THE BEAUTY OF BUSINESS

Meet the entrepreneuriaLIST — an aggregate of our top 10 movers and shakers of 2020. A nod to those who run on resilience, this list gives you the exclusive on everything from hard truths to pro tips for #NationalEntrepreneursDay!


Stylist + Designer
Founder @andreemeryofficial

1) What is the elevator pitch to your brand? 

We are a LA-based fashion label with global reach. Founded in 2017, Andre Emery is pacing the industry with a mix of luxury, streetwear, and avant-garde products. We produce high-quality items and take pride in our custom pieces made from scratch, as we believe in empowering individuality. Our field of focus has grown beyond that of a typical e-commerce entity as we explore the nexus of content, commerce, and culture. 

2) How have you pivoted your brand to thrive in 2020? 

During these turbulent times, as an entrepreneur, I had to navigate through uncharted territories. Since most of my business was focused on the entertainment industry, creating custom pieces for celebrities, Andre Emery as a brand had to pivot to a new target audience, by creating more ready to wear pieces and rebranding my online presence. I've definitely had different types of opportunities, which allowed my brand to expand throughout the year and regardless of the circumstances, I am thankful for this shift. 

3) Amidst all of the challenges of entrepreneurship, and in 2020 especially, what has been the silver lining for you?

I touched on it a little above, but the silver lining to all of this would be pushing myself to create more opportunities and openings for the Andre Emery brand. I'm also working on something new with my partner, it really gave us more time to focus on our goals and I'm excited to be able to develop that whilst still working on my brand. 

4) What is one piece of advice you would share with other entrepreneurs with young businesses? 

Sounds cliche but, follow your gut and don't hesitate. Learn to accept failure, but learn how to take that failure and grow from it, take it as a lesson to accomplish greater things.

                                                  




Founder @skinowl
Podcast Host @offtherecordwithyou

1) What is the elevator pitch to your brand? 

SkinOwl is a 100% vegan, magnetic, totally transparent skincare line created by founder and  frustrated consumer, Annie Tevelin, who struggled for years with cystic acne with no relief in sight. Seven years ago, Annie created a single product, the Geranium Drops, which healed her acne in 32 days. Now, SkinOwl is 13 SKUS and can be found in 5 continents and in the hearts of thousands of clients. 

2) How have you pivoted your brand to thrive in 2020? 

2020 was all about gifting our customer a more personal and accessible interaction with SkinOwl. While we have always been relateable and approachable, this was a year where our tried and true clients and new client base needed more care, compassion and attention. Our website was overhauled to become an 'accessible site' meaning those with motor skill impairments or disabilities. Because 25% of adults in the US live with a disability, 2020 was the year we were able to offer SkinOwl and shopping on SkinOwl.com to this community. My podcast pivoted from the studio to Zoom, the Parliament Project went virtual, and our HQ moved from the hustle and bustle of Los Angeles to a more healing landscape in Boise, Idaho. We are in the best place we've ever been, in heart and soul and growth. 

3) Amidst all of the challenges of entrepreneurship, and in 2020 especially, what has been the silver lining of this year for you?

If I needed proof that our fan base and customer is loyal AF, 2020 showed me this. The undying support of our community was staggering. Our brick and mortar retailers hung on to us and us to them. I was also able to finally build out a one-on-one consultation business with my clients, offering them a much more personal and curated look at the reasons their skin isn't where they want it to be. I wouldn't have made that a priority if I hadn't stopped and taken stock in my business' mission and purpose. I am in the driver seat with what I want my business to be and I am filled with gratitude for that reason and more. 

4) What is one piece of advice you would share with entrepreneurs who have young businesses? 

Slow and steady wins the race. That slowness gifts you the presence of mind to navigate who and what you are supposed to be offering to the world. And once you have clarity on that purpose, the rest is history and the hard part is conquered. 

                                                  




Priscilla Presley + Lauren Cheek
Founders @forwardfemale

1) What is the elevator pitch to your brand? 

The Forward Female is a career coaching & business services platform for female entrepreneurs. 

We give aspiring entrepreneurs the guidance, support, and necessary resources to feel empowered to make big changes in their lives and businesses. We help entrepreneurs take their ideas and turn them into thriving businesses, through our strategic coaching programs, in-house creative agency and thriving online community platform.

2) How have you pivoted your brand to thrive in 2020? 

