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How to get your brand stocked in Sephora with Desiree Verdejo, founder of Hyper Skin

Updated: Jun 26, 2023

This is Desiree Verdejo for Female Startup Club.

Hey guys, welcome back to the show!

Today’s episode is sponsored by the DONUT, a 100% FREE newsletter committed to making the news more enjoyable, sign up today at thedonut.co/hype.



And if you’re new here! Hi! I’m Doone, your host and Hype girl in business. Every week we learn from 7, 8, and 9-figure female founders to understand their blueprint in business when it comes to money, marketing and mistakes. Women like Desiree Verdejo, the founder of Hyper. After leaving her career as an attorney, Desiree left the 9-5 to create the Sephora for Black Women which eventually led her to creating Hyper. We’re chatting through a bunch of insightful learnings from this business; like the power of PR and how to use grants to access capital…


Desiree's key piece of advice when it comes to the funding piece of the business is to be really thoughtful about when you fundraise, how you fundraise, and why you're doing it. There are so many different types of capital available right now and each will have entirely different consequences for you and your business.

And on that note! Remember that you can access our doc for every grant that’s currently live around the world for female founders. You can get the list at femalestartupclub.com/grants.

Let’s jump into today’s episode, this is Desiree for Female Startup Club.

Please note, this transcript has been copy pasted without the lovely touch of a human editor. Please expect some typos!


Um I am the founder of Hyper Skin Hyper is a targeted skincare brand, speaking to under address skincare concerns in the market and it's rooted in multiculturalism. Yeah, so that's me and that's my, my baby that I'm building. Oh my gosh. I'm excited to get into this journey today when I was reading about you and your back story. I know that you originally started your entrepreneurial Journey with a business in 2015. It was a beauty boutique and I read that it was dubbed the Sephora for women of colour. And so it was a retail experience where you stopped lots of different beautiful, wonderful brands. And I imagine for you that was a great opportunity to get kind of direct insights and kind of learnings for consumer habits and buying habits and, and just interest in what people were kind of wanting to buy. And I also imagine that was a place for you to see gaps in the market. So I'd love to kind of talk about that time a little bit to understand firstly, what were the challenges with that model that made you decide to pivot away from that. And what did you learn from building the beauty boutique? I love that question. Yeah. Building a beauty boutique definitely gives you like a front row view to, you know, what's doing well at the time and generally like the way customers shop. And so it's definitely where the inspiration for Hyper came. I think I learned a lot about packaging and I learned a lot about the importance of name, naming your products. You know, for us, we're very straightforward because that's sort of the customer that, that we like to speak to who has a skin care concern. And she's like just once a direct response. But yeah, I learned so much about like what customers were drawn to ingredients, um how they shop when they have like a real concern. A pressing concern versus when they're feeling like their hair is healthy or their skin is, you know, thriving. So I really poured all of those insights into the decisions that I made when it came to Hyper. But the actual decision to create hyper was actually born from that store as well. Like you said, 2015 through 2018 is one of my store was in existence in New York. And um we had like all of these really beautiful natural hair care lines, like products for textured hair. They were like on the rise, there were a lot of color cosmetic brands popping up that we're realizing that, you know, we need foundation for people with super skin tones. And so we were focused on the Indie brand. So not the Fenty skin's but like the lip bar, for example, which is thriving and target right now was the brand on our shelves when they were just a lipstick line. And so yeah, I saw all of these solutions um coming to market but the skincare space was not speaking, it just was not centering certain concerns, not centering hyperpigmentation, not centering razor bumps or sun care for deeper skin tones or just so many issues were not being spoken to. The storytelling wasn't centered on deeper skin tones, a variety of skin tones and the education wasn't there. And we all know like with skincare, it's not just here's a product, but here's how you use it, here's how it works for you, here's how it benefits your skin. And so, um being in that space made me realize like there's a real need for this and I'm shopping for it as a buyer. But like, I think, I think I'm doing it. I think I'm making this product. I think I'm starting this line. And so were you like thinking, okay, I'm going to shut this