Episode 196: Evelyn Subramaniam, Founder of Bija Essence

Evelyn Subramaniam has mastered resilience. After a career in modeling, she’s learned how to take every “no” in stride and build a “go for it” attitude. Learn how this quality, amongst others, helped inspire her brand Bija Essence.

Dan Hodgdon
AnnouncerWelcome to Where Brains Meet Beauty,® hosted by Jodi Katz, founder and creative director of Base Beauty Creative Agency.
Jodi KatzHey, everybody, it's Jodi Katz, your host of Where Brains Meet Beauty® podcast. Welcome back to the show. This week's episode features Evelyn Subramaniam. She's the founder of Bija Essence. And if you missed last week's episode, it featured Sara Happ, she's the founder and CEO of Sara Happ. Thanks for tuning in.

Hi, Carey.
Carey ChanningHow are you doing, Jodi?
Jodi KatzI am great. I am so excited to present this episode to our fans today.
Carey ChanningActually, me too. I'll let you fill them in.
Jodi KatzOkay. So, I met Evelyn at Saks where we, before COVID would host these amazing live podcast recording and networking events. And Evelyn was a very dedicated fan of our show. She came to so many events. She always stopped by to say hi, and I just really admire her tenacity. She has a very small business that she's growing product-by-product, sale-by-sale. And she has such an incredible attitude. She's so optimistic. She's so sunny. And even though this is a small business and she has to work really hard, she totally recognizes that that's just part of the process. And I love that because I've met so many founders who are angry and mad that they're not making enough sales. And I'm like, "Well, you will have to just work hard for it." And Evelyn is such a great example of that.
Carey ChanningI can totally support that. I too met Evelyn at our live events and it's not that we didn't want her on the podcast, we just didn't have an opportunity to schedule her. And I loved her optimism and persistency. And it's such a lesson for all of us that a no answer doesn't mean a no. You just keep showing up. You keep knocking, you keep introducing yourself. And Evelyn even speaks in the episode how she is really fueled by human interaction, and it's all about engaging with people and having that positive attitude. And as far as her products and her company, she... A quote that I love too is she's worked... An episode you guys talk about honesty and transparency. And she said, "Even if it fails, you will earn that respect." And I feel like that really does encompass who Evelyn is.
Jodi KatzYeah. And she used to be a model. So, she's used to this sort of like, I guess, rejection worlds, right? I think, rolls off her shoulders.
Carey ChanningExactly. I'm glad you reminded me of that because as you mentioned to our listeners, a few episodes back, my other career is being a dancer. And let me tell you, I feel like my day job is getting rejection, right? I go to a million auditions and out of a million, you land one. And so, Evelyn learned that lesson from her modeling career as a reporter and it shows that it can help in a business because she doesn't sweat the small things.
Jodi KatzYeah. I'm really excited for everyone to get to meet Evelyn today.
Carey ChanningAll right. Well, let's dive in. We have episode 196 with Evelyn. Oh, and we forgot to mention, be sure to listen to the end of the episode where Evelyn shares a discount code to help you with your holiday shopping.
Jodi KatzHey, everybody, I'm so excited to be here with Evelyn Subramaniam. She is the founder of Bija Essence. Welcome to Where Brains Meet Beauty.
Evelyn SubramaniamThanks for having me, Jody. I'm so excited to finally be at the podcast with you after seeing you at Saks Fifth Avenue before COVID.
Jodi KatzSo, that's what I wanted-
Evelyn SubramaniamDo you remember that?
Jodi Katz... yeah. I wanted to start with that actually. Let's go back in time and tell everybody how we met.
Evelyn SubramaniamWell, I think it was about two years ago, you were interviewing Trish McEvoy, and it was a lovely event at Saks Fifth Avenue in New York City. It was a full house, drinks, flowers, conversations, wonderful women. And it was just such an inspiring talk. She had so much insight and you asked just the right questions that at that time, I had just launched my company and I felt so good about it. You both inspired me to just keep going strong.
Jodi KatzWell, I'm so proud of you because you've been very willing to be resilient, I'd say in following up with us on the show and it was so great to meet you two years ago. And I think it's such a good lesson for entrepreneurs and everybody that things sometimes take time. It took time for us to get you on the show and that's okay. You were so lovely with your follow-up and reminding us that we met, and I was really excited to have you on the show. And it was just about making sure that we had that time on the calendar. So, I'm really proud of you. It's hard to do that.
