Always stay curious enough to expose yourself to lots of opportunities.
This has been my motto for as long as I can remember. Competitive gymnast, world traveler, circus acrobat, book editor, pet shop salesperson, night-club co-owner, fashion publicist, pond swimmer, beauty entrepreneur, tech start up co-founder, loyal friend, mother of 5, devoted ‘first-lady’…these are just some of my experiences. I stay open to the world as best as I can and I say YES more times than I say NO.
As many of you know, I recently took the plunge and partnered up. Benjamin Bernetopens in a new window and I launched DOOBOPopens in a new window, the first beauty entailer with a particular edit for women of color. Carefully edited and cherry-picked products from all over the world, personalized on-line consultations, exclusive content, killer service – all brought directly to you from the two of us. We’ve labored and argued, laughed and dreamed, lost sleep from adrenaline and lost track of days due to endless to-do lists. On Nov 20th, 2013, DOOBOPopens in a new window was born. We jumped into the fast lane of tech-start ups, and got the attention of industry vets like First Growth (arguably one of the most influential tech accelerator groups), Imanopens in a new window (she gave us the exclusive on her new product launch – even before Target) and Oprahopens in a new window (she found delight in one of our lotions). But more than anything else, we said YES to countless opportunities and ran with all our might in the direction those opportunities took us. As Sam Fineopens in a new window once said to me, “in order to do something that people notice, it takes a lot of amazing shit to happen behind the scenes.”
All the passion I’ve put into my beauty line GEORGIA by Jodie Pattersonopens in a new window, the training I went through with the Big Apple Circus, the countless hours I spent with my ex-boss Zac Posenopens in a new window, the creative energy I fostered helping to launch Joe’s Pubopens in a new window, every bit of thought and love I pour into my family – all that, helped me launch DOOBOP. For me, work is life. I work on things that matter to me so that I can do them all day, all the time and never grow tired. Swimming in my pond is as important as writing a post for my blog as is discovering new product for the site. Some say I’m obsessive, and running ‘marathons’ on a daily basis. True. But this is what women do.
As our Chief Creative Officer and Co-Founder, I’d love for you to join me on this very creative and beautiful ‘next experience’. DOOBOPopens in a new window – a unique voice in beauty.
GeorgiaWORLD Guest Bloggers: These women are contagious trailblazers and fresh-thinking forecasters – all stunning, interesting and opinionated. They’ve connected their dots and harnessed multiple passions to become what I think are the blueprints for the new modern woman – each approaching life, success and their own personal beauty from the inside out. Total Girl Crush!
Candice Cook. She’s an attorney, business strategist, writer, and philanthropist living in New York. Her company The Cook Law Group & Ca-Co Global Inc. can be found hereopens in a new window! Candice is passionate about current events.
Let’s think about the two women who were rescued. If it were not for the heroic measures of Mr. Charles Ramsey, they might very well still be chained and raped, and still as victims to what can only be described as a brutal, violent, vicious crime against women and children.
What I know is that the police came several times to the house, yet it was Ramsey that saved them. Forget the Big Mac for now, Mr. Ramsey has earned our respect. Fine, SNL, get your comedy on. But seriously, the significance of what he did is being insultingly overshadowed. The fact that the women were kidnapped and impregnated has taken a back seat to some strange comedy.
We make assumptions about the goodness of others based on their economic status. Let’s all acknowledge that Ramsey is the personification of good.
The interesting thing is that the spirit of Mr. Ramsey is and remains (throughout all of the press and despite the repugnant mockery) beautiful. He is who he is – which at the very least is a hero. Best of all, he owns himself. His full self, complete with a sordid and imperfect history. Period.
That is inner beauty at its finest. He’s not concerned with being society’s version of a Clark Kent hero nor is he taking the jibes thrown at him with hostility or even a bit too seriously. He’s stated that he is simply an American. I assert, that in addition, he is also awesome.
Candice can be found on Twitter hereopens in a new window! She lives in Brooklyn (of course) with her fiancé and their shih tzu.
Me and my clique, clique, clique….Birchbox * Refinery 29 * Chloe + Isabel * Stella & Dot…
Meet my clique, the Dell #Inspire 100, an amazing group of entrepreneurs, world changers and creatives. A motley crew of over achievers and dreamers – just my type. No need to ever ask for any more than this…Smart, beautiful people, and proven blue prints for success! I’m talking Refinery 29, Birchbox…the list of success stories is official.
Katia, the uber cool co-founder of Birchbox and I were able to steal a quick moment to chat ‘beauty and the start-up’. Here’s the interview!
Katia: Where were you in your life when you decided to create GEORGIA? What was your first step towards making GEORGIA a reality?