Absolutely! 2020 has been the year of the pivot. We have learned that being able to listen and learn from your customer is essential to being able to truly thrive. 2020 has allowed our brand to move digital and take our experience global, which has been such a blessing. We now serve entrepreneurs and have helped women across the world to start, grow, and scale their businesses...even through a pandemic. 

3) Amidst all of the challenges of entrepreneurship, and in 2020 especially, what has been the silver lining for you? 

Our community has been the biggest source of inspiration - they are truly an inspiring group of women that we are so lucky to work with. 

4) What is one piece of advice you would share with other entrepreneurs with young businesses? 

KEEP MOVING FORWARD! Life is beautiful and you are more capable than you know. 

                                                  




Founder @lifeinjeneral + @closetsinjeneral

1) What is the elevator pitch to your brand? 

Life In Jeneral is a full-service lifestyle organizational design firm. We believe that the marriage of organization, aesthetics, and function are the solution to living a more simplified and joyful life.

2) How have you pivoted your brand to thrive in 2020? 

At the start, we shifted to online help through downloadable PDF how-to guides and virtual help through 1:1 FaceTime organizing sessions. As the year has gone on, we’ve put focus on further building out our custom cabinetry line, as construction has been steady this year. We’ve also looked to the future towards planning 2021 and been figuring out how to make the most of the new year, and have done a lot this year to ramp up what’s to come in the new year.

3) Amidst all of the challenges of entrepreneurship, and in 2020 especially, what has been the silver lining for you?

In times like these, you learn a lot about yourself and people. Ultimately, you learn who you want around you and who lights you up. You also go through something like this and grow and ultimately gain resilience.

4) What is one piece of advice you would share with other entrepreneurs with young businesses? 

Stay true to who you are and keep fighting for your dream. You got this, and it will all be worth it in the end! 

                                                  



Photo by Joseph Cultice

Owner/Studio Director @theclaralosangeles
Co-founder/Studio Director @nakedeyestudiorental

1) What is the elevator pitch to your brand? 

With nearly 20 years of experience in the entertainment production and events worlds, I founded two historic properties and built them into creative studio venues with focus on community growth and historic preservation.  I help brands I believe in reach their full potential while building a creative environment for them to thrive in.  I also cultivate thoughtful memories through purpose driven events and product launches.

2) How have you pivoted your brand to thrive in 2020? 

With a "community over competition" mindset, I spearheaded growth and personal development of myself and fellow female entrepreneurs.  Pulling in closely, we've fostered a beautiful network that leans in for each other through the hard times (and the rewarding times too!).


3) Amidst all of the challenges of entrepreneurship, and in 2020 especially, what has been the silver lining of this year for you?

The health and safety of my husband, family and friends has been the thing I'm most grateful for as we continue our journey through this crazy year.  The immense support and encouragement throughout the industry - and amongst entrepreneurs as a whole - has been especially inspiring!  

4) What is one piece of advice you would share with entrepreneurs who have young businesses/brands?

Don't wait for your 'big break' - create it!  Find the courage to do your best even when there is no guarantee for success. 

                                                  




Celebrity Hair Colorist @jesstheebesttcolor

1) What is the elevator pitch to your brand? 

I really strive to make everyone feel their best self in my color. My vibe is really effortless and cool in whatever hair shade you want.

2) How have you pivoted your brand to thrive in 2020? 

I have shifted my focus from being in the salon 100% of the time to now being more flexible with clients and popping up wherever to get the job done. . Backyards, driveways, kitchen you name it — I’m there! 

3) Amidst all of the challenges of entrepreneurship, and in 2020 especially, what has been the silver lining of this year for you?

I really think this was the first year I actually had time off. Even though the circumstances weren’t the best I really had to think about what other hobbies I had! I didn’t realize how much my life revolved around work because I do enjoy it so much it never feels like actual work! 

4) What is one piece of advice you would share with entrepreneurs who have young businesses/brands?  

Stay working hard and don’t get too comfortable ♡ 

                                                  



Aric Christopher, Alex Meza + Ben Adams (not pictured) 

Aric Christopher, Alex Meza + Ben Adams
Partners @knowwhereranch

1) What is the elevator pitch to your brand? 

The Know Where Brand to us is built around our collective experiences from people and travels around the globe, and us sharing that with our fans via the businesses we create. The Know Where Brand is a lifestyle that we live, so when people are recognizing the brand, it brings gratitude to us that appreciation of the path that we have chosen. 

2) How have you pivoted your brand to thrive in 2020? 