business down and find a supplier, find a manufacturer and kind of start formulating my own products or were you kind of like let's do both at the same time or what was that transition. Like so at first I was going to do both at the same time, you know, I had this business, it was thriving in terms of brand awareness, but we did not manage to figure out how we would, how would capitalize on the business model. I see so many amazing um retail outlets now where they're partnering with them, partnering with major like there's a 13 Lune brilliant retail space with a similar approach to um multicultural brands and black and brown founded brands um partnering with other key retailers, etcetera. But I hadn't figured out how to capitalize on the brand. Although we were, you know, being featured everywhere on social media and in the press, at the same time, this idea had come along and because of my connections and beauty, I was like working with the chemist picking out packaging and I think because I hadn't figured out how to make the store happened. It very easily allowed me to focus on the skincare line. But also I realized that I think if I made it part of that store, it, I wouldn't be able to tell this story, the full story that it needed to tell. Like, I think you have to give a lot of information. I mean, a brand requires a lot of storytelling, but I also think like you just need so much information sharing when it comes to building a skincare brand. And so It just didn't work the two. Yeah, it just didn't work. It kind of, I'm drawing a connection to, I used to have a jewelry brand and something that I struggled with the jewelry brand is There's so many different products you need to have. Like, and we built the model around like monthly drops. So there was total newness, total newness, total newness. And you couldn't stack the marketing of this one particular thing. So I really found myself being like, I wish I had just like one product to market instead of 50 products to market because that's 50 different ads to see, you know, which product is specifically working and then doubling down on that one, but then it's sold out and then it's the next month's stuff. So you're kind of like starting from scratch all over again. And I can see a similarity in terms of, you know, a marketplace beauty retailer that's got multiple different brands. You're essentially having to promote and advertise all these different brands instead of just the one brand or your, you know, your actual store as it were. So I can see how that can be. Also a big challenge. It was a huge challenge. I mean, I think it's exactly what I set out to do was to really like highlight these beautifully done brands. But at the same time, it was very hard to tell every story and to bring it back to the boutique, you know, especially if you're a retailer but the brand is also sold at another retailer or on Amazon, etcetera. What I realized was that we were able to get this great press or etcetera for the brands. But the business didn't always come back to us. And so that was frustrating. But also um just made me realize like I just want one story to tell. Like I love this part of clear messaging. Yeah, clear, straight forward, bring it back home. Yeah, you mentioned something a second ago about the importance of a name and that's something that you learn in that process. What do you mean by that? Yeah, I mean, I think, you know, customers are looking for something that speaks directly to them. And so I think that it's the colors of the packaging, it's even the name. And so for us like hyper, you know, signals a lot of things hyperpigmentation is this major skincare concern, especially when you're dealing with super skin tones, but it's also this like energetic word. It's also just sort of a modern like poppy word. And so I do think that like every aspect of a brand, easy to say, yeah, easy to say. Um And so I realized that the brands on my shelves that did well, they had names that were like that, that just caught on. I mean, there were some brands um I think we're, you know, Vintner's daughter or something where, you know, there might be a mouthful or etcetera but I, I found that the catchier products were like easier, you know, names to connect with four names like yours. Hyper is an amazing word. But I also imagine that could be a word that could be hard to trademark being so short and kind of like, you know, a regular word that we all use. Was it difficult or? Yeah, I mean, we can, we can talk offline about trademark battles, but um you cannot easily trademark a common word. And so you can trademark, you know, variations of the word but not a common word. And so unfortunately, what we are seeing is that people are trying to incorporate Hyper into the names of their serums because of the success of ours. And so another thing to think about is, is, you know, using a word that is not a common common word in the English language. Do you think in hindsight, you would do it the same way again or do you think you would have then chosen a word that was short and buzzy but also maybe unique, short, buzzy and