Recently, I had the honor of sitting down with Authority Magazine and Thrive
With love, Annie Tevelin
Can you share your top three “lifestyle tweaks” that will help support people’s journey towards better wellbeing?
I find the art of disconnecting very important in this day and age. I never fall asleep with my phone on my nightstand and upon waking up, I do not look at my phone until I get out of bed, shower, and eat breakfast. Then and only then am I emotionally available for what my inbox will hold. In making this change, I feel more calm, balanced, and more in touch with my ‘IRL’ life. Additionally, when I leave the office, I love going for a walk before the sun goes down. This allows me to separate my ‘work day’ from whatever comes next. If I go from work into cooking dinner, the stress of my day follows me. From time to time, I will turn off the WIFI in my home. There is a really great feeling that comes with being off the grid and diving into the joys of my life.
Can you share the interesting story that happened to you since you started your career?
During SkinOwl’s first year, I remember being in constant contemplation about who to bring on to help take SkinOwl to the next level. An executive assistant? A business partner? I was at a loss. One night, I went to dinner at a Mexican restaurant, Tortilla Republic, in West Hollywood and my waiter asked for my business card because his girlfriend was a massive beauty and skincare buff. The following week, a girl by the name of Rachel Johnson went to the same restaurant and mentioned to the same waiter that she was a beauty and wellness publicist. The waiter still had my card in his wallet and told Rachel to check out ‘SkinOwl’ as it might be of interest to her. Rachel contacted me the following week, we had lunch (despite me having an awful cold, where I think I sneezed on her 72 times), and the first SkinOwl contractor was hired. We signed our contract at Tortilla Republic less than a month later. The waiter had quit the week prior. Meeting Rachel was nothing short of ‘meant to be’ and she has been my publicist and dear friend for the last 6 years. I couldn’t imagine SkinOwl without her by my side.
Can you share a story about the biggest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
During SkinOwl’s second year, I was overwhelmed by the amount of work and skills I didn’t have to grow a business. I didn’t know retailers or influencers or a lot of logistical aspects of growing a business. A girl, who knew I was ill-educated in these ways, asked to come on as my partner and made me feel very insecure about building SkinOwl on my own. The more time I spent with her, the more I doubted myself. I was at war with
Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
Absolutely! I have so many people to thank. Jeannie Jarnot, the founder of Beauty Heroes, introduced me to the senior buyer of Credo Beauty, one of our largest accounts. My publicist, Rachel Johnson, has put SkinOwl on the pages of Vogue, O Magazine, Allure, with features on The Today Show and Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. Lastly, Meredith Powell, a business savant out of Vancouver, BC has always been my hero in terms of building a business with integrity and grace. She is smart as a whip. She has always believed in SkinOwl. She wrote me a check during SkinOwl’s first year, in the amount of $2500 (SkinOwl’s only funding to date) and it knocked my socks off. Her belief in SkinOwl begets my belief in SkinOwl.
If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of wellness to the most amount of people, what would that be?
It would have to be SkinOwl’s dinner collective, The Parliament Project. This was my way of helping people re-establish their connection with themselves, something very near and dear to me. I have always felt that self-work is the basis for healthy and authentic relationships, balance, and success. These dinners give people time to remember what it’s like to connect IRL, reignite their faith in the kindness of strangers, and talk about the things they wouldn’t normally tell someone upon meeting them for the first time.
I’m not sure if this experience would have been as impactful ten years ago, but now, with how disconnected and chaotic we all are, this is truly a transformative space for everyone who comes. I have dreamt of The Parliament Project since SkinOwl’s second year. It launched at the perfect time and has truly given people a place to share, heal, and start anew. To me, that is the highest form of wellness.
What is your “Thing I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Started” and
That formulating, bottling, labeling, shipping, and handling all logistical operations, social media, and customer service out of my HOME would be a massive feat. SkinOwl has always been run out of my house. We do everything in-house, from shipping retailer orders to Hong Kong to hand-bottling and labeling every skincare product in existence.
A lot of people don’t know how much 5 people can do until they are put in a position to do it. My team is my family and I’ve never seen a more well-oiled engine than #TeamSkinOwl.
We create hundreds of products every week and there’s something really special about making something with your hands with people you love. While this is the hardest aspect of SkinOwl, it is the most gratifying. Our work ethic creates our culture and our culture inspires integrity.
Do you have any “girl-crush” in this industry? If you could take one person to brunch, who would they be?
I would love to take Brene Brown to dinner. She is my girl-crush without question. We’d order salmon, get mocktails (she’s sober and I’m pregnant) and we’d talk about the human experience. While she isn’t in the beauty industry, so to speak, she is absolutely a woman in wellness. She helps people embrace shame, vulnerability, and has helped so many people find joy and happiness.
Sustainability, veganism, mental health and environmental changes are big topics at the moment. Which one of these causes is dearest to you, and why?
I would have to say mental health. While SkinOwl is a vegan line, I am more concerned with animal cruelty than veganism, as a movement. But above all, the mental health and wellbeing of people is my greatest passion. Happy people beget happy people. And if there were more happy people in the world, life would be easier for everyone experiencing it. As simple as it sounds, life isn’t fun when you feel insecure or depressed or anxious. If SkinOwl or I can help people tackle some of that stuff by way of skincare or a podcast, I’ve done what I set out to do.