LIVELY’S #WCW: Jenn Kapahi

In the spirit of Women’s History Month, we’ve collaborated with our friends at LIVELY, who are highlighting their women crushes. This week, they’re featuring our founder Jenn Kapahi as their #WCW. Check out an excerpt of LIVELY's interview with Jenn below and be sure to stop by our trèStiQue pop-up shop at LIVELY SOHO on Thursday, April 2nd from 1pm - 6:30pm. Go to LIVELY.com for the full interview! And speaking of women supporting women, tune in to our friends at LIVELY as they are dropping season 2 of their podcast.

 

Where are you from?

The North Fork of Long Island.

What is trèStiQue and where did the brilliant idea come from?

trèStiQue is a makeup solution for your lifestyle. We offer a customizable routine that fits in the palm of your hand so you can touch-up wherever you go! 

I had the idea for the Essential 8 Makeup Routine about 10 years before we launched. As a beauty industry professional, I was baffled by the lack of simplicity and organization other brands offered. I always wanted makeup that was made with high-performing formulas, and was also easy to carry in your bag and apply without a mess. In 2015, I met my business partner Jack and discovered we both shared a love for the pencil as a delivery system. Jack had the brilliant idea of our unique trèStiQue crayon, so we created a whole line of sticks/pencils with built-in tools that when used together provided a solution for the everyday makeup routine. 

Here at LIVELY, we think every badass woman has had to take a risky leap of faith to get to where they are now. We call this our YOLO moment. What was yours?

Mine was definitely quitting my full-time corporate job at Revlon to invest my time, energy and savings into an idea and a passion.

Your product is so unique and original. What was it like developing it and what is the process for launching new products?

Thank you! It was very simple for me because I was so clear on the need for a routine that really provided a solution. Once we had our final delivery system and packing concept that solved the problem and mess of carrying and applying makeup I leaned into my expertise as a product developer and started testing and evaluating formulas, selecting the winners and tweaking them in the lab to perfection. Then I selected and created the shade palettes for each product. Finally, I worked on the colors for each package and the secondary product carton design. The entire product development process took me 4-5 months. 

Did you always dream of having your own business? What came from it that you didn’t expect?

Yes! I had no idea what I was going to create or own but 100% knew I was going to be an entrepreneur. My family owns an organic vegetable farm and I grew up with my parents working and supporting themselves. Instead of summer camp and sleepovers, I worked in the fields and farmstand along-side my mom since I was 8 years old.

What advice would you give on finding a healthy work-life balance (if you believe it’s possible)?

I do believe it’s possible. You need a lot of support both at work with your team as well as with your kids and home. You also need to be realistic and choose 1-2 things that are important to you to focus on (you can’t do it all). For me it’s exercise - It keeps me sane and happy and I try to find time every day to move my body.

What’s the best advice you’ve received from a mentor?

You only come this way once. Don’t live life in regret! My husband is a bit more of a risk-taker and suffered the loss of his mother at a young age. He believes that you have lots of opportunities and it’s our job to seize them in the moment and not wait for anything because you never know what life will throw at you next.

When do you feel most empowered?

When I have a productive day. Exercise done, work completed, kids fed and tucked into bed and I’m at a dinner with friends or on a date with my husband. I can look back on the day and think, “Yep! This was a good one.”

What keeps you motivated when you’re feeling burnt out?

Might sound simple but I just give myself 24 hours to feel that way, and then by the next day I’m in a different mindset and I can handle whatever comes my way.

What’s the biggest myth of starting your own business?

You need VC money to grow fast. In reality you need to be smart, savvy and try to run the business to be profitable.

What are your thoughts on “following your gut”?

It’s my life motto. There is no other way to do it.

Leave a comment