Words To Work By: Founders Share Their Favorite Mottos

In this edition of Beauty Independent’s ongoing series posing questions to beauty entrepreneurs, we ask 16 founders and executives: Do you have a favorite business motto or quote?

Melodie Reynolds Founder and CEO, Elate Beauty

My motto, which is the basis of Elate, is that everyday routines become ritual when the action is more meaningful than the result. It's about the journey, not the destination. Always.

Ursula Diaz Co-Founder and CEO, Honor MD Skin Care

I have so many, but the one that comes to mind when I think of how I am as an entrepreneur is, “Leap and the net will appear.” I love this quote because it gives me the courage to have faith to take a risk or next step, even when I can’t see where it will lead. It also makes me think of when I first thought of leaving my job to start a skincare line. Even though I had no idea what I was doing at the time, I leaped and opportunities appeared.

Fraser Hill CEO, Skinega Inc.

This quote has been attributed to many sources from the 13th to the 21st century: "Good judgment is the result of experience and experience the result of bad judgment." That for me sums up life, gaining experience, and why it’s OK to fail and make mistakes. Of course, not all experiences are the result of bad judgment. However, as an entrepreneur, time spent dwelling on mistakes is time much better spent on learning to refine and adapt as a result of the mistake, and move forward positively.

Dawn Russell Founder, 8Greens

My favorite saying is, “What would you attempt to do if you knew you could not fail?” I have this on a magnet above my desk, and it reminds me every day never to be held back by the fear of failure.

I was lucky enough to have a lot of confidence growing up. Moving around so much in my childhood meant I had to adapt quickly to change and put myself out there or I would have been left with no friends. Being diagnosed with stage 3 cancer at age 25 was also a big shock, but it actually increased my confidence in making decisions as it showed me how life is so short and how health is so precious.

During my illness, I met my husband and also had the realization of the importance of greens and the shocking statistic that 87% of Americans do not get the daily recommended allowance. All of this led to making 8Greens and founding my own company.

Gina Pulisciano Founder, Alchemy Holistics

One of my favorite motivational quotes is from Confucius: "It does not matter how slow you go so as long as you do not stop."

It can be hard sometimes not to compare yourselves to others and their successes, especially when you're going it alone. Some brands seem to pop up and blow up almost overnight. Though my own success only began nine short months ago, Alchemy Holistics and [I] have been chugging along for the past four years. Even as I watched other brands start after me and then surpass me, what kept me motivated was to just keep moving, at my own pace.

I made the changes I needed to make when I was ready to, and what kept me confident in the brand was my expertise in knowing that I have 15 years in the skincare industry. Don't get me wrong, working for yourself with no help can be daunting at times and I would be lying if I said I haven't second-guessed the decisions I have made. I know as long as I don't stop and keep pushing forward, good things will continue to be in store.

Celestyna Higgins Founder & Formulator, Moss and Ambar

A mantra I love that gives me hope in hard times is, "I believe in the good things coming." I see the universe as a partner who has my best interests at heart. I honestly think if you keep showing up with integrity, whatever you want will happen. Maybe not when you want or how you want, but the universe is a generous giver.

Another mantra I have for myself is, “Learn to rest, not to quit.” Rest when you're tired. Don't let yourself get to that place where you're so burned out you just want to torch everything. I was there with Moss. I shut the business down for a few months because I was so burned out and just insanely exhausted. I resurrected the business a few months later, but, boy, did I have to work to get things moving again and reestablish trust with clients. I wish I would have just rested and not quit. Lesson learned.

Kelly Gray Founder, Absorb Skincare

My favorite quote that encompasses me as a person and entrepreneur is, "What if I fall? Oh, but my darling, what if you fly?" by [Erin Hanson].

Tina Hedges Founder and CEO, Loli Beauty

“Where focus goes, beauty flows.” We believe in the power of intention and ritual. We accept in our daily life that saying is believing, and research has proven that imagination has powerful effects on our brain.

Beauty, which has so much to do with how we feel, has become so commoditized and, as a result, the connection to the products we use has been lost. Knowing about the origin of ingredients, the alchemy of blending them and having an intention brings power back into your beauty regimen.

Each of our products and our BIY (blend-it-yourself) recipes has a mantra that you can meditate on as you perform your ritual of skincare or hair care. We even care about which way you stir up beauty. Mixing your blend clockwise brings in positive benefits, counterclockwise removes what we don’t want like redness and blemishes.

Delane Mazaheri Co-Founder and CEO, Stare Cosmetics

My sanity saver is, “It’s all Good.” Simple, to the point and true. I take things in stride, and I keep a very open mind. Keeping the “It’s all Good” mantra keeps things in perspective for me and is a reminder not to take things too seriously. I do the very best I can at the time with little regret.