Evelyn SubramaniamWell, thank you. Thank you so much. That means a lot coming from you, but one thing I learned about being an entrepreneur, patience sometimes. And when you're a type-A personality and you're used to doing what you want to do when do you want to do it, when it's your own company, you rely on other people, you rely on circumstances that it's out of your control, but when you're patient and you have a passion, things will happen. And so, here we are.
Jodi KatzYeah. I think patience is so important. And that's just a life skill, not even an entrepreneurial skill, right?
Evelyn SubramaniamMm-hmm (affirmative).
Jodi KatzIf you stay focused and you know that you're going to get to where you want to be, even if it's just one small step, it will happen. You just have to wait for it. We tell our clients that at Base Beauty a lot, "It takes time. Things take time."
Evelyn SubramaniamYes things take time.
Jodi KatzSo, Evelyn, let's go back in time. So, when you were like 11-12 years old, and if somebody asked you, "What do you want to be when you grow up?" What would you have answered?
Evelyn SubramaniamWow. Wow. I remember going back in time from a very young age, I have a brother and we always played shop and I remember selling him all my toys, my dolls, anything. And I had a calculator and a typewriter and I would print out receipts. So, I think deep in my gut, I always wanted to do business of somehow of something. And then a few years later... I'm from Mexico and we used to go to Mexico every vacation. I used to bring back a lot of candy, Duvalin, I remember. And I used to sell it to my classmates. So, I did like making money from a young age. And then a few years later when I became a teenager, I wanted to become a model. And I won a modeling contest actually in New York City that Avon was sponsoring, and I started doing that. I always wanted to be a reporter and just reach out to people and report. And I did become a reporter for Univision as well. So, slowly but surely, those three dreams came true.
Jodi KatzI used to play store so much and I love that. I would take all my knick-knacks and lay them out on my bed and my visual merchandising style, whatever that looked like and arrange them on my desk. And my mom bought me those little pads with the carbon paper inside, so it's like I worked in a store, I make a receipt for myself and a receipt for her. And it used to be so much fun. And my kids did that too when they were little. They loved playing store.
Evelyn SubramaniamIsn't that interesting? It's interesting, but it's... Yeah, here we are now, still doing it, right? In a bigger scale.
Jodi KatzSo, let's go back in time, but not as far back to before launching your skincare brand. Tell us about the career steps that led to being an entrepreneur?
Evelyn SubramaniamI have to see, I don't know if they were career steps, because as I mentioned, I was reporting for Univision and I worked as a model in Los Angeles, New York and Paris. And perhaps, the skills that I learned in these two environments, you have to take no for an answer, multiple times a day, you just have to be resilient and you cannot take it personal, right? You go to 10 castings a day and maybe you will get one job, but then you'll get one big job and it's worth it. And being an entrepreneur, I think this is a great skill to have, to just be resilient, to don't take things personal, to not give up. When one door closes, you knock on another door. Is that what you were trying to get to or?
Jodi KatzYeah. I think it's really interesting. Modeling and being a reporter wouldn't seem very tied together, but I do think that you're painting a really strong picture of how hard it is to deal with rejection on a daily basis. But when I think about when I met you and all the times that I've talked to you since, there really is an ease about you. And I wonder if it's because you just sort of let that stuff roll off your back. That stuff doesn't really matter, it's just like taking the next step.
Evelyn SubramaniamMm-hmm (affirmative). Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Jodi KatzEvery no is a step towards the yes, right?
Evelyn SubramaniamRight. Right. Ultimately, I love people. I love to be around people. And I feel that I understand people's feelings, and I know that at the end of the day, they need a community and people want to be heard, people want to be liked. And I think that when you understand that, it's easy for doors to open and for people to understand your mission or your goals, and allow you to grow. So, I feel very fortunate in that way. And even with Bija Essence, I am a big community builder. When we started, I supported Plastic Oceans and that's why all my products are made out of glass and not plastic because I want to make sure that we do create an awareness of the harm that the products that we use, the packaging that we use harm the environment, and in overall, us as human beings, right?

