Boss Lady: Frances Thrasher

Boss Lady is a series that shares personal insights from creative women in business. This week we chat with Frances Thrasher, creator and founder of Kindred Skincare, a Wilmington-based company with 100% organic oil cleansing skincare products. Frances shares with us the journey that led to her passion for health, which ultimately became a successful skincare line.

Boss Lady: Frances Thrasher of Kindred Sknicare

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and your career?
I went to Georgia Tech and studied Textile Engineering. One summer I was overexposed to chemicals in a polypropylene plant, and this created a lifetime of skin sensitivities and allergies. The change in hormones during my pregnancies intensified the problems. By my second child, I couldn’t even use any soaps or shampoos. I was developing allergies to additives, thickeners, and foaming agents. I did some research and I started using olive oil.  I got tired of smelling like olive oil all the time so I took an online bio course and started playing around with soaps and moisturizers (all oil based). Eventually I created the Kindred Skincare line. I just made it for myself and then I realized that there was a big market for it. My plastic surgeon friend used the products during her pregnancy and saw amazing results. She, along with my mom and sister pushed me to create the line.

Where did your name and brand come from?
The name Kindred symbolizes the extension of family through kindred spirits and our universal interconnectedness. The look and feel of the packaging reflect both the science and the personalized customer care reminiscent of a classic neighborhood apothecary where the local practitioner knew the name and the families of the each and every person in need of effective holistic healing remedies.

What is a typical workday like?
There is no typical workday. I am a one-woman band so it really depends. It depends on the amount of orders I have, the amount of supplies I have to work with, and everything else that I have going on in my life. I hand batch everything and that takes a long time. I could also be in my shop dabbling in other products, delivering local orders to stores like Houppette, or I could be sending my products at the post office to my clients in Brooklyn, Florida, or Oregon. My family is incredible and helps me if I’m ever in a pinch.

Where do you get your ideas and inspiration?
I get my inspiration from all over the place. I’m always taking in feedback from clients and trying to work with them to develop new ideas. I also love to go horseback riding in my free time and that is a big influence for me. Being in nature really inspires my whole lifestyle. One of my favorite practices is Shinrin-Yoku, a term that translates as “tree” or “forest bathing.” Research has determined that when you immerse yourself in nature by “walking through the woods,” the body responds, practically communing with the surrounding environment, giving way to a host of benefits: a reduction in both stress and blood pressure, an improvement in mood, energy and sleep as well as an accelerated recovery from illness or surgery. I believe in natural and organic approaches to caring for your body. Your skin is your largest organ, therefore what you put on your body Is just as important as what you put in your body!

Who is a Boss Lady that you look up to and why?
I can’t choose just one. I have so many. Everyday I meet such talented and passionate women. They’re in the stores I go to, they’re clients, and they’re all so different. They all have had completely different paths that I am just in awe of. I have really grown to love and have deep friendships with these women. To me, you don’t have to be a flag-carrying woman. We’re all little pieces of the bigger picture. We are all empowering with our shoulders back and our heads up. I have so much respect for these women that I interact with every single day. They’re all juggling a lot, and yet they are keeping a good attitude and just doing it well.

What is your best form of marketing?
I definitely use Instagram to gain traction with my company. I’m not super into Facebook or Twitter or even hiring a sales team. On Instagram I’m able to not only showcase my products but who I am as a person. I think it’s really important that people invest in that aspect as well. I can really show them that I live up to the lifestyle that I’m so passionate about. It shows a real-life aspect to my company so people know I’m not just a business tycoon. I’ll make cold-calls to people to get their input and throw my name out there. I also get a lot of business through my website and e-commerce. After people buy products they’re always telling their friends. Word-of-mouth has helped my business tremendously.

What do you think is in store for the future of your company?
I like the small, apothecary feel to my line. I’m a small business so I’m looking to build smart growth that won’t be too overwhelming. It’s a big market and I know the more I open people’s eyes to the magic of oil based skincare products, the more they’ll be all over it. I’m starting small with the Indie Beauty Expo in Dallas where I’ll show off my product. I want others to see the necessity and power of good oils. I am so excited for what the future holds because I really took a leap of faith with this line and it has given me so much.