unique? I think if someone asked me today, I would say short buzzy and if you can make it up even better. Okay, great piece of feedback. Thank you. I'd love to start talking more about hyper skin specifically and how that kind of got started. We love to talk about the money piece and kind of what you needed to invest to get your first product run, your first kind of like the website up and running and get you to launch. Basically. What did you need to invest in? How are you thinking about, you know, capital at that time? Yeah. So The interesting thing is I started hyper with a very small amount. I started it with $12,000 and it is, I don't advise that I it is a very difficult task to start with such a small amount. I had been sort of business planning Hyper um in the lab with Hyper, I had my hyper samples and I was like, I'm going to fundraise, but at the time, I had no idea what fundraising really looked like. I also because this was my second business was like, I'm not taking out business loans. I'm not going down that path. And so there was a point where I just realized I need to put something into the world and then I will be able to fundraise with that, with the success of that, with the proof that comes from that. And so um Hyper was born with the amount of money that I had, you know, disposable in my bank account at the time, which was $12,000. Definitely not a lot. I did um a small run of one product. We developed a number of products, but I said this is my hero and it is still three years later, our hero, um our serum, like you use this on day one, use it on day 30. You can see the difference. That is what we're going to drive home. We created a website using fiver beautiful website. Um not the same website that we have today, but very proud of the website. We, I think I spent like $200 on that website. Not, not including the apps and all of the things that can make your website, you know, incredibly expensive. But we, I'm trying to think of the key things that we did. But I think investing in the packaging was my, my major investment. I found a junior designer on Instagram and so I was able to do it affordably. But with the aesthetic that I was looking for, did it look the same as it looks now or have you rebranded? We, we did do a slight rebrand. So we have the same colors and the same component, but we did make our, I switched designers and we made our logo much more outstanding because we were going onto the shelves. We recently launched in Sephora. So when we did that, we were like, this needs to stand out on the shelf. And so we made some tweaks to it but very similar aesthetic. Yeah, what was I think? And the other big thing was that we did a bunch of gifting, which I think sometimes when I talk to other business owners, they're reluctant to gift products because they don't have a lot of products and they don't have a lot of money. But I'm like, No one can talk about a product. They didn't try. Like, you know, so we, I think, you know, it's not a big number, but for us we had a list of 100 people and I was like, I have to get this into the hands of 100 people in our first couple of months. And that was a big part of us getting, you know, quite a bit of unboxing impress in our first um in our first couple of months. Oh my gosh. Amazing. I love that. And so you had this kind of like you had this budget $12,000 small amount to get your first run of products, your website, your designer for the packaging, your actual packaging and then this 100 gifts. What was the kind of impact that you saw from that around launch? Like what was the buzz that you were getting? And what was, you know, is that like 20 orders on launch day or is that like 1000 orders in a couple of months or what was the kind of result? Oh, that's a good question. Yeah, I think, did we get 20 orders? I mean, we, I think launch day is always great, right? Because your friends and family, but we were, I think getting in that 20 orders daily and I was like killing it like amazing. I'm gonna sell through these thousands of units. I am very pleased but we did get a lot of press. Um We initially gifted a number of editors that we were friendly with because of my boutique and I think because other editors saw that we were being written about, they were open to writing about us. And so for a brand with no budget, we, we did get quite a bit of press and at the time, social media was, I guess Instagram was very different. And so we were able to get in front of people organically there with like photographs, you know, we didn't have to like be movie editors. So um so Instagram was also um just like a good platform for growth, I guess like tiktok is today. And so um that was also a key piece. So we did some, you know, influencer gifting to get unboxing and that really worked out for us in the beginning. And if you had to kind of distill dot point form, you know, getting from that kind of early launch buzz and excitement because I feel like there's like a bit of a peak, it goes up where you're like, yep, okay. We've launched this buzz blah and then it kind of starts to just like calm down