The future of beauty with Sharmadean Reid
Oct. 1, 2019, 9 p.m.
On this episode Abadesi talks to Sharmadean Reid, founder of Beautystack. She’s one of Aba’s favorite people of all time, and is an inspiration to women and people of color everywhere. She recently raised a whopping seed round to grow and scale Beautystack.
In this episode they talk about...
How she’s helping women start businesses
“People always say that the information is out there, but sometimes you don’t know what to Google.”
Sharma talks about the importance of networks of women who can help and support each other in their founder journeys. She explains what it was like for her when she was just getting started, and how she was helped by others who were further along than she was. She has been giving back through a couple of different initiatives and talks about the self-sustaining community they have created.
“The proudest thing for me is the tens of thousands of connections between women that we’ve created.”
What fashion means to her
“My personal style to me is the reason I like fashion. Fashion and beauty is essentially how we as homo sapiens show our tribes, it’s the way we say this is what I am, this is what I stand for and what I believe in. For me, being a bit ‘extra’ with my look is a testament to how my mind works.”
She explains how fashion can make a powerful statement and her philosophy behind how she chooses her looks, saying that it’s part of “living in the future.” She explains how she got into the fashion industry in the first place, takes us behind-the-scenes of fashion shoots, and talks about why they are excellent vehicles for virality.
Her fundraising journey
“We often sit there and have a business idea and do a pitch deck and do market research. But market research is not the same as writing your own thesis of how the future is going to look.”
Sharma explains how she approached the fundraising for Beautystack, and talks about why, once you’ve done the important work in advance and have conviction in your ideas, it can be quite effortless to put everything together. She talks about fleshing out all of her thoughts around the company in a personal password-protected blog, and how she researched her investors ahead of time to know what kinds of objections they might bring up in order to anticipate them. She also points out that it’s important to find the right investors for your company, so you should be just as discerning as your investors are.
The founder mindset and personal development
“I think that good investors want missionary founders and cultivating my personal mission keeps me on the straight and narrow and gives me that north star that regardless of how the business pans out, I own that personal mission.”
She is one of the hardest-working people that Aba knows, and invests in herself as much as in everything else that she does. She explains the importance of cultivating a personal mission and how to define success for yourself. She also talks about some of the mental models she uses, why she reads from a broad variety of sources, and explains what she means when she says “everything is cyclical.”
The future of work and scaling a team
“I learned this from the guys at Basecamp. Think of the company as your product. Your users are your employees — are you giving them the best user experience possible?”
Sharma explains how she’s cultivated Beautystack’s unique culture. She takes us through some of the initiatives they’ve started, including increasing the level of gratitude in the workplace and why each person at the company creates and presents their own “guide to working with me.” She also talks about how she plans for the future growth of her company and why she loves the philosophy of Arthur Schopenhauer.
Of course, she also lets us know what some of her favorite products on her home screen are.
Companies and Products Mentioned In This Episode
Co - Star Astrology — Hyper-personalized astrology.
Ferly — Your audio guide to mindful sex.
Moody Month — Track your moods, hormone cycle, and life.
Notion — Increase your team intelligence.
Sanctuary — Daily personalized astrology readings and horoscopes.
Superhuman — The fastest email experience ever made.
The Pattern — Personalized astrology readings based on your astrological chart.