The only thing better than cosmetics in cute packaging, is when there's also an awesome story behind them. Beauty Bakerie fits that bill. I first met Cashmere, the founder and CEO of Beauty Bakerie, last Fall when I started working with her to create content for the brand. Inspired by a love of sweets (Eyes-Cream! Gelato! Lip Whips!) and an emphasis on finding the sweet in life (it's what's inside that counts), Beauty Bakerie was launched with a passion that only a determined, cancer-surviving, teenage mother could bring to the table (you can read more about her story here).
As I've gotten to know Cashmere more over the past few months, I'm always impressed with the confidence of her vision. She's managed to create an exploding business in a category that is notoriously one of the hardest to break into (beauty) and 2017 is showing no signs of slowing down for her. With a new product launch this month, and their very FIRST retail store opening in San Diego in April, I managed to steal a few moments with Cashmere to ask her just how, she manages to do it all. At least we know how she manages to look good doing it. ;)
1) WHO ARE YOU + WHAT DO YOU DO?
Many things! I am first a child of The Lord so helping others is paramount to me.
I am a mother. I love on her. I guide her. I lead her and I actually follow her as my daughter has become a thought-leader in a sense. She’s blossoming into this absolutely beautiful person and I couldn’t be more proud.
I am the CEO of Beauty Bakerie Cosmetics Brand. In this role, I lead. I don’t want our message or mission to ever be lost in translation. I listen, I learn and I make sure I am growing. I have to be better than I was the day before in order to guide a team and I have to make sure that we hire people who understand metamorphosis and all that a caterpillar endures in becoming a butterfly.
2) HOW DID BEAUTY BAKERIE COME ABOUT? WAS IT SOMETHING YOU SET OUT TO CREATE OR DID IT EVOLOVE ON IT'S OWN?
I would say both. I was always creating. I see my life since beating cancer as this 'after life' if you will. Loss, heartache, setbacks cannot move me. Instead, I move through those things humbly aware that they're experiences that I can find a lesson or peace in.
When I began this company I saw so many grand things for it that I once believed I was being a bit silly or too ambitious. I worked so hard that even my friends felt I was always in my computer. It was true. I remember telling myself early on that I was required to do one thing each day towards my dream. I believe it was my willingness to persevere through everything, to never quit that caused it to further evolve and grow.
3) WHAT IS A TYPICAL DAY-IN-THE-LIFE LIKE?
Because I am so tenacious, I’ve been focusing on finding balance. It isn’t easy. I’m so in love with my work but it is a must. I begin my day the night before. I look over my calendar so that I am prepared for the next day. I’m usually up around 5am. I get my daughter off to school around 730. I like to check on our Warehouse team as well as the administrative team before diving into work which usually consists of tons of emails or meetings. I'm always down for a midday break which usually involves going on a quest for sunlight and basking in it.
4) YOU'RE KNOWN FOR YOU FUN PACKAGING, CHEEKY PRODUCT NAMES, AND AWESOME PRODUCT FORMULAS! WHAT IS YOUR BACKGROUND? DO YOU HAVE A CERTAIN CREATIVE PROCESS FOR DESIGNING/CREATING PRODUCTS?
Thank you! That’s awesome. That aligns with what I want the customers to know and love about my brand. The process of creating and designing products begins with the formula. I am usually going back and forth with our chemists, trying things out. I may ask my daughter or mom to try things out. I know my customers so well and feel as though I know what they’re looking for. I listen to what they’re asking for and have no problem saying, “Hey, we can’t put this out until its right.” That surely sends waves throughout my company but quality is something I just don’t want to ever compromise on. Quality and aesthetic go hand-in-hand to me. Even if we get the right formula, I am willing to delay a launch if the packaging isn’t exceptional. It’s really hard for others to understand sometimes but I like to focus solely on the customer. Once the formula is a go, it’s the fun part of trying to make sure the packaging is exceptional, on-brand and isn't corny.
