Remote Inspiration

This week (quarantine week 3) has been particularly challenging because the current reality has lost its novelty and is starting to sink in. I finally realized on Monday that life is going to be this way for another 4-6 weeks (hopefully not much longer, please). 

I wrote last week about my new sanity rituals, which while I am (mostly) following, are not helping (much). I do not feel inspired. I do not feel productive. I do not feel creative. When this happens during “normal life,” I go out in the field and visit Alchimie Forever customers. Nothing re-engages me in my brand, in my work, than being out in the field, listening to our brand ambassadors, learning from them, feeling their enthusiasm rub off on me. 

In “current life,” however, that is not possible. So instead, I turned to customers, business leaders, brand owners, for some remote inspiration. Here are four things that have helped me re-engage. 

 A remote training session with Heyday. This was almost as great as being in the field, visiting with the Heyday therapists IRL. Their questions, their feedback, their enthusiasm was contagious even “just” on the screen. And this gave me an opportunity to wear lipstick (first time in two weeks…), which felt wonderful. 

The COVID-19 speech by Marriott International President & CEO Arne Sorenson. I am a Marriott girl through and through, and will forever be after this speech, possibly the best crisis communication I have heard. Honest, realistic, hopeful, compassionate, emotional. 

The wise and honest words of Jennifer Yen, Founder & CEO of Purlisse, as quoted in Glossy today (article written by Emma Sandler). 

“As a brand founder who experienced the 2008 financial crisis and recession, the experience taught [me] lessons which [I have] applied for the past 12 years, including the importance of keeping a lean team, focusing on profitability versus growth, and reinvesting profit into hiring and product development. … Scrappy is the new sexy. It’s hard to see when the party’s over when times are still good, but I’ve been preparing for another moment like 2008 because it was so traumatizing.” 

The community efforts by Mathilde Thomas, Founder of Caudalie. Her brand sent hundreds of products to hospitals throughout France to help with chapped, irritated skin. In her LinkedIn post about this, she encouraged everyone: FAITES CE QUE VOUS POUVEZ POUR AIDER (Do what you can to help). Her example inspired me to reach out to MedStar Georgetown University Hospital to offer to donate some Dry skin balm, some Kantic Brightening moisture mask, and some Kantic+ Intensely nourishing cream. Because that is what I can do right now, right here, to help. 

How do you stay inspired and engaged in your work, in your brand, during these strange times? 


BeautyView: Jennifer Yen, Owner and Creator, Purlisse

I am a fan of niche beauty brands. And yes, I include niche skin care lines in that statement, which could be considered my competition. In fact, my very first BeautyView was with Sarah Kugelman of Skyn Iceland, with whom I share cocktails, laugh, and “war stories” whenever I travel to New York City. Jennifer Yen, founder of Purlisse, is another skin care entrepreneur with whom I share the joys and challenges of growing my brand, and vice versa. I met Jennifer a number of years ago during a QVC training, and we reconnected through our shows earlier this year on ShopNBC. Apparently, we are on parallel paths. And we, niche brand owners and creators, need to stick together, help each other, and celebrate each other…

AP: What city to do you live in? JY: Los Angeles, CA.

AP: What is your middle name? JY: Loo.

AP: What is your astrological sign? JY: Libra.

AP: What is something about you most people don’t know? JY: I grew up in a small town in Alabama and I love to cook.

AP: What is your most prized possession? JY: My photographs pre-digital days and my hand-written journals.

AP: If you could have dinner with the person of your choice, who would it be? JY: Margaret Thatcher.

AP: Describe your fashion style in three words maximum. JY: Comfortable, androgynous, sophisticated.

AP: Do you wear a watch? If yes, what model? JY: Yes, Black Chanel J12.

AP: Diamonds or pearls? JY: Diamonds.

AP: What is your #1 beauty secret? JY: Healthy diet and sleep.

AP: What fragrance do you wear? JY: Creed Fleur de The Rose Bulgare during the Winter and Creed Virgin Island Water during the Summer.

AP: Botox or not? JY: No Botox, not yet!  I hope I won’t have to go there.

AP: Hair color: natural or not? JY: Natural.

AP: What are your special diet tips, if any? JY: I always eat more vegetables to fill me up and this usually prevents me from over-eating. If I have a heavy lunch, I have light dinner. If I know I will have a big dinner, I have s lighter lunch.

AP: What do you do for exercise? JY: I love to walk in nature, yoga, spinning and Physique57.

AP: What are three things that you always have in your fridge? JY: Coconut milk, kale and garlic.

AP: What is your cocktail of choice? JY: Water with lemon.

AP: What is your secret to work/life balance? JY: I blend my social life with work.  And I really do take time to relax and not over schedule myself on weekends.

AP: How many miles do you fly per year on average? JY: Around 75,000 miles.

AP: What are your three top tips for travel? JY: 1. Always wear comfortable shoes. 2. Have water, face moisturizer and lip balm with you. 3. Check-in online before the flight.

AP: 3 songs on your ipod right now. JY: Beethoven Piano Concerto No. 5, JayZ Empire State of Mind, Rachmaninov Rhapsody on a Theme.

AP: What book are you reading right now? JY: Paradox of Choice by Barry Schwartz.

AP: Quote to live by. JY: “At the center of your being you have the answer; you know who you are and you know what you want” by Lao Tzu.

AP: What is your worst pet peeve? JY: Nothing bugs me more than waking up to a kitchen filled with unwashed dishes.

AP: What time do you usually wake up in the morning, and how many hours of sleep do you usually get? JY: I don’t understand people who can function on 4 hours of sleep.  I need 7-8 hours of sleep.  I wake up around 7am.

AP: What is your favorite thing about the beauty industry? JY: I love the creativity of the beauty industry and how it is infinite and it never ends because how can women ever have enough beauty products?

AP: Least favorite thing. JY: How beauty products are marketed and distributed in a framework and model that is over 100 years old.

AP: Who is your mentor? JY: I don’t have one specific mentor. I am grateful I have a network of great smart and accomplished people I can turn to for advice and mentorship.

AP: Words of advice for young women starting their careers today. JY: Time waits for no man. Have no Fear. Make a decision, commit and go for it. Learn, fail, do and grow. You have to put in the time and feel the slow burn to become great at what you do. It takes time to become great at what you do.  Wise words from my former acting teacher, “no one becomes a CEO overnight,” and the same goes for the “great actors.”