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9 traits of successful beauty founders blog


Let’s define a “successful beauty founder” first before I speak about the nine traits, and later, do read the 8 mistakes that beauty founders make:

-Someone whose brand is “Talk of the Town” with a cult following(brand) and over mid 7-8 figures in revenue at the least, above average profitability and has intentionally kept the brakes on.

-Someone who has achieved her 5-7-10 year goals she had set out to achieve and is mid-high eight figures in revenue and is profitable


My interactions, observations and access to internal information of over 500 early-stage and growth-stage beauty founders help compare successful and not-so-successful founders.

9 Traits of Successful Beauty Founders

1. Consumer Problem Obsession:

Focus on and the subsequent deep understanding or acquired- of the “consumer problem.” 

Successful beauty founders have this deep, unflinching drive to look at the problem from the consumer’s eyes and feel the consumer’s pulse.

They might start from a problem in their own life or a solution they wanted to exist, but either it perfectly resonates with the consumer, both early adopters and mainstream, or they are obsessed enough to empathize with the consumer like no other.

Most of the struggling beauty founders are never able to demonstrate to their consumers that they understand the problem better than any others,

They often blame the consumer for being an idiot when choosing competition. 

Example of a beauty founder-May Lindstrom

May could not even send an email before checking on her inventory! She profoundly understands that her consumers, women, have been programmed not to indulge or feel their touch, and they save self-care for special days only!

2. Resourcefulness

-The buck stops with these founders. Instead of blaming a lack of resources for the lack of success, they either go out and raise the money or find a way to gather resources to keep growing.


They never let a lack of funds justify their lack of success.

Example of a Beauty Founder: Janet Schriever, founder of Code of Harmony

Janet Schriever, Founder of Code of Harmony is an example of resourcefulness

-She isn’t allowed to advertise her brand on INSTAGRAM because her products have CBD.

CBD has also lost some favour with investors due to the complexity of regulations and consumer preferences. One feeds the other. 

This did not stop her, though. She went on to work with estheticians across the USA, developing her PRO business and significantly upping her DTC sales.

3. Execution

-Getting things done 

Great founders are constantly crossing the items on the things-to-do list faster than others can generate without diluting the quality of the effort or the end deliverable. This is a delicate dance. Founders either act too fast on an impulse or FOMO or sometimes spend years executing an initiative such as finding the right manufacturing partner.

Slow down on strategy and speed up on execution.

Example from a beauty founder, Sarah Hamilton, founder & investor

-Sarah Hamilton, a founder & investor with brands like Bella Box, Sand & Sky, STUFF, and also a board member at a Unilever Ventures brand called Straand, was a guest on my podcast: “What Beauty Founders Don’t Know”. She said, “Execution means getting things done!

4. Whatever It Takes

-Cristina Nunez, another guest on my show, said that founders who can knock any door down and won’t take no for an answer are rare but often successful.

Example of a beauty founder: Fiona Chan, founder, Youthforia

-She is facing the heat at the moment because of an inclusive shade not delivering the promised results, but, I can assure you that she will bounce back and get the brand back on track!

Fiona Chan, founder of Youthforia is an example of "whatever it takes" beauty founder trait

5. Work Their Butt Off and Use Leverage on Top

-These founders work 7 days/ week!

One of JUMP’s partner brands, now a mid-eight-figure clean skincare brand, the founder has a home office different from the main office and she opens the door of her office every day she is in town and is always the last to leave for home, taking no days off.

She is hands-on, and since she has reached $10M in revenue, she now invests most of her time in training new people using specialists or herself.

-If they need to be on IG or TikTok, they would!

6. Willing to Do the Hard Things

-These founders are open to a more complex back end as long as it solves the problem better for the consumer and balances with scalability by iterating and perfecting the solution. That’s how they create their edge.

Hard things like:

>2-3 years or over 50 iterations in readying their formulations

-Packaging that genuinely stands out 

-Deliberating on creating a brand story that resonates with the consumer & is super different 

-Creating long-term partnerships with stakeholders like channels, influencers, and ambassadors, where you reap the snowball effect, but the initial days can be a grind. However, these are more authentically aligned with the problem your brand solves than the quick and dead influencer or ad campaigns on social.

Example of a beauty founder-Emily Doyle and Mei Kwok, founders of Dune Suncare

– To disrupt Suncare, they deliberated for years and then created  a game-changing solution that is the most affordable, most easy to use and apply, brings back happy memories and they have formed great partnerships with retailers and the hospitality channel alike in less than 3 years. No stone unturned. Do the hard things first.

7. Resilience: The Why? Internal Motivation: Stay Motivated Despite Failures & Play for the Long-Term

These founders are so obsessed with making a difference, driven by a deep internal motive, that every setback seems like a step closer to their dream.

On the contrary, the not-so-successful are always whining about the nature of the industry and what is happening around them or the lack of support or resources.

Successful founders know that it’s a long haul, so they can take every short-term setback as a puzzle to be fixed rather than the world conspiring against my brand, idea, and myself.

Example of a Beauty Founder- Joe Cloyes and Greg Gonzalez, Youth To The People

Example of resilience in beauty founders: Joe Cloyes and Greg Gonzales

Though the brand was founded in 2015, Youth To The People continued its legacy as a family-led brand leveraging three generations of professional skincare know-how, research and development and conscious activism, resilient in the face of all the setbacks of over 3 decades.

8. Storytellers

A single question I ask a beauty founder is: If I am your target consumer, pitch your beauty brand to me in 6-8 words max, and one that will get your target consumer to asking for more.

Clarity is the key driver here!

Great founders do, and others struggle.

You can tell great stories only if you have absolute clarity, which is core to the story and one that resonates deeply with your consumer.

Second, they need to be able to elaborate and keep it interesting without boring you, just like a great story or a movie.

Example of a beauty founder-May Lindstrom

Here’s another clip from a conversation I had with May Lindstrom on my podcast. She had me mesmerized in a conversation that went over 4.5 hours!

Pay attention to the vivid details she provides in her narrative.

9. Listen

This is a delicate balance between listening to your gut, the consumer, and the vendors you work with.

You don’t have to do what the consumer or any stakeholder tells you, but you should be open to listening without getting defensive.

Example of a beauty founder-All Jump Partner Brands

All Jump partner brands do 1:1 interviews and exhaustive surveys to better understand “why their consumers buy them”. It’s the first time they are quiet 100% of the time and the listening leads to better positioning, strategy and story, and in the end, better results!


Here are the nine traits of successful beauty founders that differentiate them from the lesser mortals:

  1. Obsession with consumer problem: rather than their soution
  2.  Resourcefulness: make the best of what they have instead of focusing on the lack thereof
  3.  Execution: to make things happen
  4.  Whatever it Takes: to produce the desired outcome
  5. Work their Butt Off: + Use Leverage
  6. Willing to do the Hard Things: to solve the consumer problem
  7. Resilience: Internally motivated and prepared to play the long game without losing their zest
  8. Storytellers: Ability to articulate their core promise in 6-8 words and then the knack to elaborate with captivative storytelling
  9. Listen: Willingness to listen to their consumers, vendors, stakeholders, etc.

On how to fire all cylinders of your 3 growth engines, read my blog here!

Jump accelerates women-led, early-stage beauty brands with a”fit, fundamental & fully executable” solution using first principles of diffusion

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