Last night I went to an awesome event out at Rachel Vanoven’s shop in Brownsburg. If you haven’t been there, definitely check it out especially if you have little ones. I wanted to buy the whole store! Sonja Overhiser of A Couple Cooks shared her story and it was a nice opportunity to chat with other local female entrepreneurs about, well, all the things – networking, social media, advocating for yourself without feeling “pushy,” etc. I made some great connections that I look forward to cultivating going forward.
I had one interaction though that threw me. Let’s call her *Alex. And let me start out by saying that it wasn’t Alex’s fault. She asked me a valid question, one that I’m sure many people in my life are asking, but one that showed that she didn’t get what I’m doing. It was my job to explain it to her and I failed. Like, miserably.
I was talking with Alex about putting on some sort of event for my Beautycounter business, possibly a pop-up shop or some sort of private shopping event. She seemed interested but hesitantly said, “I don’t know how to ask this without offending you. Is this like a Mary Kay thing?” My heart sank. The strong, ambitious business woman that I’m becoming disappeared and I became my 16 year old insecure self. “Uh… yeah,” I said. “I mean, like… Yeah, I guess it is…” Alex quickly exited the conversation and I left the otherwise incredibly empowering event, wondering what AM I doing? I’m an attorney. My husband is a physician. We don’t need the money. What motivated me to throw myself into this unknown business whose model, frankly, garners a shit-ton of skepticism?
Some combination of sleep and morning light just fixes everything for me. No matter how crazed my head was the night before, it is always infinitely better the next morning. Today was no exception. Clarity has returned, so here’s why (in bullet points)…
- I obviously tried and loved the Beautycounter line. When I quit drinking, one of the first things I needed to learn how to do was to engage in some serious self-care. Part of that for me was switching out my tired skin-care regimen of 20 years (if you could call it that) and purchasing makeup that gave me the look I wanted – put together without looking Kardashian.
- I learned about the mission of the company and it's one that inspires me – to provide effective and cleaner, safer alternatives to the nasty stuff that’s currently allowed in our products. But that’s not all. Beautycounter is expensive. It’s a premium brand and many either can’t or won’t invest in safer skin products. Beautycounter isn’t ok with that. We are advocating at the state and federal level to increase regulation over this industry, so that our levels of safety become the industry norm and accessible to all. And, you know what? We’re getting shit done. Click here for more info on the Personal Care Products Safety Act.
- I’ve been saying for years that I want to find something where I can succeed or fail on my own terms. Beautycounter has provided me with that opportunity with minimal investment. I basically get to take a brand and product that I love and become a “mini-CEO” for my own company. I’ve put together a dream team of women that I want to work with who aren’t necessarily my best friends but who I believe have the talents and business savvy to make this work for them. I also have my own policies and ethics that I get to employ through this business. For instance, I’ve seen a sad lack of diversity in the women who are selling and using Beautycounter products. My goal is to have a diverse team, one that is at least 20% women of color. So, I get to make this business MINE. I get to use MY creativity and ideas about how a business should be run. That feels amazing.
- Last, but certainly not least, this is freaking FUN. Becoming a Beautycounter consultant incentivizes me to do what I want to do anyway – connect with other women. That’s what I do now. I throw playdates, cocktail parties, events that I think my network would be interested in and share these products that I love and that half of my friends have been interested in trying anyway. If they’re not interested, that’s cool too! We’ve gotten to spend time together and take a break from our everyday routine and hopefully we’ve learned something from each other. Win, win!
So that’s what I wish I had told Alex. Yes, it’s like a Mary Kay thing if that means it’s all I've said above. But if you’re asking if my dream is to drive a pink Cadillac and hawk charcoal masks then the answer is HELL, NO. Alex wasn’t the first person to ask me something like this and she’s certainly not the only one who has thought it. They haven’t understood the magic of what I'm trying to do and that’s ok. We don’t get what we don’t get till we get it, right? And we certainly aren’t going to understand if it isn’t corrected or explained to us. So, that was my first mistake and then my second was to let that sour my mood after an the otherwise beautiful evening. As I was sitting here this morning piecing my thoughts together, I looked down at the awesome mug that I bought at the event last night. (I’m telling you. Rachel Vanoven. Worth the trip!). As often happens, the answers are all right there if your eyes are open to them.