I met Ellie Whalen, technically Eleanor Connell Whalen, Founder and CEO of Sprayology, at a tradeshow a number of years ago. We immediately clicked, in part because are both beauty company entrepreneurs based in the Mid-Atlantic region (we are a small group…). I am a true admirer, of her personally and of her products – her TravelEase spray has been known to show up in my suitcase. And now I have two more reasons to like her – she worked at Swatch (we now also have a Swiss connection), and she freely admits her to reading Fifty Shades of Grey!
AP: What city were you born in? EW: Red Bank, NJ.
AP: What city to do you live in? EW: Rockville, MD.
AP: What is your middle name? EW: Louise but I use my maiden name now as middle Connell.
AP: What is your astrological sign? EW: Capricorn.
AP: What is your favorite thing about the beauty industry? EW: The majority of the people you meet are environmentally considerate and upbeat.
AP: Least favorite thing? EW: Although many want to green the world, this attitude is not trusted when it comes to our own bodies in regards to medicine.
AP: What is your most prized possession? EW: I know they are not a possession, but truly my family. I have been with my husband for 27 years and I have 3 children. If I was running out of my house because of a fire, I would be grabbing my loved ones and documents. If I was forced to pick I would say my wedding ring as it represents my family.
AP: What is something about you most people don’t know? EW: I never planned on being an entrepreneur. I liked working for well established companies. I was a hard working, loyal employee. But sometimes, you are lead in unexpected directions. Also, on a more personal note, I gave birth 3 times, all three all-natural, no drugs and I even helped deliver my son Joe as my husband was a Navy Pilot and out to sea when he was born.
AP: Do you wear a watch? If yes, what model? EW: No, which is odd. I worked for Swatch for 10 years and I used to wear 3, 4 even 10 at a time.
AP: Diamonds or pearls? EW: Why choose, but diamonds of course.
AP: If you could have dinner with the person of your choice, who would it be? EW: If only considering the living, I would say Dr. Oz, I love him!
AP: What is your secret to work/life balance? EW: Prayer.
AP: What are your three top tips for travel? EW: I travel a lot. Unfortunately, I have to always check my bags because my product is liquid and I am always packing samples. My basic rules are: 1. Try to avoid Monday and Friday when flying, 2. Make a plan and stick to it, 3. Fly Southwest whenever possible.
AP: What is your favorite book? EW: Whatever I am reading currently, Fifty Shades of Grey.
AP: What is your cocktail of choice? EW: Kinda boring: I love white wine.
AP: What is your #1 beauty secret? EW: Sleep, Rejuvenation Plus and vitamins.
AP: What fragrance do you wear? EW: I rarely wear it, but I like Kai and Channel No. 5
AP: Botox or not? EW: No way
AP: Hair color: natural or not? EW: I have been gray since I was 18 years old. I hope to go natural gray someday but right now, I love color!
AP: 3 songs on your ipod right now. EW: Somebody that I use to know. Alleluia. Anything Adele is singing.
AP: Quote to live by. EW: “We cannot become who we need to be by remaining who we are”. I also love :The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” Eleanor Roosevelt.
AP: Who is your mentor? EW: Lou Faust III.
AP: Words of advice for young women starting their careers today. EW: Passion, focus and persistence partnered with great advisers and a lawyer you trust – those are the keys to success.