Just recently with COVID last year, I reached out to Direct Relief and we were donating a percentage for frontline workers. Right now, with the destruction in India, I started donating to the Indian Red Cross. So, in essence, I am a brand that is so connected to the community, local community and global community and our planet. And it's wonderful. That makes me so happy to be able to have a platform where we can all connect like we are connecting now, and many of our listeners are listening and hopefully, we'll connect even more in a bigger scale.
Jodi KatzWhen you were modeling and working as a reporter, did you have in mind that you wanted to start a skincare business?
Evelyn SubramaniamNot at that time. I knew I wanted to do something, but when I became a mother and visiting and my husband's from India. And we started taking the kids right away, we wanted to make sure that they were connected to their culture and to their extended family. And I will never forget the image of this little yellow house in the farm in India, my mother-in-law wearing her beautiful colorful saree. I remember it was a purple, lavender saree with beads. And she laid the babies on her skirt and she would take the coconut oil that came from the farm, organic pure oil and massage them. And she would do this multiple times a day with both of the babies. And then I realized she never said why or how long or... She wouldn't speak. She would just be with them one-on-one and have this powerful bond. And I thought, "How special is this? This is exactly what I wanted. I wanted these kids to experience something like this that I couldn't teach them." But then I learned, and I continue to do. And that's when the light bulb came on.

And fast forward, a couple of years, I studied Ayurveda. And then I realized, "Wow, this is where it comes from." It's thousands of years of traditions of education that they're passing on to their children. And I started interviewing people in my classes and I asked them, "Why are you here? What are you looking for?" And hands down, the four topics that came up were lack of sleep, "We live in New York City. It's very stressful. It's the go, go, go, go, rush, rush, rush, rush. We don't get enough sleep, and we're getting sick. We can't focus. We can't produce." And I thought, "Okay. There's something there. We have to target that."

And then other people were saying, "Well, we have a very weak immune system. We keep getting cold. We get any virus that comes our way. We get..." And I thought, "Okay, that's number two." And then pupils were discussing inflammation that inflammation causes a lot of autoimmune disease. My son is an athlete that he would complain about his Achilles, about his calf being sore and in pain. And then the first thing was just overall circulation in your body, people needed to move. People needed to get their bodies in motion. And so, when we were making body oils in our classes, I decided that I would make something that was pure, but that also had a health benefit. And I saw that void in the market, and so, therefore, I produced rise, revive, rejoice and rest. So, one that helps support your immune system, one that helps to lessen inflammation, one that helps to increase your circulation and firmness on your skin, and then rest, something that helps to calm down your nervous system at the end, and also a good massage oil to continue to massage your children.
Jodi KatzAnd how old were the kids when you started taking these classes?
Evelyn SubramaniamThe kids were about... I want to say about 10, 11, 12 years old, if I'm correct. And then I started making my own oils at home and using them on them, but I have used coconut oil away before from the time of the report because I was mimicking what my mother-in-law was doing with them in India. And as I was producing them at home, I would give them to my friends for their birthdays, for the holiday season, and more and more people were asking for more. And then voilà, then I started a business and then it just took off.
Jodi KatzSo, I think that's a really interesting point to study that moment in time because there's a lot of people who make things for friends, right? Whether it's jewelry or skincare or whatever it is, crafts and art, but then there's that decision to go from making it from a hobby to a business. So, what was that moment when you decided that you're going to actually invest your time and money into growing a business around this?
Evelyn SubramaniamMy husband is an entrepreneur and he saw the demand in France and it was a genuine, genuine desire. And he said, "Evelyn, just go for it." And I'll never forget when he said, "Do it." And I was so scared. I said, "Well, I need a lot of capital. I need this, I need that. I need a supply chain." And he says, "No, you don't." He said, "I've started many companies with zero money. You just do it, and things will start slowly falling into place." And I think that the most beautiful part of being an entrepreneur, having your own company as you is that you have control over everything and you know exactly where everything is coming from, where everything is going, how much everything costs. And I think it's a good way to start. And I love Nike slogan, just do it.

And that's what I tell all the youngsters or anyone that asks me for advice. I said, "If you have a passion, if you have a dream, you just do it. And if you fail, it's okay. You can get right back up and continue to go, or shift right pivot, and you do something else." But every lesson is a plus for me, every challenge is a plus, as you have mentioned before in other podcasts. And I love that about you. I love your honesty. I love how you talk about your challenges, but I also love how you talk about your fears and you make them into power. I think you said that once you turn them into power.
Jodi KatzAnd was it enough to boost your confidence when your husband told you, "Well, just try it. I've done it before. Just try it." Is that all you needed to say okay, sure?
Evelyn SubramaniamI think that's all I needed because I also have a part of me that is a little bit fearless. I thought, "What do I have to lose? What do I have to lose? What do I have to prove?" It's okay, at least I know that I tried. I don't want to live and die and be on my death bed and said, "Gosh, I could've done this, I would've done it. What if? What if?" No, now I'm doing it, and I love it. Jodi, I really, really do love it.
Jodi KatzEvelyn, I think that when I go back into my fear, so much of it is rooted in what would people say or think if it didn't work, right? Which is should not be my focus, but for my whole life, I'm making an impression on other people who are so important. I've been trying to unwind that, but that really preoccupied me. So, when you erase caring about what other people think, whether it's family members, friends, or the world that's never even met you, then it's really just about your time and money. And I know that this is a privileged thing to say, but sometimes it's only money. If it doesn't work out, so you lost the money, but you learn something. Right? So, it's I think getting to the root of where the fear comes from is so helpful and empowering that decision-making.
Evelyn SubramaniamAbsolutely. Well, you also have to be smart about your capital. How much is it? How much do you want to invest? And you have to stick to that. You have to stick to your business plan. It's not just about just doing it and not having a path, but having a business plan, sticking to it, having your values very firmly. And being for me, what's very important is being completely honest and being transparent. That has helped me a lot because then you feel good about what you're doing. And if it doesn't work, at least you know you give it your best shot, that you were honest with your customers with everyone that you're doing business with, with your employees.

It can't go wrong, because even if it fails, I think you will earn that respect that you gave it your best, that you treated everybody fairly, that you were completely honest. And that's what people are looking for in this generation. Don't you agree? Do you feel that that's what people want to connect with you, want to understand what you're building or what you're offering? Versus just-
Jodi KatzYeah, I agree.
Evelyn Subramaniam... having a big billboard on Hollywood Boulevard with a beautiful picture and a nice slogan.
Jodi KatzYeah. I think that the consumer is so excited to support small businesses. When I was growing up, if you're a small business, it meant that you weren't good quality or something like that, but it's completely flipped itself. And I think the consumer actually looks in it with a more skeptical view of the bigger companies, right? So, the smaller companies where they can be part of that journey with the founder and with the team is so exciting for the customer. And she feels like she can truly shop with her values and find people that are growing businesses like you, that were their values are aligned with yours.
Evelyn SubramaniamRight. What do you feel that your consumer or your customers value the most of Where Brain Meets Beauty or your Base Beauty Agency?
Jodi KatzWell, if I think about our listeners and what they value, it's transparency. Right? Like honesty. They do not come to listen to the show for like a polished, perfect view of business. There's plenty of places to get that kind of artificial landscape. They come here because they don't want to be alone, right? And sometimes these things are lonely and not just being an entrepreneur is lonely, sometimes just having a job is lonely, right? Or being a parent is lonely, or getting a divorce is lonely. There's a lot of things in our lives that feel lonely. And I think that listeners come to hear from entrepreneurs who have yet to reach their goals, people who are household names, people who work behind the scenes who you'd never see their name on a product because there's a connection and a togetherness that happens when we actually talk honestly and for real. And it goes beyond facade. It goes beyond the resume.
Evelyn SubramaniamRight. Right. Right. Well, you have a lovely gift, especially during COVID. You were such a savior because your platform and being able to listen to you, even though we were so remote and so apart, it was just nice to hear that warm voice and all these different experiences. So, thank you.
Jodi KatzThank you. You're making me blush. Well, I'm really excited to get back to doing the live networking and recording events at retail, because I love retail. I love stores. And I love that we were able to bring people together who have not ever met before, together in a really relaxed fun way, be around, merchandise and the beauty of Saks. And at every show, I would ask everyone to turn to someone in front of them or behind them, or next to them and introduce themselves and get to know someone new, and that gives me so much joy.
Evelyn SubramaniamThat's true. I do remember that. Oh, so do you think that's around the corner? Do you think maybe this summer?
Jodi KatzI think it's more like fall or even maybe January because retail, it's challenging to plan for them right now. And I don't mean Saks, specifically, I just think in general. Like staffing, resources, that's really hard right now with retail being in a position where they're just trying to lift off the ground now. So, I definitely will hopefully get on that calendar so we can start a rhythm. And I think people will be excited to be able to socialize in this way. I think they will feel safe.
Evelyn SubramaniamAbsolutely.
Jodi KatzBut my guess is realistically when it comes down to just like planning events, I think will be maybe January.
Evelyn SubramaniamWe'll be there waiting.
Jodi KatzYeah. Thank you. Okay. So, Evelyn, I want to go back in time because I love dissecting the experience of growing a business and you're a few years in. So, if you can go back to year one, what was that biggest challenge? Whether it was an emotional or a fear challenge, or just like we have products not arriving on time. What was the biggest challenge of that first year?
Evelyn SubramaniamThe biggest challenge was timing and working extra long hours sometimes. That's one the timing, and then yes, packaging not working together. So, for example, I remember sometimes being up at 2:00, 3:00 in the morning because I had to get on calls with India. Right? And I remember my husband coming downstairs and he said, "Are you coming to bed?" And it was 3:00, 4:00 in the morning, but it's your baby. And it's just like feeding a baby, the baby needs to eat at three in the morning, you have to get up and feed the baby, so can grow strong and healthy, right? So, that was one of the challenges finding how do you sort of have a schedule that works for the entire family because that's you and me. We have kids and we have a husband and we have pets that we have, right? It's a lot of people that we're taking care of as we are taking care of a business. So, that was a bit of a challenge.

And the other one is you buy these products and they come, so you see the tops don't fit the bottles. And then I had my big show, November 19th, I remember. And I had two weeks and the tops were not sealing well, and you just want to rip your hair off. What do you do? You want to scream, you want to shout and you just have to find an answer to all these challenges. And one thing I learned in business, you face challenges almost every single day. And so, now I just smile. I just smile. I said, "Okay. Next, how do we go around this challenge and make it work?" And it does work at the end.
Jodi KatzEvelyn, what was that show? What was that November show that you were waiting on?
Evelyn SubramaniamOh, no, that was just my big launch party that I had here in New York City. And so, we had over 100 people and I had over six masseuses in this beautiful penthouse overlooking the East River, and everybody was ready with food and wine. And the masseuses was offering free massages to our guests. And I just wanted to be perfect. I wanted people to be happy and taken care of, but we made it happen somehow. Miraculously, it happened.
Jodi KatzEvelyn, would you say that you're a perfectionist?
Evelyn SubramaniamTo an extent, yes. Are you? You are too, right?
Jodi KatzI'm what I call a recovering perfectionist. My instinct is to push and push and push for some sort of ideal that I've created in my head, but I know that that's invented, that doesn't exist. So, I'm much more inclined to not be a perfectionist now, although it creeps up on me when I'm tired or super stressed, that's when it kind of rolls up and I need to literally have a conversation with myself in my head like, "Okay, well this is life, and not everything is perfect. There is no perfect." And so, I talk myself out of it.
Evelyn SubramaniamThank you so much for announcing that so that everybody hears that it's true. We forget that nothing is perfect in this world and we need to learn to be flexible. Yes, I remember I did a show actually in Boston and I actually drove there with all my product. Well, I thought all my product was in the car and I arrive and I just had the samplers, all the samples and I wanted to cry. I didn't know what to do. It was too late to drive back to Boston, the event was starting in two, three hours. And I was just very honest with everyone, I said, "Please sample." Again, I had massage therapists there and everybody got treated and I said, "I'll take your orders, I'll ship for free. I'll deliver for free. I'll ship for free. I'll do anything that you will have it at your doorstep. I promise that in no more than 48 hours." And people were happy. As you said, if you're transparent and you're honest, people will understand because most people understand that nothing is perfect and shit happens, right?
Jodi KatzSo, I'm curious to know how hard it is or has been to get retail partners as being a small business? There's a lot of small businesses. There's this beautiful movement of Indie beauty changing the industry. How hard is it to achieve those sales with partners?
Evelyn SubramaniamRight. That's a good question. That's my challenge right now, actually finding distributors that will work as hard as you do, especially when I want to expand to the West Coast and I've talked and try to work with just a few different distributors and it hasn't been very successful. And so, that's the challenge that I face now. It does work when I do it myself when I visit, when I reach out, when I email, when I send presentations. I feel that it does work because maybe I am the best promoter for my brands, I feel. What do you think?
Jodi KatzYeah, that's really interesting because I've heard this kind of feedback from friends with small businesses that they... You really want to put everything of the future growth of your business in the hands of a distributor, because they have access and they have support and they have process, but sometimes it just doesn't work. And you're spending time and money hoping that this team or person or whatever it is going to transform your business, right? So, it's almost like PR, right? Like clients hire us for PR and they have this expectation that all of a sudden, they're going to get one mention in one article and their business is going to quadruple or something, and it just doesn't happen that way. It's like teeny-tiny steps that add up over many years.

