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5 Beauty Founders on Their Optimism(s) for 2021


5 Beauty Founders on Their Optimism(s) for 2021

The year is 2021. You've just been through a hell of a year in 2020. This past year was one that seemed as though every single month came with the introduction of something new, for a lack of better words, frightening. On a lighter note, it's in exceedingly challenging times like this that we see personal growth, transformations and new expectations for the future. We turned to some badass founders from Cocokind, ILIA Beauty, Insert Name Here and Tower 28 Beauty to gain some illuminating insights on the year that was, and the year we are just now beginning. 

Sharon & Jordynn: Insert Name Here

What’s something you’re grateful for that occurred in 2020?

Wow, I feel like I have so much to be grateful for in 2020. I started dating my boyfriend 2 weeks before quarantine (Corona Bae) and I’m so grateful that I had a quarantine buddy to get me through the very strange and stressful times. I lived alone and I know I would have been incredibly lonely without him. - Jordynn.

2020 was a challenging yet healing year for me. I am a VERY single girl living in LA … during a pandemic.. ALONE. I made the decision to move out of my apartment, sell EVERYTHING, pack my life into my little sedan, and move in with my sister in a different state. It felt pointless to stay in LA... without LA! In retrospect, it was the absolute best decision... I spent my early 20s 10,000% dedicated to my career. I had put spending quality time with my family on the back burner. It was a blessing in disguise that shifted my perspective and priorities. - Sharon.

What is something you want to let go of in 2021?

I really want to let go of self doubt and refocus my thinking on the value of loving myself. I have been practicing connecting vs comparing and the art of being my own best friend. - Jordynn.

The idea that I need to fulfill all my career fantasies before 35. As a woman, there is this constant internal clock that puts unimaginable pressure on your personal life and career. - Sharon.

Something you struggled with that taught you a lesson for the 


I have always really struggled with change and tough decision making. This past year I learned it is better to really put thought into your options and then just do it. Don’t let fear cripple you and just rip the bandaid off. Wavering back and forth does more harm than good. - Jordynn.

I am awful at creating boundaries with people I love. Instead of taking the time to explain how I feel, I always convince myself that it’s no biggie and I will get over it. Don’t get me wrong, I STILL DO IT but I am much more self aware. I try to be clear from the start and draw lines so I don’t get stuck in tricky situations down the line. - Sharon.

How will your relationship with yourself be different in 2021?

As I mentioned earlier self love is a big one for me. In 2021 I’m going to put more emphasis on a proper sleep schedule, eating healthy, working out consistently and surrounding myself with people who bring out my best self. - Jordynn.

BE KIND TO MYSELF! I always want to be the best of the best which then leads me to basically being ON 24/7. If I want to have a lazy day, I should let it be instead of punishing myself for not having a productive day. There is an importance and beauty in rest. - Sharon.

What are some skin goals you have for the next year to come?

DRINKING MORE WATER! I am terrible with this and I know it is so crucial. I actually put on my 2021 resolutions to develop an evening skincare routine. It needs some TLC! - Jordynn.

Being proactive with wrinkle prevention. I am quickly approaching 30 so I need to do everything in my power to slow down the aging, meaning working out, eating right, drinking water, and maybe some ultherapy! - Sharon.

Sasha Plavsic: ILIA Beauty


What’s something you’re grateful for that occurred in 2020?

I feel guilty saying that 2020 was one of my best years, personally and professionally. My husband and I have always been apart, of which he travelled 8 months of each year. It was an extreme challenge to run a business and raise two small children alone. He retired from his work a month before COVID hit. His support through all the up’s and down’s this past year has changed my life in ways I dreamt about for a very long time. There is nothing I am more grateful for than that.

What is something you want to let go of in 2021?

In 2021, my goal is to find more balance. This means letting go of control. We have finally built an amazing team to support the ILIA business, and I can’t wait to see our team strive through this year with flying colors.

Something you struggled with that taught you a lesson for the future? 

Every entrepreneur has to do it all in the beginning. The biggest mistake is to keep doing it all for too long. We recently hired an SVP of Marketing, and cannot believe we didn’t have someone sooner. It wasn’t fair to myself or the team with how much needed to be executed in marketing this past year. It’s easy to get caught in the weeds, digging yourself out is another story, but one that needs to usually happen sooner than later.

How will your relationship with yourself be different in 2021?

