Please consider shopping from Cassie for your holiday needs. She's offering a great discount (scroll to the bottom to check that out, along with the link to the site to purchase!).
Thank you, Cassie! Gorgeous family, awesome work!
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Images from Cassie Smith
A note from Cassie:
After having my daughter Charlie I really began paying attention to what goes into the food our family is eating, but had never looked at all the beauty products I use. That is until a friend pointed out that most (if not all) of them, like face wash and creams, have chemicals that aren't regulated. Scary stuff!
She educated me on some of the following facts I had no idea about:
- The US only bans 11 ingredients in personal care products vs. the EU which bans over 1300!
- Out of every 10 women who are diagnosed with Breast Cancer, only 1 has the genetic gene for it – so what’s changed?
- There are more than 80,000 chemicals on the market today. Many don't have any safety data. This is particularly true of those used in the skin care and beauty industry.
First I was shocked, but second, I was introduced to Beautycounter, a company whose mission is to get safe products into the hands of everyone and does so by banning over 1500 ingredients from its products. I started using Beautycounter products for myself and fell in love with them. They are not only safe, but really work. They also have safe products for kids as well as a new zinc oxide based sunscreen line, that was just ranked as one of the top safe sunscreens by Environmental Working Group's sun safety campaign.
Beautycounter’s mission to provide safe and effective products really resonated with me and seemed like a great business opportunity, so in an unexpected turn of events, I decided to help spread the word. In the last year my husband started his own PR firm, and while I've been involved with his venture from the start, Beautycounter gives me the opportunity to contribute to my family in my own way by doing something I'm really passionate about.
For background, Beautycounter is a certified B Corporation (meaning people/planet first before profits) and is supported by Tom's Shoes, Rue La La, and J.Crew to name a few. It also partners with 3 non-profits - Environmental Working Group, Healthy Child Healthy World, and The Breast Cancer Fund to "counter" the unregulated beauty industry.
The best way to make a change is by changing the way we as consumers spend our dollar and through education – I just didn’t know, what I didn’t know.
1. How did you start your business? Why did you want your own business? When did you start your business?
Since graduating college I’ve worked at public relations agencies specializing in the high tech and healthcare industries. Over the last year, I’ve been helping my husband build his own PR firm and seeing him create a business from the ground up was incredibly inspiring.
I started using Beautycounter products earlier this year and watched as several good friends grew successful businesses. I was really intrigued but to be completely honest, direct sales is not something I ever saw myself doing - I couldn’t shake the image of Tupperware parties out of my head. After giving birth to my son in July, the pull to get involved in the Beautycounter movement was just too strong and in September I decided to launch my business.
2. Why was working at home a perfect situation for you and your family?
One word - flexibility. Despite working for some of the most accommodating firms, I always carried so much guilt around. Guilt for having to be away from my daughter while I was at work. Guilt for having to leave work if my daughter got sick (and she was sick a lot that first year). Guilt for not spending enough time with my husband and having to work late after my daughter went to bed.
Now I’m able to fit work in when it makes sense for me and my family. Mommy guilt is something I really struggle with, but at least in this aspect, it’s like a huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders.
3. What does your business specialize in? What's your favorite product?
Beautycounter’s mission is to get safe products into the hands of everyone. Decades of studies indicate that serious health issues (including, but not limited to asthma, learning disabilities, cancer and infertility) are on the rise, and due in some part to our ongoing exposure to toxic chemicals—whether it's in the shower, on our commute, while we eat lunch at a local restaurant, or when we clean our kitchens at home.
We carry a wide range of products ranging from skin care to kids shampoo to body to color cosmetics. Right now I’m totally obsessed with our Lustro Face Oils. Initially the idea of putting oil on my face freaked me out - wouldn’t that make me break out? But face oil is actually a great moisturizer that easily penetrates skin and protects against damage - something that is particularly tough during the cold winter months! The Glow Sugar Scrub and Any Time Eye Cream are also two of my favorites.
For the kids, I can’t say enough about Nice Do Shampoo and Squeaky Clean Body Wash. My customers LOVE these products and it’s also gotten some nice praise from the blogosphere.
Before I started selling Beautycounter, I was really upset to find out that my daughter's Johnson and Johnson No More Tears shampoo contains Quaternium-15 which releases Formaldehyde which can cause cancer, irritation (skin, eyes, or lungs), and organ system toxicity (non-reproductive). Thankfully there are safer options out there!