5) BUILDING A SUCCESSFUL BUSINESS- ESPECIALLY A PRODUCT-BASED ONE, AND ESPECIALLY IN THE COSMETICS INDUSTRY IS FILLED WITH CHALLENGES + IS NO EASY FEAT! WHAT HAS BEEN INSTRUMENTAL IN GETTING YOU TO WHERE YOU ARE TODAY?
Prayer and pushing through those challenges. Identifying what is making me the most uncomfortable about any process and then going directly to that source of discomfort and similar to how I approach my fears, I face it. I am 1000% sure that fear is where my growth lies so I take it head on. I’ve been afraid of how to tell a designer I didn’t like her work but I grew through that. I realized that we aren’t paying to stroke egos, we are paying to create something my customers will love. It’s a hard truth for some but I have to be real. That is the only way to grow. You can surround yourself with a team of “yes men” but they can’t get you to nor go with you to the next level. Or you can be and surround yourself with people who can be truthful. I want to be real and get the truth no matter how much it hurts. If I find myself saying something was my best effort, it very well better be my best or I’m going back to the drawing board and I expect the same from my team. I’m just not interested in being complacent. I want to be better than Cashmere from last year and last month.
6) SOCIAL MEDIA HAS BEEN A HUGE PART OF GROWING YOUR BRAND- WHAT HAS HELPED YOU? WHAT DID YOU FIGURE OUT EARLY ON, THAT ALLOWED YOU TO BUILD SUCH A DEVOTED FOLLOWING?
I learn who my customers are by studying them + studying their actions. I listen to them and I give them what they want.
7) WHAT INSPIRES YOU? HOW DO YOU DEAL WITH CREATIVE BLOCK?
I am inspired by life and living. There is so much beauty in just being here, being able to inspire and connect.
To deal with creative block, I have to rest, stretch in the sun or try to stop everything, silence my phone and "get back to me" which is doing something I once had time for like tv or reading a book.
8) WHAT IS/HAS BEEN YOUR BIGGEST STRUGGLE IN BUILDING BEAUTY BAKERIE?
My biggest challenge was probably juggling this near grandiose dream alongside a growing daughter. She’s extraordinary and has quite the schedule (very studious and athletically inclined) so the struggle began there. Here I am wanting to live my dream. She has to live hers as well. I can’t take her experiences from her to accommodate my own. People insisted that there was no way I could be a great mother AND pursue my dream AND have these high standards for providing her with a quality life. I couldn't accept their truths as my own. I know my truth and purpose and I walk confidently in it knowing that what is for me will never miss me and what isn't will never be mine and I have so much peace in that.
9) WHAT HAS BEEN THE BIGGEST HIGHLIGHT OF YOUR CAREER SO FAR?
So many moments stand out! Having so many orders that they took over my home and my friend had to fly in and help me pack to walking into my first HQ and warehouse to Beyonce and her mother wearing my products to Huff Post features…this has been a dream come true. The biggest highlight has yet to come, however ;)
10) WHERE WOULD YOU LIKE TO BE PROFESSIONALLY IN 5-10 YEARS?
In 5-10 years I hope to be able to guide and advise teenage mothers on how to completely disrupt the trajectory that society swears will be theirs, I hope to see Beauty Bakerie in the Sephora’s and Self Ridges of the world. I hope to have an entire department focused solely on our mission of being sweet and sweetening the lives of others.
11) WHAT IS YOUR BEST ADVICE TO SOMEONE BEGINNING THEIR ENTREPRENEURIAL JOURNEY?
Don’t look back and never, ever, ever, quit for any reason. Be willing to let go of what was and welcome what is arriving.
12) TELL US SOMETHING ABOUT YOU FEW PEOPLE KNOW! :)
That I will roll up my sleeves, kick off my heels, slide into my house slippers and pack orders if my team needs me. They know this. That is where this brand began and there’s no place like home.
Thank you so much, Cashmere, for taking time to share a little more about your journey. Here's to beauty-world domination in 2017!
Find more of Beauty Bakerie (seriously, their lip whips are out-of-this-world) and follow along with their empire here: