Bonus Episode: Anna Yoshida, Program Success Manager at Base Beauty Creative Agency
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Working with the client to realize their vision, Anna Yoshida, the Program Success Manager at BBCA, has plenty of experience working the frontlines of customer service. Her career experience has strengthened her conviction that quality customer care and service are integral to building meaningful connections and successful business.

Dan Hodgdon
AnnouncerWelcome to Where Brains Meet Beauty®, hosted by Jodi Katz, founder and creative director of Base Beauty Creative Agency.
Jodi KatzHi Carey.
Carey ChanningHi Jodi. How are you doing?
Jodi KatzI am so excited. This month and this year are so huge for us at Base Beauty and Where Brains Meet Beauty® Podcast.
Carey ChanningI don't think we've ever met on the podcast where you're having a bad day. Does Where Brains Meet Beauty® and bad day even go together? I feel like you're always in a good mood when it comes to the podcast.
Jodi KatzWell, the podcast is an outlet for me. Right? It's like free therapy, so it helps me get out of the day to day. And sometimes the day to day at Base Beauty is amazing and joyful and fun and full of laughter. But sometimes it's not. It's reality. So walking into these conversations with our guests gives me the chance to hear other people's perspective, learn about their journey, how they handle difficult situations or great situations. And I always leave inspired. And I also think what's so cool about it is I probably wouldn't have met many of these people if it wasn't for the show. Right?

Our industry is so wide now, it's not just all based in New York City anymore. There's people everywhere that are innovating in beauty and wellness. So I just love meeting new people and getting to make new connections and hearing other people's stories. And as our listeners know, our loyal listeners know we don't talk about product. We're not talking Goop or marketing. We're really talking about personal journey and career journey, so that's fulfilling for me.
Carey ChanningThe power of podcasts, huh? So you mentioned a technology bringing people from all over the country together, how we used to do it only locally, and now we're able to record virtually. Technology happens to be our first quarterly theme. So do you want to tell our listeners what quarterly theme even means?
Jodi KatzYeah. So typically in the past four years of our show, we would select guests based on the people who were inspiring us, people we met. But for our fifth anniversary, which is what we're celebrating this year, we decided to move to a quarterly theme format, meaning each quarter, we're going to have a topic of focus and all of our guests in that quarter will fall under that topic. So quarter one, as Carey mentioned, is focused on technology, so all of our guests this quarter will be tied to beauty and wellness technology. The next quarter, all of our guests will be tied to sustainability. So we'll keep this themed format going all year long. We'll announce our quarter three and quarter four themes later in the year. And that gives our listeners a chance to just dive deep, get to go deeper and meet the people who are making innovation happen in our industry. But we have a lot of milestones to talk about, Carey.
Carey ChanningExactly. I was going to say we're diving even deeper this year because it is Where Brains Meet Beauty Podcast's fifth year anniversary. It is Base Beauty Creative Agency's 15th year anniversary. We are hitting our 200th episode on the podcast. And we are diving even deeper by broadcasting these interviews, these conversations on YouTube live, meaning you can tune in, watch these interviews as they're happening in real time, and see you and our guest.
Jodi KatzSo I'm not super fluent in YouTube, so I want to share with our listeners how to best reach us on YouTube. So first of all, subscribe to our channel, so search for Where Brains Meet Beauty Podcast and you'll find us. Subscribe because then you'll be able to access information about our show. But also hit the notifications button, which looks like a bell, because that's going to give you alerts about when we go live. So remember all of our episodes are going to be recorded live on YouTube, so it will be really fun for you to watch those in real-time. They will of course still be available to you in whatever podcasting app you love. But this is a really new special added element to podcasting because live is where it's at. It's what we're recommending our clients at Base Beauty to invest in to reach their customers in new ways. And we just thought it's really important the podcast invest in reaching our fans in this live way as well.
Carey ChanningSo we're just one week away from launching our 200th episode and kicking off this exciting year. However, today we are here to discuss Anna Yoshida, who is a member of the Base Beauty Creative Agency team. And this is just a bonus episode. In case you missed it, the past two weeks were also bonus episodes. You can go back on YouTube Live and watch those videos, all streaming services. But tell us a little bit about your conversation with Anna.
Jodi KatzWell, Anna joined our team really recently. And there's sort of Base Beauty before Anna and Base Beauty with Anna, and she is just so hardcore, so amazing, so smart, and a joy to work with, like the rest of our team. And what's cool about these bonus episodes, Carey, is that our listeners get to meet the people who work at Base Beauty and they get to meet them not during a client status meeting, but they get to hear their story, their journey story, and I just love that these team members are giving access to their lives to our fans.
Carey ChanningExactly. All right, well, let's get right into it. Here is Anna Yoshida.
Jodi KatzSo I'm very excited today that I'm joined by one of my own team members, Anna Yoshida. Thanks for joining, Anna.
Anna YoshidaHello. Thank you for having me.
Jodi KatzIt is great to see you here. And I'm excited to learn more about your career journey before Base Beauty.
Anna YoshidaYeah. I'm so excited to be a part of the team, joined in July, which seems like just yesterday, so time is flying by so fast.
Jodi KatzSo Anna, you're a program success manager at Base Beauty, which means you're on the front lines of working closely with our clients and you're an advocate for their brand. But I want to go way back in time for our first topic, which is when you revisit with your 10 year old self, if you can think about your needs and desires at the time. What do you want to be when you grow up?
Anna YoshidaGosh. When I was 10, I don't know if I was thinking about that, but I remember in high school was the first exercise we did on a writeup about your career and how you would get there, what the plan would be. And my report was actually on being a cosmetic chemist, so I was interested in science before, and that was when I was getting into beauty. So I was like, "Oh, how great would that be to figure out how it's made and to be able to actually make it?" And so that was the idea until I went to college and actually figured out that I really liked studying psychology, so that's what I ended up majoring in. But also during my time there working at a beauty startup, and I just always wanted to be somehow in the industry.
Jodi KatzWhen you were in high school, how did you even know that being a cosmetic chemist was even a thing?
Anna YoshidaYeah. I think it was a Google search and just figuring out what jobs were available within beauty, and then kind of working backwards from there.
Jodi KatzOkay. So what do you love about beauty?
Anna YoshidaI don't know if it's a specific thing. I just think the products are so interesting, watching people apply them in different ways to just help make you feel better and feel confident. And I just like, I don't know, there's a lot of different things about it. There's hair. There's skin. There's makeup, body product. There's just so much in it. Anything new is always interesting to me.
Jodi KatzSo let's go back in time, but a little closer to now. What was your first job?
Anna YoshidaMy first real paid job was a hostess at a local Hawaiian restaurant. I grew up in Southern California, so started that at, I think I was 17 at the time. And then continued there until college, yeah.
Jodi KatzSo that's the frontline of customer service.
Anna YoshidaIt is. And I think my friends and I talk about it all the time. I think it's so important for everyone to have either worked a restaurant or a retail job at some point.
Jodi KatzAnd did you do any retail work?
Anna YoshidaI didn't. That I didn't get a chance to, but I feel a little bit in ways where my mom and I were always doing craft shows growing up, so she would make a bunch of things like that, and we'd have to tag them, and I'd be helping and working those types of booths, so not formally retail experience, but a little bit in that way.
Jodi KatzAnd what was your first job out of school?
Anna YoshidaOut of school it was actually working at the university that I graduated from. So I was a student assistant there for about two years, and then when I graduated, they offered me a full-time. But also during college, I was working, that was a part-time at the beauty startup, my first role in beauty.
Jodi KatzSo what kind of role did you have at a college when you had that full-time job?
