Recently I have decided to make the leap from working a full time 9-5 job to becoming a full time entrepreneur with True North Beauty. Not many people were aware that this had happened but those that were always asked me the same question: "Why?" Well, my short answer was that sometimes the Universe presents you with the opportunity you have asked for and you have to make a choice...for me I jumped all in! I thought I would share a little more about my story with you and why this decision means so much to me.
I had the fortune at an early age to find a career that I enjoyed and spent the past 20 years working in the field of HR / Organizational Development.
Several years after going through a divorce I re-evaluated where I was at in life and realized that I wanted more from my life than climbing the corporate ladder. So, I started making bath and body products in 2012 as a way to direct my energy toward something positive and help rebuild me and get comfortable in my own skin. I wanted to build something of my own that ignited my passion and allowed me to really help women. The whole concept of starting a business was a scary one and a journey that I was not sure I was quite ready for then. But I knew the longer I waited, the longer it would keep me from achieving the life I wanted to live. This idea became a reality in the form of a brand called "Splurge" and helped me to connect with women and teach them how to embrace guilt-free indulgence by treating their skin. Splurge started out as a fun bath line and body products. The colors were bright, the scents were bold, and they were fun to use. Splurge was a great way for me to get my foot in the door while having fun trying something new.
After 3 years of doing Splurge and understanding more of the beauty market, I realized that I needed to dream bigger and work on something that would really make a difference. Around this time and shortly after turning 40 my skin became a mess: super dry, dull, acne, and fine lines became deeper seemingly over night. I knew that I wanted to use a natural skincare product to treat these new problems, but I could not find one that provided me the natural ingredients and results I desired. This forced me to focus on building a business that would allow me to realize my dreams while addressing my skincare needs. I had learned about Chaga and knew that I wanted this powerful ingredient in my skincare routine and set out to formulate products and test them. Feedback on the early products were amazing (hydration cream and oil cleanser) and gave me the confidence to keep going. So in October 2015, I changed brand names from Splurge to True North Beauty and pivoted product focus and set out to build a national prestigious skincare line.
I knew building a national brand was going to be hard and did not want to quit my 9-5 job too early and not have the money I needed to get the brand started right. So I kept my 9-5 and even took a promotion into a very visible leadership role during this period to be able to invest as much as I could in building the foundation of True North Beauty before leaving my job. Nearly all of my free time was dedicated to formulating, creating, and building deep relationships with my new customers, while maintaining relationships and transitioning my Splurge customers. But one of the hardest parts about this time was learning to be patient and focus on the journey while waiting for everything to fall into place. I had always known that I wanted to leave my 9-5 job to focus on True North Beauty, but I did not know exactly when I would make the leap or how it would happen. However, I was confident the universe would show me the path when the time was right
Balancing both a full time job and launching a new company was challenging. I did the majority of my work at night and on weekends. I remember a vender sending me an email stating that he noticed most of my emails to him were sent at early morning hours - 1,2,3 AM and wanted to know if he should work with someone else on my staff so that I did not have to worry with emails so late at night. I loved that he thought I was big enough to have a staff, but realized that it might not be the best for me or my business to only work on it during "off hours." This lead me to being able to negotiate a 4 day work week (which meant that I was working 10+ hours days while having a 2 hour commute) and for the most part was able to keep to this schedule even with the added responsibility of the new leadership role.
Doing both at the same time took a toll on me. I wanted to give my full-time work and the people there what they deserved from me (especially working in Human Resources), but I always knew my heart was in True North Beauty. I describe it as if I were cheating on both parts of my life. When I was at my 9-5 job I longed to be working on True North Beauty; building something that had true meaning to me and doing something for a greater good. When I was working on True North Beauty I felt guilty that I wasn't giving even more of myself and time to the company that had been so good to me and that was paying me and I constantly felt that I was somehow letting people down. One thing that got me through this dual work life were my customers; they were what kept me focused and on track. My mission of helping women achieve their confidence was my True North during this time and looking back I'm not sure I would do any of it differently.
And so, in November of last year when I discovered my role was going to be eliminated I had a to make a choice; to pursue another 9-5 or follow my dreams. Around this same time I can across the quote, "If you are not scared you are not dreaming big enough.". My dream of creating a nationally recognized skincare brand is pretty big, and to be honest I'm often a little scared. This quote however, helped me to realize being scared is perfectly natural and not something I should run away from. I'm truly grateful to have been given this opportunity to live out my passion and serve the amazing women I'm honored to call my friends!