I would like to have a relationship with myself as a start. Being a business owner and mom over these past ten years has left little “me” time in its wake. And I am learning if “me” is feeling slightly broken, life and business don’t go as planned. It’s very important to find things for yourself that make you feel good and strong, so that you can carry on for others around you and lead by example.

What are some skin goals you have for the next year to come?

Finding more time for rituals. I like to do a weekly mask, and spend a good 10 mins with my Nuface device. It’s those little moments that help inspire new ideas for ILIA and where I want to take the brand. Without space to think about skin, I would be out of a job!


Amy Liu: Tower 28 Beauty


What’s something you’re grateful for that occurred in 2020?

Thanks to WFH in 2020, I’ve spent more time with my husband and my three children than I can ever remember. We even added a pandemic puppy into the mix, which I never thought I’d have the time for! We’ve been living a little slower and learning more about each other, taking long walks in the morning together and just enjoying each other’s company. While it was a tough year for everyone, I’m trying to count my blessings every day. I’m also grateful for my small but mighty team—it means everything to enjoy the people you work with!
What is something you want to let go of in 2021?

The problems that 2020 brought to light are BIG ones. As just one person, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed and not know what to do. I learned that we can all be part of the change in our own way, based on what you have to offer. This realization birthed the first Clean Beauty Summer School, a collective effort by female founders and leaders in the beauty industry to support the growth of Black-owned small beauty businesses through mentorship and education. In 2021, I want to keep this approach top-of-mind; letting go of the frustration that can be a reaction to times of crises, and instead asking myself and my team “what can we do?” 
Something you struggled with that taught you a lesson for the future? 

We have a small but mighty team of 5 full time employees, so the transition from our office to the WFH life came with some growing pains. It became clear that steady communication was going to be crucial for this transition to go seamlessly. We now have a daily stand-up on Zoom, weekly meetings and an organized Slack workplace; I actually feel more connected than ever! Even if we go back to an IRL office setup, I’d like to keep some of these practices we’ve picked up from 2020. 

How will your relationship with yourself be different in 2021?

I’ve learned to relinquish some control, because who actually felt “in control” in 2020? As a first time entrepreneur, that uncertainty can feel scary. I’m trying to give myself some grace and accept that not everything will go according to plan, and that’s ok! Perfect is the enemy of progress. 

What are some skin goals you have for the next year to come?

Maskne is real. Using our SOS Daily Rescue Facial Spray daily has kept it at bay for the most part, so I hope to continue my paired down regimen and keep my eczema calm and my skin happy. I could, however, be more diligent with my SPF practices that is always an ongoing goal!


Priscilla Tsai: Cocokind


What’s something you’re grateful for that occurred in 2020?

I felt super grateful to have many blessings in 2020. I got married and got pregnant, which are two pretty big things! I was also grateful to be able to spend more time with my family. In many ways, I feel unfairly lucky to have had so many good things happen personally last year. 

What is something you want to let go of in 2021?

Last year, the amount of pressure being a business owner was insane. I think I worked 16 hour days most days, and at least six days of the week. It started off as a necessity to keep the business going, but then this turned into more of a habit. In 2021, I'm expecting my first baby and I'm looking to bring in more balance to my life. I know this will be beneficial for me both personally and professionally. 

Something you struggled with that taught you a lesson for the future? 

There were so many things that I was planning for in 2020 that didn't work out, like having a big wedding, or moving to a bigger office, etc. This year, I learned how to let go of existing plans and dreams and adapt as best as possible. This served both me and Cocokind well, and I'll bring this resiliency and adaptability into the future!

How will your relationship with yourself be different in 2021?

In 2021, I have so many big changes coming up but being a mom will be the most important change of them all! I know that means that I need to prioritize myself and my time more, in order to be the best parent and partner possible. This means that I have to be protective of my time for my own sanity and my family! In general, I think I'll just be more protective over caring for myself.  

What are some skin goals you have for the next year to come? 

I don't have any skin goals in particular, but as always, I'm on a continuous journey to practice and preach more skin acceptance. While being pregnant, I broke out a ton on my body, which at times made me feel like my pregnant belly was less beautiful. It brought me back to being in my early 20s and dealing with a ton of hormonal acne, feeling like I wasn't comfortable stepping outside without a full face of makeup. This year, especially after I give birth, I need to practice what I preach and be kinder to myself when it comes to accepting all of the changes that have happened to my body and skin.  


Thank you to all of our beautiful founders for sharing with us! Click here to read more from a cherished Zitty Committee member on her take of a "New Year, Same Very Cool, Smart & Great You".