Jodie: Seven years ago I was being pulled in every direction. I was the Director of PR for Zac Posen, pregnant, in a new relationship and living out of boxes. Things weren’t adding up and I knew I had to change my life. I assessed everything and everything told me to start a beauty company. I wrote a business plan, found a great partner and raised capital.
Katia: What is your most important customer service policy?
Jodie: Find common ground and connect – for every situation. We find similarities that link us to our customer so that the language we speak, the deals we offer, the product we make, the designs we choose, the services we provide, all resonate.
Katia: How are you using technology to advance your business?
Jodie: My business is inspired by my lifestyle and social media is a big part of how I share my world and interact with my customer. The ingredients I use in our products are discovered while I travel. The simplicity of my line is inspired by my busy family-life. I work wherever I can grab a moment. My devices allow me to never miss an opportunity to capture, share, produce and deliver.
Here’s how I came at her…..
Jodie: So many of our ‘businesses practices’ are learned years before we start working. What were two priceless take-aways you learned at Harvard and at home that help guide your business?
Katia: At home: My mother taught me what it means to encourage and show people how amazing even the smallest accomplishments are–she was the queen of finding the kernel of genius in the everyday and making me feel like it is the sum of the parts that really amounts to accomplishments. That perspective has been a foundational part of my management style. I am proud that we have attracted the best talent and when I touch base with them I find those things and highlight them. Of course there are growth opportunities and improvement areas, but the truth is, I believe that we are accomplishing small miracles every day that amount to creating a major movement in ecommerce together.
At school: Bless our operations classes in business school. As would be expected, we learned the core concepts of throughput time and utilization. Though I do not over see the logistics part of our business, the concepts have framed my thinking around allocating resources, communication flow, the various handoffs and load balancing.
Jodie:Expansion is arguably one of the toughest components to small business success. How did Birchbox go from start-up to dominant force in the beauty industry – in just 2 years? Was timing part of your strategy?
Katia: I still think of us as a start up because we are two years old and always looking for ways to reimagine our processes to accomplish our big vision–define and lead in discovery retail.
But yes, we have grown and the great fortune of rapid adoption in just two short years. “How did we get here?” is a question that often pops into my head. I always come back to the same answer: step by step, brick by brick… I often describe this experience as building the road beneath you, right before you take the next step (yes, often I describe it as a road over an abyss).
Jodie: Birchbox is several companies in one: media, editorial, e-commerce technology and beauty. What was your inspiration, and were you thinking multi-tiered from inception?
Katia: We came up with the idea because the above is what solved the problem that we were trying to address–how can you sell someone a beauty product for the first time ever, online? Beauty is such a category that requires touch, try, smell before you are ready to become a customer of that product. Therefore online presents an inherently hard channel for first time purchase. So we designed the business to model what we felt was core to discovery of new product. That is how we arrived at this multi tier business model.
Jodie Patterson is the Owner and Creative Director of GEORGIA by Jodie Pattersonopens in a new window, a beauty company that offers more than just product. GEORGIAopens in a new window helps women ignite their inner and outer beauty through daily doses of natural beauty care, healthy salon services, inspirational beauty tips and content focused on family, travel, small business, fashion and health. Katia Beauchamp is one of the co-founders of Birchboxopens in a new window, a discovery commerce platform for both men and women.Birchboxopens in a new window redefines the retail process by offering consumers a personalized way to discover, learn about, and purchase the best beauty, grooming, and lifestyle products.
Yesterday I felt very connected to all the mamas in my family, especially the ones that are no longer alive. Yesterday, like our mothers, grandmothers and great grandmothers, I did whatever it took to make things right and commit to what’s important. I waited with patience and purpose for five hours to fill our family transport with gas. You might be like, “whatever, just work from your smart phone and keep it moving.” Sure, that’s what I did. But five hours on a line means no bathroom. Plus, no heat because I had to conserve gas while I waited. Plus, frustrated women fighting over positions in the line, literally. It was clear that we (mostly women) all had people waiting for us back home that needed us. We were women on the edge – all in need of gas.
It was a scene from Mad Max. Crazy. I normally fill up twice every week, and sometimes spend a bit more to have someone help me pump. I’ve never waited more than five minutes to access gas. Never. Hurricane Sandy has left us without homes and loved ones and only now do each of us truly understand how convenient our lives have been.
Would voting prove more difficult than pumping? Once gas had been taken care of, I had to find a poll before it was too late. Within minutes, I saw the make shift signs directing me to “Vote Here”. I found parking easily, but couldn’t find the entrance. Signs had been blown around, and I was confused. From her third floor window, an older lady was directing me. She was tapping the glass and pointing with wild hands towards the entrance, around the corner. Once I was on track, she gave me the thumbs-up and the universal sign of determination, the tightly clenched fist. I felt our collective effort.