Anna YoshidaIt was a program coordinator, program manager position, so very similar to my title here. But there, I was managing professional development programs, so they weren't degree programs, but certificate programs that people would then take, either they went to school and got a degree in something else, and now they want to learn about digital marketing, or HR, or business admin, so those types of programs.
Jodi KatzWhat was it like to graduate and then still stay on campus?
Anna YoshidaI feel like it didn't hit me that I was actually graduated for a while, just because I was still going to campus. And a lot of my friends were still living in the area at the time too. So it was nice though to be able to still have that community and that connection, especially in your first time at a big girl job.
Jodi KatzI remember thinking to myself when I was in college how fascinating it is for the people who work at the school because I think in a sense, there's an opportunity for a time warp to happen because if you work at a school, let's say you're in a dean's department, or admissions, or something, you're always around people that are one age group. Right? I guess it's the same as being a teacher in a high school. But you're I think able to freeze time a little bit in your own life because everyone's not growing older around you. Right? I mean in the student body at least. So I would imagine that it feels good as a student to graduate then work at the school because it's still a part of being at college. Right? At least from a social aspect and your surroundings.
Anna YoshidaAbsolutely. And I think the favorite part of all of our jobs working there was being able to still interact with the students.
Jodi KatzSo you knew from an early age that cosmetics were interesting to you, so much that you thought you wanted to be a chemist. Now that you work in the industry, would you still like to be a chemist?
Anna YoshidaIn a way where product development is really interesting to me, in R and D, and seeing clips of brands show their manufacturing process, or their fulfillment process, and putting them into the bottles. I think that's always interesting. And especially going into skincare, now there's so much information that's shared about what this ingredient does, what that ingredient does. So in that way, yeah, I think it's still interesting to me. I don't know if I could make it as a chemist, but I love seeing the process.
Jodi KatzIt's interesting that you talk about developing products because while you're not a chemist and you're not building formulations in your job today, you really are building something though, different ingredients, but to get to the same goal, which is to bring joy and satisfaction to the customer. I see actually so many commonalities between those two roles, the one you have now and that cosmetic chemistry role.
Anna YoshidaYes. And I think that's how my brain works too. I like seeing how the pieces fit together and then watching it come to life is the best part.
Jodi KatzSo let's talk about journey, but a little different type of journey. You moved from the West Coast all the way to New York City recently. Why?
Anna YoshidaIt's a funny story because it was never a big dream of mine growing up or anything. I loved growing up in Southern California. I grew up in LA area, went to school in Orange County, so never really ventured out. And then in 2019, my boyfriend and his family brought me to New York for a vacation for a trip. And then the minute we got home I said, "I love it. I want to move there." So that was kind of it. I got lucky the week we visited. It was perfect weather. It was in April during spring. So yeah, everyone thought that it was a little bit crazy and like, "Are you sure? You only went there one time during perfect weather." I was like, "Why not?" I like the city atmosphere. It's completely different than LA. And so yeah, I wanted to try something new.
Jodi KatzSo you're about to have your first New York winter?
Anna YoshidaI am. And it's already ... Last night we went out and it was already cold for me, so I'm so nervous and need to go out this weekend and buy all the coats and the boots and the heat tech stuff, and get prepared.
Jodi KatzYes. The key is being dressed appropriately because it is manageable if you have the right layers and wearing the right items. But if you're caught without the hat and gloves, it's brutal, so brutal.
Anna YoshidaYes. The gloves is what I put on my ... It's the top of my list because I've never had to own just regular not for snowboarding gloves, but just every day.
Jodi KatzRight. I mean, I could imagine this is a whole new world for you. I've always been in the Northeast my whole life. So I'm not that I love it always, but I'm used to it and have a closet full of gloves, sometimes just one. I have to go through my collection and manage that collection. That's the other thing, Anna. I'm going to warn you, you're going to lose those gloves, at least one of them. And you're going to lose the hat. It's going to be on your lap. You're going to stand up, not realize it fell to the ground and move on, and be so sad because it was your favorite hat. So I have those war stories to warn you to get two of everything like that because those little pieces get-
Anna YoshidaThat's a great tip.
Jodi KatzYeah. They're like socks. You know how people lose a-
Anna YoshidaYeah. I never would've thought of that.
Jodi KatzIt's the same thing. But yes, being prepared, and then it can be fun. But it's challenging because the wind whips through the avenues and the streets in way that can really hurt sometimes.
Anna YoshidaI know. I felt it even just a little bit yesterday. So definitely need to prepare myself mentally.
Jodi KatzOkay. So you moved to New York City. You got a job with us pretty instantly. Right? It was pretty quick.
Anna YoshidaYeah. I think because I quit my last job to move, and so I think I found you about a month into my move, which was great.
Jodi KatzWhat has it been like to enter a new organization when work is mostly virtual?
Anna YoshidaIt's been really interesting, but actually a lot easier than I had expected it to be. I was a little bit nervous about not being able to make the connections. But I think everyone's been so warm and welcoming, and especially having that ... We had one lunch together, which was really nice, with a group of us. And going into the office helps too, being able to see people here and there, so it's been a lot easier than I expected. And everyone's just been so great.
Jodi KatzI've been doing a lot of reading about how companies are going to try to navigate back to either what they're calling a hybrid model, where some people are in the office, some people are not in the office, or fully remote, or fully in the office. And obviously, every company's different. But it's so interesting to me to read these stories because for 15 years, we've been a virtual business navigating. How do we have freelancers? How do we have full-timers? How do we have an office? How do we work from home? And not that I have all the answers, but it's kind of interesting to read these stories about how impossible it is for some people to be in a room together and some people to be on a Zoom and try to have that meeting. You can't hear anybody. It just never works.
Anna YoshidaYeah, that's so interesting that you've already been doing it for so long. Even the past coworkers that I've worked with before and friends, they're still texting about it and nervous about that hybrid model, where you've already been doing it.
Jodi KatzSo since you're new to the business and new to New York, the fact that we're mostly work from home, how has that helped in your transition?
Anna YoshidaIt's helped in getting the lay of the land, especially around my area and my apartment, and slowly easing ... It was interesting because I feel like going out in New York, there may have been some hesitation or nervousness about socializing and finding new friends in the area. But then because of COVID, we really didn't, we're not able to do that as much either. So I can't really tell what's because of a life transition and moving, or if it's because of COVID. But I feel like it's been a good balance, especially having the office a 15, 20 minute walk for me. So being able to go in every once in a while, so I'm able to get out, find the local places I like to order lunch from, or pick up dinner on the way home, or the grocery store to stop by. So it's been a more gradual transition for me, which is nice.
Jodi KatzAnd what's been the hardest part about joining a new company during this time?
Anna YoshidaI guess it's a little bit getting to know people. I mean, everyone at Base Beauty's been, like I said, friendly and welcoming and it's easy to get to know people, but wanting to build more of that relationship I guess is hopefully the goal over time.
Jodi KatzIt's so interesting because as this business has evolved through the years, for many years, we were a really lean, small organization. And then a few years ago, I started working on business development more and agency marketing more, and making sure that we're not a secret in the industry, that brands that need support know us. And we started bringing on more young people onto the team. And the younger people, when I say younger, younger than me, they really do crave connection and relationship building at work. Right? It's part of their social life. And then we built this beautiful big office, so that there's a nice place to socialize and do work at the same time. So that is something that I think is needed, even if it's not the same way as before, but the chance to socialize and get to know people needs to be part of the job. Right? It can't just be the facts, the figures, the checklist. Right? There needs to be time to be human. Right?
Anna YoshidaYes. And my friend ... This is also a conversation between my friends and I. It's making friends as an adult is hard. And you spend most of your time at work or with the people at your work. So being able to make friendships at work is really nice.
Jodi KatzYes. I remember in my 20s, I mean, all my friends were from work. And then you move to another job and you introduce those old friends from the old job to the new job. And it's just this really nice cycle that's been interrupted because of all of the pressures on keeping people safe and apart. But I do see it changing and evolving, not just in our organization, but in many others. And it's exciting to be able to go to events and meet people and socialize in a networking way too.
Anna YoshidaYes. And especially because we had moved, we were sort of banking on making friends through work and then through their social circles and meeting people that way too. So yeah, excited to see how the holidays will be this year with all those types of gatherings.
Jodi KatzYeah. Well, you'll get to have your first New York holiday season. There's so much to look at. It's so lovely to walk around the city. And then you'll have your first city snowstorms. And that's even better because in the suburbs, the snowstorm is challenging. In New York City, just put your boots on and go walk, and it's a really, really fun environment when it's snowy and there's no cars on the road.
Anna YoshidaOh, that's true. How long did you live in the city for?
Jodi KatzAbout 10 years, after college until my son was almost two. And then the apartment got claustrophobic with all his baby stuff. And I was ready for a change. But we moved to a town that's a really easy train ride away. And I come in every once in a while now, more to really socialize than to do work, quite frankly. And I guess that sort of the almost the way it was before the pandemic as well, the younger people in the office really wanted to be together every day. That's great. And I would just pop in once a week to get to know people and have real human experience with them, so I'm excited to do that too.
Anna YoshidaThat's so nice that it's still you're able to move to the suburb, but still be close and a train ride away.
Jodi KatzYeah. That was the requirement of leaving the city, was that we ... I needed to be able to walk to the train. Right? So I lived on the Upper East Side when we were in New York. I was a really far walk to the six train. That was the closest train to me. So I said, "I need to be able to walk." And now my walk to the train is way shorter than my walk to the six train, so that makes me very happy. And since I'm the boss, I get to pick where the office is, and I picked an office that's really close to Penn Station, so I have a very, very easy commute that I actually enjoy. I know most people don't enjoy their commute, but I've created a company where people don't feel like they have to be in the office. Many of them right now are choosing to be on some days. So I think that takes the edge off for anyone coming from a place that's a little farther away.
Anna YoshidaYeah. That's one of my favorite things about living on the East Coast around New York City, in New York City, that's definitely not something that we have in LA, and everyone dreads the commute. Everyone back home is wanting to stay work from home for as long as they can. So yeah, I really love this hybrid and this situation that we have at Base Beauty.
Jodi KatzSo Anna, my last question for you is advice for young people or people looking to get into the beauty industry. So you had this high school dream of being a cosmetic chemist. You had a job at a beauty company. Now you're working beauty marketing. What would you say to somebody who's interested in this part of the industry?
Anna YoshidaI would say if you are able to, internships, that was kind of my foot in the door and something that I was so grateful for. I think that's a great way to get exposure and connections, and a way to network. So yeah, I think that's my biggest tip. And that's what I tell my friends who are younger that are in college and they're trying to figure out what to do. I'm like, "Just do as many internships as you can."
Jodi KatzGreat. Well, Anna, thank you so much for sharing your story and your wisdom with our listeners today, and our viewers.
Anna YoshidaThank you. Thank you so much for having me. It was fun.
Jodi KatzAnd anyone who wants to know more about our show, you can listen to Where Brains Meet Beauty on any podcast app, so pick your favorite and search for Where Brains Meet Beauty. You can visit us online, you can also listen to those episodes on our website at wherebrainsmeetbeauty.com. And if you follow us on Instagram, you can be part of our giveaways, so that's @ WhereBrainsMeetBeautyPodcast. And you can also get more of us by following me on LinkedIn, Jodi Katz. We also have special giveaways on LinkedIn and other content to share. So Anna, thank you for joining us today. Thank you for our viewers for watching this live podcast.
Anna YoshidaThank you.
AnnouncerThanks for listening to Where Brains Meet Beauty® with Jodi Katz. Tune in again for more authentic conversations with beauty leaders.

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