What a great time for female entrepreneurs. We are delighted to share with you features and essays written by super women with inspiring careers and businesses that are reshaping our economy and the way we consume. They share their journey, the process it took them to get to where they are now and what they’ve learnt along the way. Welcome to Modern Mentors.
Behind the scene
I was born in the Bay Area but grew up in NYC. After moving here right after college I pursued a career in fashion which is what I did for nearly 14 years before launching my company. My initial goal was to be a model agent and my first job was at the legendary Ford Models where I was a junior booker on the men’s board. At the time, Ford represented all the top male models in the world. The fashion industry was super fun back then, with lots of perks in lieu of a decent salary. I was young, ambitious and really excited to have finally “made it”.
Eventually I burned out after only 3 short years and I transitioned into casting and production where I had the good fortune to be able to work again with the best and brightest within the industry. I produced for brands including Prada, Balenciaga, Vogue, GQ, Sephora, and even household brands like Target and Max Factor. However after 10 years of working in the fashion and beauty industry I realized two things:
I had plateaued in terms of my earning potential and I really had a deep desire to create and own something that I was really passionate about.
When I left my producer role at Ralph Lauren in September 2018, I decided that it was either now or never. And by October, I started the process of forming Pretty Well Beauty.
An idea, created
I came up with the idea out of frustration as a consumer initially. I had been a huge clean beauty advocate for years at this point but I felt there was still so much lacking in the space in terms of transparency, education and inclusivity. I didn’t love the shopping experience where every time I walked into a shop one of two things would happen- I would either be completely ignored or I was given a hard and aggressive sell of things I already knew I didn’t need. I wanted to create something that didn’t feel so overwhelming and exclusive to the point where people would be turned off the way I was and the way so many women I’ve spoken to have.
The clean beauty and wellness industry has a bad reputation for being super exclusive and only be accessible to the 1% which I don’t subscribe to. I wanted to create a platform and space where the barrier of entry wasn’t so unreasonable and had something to offer to people of all genders, incomes, and skin needs. That’s how it all started.
Before I started I already knew which brands I wanted to offer at PWB. I started with the brands I was already using and loving like Earth tu Face, Odiele, and Butter Elixir. Then I made a list of brands that I wanted to reach out to for possible brand partnerships. One by one I introduced myself to them and I was pleasantly surprised when they responded with such enthusiasm and support for my mission and goal. The next step was to build a website.
I have zero technical and web design skills so I spent several weeks searching for a freelance web designer on sites like upwork and fivrr. I ended up getting contacted by a small creative agency in LA. After several conversations I decided to hire them. I knew I wanted something clean, chic, interactive, and very user friendly. I was involved in every step of the process and after about 2 and half months my site went live on January 7th 2019.
That date was given to me specifically by the world renowned astrologer Robert Cooke who I consulted with on the best date to launch. Every time there was a delay, I had to reach out to him so he could tell me the next best date to launch it on…It sounds ridiculous but I’m really superstitious and believe in the power of astrology.
My first sale was from my best friend actually! I knew my first few sales would likely come from people I know because I was brand new and nobody knew what Pretty Well Beauty was at the time. She bought a face mask by Kahina Giving Beauty and she’s obsessed with it! It felt great to receive so much support from my friends from online sales as well as from my first pop up at my friends hair salon in Soho. That day I earned almost $1,500 in sales, all thanks to my friends and personal network. Since then I’ve done pop ups every month.
The feeling is still so exhilarating when I see the sales after the end of a day. What I love the most is the personal interactions I get to have with people about how a product they got from PWB has become a holy grail item for them. I love hearing feedback from people who have seen me speak about clean beauty on panels and how they were inspired to then go home and toss away all their traditional personal care products and make the transition to non toxic products. That is what fuels me and affirms that I’m on the right track.
Struggles are Real
None of this has happened overnight and there is a lot of work and struggle that most people don’t see. I haven’t had an income in a year and it’s really stressful and scary to watch my life savings deplete so rapidly with nothing coming in.
Entrepreneurship isn’t for the faint of heart but I know that I wouldn’t have risked everything that I have if I didn’t believe in what I’m doing.Jazmin Alvarez
I’m planting a lot of seeds and I know that in due time, they will reach their harvest stage. I would tell any aspiring entrepreneur to be sure they are 100% committed and passionate about what they’re doing.
Do your research. Become an expert at what you are trying to bring into this world and identify how you are going to solve this problem for other people and not just for yourself. Be honest with yourself. Would you do this for free? ( because you will have to at the beginning) and if the answer is no, then don’t quit your day job just yet.
Jazmin Alvarez, founder of Pretty Well Beauty worked in the beauty and fashion industry for 15 years aligning herself with the most influential hair and makeup artists and for several leading brands including Ralph Lauren, Vogue, Calvin Klein, Prada, Fenty, Sephora and more.
Fueled by her own personal struggle to have clear skin, Jazmin set out to simplify her routine and discovered the transformative benefits of clean beauty.
Jazmin’s goal for Pretty Well Beauty is to define and set the highest standards for clean beauty and wellness by partnering with brands that adhere to only the strictest standards of clean & sustainability practices. Pretty Well Beauty is also an educational platform for integrating clean beauty in the daily beauty routine, making it accessible to everyone who seeks a more holistic approach to personal care and well-being.