and then you've got to like find that ongoing momentum to get to say your 1st 1000 customers. So if you had to talk about, you know, in those early days with no budget. Like what are you doing on a daily basis to keep driving those daily orders and, and you know, hundreds of orders over the next few months. Yeah, people don't talk about that. It's always exciting. Like every editor likes to launch, right? So, yes, great. But we had one product for at least one year. I want to say a year and a half. But somewhere in there we were talking about this product for a long time. Then we had to bring in, I think my first higher after a couple of months was a consultant focused on retention, marketing. So emails, text messaging, so that we could really reconnect with people that had made it to our website somehow. And so I think I started to invest in like, how can I convert the traffic? So that was a key thing. Um I'm just thinking early days. Um we continued the press push. Um And so many and just every way we could, but you do need to be more creative when it's not a launch, right? But fortunately, our products, we had these great before and after. So we went from this product hit the market too. This product really works. So we started speaking about multicultural skincare, hyperpigmentation, just vitamin C is a hot topic. And so still I was our everything outside of this consultant, but really started pitching if you would say that because I didn't do it in any formal way, pitching, just different approaches to speaking to our serum and also um gifting influencers as we continue to grow. I feel like you have a lot of amazing press and even when you scroll back to kind of your early days on Instagram and things like that, you can see that you were, you know, you were getting a lot of press, which it sounds like you were doing yourself, you were pitching people and kind of putting the story out there and I'm sure following up it's all in the follow up.

It's all in the follow ups. Yeah. What is your advice to early stage founders? Because I feel like a lot of people can get trapped in this phase of like, let's hire an agency, let's spend thousands of dollars and we know that it takes six months to get any results and it's, you know, you can end up like spending a lot of money really quickly. What is your advice? And what do you do now for pr like, have you transitioned into agency land or are you still kind of trying to do it in house? What's the, what's your thoughts on pr I know it's an important piece, especially for you. It's an important piece and we have had pr agencies. Um We, we have cycled. This is a question that is always, um, well, I'll start with the beginning in terms of anyone with a startup and a product that is a story, you know, has a story worth telling. I would say once you know, the story, well enough to convey it to someone, start to pitch it and you can do that yourself. I mean, there's a band with question there, there's, there's a stage when you know, you have to pass it on to someone else. And so there was a clear stage where I realized I should not be doing this, although I can because my time should be spent doing something else. And so we have tested pr I think we're in a stage now with it being, You know, the landscape changing and we're like, what do we want from pr like, do we want a press hit in a digital magazine or are we looking for something else? Um what is the significance of awards in 2023? And so I think we're asking those questions. And so I did a pullback from pr just to sort of figure out what I'm what I'm asking of our team. But early days, I think I always had to remind myself when I felt like I was being annoying by emailing someone or going on their linkedin that like the editors are looking for stories every day and you have a story. So you're not bothering anyone, you know, um let them know about your story, obviously Taylor, who you're reaching out to like, if you have a product that speaks to you know, has a great skincare ingredients, then hit up the publications and the editors that really, you know, focus on that because they're going to love it, you know, so be really like tunes into who you're reaching out to but like, never hold back because they're telling stories every day. So, why not yours? Oh, I love that. Yeah, three years later, I'm just like, what, what are we, what are we looking for? What's our goal? Because we are organically getting a lot of digital press hits. But what does that mean? Um And what is the value? And, you know, I think a lot of, I think, you know, a lot of businesses are asking themselves that question like, yeah, justify every line on that piano were still small. So we still have to do that and trace it back. You know, there's a content piece, but there's also like, how does this convert? So how big is your team? Now? Our team is still small. There's six of us myself and five others. Um so just everyone's awesome. Um Everyone works hard. I have an all woman team and they're all just so awesome. So um yeah, yeah, I don't know if you feel the same as me, but today's mainstream