By Maya Ernest
In the past few years, the wellness industry has seen a massive boom, becoming a $4.2 trillion dollar industry in 2019. Beauty brands are moving quickly to follow suit in providing beauty products that are genuinely good for you. On the cusp of the movement comes Each & Every, a new natural deodorant brand founded on the principle that everyone deserves to feel good about the products they put on their bodies.
We spoke to co-founder and brand leader Lauren Lovelady, who isn’t a stranger to the beauty and wellness industry. As a former marketing and brand manager for Secret and Old Spice, Lauren shares her wisdom in what it’s like to launch a new product with a global brand, her journey to breaking into the beauty industry, and her advice in making it as an entrepreneur.
HC: How did you get involved or interested in the beauty industry?
Lauren Lovelady (LL): I’ve always been a beauty junkie. My grandmother is very beauty-focused and I grew up putting on makeup for her when I was really young. I’ve just always been around beauty products, and it’s been a really big influence in my life. I knew that I wanted to work in something in that area. It was a long term dream.
When I was looking at career opportunities, I really tried to look for opportunities that would allow me to work in that industry. I actually started off in finance first, but as I started working in the industry, I really realized that that wasn’t specifically how I wanted to spend my time. I wanted to pursue opportunities that were more in line with my personal passion.
I didn’t want to have these two separate lives where I did what I did for work, and then have personal passions. I really wanted to combine those two worlds. When I went back to school and got my MBA, I focused on marketing and branding strategy — that way, I could really have the foundation to pursue something in the beauty industry. Since then, I’ve really pursued options that allowed me to have that experience in the industry and make a connection to do the things that I wanted to do there.
HC: As the co-founder and brand leader, what does your day to day look like? What does your job description entail?
LL: The most important thing that I do is set the vision for the brand — this means accomplishing what we aspire to achieve and figuring out how we’ll get there. This can include anything from new packaging design, creative advertising, media, website development, product development — really just making sure that all cylinders are firing and that we’re all working towards our goal. Every day is really different. I know everyone says that, but it usually involves meetings about those topics.
For example this week, some of the highlights on my calendar include meeting with our creative team about the visual identity of the brand and how we express visually what we stand for, talking with our brand team about what’s working and what’s not working with our media campaign, reviewing our website development plan with our development team, talking with product development about the products we have coming new innovation, new, sustainable packaging upgrades that we’re making. And then also working with our finance team to financially close out January and repeat some progress towards our goal. So, some days it’s really high level and very vision setting but because we’re a really small team most days, it’s all hands on deck in the week together, just tackling our issues.
HC: What are the biggest lessons you learned from co-founding your own brand?
LL: Learning to embrace the pivot and the idea of pivoting. I’m truly a perfectionist at my core, and I hate being wrong, but this part of the business is very hard. We don’t always have it figured out and things don’t always go according to plan, so I’ve really had to embrace this idea that going in a new direction does not equal failure, and it often leads to a better outcome. One of the skills that I’ve gained is just that knowledge of what to do each time.
HC: What would you say were the biggest challenges you face working in the beauty wellness industry? How did you overcome these challenges?
LL: It’s hard to stay ahead of the curve and ahead of trends when product development timelines are so long. One of the biggest challenges in this industry is how to stay ahead, and then ensure we’re developing quality. Another challenge that I’ve had specific to being a startup is how to scale our brand and grow it, while protecting what’s really special with our small brand and small team. I try to stay hyper-aware of the effect that this has on the team and I’m constantly looking for ways that we can leverage that growth and continue growing and reaching more people, while also making sure that it doesn’t have a negative effect on our culture that we have.
HC: What was the process of creating vegan and cruelty-free products like and why was it so important to you and your team?
LL: Getting cruelty free products are non-negotiable for us because they truly reflect our values. There are a lot of alternate methods for validating the product or state without animal testing, so it’s just not necessary. We knew that we only wanted to source ingredients that were cruelty-free, and as we were pursuing this cause, we realized that the vegan community is really underserved.
We actually go visit all of our ingredients suppliers. We see the farms where the products are grown and we make sure that they are holding our standards of sustainable sourcing and safety. What we do is just make sure that our sourcing ingredients aren’t using animal derivatives or are synthetic fragrances that have a lot of animal derivatives. Our brand is founded on the philosophy that each and every ingredient matters — that means attention to detail in every single ingredient, knowing where it comes from and what it means all of our standards.
The brand is founded on the philosophy that each and every ingredient matters. We believe that consumers should know exactly what they’re putting on their body. We do a lot of work to disclose every single ingredient on each pack. So many beauty products are unregulated in the sense that it’s not required to know what exactly is in your product — it’s really important to us because we believe that knowledge is power. We also make sure that consumers know where the agreements are coming from how they’re harvested and that they are giving attention to detail and care.
HC: What words of wisdom do you find most valuable?
LL: I actually had a mentor right when I was looking to make a career shift from finance. She advised me to know your “why,” and that’s something that’s really stuck with me throughout the years. I feel like knowing your “why” really makes the hard day’s worth it. It’ll help you evaluate when to push through and when to move on. I’m really passionate about beauty and helping people find natural beauty products that they feel good about using.
HC: What would you say is one essential skill that any entrepreneur should have?
LL: One that really sticks out to me is grit. This is more of a characteristic than a skill, but I think it’s what makes the difference in startups. There are so many startups out there that have had huge challenges they shouldn’t have been able to overcome, but the team and the founders had grit and pushed through.
Despite what the beautiful advertising and Instagram feed show, that determination to keep going and stay true to our mission is what keeps us going. We’ve been really fortunate that we’ve had more yes’s than no’s and more good days than bad, but it’s not a perfectly clear path. Grit is really required to get through it.
HC: What advice would you give to a 20-something with aspirations of working in the beauty industry?
LL: Start small. If beauty is your passion, do internships in the industry, even if they’re unpaid, so that you can start building your experience and making connections. Get your foot in the door and then work to create your own opportunities. I think so many people wait around for doors that open from them.
I’m a big believer in creating experiences you want to have and then working hard to make them happen. I found that in my experience, once you get your foot in the door and start getting respect from people, and you will find that more often than not, the answer will be yes.