A Business That Teaches You Less Is More
Earth Month is the perfect time to share this girlpreneur’s story with you. That’s because Jeannie Jarnot’s tagline for her company is “Use Less. Love More”.
It’s hard to think of another company that’s trying to get you to buy less. But this is the philosophy at the heart of Jeannie’s business. Through her company Beauty Heroes, a non-toxic beauty subscription service, she is educating women about personal care products and helping them to understand that fewer, better products are the path to a healthier beauty care regimen and a less crowded bathroom counter!
Bright Girls: Please describe Beauty Heroes and the purpose of your company.
Jeannie Jarnot: Reading the Bright Girls website made me think about my path to starting the business and the fact that throughout school and even once I was in the working world, no one had formally encouraged me in this way (to be an entrepreneur). I had the idea for a really long time. It was a courageous decision for me to move forward with it.
Beauty Heroes is about beauty discovery. We simplify your life by presenting you with the very best non-toxic products in a focused, meaningful way that helps you understand the product that you’re using. We deliver one item a month (plus a special surprise). We hand select items which are filled with superpower ingredients that are healthy and natural. The result is you are using less, but using better.
I wanted to slow down the beauty discovery process. A lot of beauty products are marketed to us. We end up buying tons of products and often we don’t even know how to use them. It’s a waste of money.
(The subscription is $39 per month and the hand selected item is valued over $50)
BG: What was the trigger or triggers in your life that made you become interested in safer and better ingredients?
I was a spa director for years, and in my job I worked with many different products. I was always trying to find and introduce great products to my clients. I discovered that ingredients are very confusing even if you work with them every day. As I asked the manufacturers about their products I found that sometimes even the formulators were confused. There’s not a reliable source to get accurate information, I wanted to create a guide and a service.
I started the skin care ingredient guide by listing the most toxic ingredients that should be avoided. As we dig deeper we are adding additional ingredients. The villain ingredients are the ones on our list we are telling you to avoid, meanwhile the superpower ingredients are the ones we are suggesting you look for in the products you buy.
BG: Has there been a time when you’ve hit a barrier with the business that was very difficult?
JJ: It’s been one barrier after the next, one big barrier. It’s a huge challenge when you try to do something different that is counter intuitive – we want women to use fewer products. We want to change the mind set so that it’s not about filling your bathroom with tons of products. It’s about simple, smart, less and higher quality. Meanwhile the beauty industry is about more. The prevailing message is you need more to be more beautiful. This is a barrier in terms of Beauty Heroes’ communication.
When you work at a big company, you have a team; you come at a barrier together. How are we going to overcome this problem? You have resources to pull on that are bigger than you, to help you through. As an entrepreneur you have to go inside, you have to question yourself and your idea, is this going to work? What else can I do? It’s really hard.
What do you think you are doing right now that is most impactful?
Beauty Heroes delivers an experience. I’m discovering that women who originally weren’t finding the non-toxic message compelling are now starting to get it. Once you use products with better ingredients you begin to notice that the things you were using before don’t feel as good. The reason is a lot of products start with water. Then the formulator has to add preservatives, which are usually problematic (villain) ingredients. An alternative is for manufacturers to use phytochemicals so that they can avoid water, preservatives, etc.
We’re delivering an awakening to a better quality product. I hear from our subscribers that they really look forward to our boxes. It’s a positive experience, something special and good for you, that works.
P.S. Do you have an aspiring girlprenuer in your life? We’re here to develop the skills she needs. Check out our book and more at the Bright Girls Kickstarter campaign.