news is not engaging, not unbiased and not enjoyable. The donut newsletter is all these things. It's also 100% free and hilariously witty join 85,000 daily readers and get news that lets you make up your own mind at the donut dot co forward slash hype. That's T H E D O N U T dot C O forward slash hype to sign up for free today. Something that I noticed when I was looking back at, you know, your content and reading articles about you is that you were kind of putting yourself forward for awards and grants and kind of things like the Tory Burch Foundation and, and 15% pledge. You know how I guess my question is like multipart question again, it's like, what advice do you have for early stage founders who are looking for grants and things like that in the sense of like, I know it can take a lot of time to put into these applications and apply. So you don't want to kind of apply where you're wasting time. But also you do want to get access to potentially capital or mentorship or something from these programs. So what is your thoughts and how helpful have these accelerators grants, things like that been for you? Um Okay, that's a great one. So mixed responses and I should say I don't apply for grants enough. I've actually only applied for to the ones you mentioned. Okay. Yeah. Well, great for you then. Great success record. Yeah, I know founders that are very active with applying for grants. I don't always because sometimes it's like a small amount. The application is pages long but the 15% pledge grant, for example, which we just recently won, there was a high dollar amount I realized, I mean, I just thought the creator of the 15% pledge was brilliant. The board, the team and I realized that the award was being given at their, their gala um just this path room of brilliant fashion and, and retail minds because of the premise of the pledge itself. And so I realized like, if I'm going to get an award, that is exactly no matter the dollar amount, the room that I would want to get it in. And so, um and this is the type of organization that I want to work with, whether I win or not. And I had the same feeling with the Tory Burch organization, although that was years ago. So I um I am a bit more removed from that, but, but yeah, I think it was like, I just want to work with this organization and I think those two things kind of made me push me to apply. And then fortunately I won a grant, but I definitely think it is important to think about different like types of capital. I know I'm at the stage as a three year old startup where it's all fundraising, fundraising, fundraising. We actually do not have any VC backing and I don't promote one way or another, but I do promote really being thoughtful about um with new fundraise how much you fundraise and why you're doing it. And so does that look like for you then you're raising through angels and kind of all the partners outside of VC? Yeah, for us we have brought on a few angel investors very recently and that has been, been our focus. I'm not, um, I could foresee us taking in venture capital and in the life of our company, but I'm just really thoughtful about how much of our company we sell and at what stage and the valuation and all of those things. So, something that I read as well. Oh, I guess we spoke about it a moment ago. Is you recently launched into Sephora? You launched into 250 stores, which is so exciting and huge. Congratulations. What was that kind of journey like getting into Sephora? Like, I'm sure a lot of people listening into this show like, oh my God, I dream of being in 250 Sephora stores. How do you get there? How do you get to a point where you're launching into 250 stores? Yeah, it was definitely um it, I manifested, it was on all of the charts when I had my like $12,000. I was like, we're getting to Sephora and I think about six months into our business, we started reaching out to and had outreach. I think we had outreach which gave me the confidence to reach out to various retailers and Sephora was, I want to say I. D M s and on linkedin, like the buyer and again, with buyers, I have the same viewpoint. They're looking, you're, you've got something like go for it when you're ready. When you have the packaging, the story for us. I waited until we had community, we were able to prove like, I think with press and all of these various things that like, what did that message look like? Like that quick, like linkedin kind of DM? Like is it like a detail like his six paragraphs about the brand or is it like a hey, let's chat. No, it's that, you know, they tell you to have your one minute elevator. Well, you need to have your two line DM and I say DM, but I only mean on linkedin don't DM on Instagram, I hate a DM on Instagram for business. But yeah, it's that two sentence bit perfected. What would you say? Like, what was the actual kind of, what points do you hit on in a, in a two sentence? I think like how hyper targeted hyperpigmentation, multicultural, I think we have like 15,000 people and you could not tell me that wasn't the entire world following us on Instagram, you know, and um we were just