change that, and how to make it easy for others to do the same. Plaine Products offers a line of toxin-free personal care products on a per-item or subscription basis. Plaine Products come in aluminum bottles that can be sent back and refilled time after time.

What does International Women’s Day mean to you?

Many of the best ideas out there are created by women-owned businesses and all of them deserve more attention. It’s important to lift up other women and make sure their voices are being heard as we grow.

How do you empower your team when facing an issue?

As owners of Plaine Products, we are still completely hands-on. When we have issues we are right there on the front line working together to solve the problem. We value everyone’s input, including our customers, as we make decisions about how best to move forward.

Please share the one accomplishment you are most proud of.

Plaine Products has diverted over 100,000 plastic bottles from landfills in only two years. We’re on track to double that this year!

Anna Buss: Founder & CEO, Fitglow Beauty

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

As a lifelong health and fitness fanatic with uber-sensitive rosacea skin, I made the switch to natural beauty products but still saw no improvements due to heavy oils, waxes and essential scents. Beautiful skin and health go hand in hand — you are what you absorb through food and skincare — and that’s where Fitglow Beauty was born. I spent over a decade researching plant-based ingredients and worked closely with doctors and chemists to refine evidence-based formulas that go beyond the top layer of your skin to activate and deeply nourish skin cells.

What does International Women’s Day mean to you?

Pushing forward through my life and seeing where Fitglow is now. Overcoming diversity and challenges in multiple countries, starting from the ground up multiple times, dealing with bullying for not speaking the languages, the combination of that made me who I am. I am ultra-proud of having a business where we make other women feel beautiful especially knowing our products help people feel confident.

How do you empower your team when facing an issue?

Our empowerment as a team comes from being passionate about what we do. No matter the issue we strive to truly understand the space we work in. We work hard in a very respectful environment and recognize that every team member contributes to the larger picture.


Celebrating International Women’s Day 2020: Day 3 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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