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Boss Ladies: Kaylyn Minix & Michelle Trincia

Boss Lady is a series that shares personal insights from creative women in business. This week we chat with Kaylyn Minix and Michelle Trincia, co-founders of bloom daily planners, a Newark, Delaware based company with chic planners for women of all ages. Kaylyn and Michelle share with us what it means to empower women to live positive and organized lifestyles along with advice for future #bossladies.

bloom planners | social stylate

1.Tell us a bit about yourself and the company.
We were both born and raised in Delaware and have been planner lovers and list makers our whole lives. We both attended the University of Delaware where we met, interning at our future company! bloom creates daily planners and a variety of other organizational that inspire and empower women to live a positive, organized lifestyle. Our goal is to help our customers lead a more healthy, fulfilling life and be the best versions of themselves! We are so grateful for the platform that we have created, our amazing team and useful products but most importantly our bloom girls who inspire us every day!

More from Kaylyn: My fiancé and I are new home owners and love working on and decorating our home. We are currently planning our dream wedding in Mexico and Honeymoon in Europe! I love spending time with my loved ones most. Traveling, fashion, shopping, my exercise classes, cheat meals, crossing things off my to do lists and filling up my planner with all of these wonderful activities!

More from Michelle: I am recently married and live with my husband and a giant golden retriever. I love traveling (we just got back from our honeymoon to Paris/Amsterdam/Italy!), new music, new food, new experiences! I am a busy body who is, in addition to bloom, have too many side projects including three Etsy shops and a dogsitting business! I am always on the go and thinking of new things to do/try/create. I love listening to interesting podcasts, reading books by inspiring business owners, and I also try and relax sometimes with family and friends.

2.Where did the name “bloom” come from?
We felt bloom was the perfect metaphor for our brand! Our products are designed to inspire and empower women Dzbloomdz into the best version of themselves. Blooming is a continual process and a lifelong journey. Our logo is a daisy which is a symbol of purity and new beginnings. We believe each year, each day, each moment is an opportunity to start fresh and strive to be better. The name bloom also captures the brightness and colorfulness of our brand and patterns, and it makes for a lot of fun flower metaphors. Wins all around!

3.What does a typical day at the office look like?
Every day is different! There is always something fun and exciting going on! A new deadline, a product upload, a new shipment or event to cover. We are always working on new designs and product ideas, attending trade shows, and making new relationships to help bloom continually ‘branch out’! Our office is very collaborative and open concept, so we’re constantly generating new ideas (designs, products, social media campaigns, etc.) Something really unique about our company is we are able to take an idea from conception to delivery to the public. We’re always brainstorming new product ideas, new designs, and new layouts then working together to bring them into existence. We always say it’s like Christmas when we get our new samples. To then see our customers be helped by these products we created is the most rewarding thing in the world. Our products are truly our babies!

4.What is your best source of inspiration for your designs?
Following the trends that we see in the fashion world, stationery market, Pinterest, travel, really anything that inspires us! We also pull most of our inspiration for new patterns and products from our #bloomgirl community. We take their requests and feedback very seriously and are always tweaking current products and even making new ones to fit their needs! We recently started a cover contest where we literally let our users design their own covers and then let the community vote. The winner gets their design printed, a cash prize, and planners for life! We love incorporating our users into our day to day decisions because we wouldn’t exist without them!

5.What would you consider your best tool for marketing?
Social Media! Twitter has been an amazing tool to create more personal conversations with our bloom girls. We try to connect with girls who love to be organized or need a little inspiration in their lives. It makes our day to brighten someone else’s. We also rely on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest! The best part of our day is interacting with our bloom girls!

6.If you could do a collaboration for a line of planners with anyone, who would it be and why?
Kaylyn: I would have to say Mary Kay! I am actually a Mary Kay rep and see how closely bloom and Mary Kay’s values align. We both focus on inspiring women to be organized, follow their dreams and achieve their goals. I think we could have a great line together to empower women across the world tobe their own girl bosses!

Michelle: I would love to work with TheSkimm or Sophia Amoroso on a custom #GIRLBOSS planner! We love that book and it would be so great to incorporate those concepts into a yearly planner!