featured in A B and C A lore and this and that and I would love to like share more like this is what I have and we spoke to amazing buyers. But Sephora was always my goal buyer. I should, you know, go back to the fact that I've always had acne prone skin. Like since high school, I have always struggled with um chronic acne. And so while I do love like beautiful products, well packaged products, like I've always been the clinical skincare girl. And so Sephora was the go to, you know, in terms of like the dr this and my rod and all of the great acne treatments outside of like proactive. And so I just knew that like Sephora would get what we were creating. And um yeah, we had a great conversation about what we were building and um very shortly after that, they actually, we mentioned the grants and the gala, but they signed onto the 15% pledge, um which I should mention is like a pledge um To make sure that 15% of your shelves are black owned, which is reflective of the us population. Um I think at the time it was a single-digit percentage for Sephora. And so I think some things just happens while we were having conversations, it was a great conversation, another great conversation, them signing the pledge where I said, you know, I think this is um you know, I knew in manifestation stage that it was Sephora, but now I'm thinking that this is the partner that I can see our brand really growing with. Um and really getting the support that we need because when you're a young brand, like you have something that they want, but you also need to know that you're going to be supported because you can't have the same playbook as Fenty, you know. So I was just like, really excited. Yeah, that was my next question. So if you're a booth shop brand and you're launching into and, you know, I know you've just said you've just recently brought on some angels, but you're launching into 250 stores that obviously costs a lot of money. You need a lot of inventory, you need a lot of marketing dollars. Whereas someone like Fenty beauty or, you know, a Loreal brand is like, hey, we've got like millions of dollars lined up ready to go. Like, where do you need some cash kind of thing? So how does a brand like Sephora support indie beauty brands and like, how do you work together to make it happen? Yeah, I mean, I think a lot of retailers are trying to figure this out right now. So I won't present this sort of perfect picture. But for us, they have an accelerator and annual accelerator. We were in their 2020 class and I think that was helpful from an information perspective. Um I had by the time I launched in Sephora been out of the corporate arena for a handful of years. And so that was like an introduction to all of the different sides of their organization, which was really helpful, um an introduction to successful brands on their shelves and some of their, you know, their playbooks. And so that was also really helpful and introduction to investors, which um I should say no matter where you fall on whether you're raising or not, you should be talking to them. Um I always am so I think that was like their first level of support and I think as we grow, we're on their shelves as a brand now. I think they have tried to figure it out in a lot of ways because they do realize that they can't just tell us um you know, some of the, some of them spend this amount of marketing dollars like, oh, how about, how about ads on all of the New York City subway trains? Like, like we might not be able to do that. So there has been a lot of working together, for example, in social media campaigns, etcetera, which has been great. Amazing. It's going to be interesting when we look back in a few years to see how it has changed. And you know, we know that brands are doing more to support Indie brand, like targets a really great example as well of brands that are trying to foster more of the Indie brands and bring them up. So it'll be interesting to look back. It's what customers want. Yeah, absolutely. So, I mean, and I think you know, a lot of brands have grown on the shelves of Sephora. So it's not like they're just beginning to do this. You know, I think some of the brands we love, like the taxes and the use of the peoples and the Bio geo's, they started out with a couple of products on the shelves of Sephora and, and it's true for a lot of the other retailers as well. Um, so they, it's not a question that they've never had to address, but I, you know, changing times require changing strategies. So it's, it's great to be like working hand in hand with someone. Um because they can see like the benefit, they've seen it, you know, they see the of the world that and the potential. Yeah, absolutely. What are the kind of fun, exciting things that you can shout about for this year that are like your, you know, shifting the needle moments, what we're planning to do or what we have done. It could be either whatever you want to shout about. Yeah, I mean, last year was, was a big one for us. We, like I mentioned, we launched as a single skew brand and so we launched additional products um still targeted to hyperpigmentation