Recognized that there are opportunities that present themselves even in what seems the most turbulent of times. It's all about perspective and keeping your eyes on the prize. Strong communication about the tasks at hand have paved our road for success. There will always be setbacks, so it's how we respond to those and push through, while keeping our goals in mind at all times. 

3) Amidst all of the challenges of entrepreneurship, and in 2020 especially, what has been the silver lining of this year for you?

The down time has allowed us to construct our newest airbnb in Pioneertown, the The Know Where Ranch. What originally was going to be a couple year project that we would chip away at, all of a sudden turned into us moving to the desert full time to build it out. For that, we are truly grateful as it has been a magical ride. 

4) What is one piece of advice you would share with entrepreneurs who have young businesses/brands? 

Keep the fire burning inside and always do a few small things minimum a day for your brand. Over time, that will accumulate to a much bigger slice of the pie. It's very easy to get lazy or defeated and become your worst critic, so continuously putting effort in everyday keeps the momentum.

                                                  




Owner @rachelbrownart

1) What is the elevator pitch to your brand? 

What is the elevator pitch to your brand?  I create whimsical watercolor paintings + products that are fun and happy. :) 

2) How have you pivoted your brand to thrive in 2020? 

How have you pivoted your brand to thrive in 2020? For the last 5 years, I had traveled around the country doing outdoor art fairs and trade shows to sell my work. All of that came to a halt in 2020, so I was forced to elevate my e-commerce game and switch to online sales and licensing as my main revenue sources.. which is actually much more scalable and sustainable in the long term. Because all in-person art shows stopped, it actually pushed me in a direction I wanted to head towards anyways but never quite made the leap or time to do it, until I was forced to. 

3) Amidst all of the challenges of entrepreneurship, and in 2020 especially, what has been the silver lining of this year for you?

Amidst all of the challenges of entrepreneurship, and in 2020 especially, what has been the silver lining for you? I have actually loved not having to be on the road for shows, and getting to spend more time in my studio creating new work and refilling my creative well. 

4) What is one piece of advice you would share with entrepreneurs who have young businesses/brands? 

What is one piece of advice you would share with other entrepreneurs with young businesses?  Work hard, be nice to people, and treat every project or client like they’re big and important, because they are. Say YES to everything in the beginning, but as your style and brand evolves, it’s okay to start saying NO to opportunities that don’t align with your goals and values as a brand.

                                                  




Founder + Designer @ripleyrader

1) What is the elevator pitch to your brand? 

We make clothing to make you feel as good as you look.  

2) How have you pivoted your brand to thrive in 2020? 

I’ve always considered myself a scrappy person and it’s very much come in handy in 2020!  When the pandemic hit, we were one of the first clothing brands to start making masks. We encompassed a large service element to it and have donated over 10,000 masks to frontline works and populations in need.  We also partnered with “When We All Vote” and gave a percentage of sales to them.  At the same time, we had to cut staff and creative teams and I shot our next 2 collections.  It was an awesome opportunity for me and I enjoyed it so much, I doubt we’ll ever go back to the way we did it before.  It’s been challenging to say the least, but it’s been deeply rewarding.  We’re back to basics and it’s refreshing.

3) Amidst all of the challenges of entrepreneurship, and in 2020 especially, what has been the silver lining for you?

Stepping out of the hamster wheel of "success".  The thing with success is that the pin just keeps moving and it's hard to keep up with it.  This has been an awesome opportunity for me to really decide what's important and dive into that. It's given me a chance to see my business more objectively and that's been a real gift.

4) What is one piece of advice you would share with entrepreneurs who have young businesses? 

The bigger you get, the more you work.  The more successful you are, the higher the stakes.  Stay true to your mission and your purpose and make it personal.  The deep connection you have to your business is what carries you through the challenges.

                                                  




Founder + CEO @paperepiphanies

1) What is the elevator pitch to your brand? 

Luxury greeting cards for authentic women.

2) How have you pivoted your brand to thrive in 2020? 

We have focused on online growth, expanded our sympathy and support offerings, and are trying to plan for 2021. 

3) Amidst all of the challenges of entrepreneurship, and in 2020 especially, what has been the silver lining for you?

I would say less pressure to say no. Blame it on the pandemic or the election or whatever you want, but it has been much easier for me to turn things down. 

4) What is one piece of advice you would share with entrepreneurs who have young businesses? 

Don't compare your business trajectory to other businesses. Do your research but remember, other businesses might have been in business for 20 years, be independently wealthy or a number of other factors. You never know what's behind the curtain. Follow your own unique path. 

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