Even when dealing with a difficult situation, turning a negative into a positive is a conscious decision I choose to make. In business there are rejections, and it is a challenge for me to turn the rejection around. The challenge turns into a learning opportunity and motivates me to do better and always think smarter. The attitude rubs off, and people can see that in our products and in our brand.

Catharina Neudorfer Founder, CN Innovations

Be who you are. Love what you do. And everything falls into place. It is as simple as that, and I followed this motto from the very beginning. A lot of successful startups nowadays result from solving a personal problem, and that is exactly what I did when I founded my natural cosmetic brand.

You are only good at something if you pursue what you are passionate about and what brings you joy. Without a doubt, unexpected obstacles will come your way, and only by sticking to something you are really excited about helps you to sustain it.

If you are truly passionate about your work, then you’ll be spending 14 hours a day crafting, experimenting and improving the skills that will eventually make you a master at it. Also, the passion for the solution of a personal problem helps to share your own story in an authentic way that engages audiences.

Julie Levin Owner and Manufacturer, Leaf People

Recently, I came across this quote: “It’s said that if you do what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life. But my experience is that when you are doing what you love, you work a million times harder.” - Gretchen Bleiler, Olympic Snowboarder

I find the quote and quotes like, “If you do what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life,” a little misleading because, to me, it sounds like that if you do what you love, it will somehow be easy or easier. Before I started Leaf People 15 years ago, I worked in my other field of passion, ceramic art, for many years. Both were similar, all-consuming experiences. I agree with Gretchen in that, "When you do what you love, you do work a million times harder,” especially if you want to make doing what you love a business that supports yourself or a family.

For me, ceramics was a serious hobby. I knew I would never support myself with clay, but I really loved it, so it didn’t feel like work. With Leaf People, I am fully committed, it’s not a hobby, it’s my life. In order to succeed, I must do my best at all times, constantly strive and push to improve, be relevant, adaptable, persevere, make it to the top and then keep going.

I am fortunate to do what I love everyday, and I am extremely grateful. Leaf People is a beautiful business far beyond the products we make, but also for our charity work, our intentions, our focus. So, I am doing what I love, but I am also working hard at it.

Lara Wright Founding Partner, Good Medicine Beauty Lab

As our company moves forward and grows, it is very important to me that we remember our roots and stay true to ourselves. We are a beautifully dynamic women-owned company consisting of five equal partners, each contributing a unique personality, perspective and passion. We are the ones collecting herbs in our skirts, stirring the batches, blending the oils, and placing every label.

There is a really beautiful teaching that comes from our indigenous ancestors that tells us, “The Earth offers us great gifts but half of the gift is ours to give.” Our part in the gift is how we participate in its transformation. Our loving work ensures we don’t take the earth’s gift for granted. Our mindfulness, creativity and prayers of gratitude distills the sweetness of each gift. I believe a gift becomes more powerful the more it is given and that the customer is the ultimate receiver of these gifts. We pour love into every batch so that they may truly feel it.

Chris Collins Founder, Chris Collins, Alchemy of Fragrance

In physics, there lies the theories of potential and kinetic energy. Potential energy is stored energy of an object or a person, for that matter, that is motionless.  Kinetic energy is the energy produced when that object or person is now in motion. Don’t ever leave your talents, ideas or abilities stored as potential energy. Because if you do, that’s all you’ll ever have, potential. Always be kinetic. Just start and don’t stop. Attack your ideas and passion with relentless and unapologetic determination.

Danielle Conte Founder, Conscious Coconut

I wrote this in my senior yearbook, and I didn’t realize at the time how this would guide me towards becoming the person I am now. “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”

Also, I live by the words, “One Love.” We are all one and doing the best we can despite how it seems from the outside. It’s not for us to judge, it’s for us to love. And, when you put love out to the universe, it’ll come back and topple you over.

Murphy D. Bishop II CEO and Co-founder, The Better Skin Co.

"We exist to make our clients feel pretty, confident, accepted and loved."- MDB II. It’s true. That’s why we make products that are affordable, effective and safe. Everyone deserves to feel special.

Betty Guerre Founder, Aim HI Every Day

There’s a popular saying here: “Lucky We Live Hawaii.” We are no doubt lucky, blessed and grateful to be living in this beautiful place. Inspiration is literally right outside the door. I’m also inspired by many of the founders and formulators filling the clean beauty space.

If you have a question you’d like Beauty Independent to ask beauty entrepreneurs, please send it to [email protected].