Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in beauty and cosmetics but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Jazmin Alvarez, Founder of Pretty Well Beauty, located in New York, NY, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Pretty Well Beauty is a multi-brand clean beauty and wellness e-shop home to nearly 50 brands that go above and beyond the basic standards of clean and sustainability. Additionally, 60% of the brands are BIPOC founded + owned. My customers are mostly women and some men, but they are people who care deeply about using products that are not only 1005 safe but truly effective. They do not want to compromise, nor should they, so PWB is the answer for them to shop and discover new brands as well as some of their favorites that have been around for a while.
Tell us about yourself
My background is in fashion and beauty, where I worked with large beauty and fashion brands for over a decade as an executive producer. I am also the daughter and granddaughter of hair care professionals, so I have been around beauty my entire life. My path to starting PWB stemmed from my frustrations as a consumer who did not see what I was looking for represented in the clean beauty retail space aligned with my demanding standards and values. It just didn't exist yet, so I created it. I am motivated each day by the people I work with and who I serve.
Whenever I get an email from a customer raving about a product that was a game changer for them, it gives me confirmation that I'm doing the right thing. Also, the relationships that I've been able to form on a more personal level with the people behind the brands I carry make me feel like I'm not so alone and that I have a small tribe of people who want to see me win.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Wow, I would say one of my biggest accomplishments has been overcoming stage fright. I have had several opportunities to speak to large live audiences (pre-COVID), and the rush that comes from speaking about something you truly care about to an engaging audience is unmatched. Another thing I'm very proud of is that I'm a 2-time recipient of the beauty innovator award by Refinery 29.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
Literally, everything is hard. Just when you think you have found your groove, a wrench is thrown into the fire, and you have to solve it. There are problems that arise every day that I, as a solo founder, must figure out. Limited financial and human capital are also major challenges because it means that I can't grow as fast or as big as I would want to, and that's frustrating when you see other brands who started after you grow beyond you only because they have investors and a team. Comparing myself to these other businesses is really hard.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Find a niche that is still big enough where you can grow a sustainable long-term business.
- Develop a thick skin and be willing to sacrifice a certain lifestyle for a while.
- Ask for help. No one, I mean NO ONE, can grow a business 100% by themselves.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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