So, I do agree that in the beginning that having the founder kind of do all the jobs is the most effective because you're the closest to it. You're the one who can continue to innovate on the idea. And team member can't do that, a team member can just present who you are now, right? And team member can't evolve an idea when you get a spark of inspiration during a conversation. So, I do think that that's very valuable and I love it when we actually, on the Agency side working with founders who have done all the jobs and sweated through all the jobs and know how hard each job is because I think it makes them better at hiring people to actually do those jobs when they grow.

And it makes them more reasonable about expectations, what things cost, how long things take. This is not a fantasy kind of walk in the woods, look at the blue sky, smell the fresh air kind of industry. This is really hard. It takes a ton of money, so much money to move the needle. It's not just about time, is like literally, you have to feed the beast to make sales happen. So, there's a huge investment upfront. And I just think some people expect that it's going to be easy, because it's beauty, because it seems fun, but it's really quite hard.
Evelyn SubramaniamRight, right. That's interesting that you mentioned money upfront, the money you have to invest, because I've done it all, and I had a very small budget when I started, that I'm very conservative with how I spend my money. So, you're giving me a lot of good advice. I think that that's my next goal. I think I will have to open up my bank account and invest a little bit more. I'll have to talk to you after this podcast.
Jodi KatzYeah. I was actually just talking to a friend, he's not in our industry, but he was looking to invest in himself, like getting training and coaching and things like that to really help him get to the next level. And the biggest scary part about that is well, that's a big chunk of change, right? It's a lot of money to invest in a person who's going to help guide you. But without making that investment in yourself, you're just going to be alone in your own head, right? It's this old saying, "It takes money to make money." There's no way around it. Even people who are very well known personalities in their industries, whether they're a well-known influencer or hairstylist or whatever, those businesses don't grow fast, they really don't.

It's like part of a ecosystem, but it does not mean just because they have a hairspray brand or something that they're rolling in it. It takes as much work to create momentum. So, this is not an easy business and I love that you are so resilient and I love that you were rejected for so long in your career early on because what better prep than that for a situation where you have to keep pushing forward no matter what.
Evelyn SubramaniamAbsolutely. Absolutely. Gosh, I'm learning a lot from this podcast because I believe in my product so, I would just have to invest a little bit more than…
Jodi KatzYeah. If you believe in it and you think that there's a customer there and that the product is really truly differentiating, then I think the next step is to make sure that you're actually communicating that difference, I think is one of the hardest parts. And only you can figure that out and you can hire partners and stuff, but that in your heart, this is different. Sometimes I think founders are fearful or resistant to admit that maybe one aspect of the product is not different. Maybe it's like for example, maybe you use the same glass jar as like other brands, right? That part might not be unique, but what is, right? Not 100% of it is never going to be unique, it's not possible.

