Do you have any tips for getting the most out of CEW membership?
It’s simple but check into the website regularly; often the emails fall into my spam, an participate. Join the events and see who’s engaging – like with any membership to an organization, we get out what we put into it.
How important has mentorship been in your career journey?
Maybe it’s a function of when we started, but “mentorship” wasn’t really a “thing” in my entrepreneurial journey, probably to a detriment. Back in the early 2000’s, I was often asked who my “role model” was, which implicitly implied that I needed to aspire to be like someone else (or several people) in order to manifest the best version of me, and it always felt odd, especially when these “role models” were often aspirational figures we never met in real life. I received business advice from older, more experienced professionals we knew, but because were one of the early self-funded “girls-hustling-from-a-tiny-studio-apartment” companies. And while much of the advice was conceptually true and inspiring, it sometimes led to us making decisions would have yielded better results if we were in a different stage of our company. We definitely had cheerleaders from the outside, but the effective learning curve came from just making mistakes and experiencing the cycle of failures and success, while true help came from vendors who gave us a chance and partnered with us when the norm was to only work with bigger accounts till the “small companies proved to not die after a few years.” Clearly things are different now; there was no LinkedIn back then, and social media was not a thing (can you imagine???) and the concept of “passing it forward” to help others grow is more prevalent today than it was a decade ago. Now, in my 40’s, it’s easier to meet people who have become a mentor to me (we never stop learning!), and I have enough experience myself that I mentor newer entrepreneurs, having gone through the grind myself and understanding that meaningful success rises from a collaborative mindset of helping one another grow.
In what ways do you keep your team inspired during this unpredictable time?
Zoom culture isn’t new to us; we have working moms as employees, so we’re used to being virtual to allow our team to integrate work/life. But as the founder and CEO, I keep constantly reminding our team that we are a people company serving people, and though we’re still driven by an PNL and focused on revenue, having a purpose to elevate others’ sense of wellbeing is what brings value and that keeps us resilient. Our products don’t just work but bring self-indulgent experiences into your everyday life. For example, our best-selling Candlenut Body Crème does more than hydrate skin but really delivers spa-journey feeling at home by design. Knowing that our products create getaway experiences that bring relaxation and joy in stressful times is incredibly fulfilling to us and that keeps us motivated (and we can measure it in the repeat purchases through these times.)