Molly Beane lives, breathes, and personifies natural beauty and self care. And she’s also pretty damn radical.
Welcome to the latest installment of “I’m a Business, Woman,” a series of conversations with cool, entrepreneurial humans I love who are doing cool shit. Today’s conversation is with Molly Beane, the founder of From Molly With Love, a rapidly-growing all-natural skincare and lifestyle brand. I met Molly late last year when she came to me to design the brand identity and website for her company and we hit it off right away. As I’ve said before, Molly is someone so genuine, honest, kind, blunt, and funny, that it’s impossible not to want to work with her. And for someone who knows what she wants and goes after it with a laser-like precision, she was a delightful collaborator throughout the process, painting a clear picture of what her brand is, what she wants it to be, who it’s for, and why it’s unique… then trusting me to bring that to life visually. I’m thrilled to have her here to answer some questions and give us some insight into the woman behind the Love.
Hi there, Ms. Molly Beane! Please introduce yourself and tell us a bit about who you are, what you do, and what makes From Molly With Love so unique:
From Molly With Love is more than just an all-natural skincare company. Our mission is to change the relationship women have with themselves.
Women are conditioned by society to believe that they’re not thin enough, pretty enough, white enough, young enough, etc. Advertisers and the media constantly feed us toxic messages that make us feel insecure. Then those same entities profit from our insecurities by selling us products that we can use to fix ourselves, many of which are loaded with toxic chemicals.
We are the antidote to this system, this “Beauty Industrial Complex.”
We’re passionate about helping women to resist toxic messages, fortify themselves with #radicalselfcare, and then supplying them with high-performing skincare products with 100% all-natural ingredients. 60 percent of what we put on our skin gets directly absorbed into the bloodstream within minutes, and many of the products we think as “safe” and “natural” aren’t. Our customers can know that everything we sell is not only safe, but actually good for their body.
Not only are our products healthy, but they actually perform. Part of the reason that our company has grown so fast is because our customers keep coming back.
Further, we’re passionate about being as intersectional and inclusive as possible. We don’t believe in traditional, patriarchal “beauty standards” and will never use predatory marketing to sell our products. Our marketing is defiantly feminist and features a diverse range of people.
In less than a year, you’ve taken From Molly With Love from an idea to a successful Etsy store to an up-and-coming brand with its own identity, ecommerce website, and international distribution. What are the three pieces of advice you’d give someone starting a business and wanting to grow it quickly?
- First, don’t let the perfect get in the way of the good. If I had waited until we had crafted every little detail of the branding to absolute perfection, I would have made less money and missed out on crucial learning opportunities.
- Also, I took courses to learn things that I previously had no knowledge about (i.e. Etsy SEO, how to work with wholesale partners, etc.) and I outsourced things I wasn’t good at to other people (i.e. Facebook ads strategy and management). Identify what areas you need help with… And then get the help!
- Finally, I attribute a lot of our business’ growth to mindset. Because of my steadfast belief in myself as a founder and my business’ value, I had the confidence to take significant risks to grow my business. Sometimes you need to be willing to leap before you look.
As we’ve worked together, I’ve been impressed by your ability to find really great vendors, collaborators, and employees. Do you have a method? How do you know someone is a good fit for the team and for the brand?
I wish I could say that I had some secret sauce formula for finding the right partners, but it honestly all comes down to intuition.
It’s true that I have been lucky to collaborate with amazing people so far, but it hasn’t all been roses. One relationship in particular wasn’t ideal… And I wasted a lot of money on this firm without seeing any results. But looking back, I realize that I had “blinders” on when I made the decision to hire them. My gut wasn’t 100% sold but I made the decision anyway. When I’ve relied on my intuition to guide me to the right partners, it has worked out better than I could have expected (like when I hired you, Cody!).
A big part of FMWL’s mission centers on this idea of “radical self-care.” What does that mean to you? Why is it important? How do you, as a business owner constantly hustling, make time to care for yourself? And how do you apply this sentiment to the way you run your business?
“Radical self care” is the notion that self-care is a radically feminist act. Women have been conditioned to care for others without considering their own needs. Think about the women in your life—the mothers who do double time at home, in the office, and with their kids; the grandmothers who cook Sunday dinner for everyone in the family and then clean up afterward too; the single parents who rarely get a moment for themselves. Women are applauded for being selfless, but this is often to their own detriment. So when you take time for self-care, you are actually rejecting the status quo.
Radical self care fortifies us, galvanizes us, helps us fill our empty cups. It’s more than just a frivolous buzz word. It’s a crucial survival skill.
As a busy entrepreneur, I have to remind myself every day to eat my own dog food. As you know, business owners tend to work LONG days without much rest. Thankfully, I love what I do, so work can actually be a form of self-care for me. But I do have non-negotiable self-care practices – like daily meditation, weekly Tarot card pulls, yoga (and I just started working out—goddess help me!), creative journaling and hand lettering, etc. I also build self-care into activities I would do anyway, like lighting a candle and playing soft music while I wash my face at night, and repeating self-love affirmations in the shower (mantra: my booty is sexy).
What are some of you favorite non-FMWL green beauty brands or products?
Yessss! I love this question.
For makeup, I love Silk Naturals (think Urban Decay, NARS and MAC dupes without all the nasties), Vapour Beauty, W3LL People, Lily Lolo, RMS, Honeybee Gardens, and Red Apple Lipstick. I also use Tarte and Glossier… They aren’t 100% clean but they are closer than most other conventional makeup brands.
I am obsessed with the Frankincense hydrosol from Evan Healy (another San Diego-based company). They steam distill their own hydrosols, which we do not… So if you’re looking for a good hydrosol, check them out. I’m currently using Frankincense and Heart of Summer (limited edition, I believe). Tip: you can use them as makeup setting sprays.
I also recently bought a batch of Julep nail polishes. I used to love getting mani/pedis, but I haven’t had one in more than a year because nail polish is super bad for you. But my digits are looking reaaaallly gnarly so I did some research on the cleanest nail polishes on the market. Julep isn’t 100% toxin-free, but they’re one of the better companies, and their products don’t contain formaldehyde.
I color and cut my hair at home. It was a bold move to start doing that, but I have YouTube to thank for my success! Madison Reed makes hair color that is relatively safe and clean.
For shampoo and conditioner, I love Shea Moisture. I use Naiad Soap Arts’ whipped soap scrub as a body wash in the shower. Their coconut papaya scent is to die for. They’re also another handmade skincare company based in San Diego, CA.
How and where can people buy your products or learn more about the brand? For anyone not sure where to start, what items are your favorites?
If you’re new to our brand and want to try our skincare products, I recommend our travel size skincare sampler. This kit has quickly become one of our best sellers and I can’t travel without it. It’s got mini sizes of our cleaner, toner, and beauty oil, as well as a full size version of our almond eye serum. Our best sellers are our Beauty Oil, which is an amazing moisturizer for all skin types, our Probiotic Deodorant, and our White Sage Smudge Spray.