and they were so well accepted. We won award Best of Beauty and our customers loved us. We launched in Sephora. So yeah, last year is like a hard year to beat. So this year we're like a big goal of ours is just growing within Sephora. So, you know, I think being a brand that is D T C that is digital first and then going in store, going brick and mortar, um launching a brand in 2020 during a recession and then now it's 2023. And like people are like, I want to be entertained outside, I think for us um that sort of brick and mortar offline shift is like our biggest challenge. So like thriving in these stores, meeting beauty advisors, um getting our products into actual hands. Like that is like where our focus is. And then of course, newness like we um are in the kitchen, like we have some amazing products coming to market this year. We are hyper targeted. So, hyperpigmentation is on our list of important concerns, but it's not the only one. Um So I'm super excited to see how our customer and our community like response to everything else we put out this year. So yeah, it's just like a year of newness and growth and just making sure that our customers happy with what we're putting into the world. Sounds so exciting. I love that too. What piece of advice can you leave us with? And especially for women of colour who might be listening right now, who are sitting at their 9-5 dreaming of starting a business or who are like in that early phase of launching something. What is your kind of best piece of advice that you like to share. I think something that I have to remind myself of is to like, appreciate, like, celebrate the work you've done thus far. I think that's more so to the newer founders. Um It's so easy to look around and say, wow, this brand did this? They have five new products. They raised this much money. They're in how many were in 2 50 there in 2 55. Like, it is so easy to fall into that trap. But like, I think as founders every day, we do so much. I mean, we all do so much whatever your job is. But like, I know as founders, it's, it's daunting. And so I just really encourage people to stay focused on, on what they're building and not be so focused on what's going on around them. Be inspired, take tips, there's education and everything, but really celebrate where you are and what you're doing because it's a lot. Um and I think that it's hard to do, it's so hard to do. I mean, sometimes I have to put social media down to do that, but it's really important. Um Yeah, it's really important. I think, you know, the I transitioned, I was a lawyer before opening boutique before starting a product line. And so I think it's a little different when you're, when you're trying to change careers. But I would just say, you know, there's something that you can do at every stage. I remember being a lawyer and writing a business plan and trying to meet people and learn this was when I was opening my store. So just remember that you can be in your role and making so much progress towards the business that you want to create. And if you can learn anything that helps your business on the job that you have to do that because I admire the people that are like, I worked at Loreal and then I launched it. That's amazing. That's so amazing. So I guess that's a lot of advice because there are lessons every day. But I think sometimes you're like, I just want to like jump ship, um do as much as you can do one step at a time, one step at a time. There's so much that you can do before you jump ship. So make sure you've done it all. So that was a jumble of advice. I hope that there was some nuggets there. Jumble jumble.

So question number one is, what's your, why? Why are you waking up every day and working on Hyper? I think, to celebrate people that just unfortunately have not historically been celebrated. Yeah, absolutely. It's a good one. An important one. Question number two is what's been your favorite marketing moment so far? Favorite marketing moment? I think my favorite was we had a pop up in soho. We took over a newsstand and we gave out magazines and like product samples and it was my favorite because it was hella cute. Very fun. Great energy. My team, my team of six women like worked their assess off, but it was my face because it was our first like I RL event because we do so much digitally as a brand that launched in the pandemic. So I love that. It was well done, but it was also like, oh my God, we're outside with the people. It was great. Yeah, so much fun. You've got to do the things in building a business that also just bring joy. It might not necessarily be this like big, you know, revenue moment or it might not necessarily be the big hit that you think it's going to be. But if it brings you joy in the process of like getting to put something like that out there and being like this is so cool, like this looks cool. Our customers love it. It's a great brand moment leaning into those things. I think it's so important. So important. Question number three is, what's your go to resource in business when you have to think about a newsletter or a podcast or a book