7.What is one of the biggest challenges you face as a business owner and how do you overcome that?
Juggling everything in our personal and professional lives is certainly a challenge. It inspires us that bloom creates products to help make a hectic, (but exciting!) life more manageable. Everyone wants to appear that they have it all together but that is not always the case. We have some pretty intense work, travel and social schedules but we ultimately thrive off of this. We know what to expect, we make the most of it, remain grateful for these opportunities and get it done! The environment we have created at bloom has helped us keep a positive and grateful mindset to accomplish this and live a more fulfilling life. This is our goal for women around the world.

8.Where do you see yourself in 5 years? 10 years?
bloom is growing so quickly. The sky is limit! We are adding more products and employees by the day so we see major growth in all of our current sales channels, new sales channels, new distribution relationships, nationally and internationally, and a much larger team to help us accomplish this!

9.What is some advice that you could give to someone trying to start their own business?
Follow your dreams and never give up! We love the quote “Don’t stop until you’re proud.” Remain focused, proactive, and organized and it will happen.

Set goals, stay accountable, read books, listen to podcasts, always try to expand upon your knowledge. Find a creative outlet to inspire you and help relieve any stress. Keep a healthy professional and personal balance so you don’t get burnt out.

Trust the process. We have had many ups and downs but things always seem to happen for a reason, and for the best!

10. Who is a #BossLady that you look up to and why?
We love Sophia Amoruso and the founders of the The Skimm, Danielle Weisberg and Carly Zakin. They have all paved their way from the ground up and we can really appreciate their stories. With passion and determination anyone can be a #GirlBoss!

Kaylyn’s Moodboard

Kaylyn Minix & Michelle Trincia Boss Lady | social stylate

Michelle’s moodboard

Kaylyn Minix & Michelle Trincia boss lady | social stylate

MORE ON KAYLYN MINIX & MICHELLE TRINCIA and bloom planners
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Serenity at Jade Retreat in Costa Rica

Jade Retreat is located in the heart of the Central American jungle where natural beauty meets the clouds. A large portion of the land in Nosara is protected, and the beaches are untouched. No one is allowed to build within 100m of the beach. For years, the beaches of Nosara have been culling surfers from all over the world.

Nothing beats an early morning run along the Pacific, followed up by fresh coconut water. Set your intentions for the day with meditations or private yoga by the pool. Heaven on earth. We were privy to all of the local insiders tips on where to dine with plenty of varied restaurants tucked away like hidden gems.

Evening sunsets are the perfect way to relax and take in the natural surroundings.

nosara_costarica

Quad tour through the jungle with stops along the way to meet locals and dine at The Black Sheep Pub.

Jade-retreat

Surf lessons on Playa Guiones beach where you can surf some of the longest waves in the world.

Surfing_nosara

Amazing views and great adventure on Miss Sky Zip Line. Letting go of my fears was well worth the ride on one of the longest zip lines in the world.

nosara_zipline

There are many words that describe Jade Retreat.  The ambiance hangs loose from dawn to dusk. Counting the days until we can return.

Jade_Retreat_YogaRetreat

photo: by Carlos Alejandro

 

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Boss Lady: Jamie Chandlee

Boss Lady is a series that shares personal insights from creative women in business. This week we chat with Jamie Chandlee, the CEO of Rank & Style, media site that publishes daily top ten lists of the best beauty, fashion, and lifestyle products. Jamie shares with us the journey she took to find her passion, which allows her to be a better mom and family member. In addition, we chat all things technology, fashion and more! 

Jamie Chandlee

1.  Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and your career?
A few years after graduating from The University of Texas at Austin, I was one of the first sales hires at Facebook Austin. I wore a lot of hats in this role beyond working with our fashion & retails partnerships. Facebook had just opened its doors in Austin, so I had a hand in recruiting, interviewing, and onboarding new employees in my position there as well. But after becoming a mother of two, I found that it was time to move on from Facebook and pursue another challenge. As a busy mom and an avid traveler (also an online shopping addict), I am constantly on the go with less and less time to search for the very best when it comes to fashion and beauty. My two business partners and I acquired Rank & Style, a website that publishes data-driven, daily top ten lists of the best in fashion and beauty in May 2016 and relocated its headquarters to Austin. Despite professional achievements, I have to say that the greatest achievements of all in my life have been beating cancer and becoming a mother to my two children, Emerson and Maxwell.