“Obama & His People” drawing by Penelope, 5yrs old (The square on the bottom, far right, is Romney by himself)
Young mothers with babies, older people, poor people, crippled, gay, straight, Carribean and Jewish all waiting to vote. Once again, convenience was not even a consideration. We all waited with patience and purpose for hours to re-ellect our President, Barack Obama. I was proud of myself and everyone around me.
“Obama in the White House” art by Cassius, 6yrs old
Once home, I did what my parents had done years before…PapaBear and I talked politics for hours over dinner and wine. With our kids surrounding us and inserting their own, very clear opinions into the conversation, we huddled around the television, watching and waiting. My four babes, our future voters, grabbed blankets and snuggled up close, quite aware something big was happening.
THIS IS HOW IT WILL ALWAYS BE DONE. The election of our President, Barack Obama was a family-clan-crew-neighborhood-we-the-people type of movement.
“I want Barack Obama To Win Very Much” drawing by Penelope, 5 yrs old
These are things I try to remember each day…sometimes it’s smooth sailing and other times it’s topsey-turvey. But either way, stay with your eyes open. It will serve you well!
Over the last two years, we’ve been watching our immediate world go through major shifts in the economy and the climate in general. Never before have I seen such changes in the way we live. Our spending habits, lifestyles, moods, moral – culture in general has taken a distinct turn.
It’s definitely clear the economy has changed drastically, and as a result, we the people have responded. The question we ask ourselves is, “will it ever return to that which we’ve previously known?” The answer is ‘undecided’.
At Georgia, we try to always read the writing on the wall, understand the spiritual climate and then be as nimble as possible. We’ve had to adjust accordingly, at the exact right time, and always be fearless in the pursuit of our happiness. Yes, always pursue happiness.
As entrepreneurs, we all see our businesses as our babies. We’ve nurtured Georgia over the past four years and helped it to grow beyond our little boutique on Houston. Success! And now, we’ll work at being relevant to the world. Challenge!
Keep your eyes on us…I promise, it will be interesting!
Check out the footage from our last day on Houston & Bowery.
You’ve been an inspiration on every level as a business woman a mother and a friend, you have my admiration and respect. I’ll miss dropping in on you at Georgia, but I’ll be there cheering as you conquer the world.
Cheers, Veronica Webb
Amy DuBois Barnett – EIC, Ebony Magazine
While I am going to miss the brick n mortar Georgia shop, I can’t wait to check out your next moves. Online, international….the possibilities are endless and your crazygood products will continue to make a mark. You guys rock and we at EBONY have your back!
Gaby Basora – Designer, Tucker
I am devasted! First we had to say goodbye to Cafe Colonial. And now to Georgia! The perfect spot on the walk from eastside to westside or other way round. A late night spot reminding of us of the hidden delight of NYC. Golden hair brushes, dramatic hats, perfect bras, lotions and the purest potions. Jodie cultivates beauty where ever she is, where ever she goes. Will be looking for her next move. From all of us at Tucker. – Gaby
Lola Ogunnaike – Journalist
Georgia was always more than a mere retail shop. It’s been a haven for fly girls and beauty junkies alike, a perfectly weathered boite filled with all things lovely, a special space that felt as familiar as it did wholly unique. She won’t be forgotten, but she will be missed.
Congrats on the new direction of your business. I know it’s going to be a huge success and the world will get to see just how special Georgia is. Thinking about your move as a metaphor. We all need to keep expanding beyond the bricks and mortar of our lives. It’s the only way to ensure growth. – Lola
“NOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!! ….ok, okay exhaling… Although I completely understand your reasons for closing your Houston Street location it still leaves me with a major ache in my side. Love you grrrl and know that you will be successful with every move you make. You got that kinda juice!” – Nicole Moore / Blogger, The Hottness
Renae Bluitt – Blogger, In Her Shoes
“Business owners have to make tough decisions (like yours) and navigate strategically to stay afloat AND keep moving forward. I’m confident that this move will not only relieve the financial burden of high rent but also give you the freedom to create new opportunities (local and globally) for your brand! I’m excited about what lies ahead and look forward to seeing the magic! – Renae Bluitt / Blogger, In Her Shoes Blog
….MORE LOVE FOR GEORGIA
Nicole Ari Parker – Actress, Mom
“Georgia products are truly luxurious and yet therapeutic and safe for our kids. We use them ‘til the last drop.”
Cynthia Biley – Supermodel, Actress, Mom
“Georgia products are my favorite to use when I want to treat myself. My daughter and I love the creams, washes and candles because they turn our bathroom into a home spa. Truly luxurious!”