that is useful to you at the moment? Can I say other founders? Of course, you can network is very important because that's the honest truth. My whatsapp is very active and I have so many like short list of other founders and I'm always like, hey, thoughts on this, let me tap your shoulders. Yeah. So much, so much conversation from fellow founders. Yeah, absolutely. It's a great one. Question number four is how do you win the day if you are thinking about your AM or your PM rituals and habits that bring you happiness and make you feel motivated? Yeah, I think the things that consider winds are so simple. I think when your day is hectic, I think the winds are just like very simple things. I like I mentioned have two young Children and so the days where I like can drop them off and like pick them up and I have quality time with them. I feel like that is a win because the day in the middle is so insane and you know, I travel, etcetera. So I think I'm starting the day with my Children is awesome. Starting the day like eating a real breakfast, feels like such a win. Um I think just starting the day focusing on myself, which is not always where I start. The day is always like the start of a successful day. Um if I'm honest, I think putting myself first and re centering self care is a big goal of mine and something I've done in 20, but we, we still have a long way to go. So, um but yeah, those two things are the things that like, make me feel like good and healthy and like, you know, yeah, where I want to be. Yeah, a day of success, I feel like it's that kind of thing where like, you know, it's the case but some days you just, you just can't win it every day. No, you can't, you can't. And some days I feel crazy and they don't feel the way you want them to, but they're also wins like some of those chaotic days where you're working in the back of an Uber. Those those are winds too. But I think the ones that feel a little bit more tame and ordered with quality time are, are the ones that I aim for. Yeah. Absolutely. Question # five. Is what's been your worst money mistake. And how much did it cost you? Yeah, I think a lot of my money mistakes are not mistakes, just like marketing fails. Which, um, I was speaking to a friend, I found a friend that is venture backs and she was like, you know, one of the reasons you should raise is because you have more room to, like, try things and fail and you're not so bothered by it. But yeah, you know, I mentioned social media and influencers, etcetera, but there are so many things. We've tried podcasts and wheat postings and all of these various things and sometimes you sort of sit around and you don't see exactly how they've converted. And so, um so yeah, I think the marketing fails are the ones that I feel, but also you're going to try the ones that I have to keep, I gotta keep trying. So here we are you gonna keep trying because one day, one of those things is gonna pay off real good. Yeah, sometimes they do and then you're like, oh, that was amazing. So, yeah, it's, it's interesting. Um But yeah, those are the, I'm always holding my breath when we do something new in the marketing arena. Yeah, you've got to be like, okay, I'm detached from this. I'm not exactly question number six. Last question. What is just a crazy story? Good or bad you can share from your journey of building hyper I don't know if it's crazy. I think um I also think when you, when you're in a world so, so many things are normalized and so when they happen, it doesn't feel crazy. Like I um shortly after we launched in Sephora, I went to Times Square and I was with my Children and my Children see me working with Hyper. They're very familiar with the packaging and the products and like, like seeing Hyper on shelf in Times Square with them. To me, it was crazy. That was just a few months ago. If I go back now though, I'm like, this is now normal. This is now the norm. So I think it's so weird. Like what feels crazy and then how just sort of being in an environment like makes it like your new norm. But um yeah, I don't want to lose the fact that like seeing our products on shelf in Times Square with my family was just like the most bizarre, exciting um thing. My kids were literally jumping up and down. Like, it was definitely insane. Yeah, I can imagine. But I think you raise a really good point and that's something that we all struggle with is, it's like you, you forget what the outside perspective is. You're kind of like, no, this is normal. This is, oh, that's just the normal. I should be on Times Square like all the time or like, that's not a big deal anymore. But then other people see and they're like, holy sh it. How do I get on Times Square? That's amazing. Exactly. So I think um yeah, so that was, that was definitely crazy. Lots of crazy moments that you then normalized. But yeah, that one was, that one was crazy. That was a good one. Desiree. Thank you so much for coming on the show and sharing your amazing journey with Hyper. This has been so fun. Thank you. This was great. Thanks for having me.

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