4. What do you love best about working from home?
Working from home gives me the freedom to be with my kids and also contribute financially to my family. With Beautycounter I LOVE that I’m not tied to a specific schedule or location and can work as much or as little as I want.
5. When working, where do you set up shop in your home? When do you work in the day/evening? What's your process for working?
When I’m at home I work from our office. We recently did renovations and it’s one of my favorite places in the house - if I could get away with painting the entire house this color I would!
Having a dedicated workspace allows me to focus on the business and shut off everything else. I often find myself here during nap time or once the kids have gone to bed. But I have to say the best part about this job is that you can do it anywhere, day or night! I meet clients in their homes for socials, out for coffee, at local yoga studios and even at my house for a glass of wine. Technology also makes my job a lot easier - with my iPhone I can answer client emails and phone calls, post Beautycounter photos and updates on Facebook and Instagram and connect with my Beautycounter family.
6. Take me step by step through sending someone's package to them.. what special things do you include in there ? How do you wrap them up? Do you get nervous when you send packages to people?
Packages are either shipped directly from Beautycounter or I drop them off in person - whatever the customer prefers! The direct shipping option is quick, easy and a great way for me to work with customers that don’t live locally. It’s fun for me to deliver packages in person - I often include samples or a small token of appreciation for their business and it’s a great way to connect with people one on one.
7. What is your success rate? How many orders so far?
It’s only been two months since I started my business with Beautycounter, but I’m off to an amazing start! I was able to increase my sales in the month of October and have already promoted two levels in my first two months!
One of the best parts of this job is that it never feels like sales. We really want to educate people so they can make safer, healthier choices for their families and that message really outweighs everything else.
8. Why do you think people should buy these products, and why should they support moms who work for these types of companies from home?
Moms have been building businesses through direct sales since before women had the right to vote. While the sales tactics might have evolved over the last hundred years, the incredible legacy of strong, entrepreneurial women remains the same.
As for why Beautycounter? The United States has not passed a federal law to regulate the ingredients used in personal care products since 1938. Conversely, the European Union has spent the past two decades banning or restricting more than 1,300 ingredients, the US has only banned 11 to date. At Beautycounter, we've banned more than 1,500 ingredients setting a new health and safety standard— all while ensuring our products perform, and that they're as indulgent as any luxe shampoo, lipstick or oil in the market.
As a startup, it’s a really exciting time to get involved with the company. Anyone interested in learning more about building their own business with Beautycounter can check out my website for background and / or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
9. What are your favorite homemade or company sellers to buy from?
Etsy is one of my favorite sites to shop with - there are so many creative & talented people selling there! I ordered the most gorgeous curtains from SewPanache. I also have a weakness for hanging printable art in the kids room. We also try to support local businesses - Volante Farms is a favorite. It has incredibly fresh produce and the best baked goods!
10. How does your business allow you to be a great mother?
As a mom, I really struggle with the desire to spend as much time as I can with my kids but at the same time be my own person. I don’t know about you ladies, but I need adult conversation that doesn’t revolve around sleep schedules, what my kids are eating or potty training! Beautycounter lets me be both. And with such a strong social mission, it also makes me feel like I’m part of something bigger.
11. What do you think would surprise readers to know about you?
I mix the best hot and dirty martini you’ll ever taste! A little salty with a little heat - it’s delicious.
12. What is the coolest thing you've ever experienced as part of working with this business?
Through Beautycounter I’ve been able to meet so many inspiring and driven women. Many who are building their business part time, while maintaining a full time job and raising their kids. There is an incredible support network and everyone is willing to share their experiences in hopes to help you succeed and grow your business. You feel like you're part of a family.
13. What is one of your favorite gifts to give someone for the holidays?
During the holidays I make spiced nuts for my friends and family. Charlie loves helping me put them in festive mason jars and visiting with everyone when we deliver them.
14. How many kids do you have? Give us one word to describe them.
Two - my daughter Charlie is two and my son Richie is 3 months. But only one word to describe them, Ang?! I’d have to say fascinating. They never cease to amaze me.
For the giveaway, Cassie would like to offer a FREE Beautycounter pouch ($30 value) for orders over $100 from the Mommy Stories.
LINK TO SHOP