I Started My Own Beauty Company--Here's the Most Important Lesson I Learned

Over the past few years, a small but promising league of women-led natural brands of all sizes have burst onto the beauty scene—companies like Kjaer Weis, Monk Oil, and CAP Beauty. Perhaps this rise of female-founded businesses in the skincare space has got you thinking I could do that—and it should. There are more than 27 million small businesses in the U.S., and a 2014 study by American Express found that women are starting companies at twice the rate of men. So why not you?

This is exactly what raced through my mind a couple of months ago. I’d just managed to clear up my skin after a confusing (and TBH traumatizing) cystic acne outbreak. Through diet and Marie Kondo–ing the hell out of my beauty routine by replacing everything with clean products, I managed to clear up the pimples. I spent hours researching natural products with antibacterial properties to help my skin and discovered golden jojoba oil: a gilded elixir with the power to hydrate and help banish blemishes.

While the acne vanished, some light scarring remained, so I investigated more natural fixes and eventually landed on tamanu oil. Also boasting antibacterial and hydrating properties, this oil has been used by women in Polynesia for generations to help not just with acne, but also scars. Bingo! I began mixing my own oil for acne-prone skin, applied nightly for several weeks, and the reddish marks on my cheeks disappeared. Even the deeper scars began to fade. My skin developed the lit-from-within glow I’d always been chasing, and I was hooked.

Obviously, I gushed to everyone who would listen (and some who didn’t) about the magic of beauty oils and decided to source my own cold-pressed, organic ingredients and develop a beauty line for stressed, dry, and acne-prone skin. I began developing monogrammed packaging and personalized oils and launched The Buff just a few weeks later.

As a freelance natural beauty and wellness writer, I admittedly have more flexibility to fit in meetings with suppliers, consult experts, and spend hours testing out different organic oils than you might (and some useful contacts), but the entire process was surprisingly straightforward. Bringing your cosmetics concept to fruition and onto the market really isn’t as scary, hard, or prohibitively expensive as it first appears.

I engaged a bunch of experts to help make sure The Buff is a beautiful, quality product ready for sale, but to save you several hundred phone calls, emails, meetings, and dollars, I’m going to share everything I learned right here. Keep scrolling!

What's your favorite small beauty brand? Please tell us in the comments!