There's been just too many products, too many things through the years, but there's something about it that's unique and that starts with you, right? Because there is no other you, there's only one Evelyn. So, then how do we take the Evelyn-ness of the product or the brand or the messaging or the ingredient and turn that into something that the consumer can fall in love with, a story that the consumer can fall in love with? Because there's a lot of beautiful lotions and potions out there. There's not a lack of beautiful products, but there's something that the consumer needs to fall in love with, right? But we need to serve that up to her. She's not going to be able to investigate that on her own, you need to give that to her. So, that you can do, after that, then you can hire people to help you.

I do agree with you, I think you being the voice of the brand to future retail partners is the way to go, then hire someone to support you on other things. Right? Things where you being having your hands in it are not as important. I don't know, bookkeeping or something like that.
Evelyn SubramaniamRight. Definitely.
Jodi KatzI remember the day when I handed off all of my bookkeeping, to the person who's now our finance director and it was really one of the most joyous moments in my career. Like knowing that I've grew the business in such a way where now I do not have to be the person who's tracking the invoices, paying invoices, tracking the hours. It made me so happy. So, that I don't need to be involved in every day, but new business I do. Right?
Evelyn SubramaniamRight. Right. But at least you understood how it works. You did it yourself for whatever it was a few months, a few years, and you know exactly when things are not working, right? You know why?
Jodi KatzYeah. I think that I've done every job in the business in one way or another, some of them very well, some of them, I'm really not skilled at, I don't have the background for, but I can help out where I can. Like, for example, I'm not a publicist, but I feel like I'm the PR coordinator, sometimes I'll help them. I'll do whatever I can to help them, but I can't do that job, I don't have that background, I don't have that those skills. But yes, I think that it's so important to do everything. You don't have to do it all forever, but do it all so you know what it takes.
Evelyn SubramaniamRight. Right, I agree with you.
Jodi KatzSo, let's talk before we wrap up about your goals, right? You want to grow the business, you want more people to come into contact with the vision and the beautiful products and textures and legacy of these ingredients. What do you want next? Like what's your five-year day-dream for the brands?
Evelyn SubramaniamYes. Well, absolutely... I started growing internationally to London and Paris, so I want to continue. It would be really incredible to see Bija Essence in other European countries and perhaps, Latin America, there's stocks there too in Mexico and from Mexico. But ultimately, I want to expand it as a wellness stop and not only for skincare, but I learned to make teas, for example, Ayurveda. And I think tea is such a wonderful part of everyday life for people too, again, that targets wellness and your mind, your body, your spirit. So, adding different products and having it be a wellness brand would be an amazing dream for me.
Jodi KatzWell, Evelyn, before we sign off, I just want to let all of our listeners know that you're offering them a special offer. So, 20% off for the next 30 days after this episode airs at bijaessence.com, which is B-I-J-A-E-S-S-E-N-C-E.com. And all the listeners have to do is use this offer code, which is code, Code20. So, that's so nice that you're offering that to our listeners. Thank you, Evelyn.
Evelyn SubramaniamAbsolutely. Enjoy.
Jodi KatzAnd thank you for your wisdom today. It was so great to finally talk with you and get to do this and put on the calendar. I'm so pleased we got to do this, Evelyn.
Evelyn SubramaniamThank you so much for having me and I look forward to seeing you in person very soon as well and yeah. Enjoy your life.
Jodi KatzAnd for our listeners, I hope you enjoy this interview with Evelyn. Please subscribe to our series on iTunes and for updates about the show. Follow us on Instagram at @wherebrainsmeetbeautypodcast.
AnnouncerThanks for listening to Where Brains Meet Beauty® with Jodi Katz. Tune in again for more authentic conversations with beauty leaders.

Want to sponsor the pod?

Available On:

Apple Podcasts