2. What inspired you to acquire Rank & Style?
I left my job at Facebook in 2013 when I was pregnant with my daughter, Emerson. I really struggled with my identity and was in a complete rut. Being a mom is very fulfilling but I knew that I needed another challenge.  I started working on the Rank & Style acquisition about a year ago and haven’t looked back since. I feel much more fulfilled in all aspects of my life, which allows me to be a better mom and cherish my time with my family even more.

boss lady jamie chandlee

3. Can you explain how the product categories are chosen?
Many of our fashion lists focus on staple wardrobe items such as the best black leggings or white button-down shirts. Our beauty lists focus on essentials too, but we also regularly introduce our readers to new trends or products that are receiving outstanding reviews online. The combination of both really speaks to our reader because she loves to build a classic wardrobe while still embracing trends in order to stay style-savvy. We also honor requests for lists, so some of our best ideas for have come from our readers!

4. Of this spring’s major fashion or beauty trends, which list do you want to see featured on Rank & Style?
Our content team at Rank & Style is incredible; they have their pulse on everything trending in beauty and fashion. Each list is really a thrill for me because I know how much they can impact our readers. I have to say that I’m really looking forward to our upcoming spring trends and essentials lists! Is it just me or is everybody in the mood for a beach getaway?

5. What excites you most about technology and the future of fashion and beauty?
I love how everything is at your fingertips. In the past couple of years, fashion has become more accessible to consumers through technology. It’s really interesting to witness this shift in focus because after all, fashion and beauty are really about the customer’s personal expression of style and self-confidence. I noticed so many designers were making their looks go live online as soon as they hit the runway during fashion week. I loved this because it makes everything truly “ready to wear”.

boss lady jamie chandlee

6. What have you found to be your biggest challenge thus far in your career?
Maintaining balance in all the most important areas of my life. This will always be a constant challenge, but over the years I have learned to focus on what is most important to me first. I  carve out specific time each day to focus on three different areas: Work, Charity, Family.  It’s a constant give and take and I certainly don’t have the perfect balance, but it’s something I work on every single day. The struggle for more time and balance will always be there, but when I am specific with my intensions for each day then it’s another step forward.

7. Where do you see Rank & Style 5 years from now?  
A go-to trusted source for millions of consumers as the most effective way to explore the best of fashion, beauty, and lifestyle products. We also want to create new ways to ingest our content whether it be an app, video, or integrations with our retail partners.

Jamie Chandlee

8. If you could be any Boss Lady for a day (living or dead), who would it be and why?
Sheryl Sandberg- She has been able to fundamentally impact and empower women in the workplace with her Lean In initiatives. She represents everything I look to be in a leader: empathetic, strong, believes passionately in people, all while being a tremendous mother.

9. What advice would you give someone who is thinking about going from employee to entrepreneur?
Just do it. When I reflect back on my career thus far, I always ask myself why I didn’t become an entrepreneur earlier. It took me a while to acknowledge that desire in myself and to have enough courage to take the leap of faith into entrepreneurship.

10. In addition to being a mom and a career woman, you also love to travel. What are your top 3 beauty or fashion tips for traveling?
1. Drink plenty of water! I can’t say this enough because traveling is so dehydrating for your skin.
2. When planning your outfits, pack versatile basics to avoid overpacking. You can mix and match these to make lots of different outfits. I always carry-on even if it’s a 2 week trip!
3. Comfort doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice style; I truly believe that you can look good and feel good at the same time. Go for edgy athleisure or loungewear pieces that can make a comfy look trendier!

Just for fun…

jamie chandlee- behind the boss

  1. favorite place to travel: st. barth’s
  2. can’t live without: batiste dry shampoo
  3. stylish sneaks: golden goose
  4. must have: OPI funny bunny
  5. beauty bliss”: clé de peau beauté
  6. all things: MSGM

More on Jamie Chandlee:

Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

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