Liz Whitman has been in the beauty industry for 15 years – as an entrepreneur, investor, and executive – but her “ah-ha” moment for her latest brand came when she was getting a facial.
The Founder and CEO of Exponent Beauty, a self-activated skincare system designed to deliver peak potency with each dose, was president of Red Door by Elizabeth Arden when a long-time aesthetician was bringing her up to speed on products and protocols.
“She spent a lot of time telling me why, as part of our protocols, we mixed masks and serums and treatments fresh before applying them to guests,” she says. “I’m sitting there, my eyes are closed. … And I go to the next logical question: if that’s true, then how effective can pre-mixed retail products actually be?”
Fast forward through a move to the West Coast and lab research that confirmed her suspicion that a skin-care solution was needed.
“It’s wonderful to come up with something wildly innovative that truly works,” she says.
Liz has some words of wisdom she’s gained after her career as an entrepreneur.
“In some ways, I envy first-time founders on the emotional front because not knowing what’s ahead is somewhat amazing – you have no fear whatsoever,” she says.
Liz offers these tactical suggestions to would-be entrepreneurs.
“There are tons of people willing to give advice and feedback and share learnings, and it’s never been easier than it is today to just get in touch with pretty much anyone through the Internet (and) through various social platforms,” she says. “Don’t be precious about your idea. Kick it around…Ask them what they like about it, etc. And that’s really important and very hard to do. And I think this is in life in general, not just with entrepreneurship, but you have to create a safe space for real feedback.”
As for the future, Liz says to expect the unexpected from her brand.
“I think you can fully expect that anything coming out of Exponent will be a think-outside-the-jar approach to new product development.”
In Part 2, Liz talks about:
* Her background in the beauty industry.
* The “ah-ha” moment for her new brand.
* The four phases of development for Exponent Beauty.
* Advice for other entrepreneurs.
* Her continued attraction to starting new brands.
* A guide to the brand’s website and products.
* The importance of establishing consumer trust.
For more on Exponent Beauty, visit: https://exponentbeauty.com/
This episode is brought to you by Yotpo.
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