Episode 229: Dan Hodgdon, Founder and CEO of Vegamour

Making the jump from a childhood spent working on a farm dreaming of being a paleontologist to founding a vegan hair care line might sound out-there at first, but for Vegamour Founder & CEO Dan Hodgdon, it all comes down to a passion for our planet. “How do we create something that’s not going to hurt the earth?”

During our chat, Dan explained to us how growing up on a farm inspired him to create products using only clean, natural ingredients in addition to “eco-friendly sustainable jobs, creating a fair living wage, and letting people participate in the businesses success.”

A true environmentalist, Dan knows that we’re all sharing this one planet and notes that “We reinvest profits back into communities.”

To hear more of how Dan and Vegamour are keeping hair care holistic, listen to this episode wherever you get your podcasts!

Dan Hodgdon
AnnouncerWelcome to WHERE BRAINS MEET BEAUTY™ hosted by Jodi Katz, Founder and Creative Director of Base Beauty Creative Agency.
Jodi KatzHi Aleni.
Aleni MackareyHi Jodi, how are you? It's great to chat with you again. How's it going? It's great to chat with you again.
Jodi KatzIt’s going well. I'm excited for today's episode. It's with Daniel Hodgdon. He's the CEO and Founder of Vegamour. Are you familiar with the brand?
Aleni MackareyI am familiar with the brand. And I've actually met Daniel at another Beauty Connect event, actually, through our partnership with Kisaco.
Jodi KatzI think I can call it, Vega-More or Vego-More or Vegemore. I think it gave me permission to mispronounce it.
Aleni MackareyOkay. Great. That's helpful.
Jodi KatzSo fun fact about Daniel. He's basically lived on like every single continent, and he's lived in so many different countries since he was a little kid. So very, very well-traveled human.
Aleni MackareyOh my gosh. That's amazing. I love to travel. That would be a dream.
Jodi KatzDo you have any upcoming trips?
Aleni MackareyUpcoming. Nothing that big. But I was recently just in Switzerland and Paris with my two sisters, and it was amazing. I've never been to Switzerland before and I was literally blown away by the beauty. It feels like you're watching a Disney movie like the mountains, the sky, the air that you're breathing. It's just gorgeous.
Jodi KatzWell that's actually an incredible segue to Dan's life. Because I'm sure Switzerland is just like pure natural beauty. And the environment is probably very much protective there. Yeah. And that's actually Daniel's mean that passion is the environment while he runs a very successful beauty business, his life and his world is completely dedicated to environmentalism.
Aleni MackareyThat is amazing thing. I mean, talk about a brand that really lives by, a mission that consumers can get behind. This is such a space people are really. I mean, we hope, as as an agency, we're always trying to work with clients who are in the space and and taking steps in that direction to protect the Earth. So that's amazing.
Jodi KatzYeah. He has really incredible stories, so I won't spoil them. I want everyone to listen in his voice, but amazing stories about being on the frontlines in many parts of the world to make sure that our Earth is treated sustainably, that workers are given fair wages that opportunities are both healthy for the environment and the people around them. And he's literally a man on a mission. When I did my intake call with him, he was flying off to, you know, a far away place to install a new program and a community that's really going to save lives. So a very, very fascinating guy and a fascinating cause. And we also did for our fans who watch our lives on Instagram. I really find game with him for Instagram after show.
Aleni MackareyOh I'm excited to watch that amazing. Well this is a term that I feel like we use a lot of bass beauty. And in the marketing industry, he sounds like an innovator for sure. So excited to listen to that episode. Should we get to it?
Jodi KatzLet's do it. Okay.
Aleni MackareyThis is Episode 229, Daniel Hodgdon, CEO and Founder of Vegamour.
Jodi KatzWelcome to WHERE BRAINS MEET BEAUTY™. We are career journey podcasts talking about what it's like to define success and reach for it in the beauty and wellness industries. Today we have Dan Hodgdon, CEO and Founder of Vegamour. Dan created Vegamour with a comprehensive approach to hair health that combines a power of nature with cutting edge science. His one hundred percent vegan brand combines hair, wellness and sustainability practices showing what's good for the planet is good for us. I'm excited to dive into the conversation about his career journey and environmental efforts. And this is Episode 229.
Dan HodgdonWow.
Jodi KatzHi Dan.
Dan HodgdonHi there, thanks for having me.
Jodi KatzWelcome to WHERE BRAINS MEET BEAUTY™. So in our intake call where I got to learn a little bit about you, I learned that you have a bunch of homes and a bunch of places in the world. So where are you right now?
Dan HodgdonI'm working now. It feels like ah like it on the East coast in the wintertime. It's for Seattle. Actually this has been nonstop rated for for weeks and weeks. So I know something's happening. Ah.
Jodi KatzWell we know what that something is. And we're gonna actually talk about okay. So you know, this is a career journey show. And I'm fascinated by how people just like navigate the world, you know, because it's kind of messy in my head. You know, sometimes as an entrepreneur myself and, you know, I I'd like to think of myself as being super creative. But sometimes that means the thoughts in my head. I'm I'm alone with them. You know, which is a scary place, huh? So I love hearing other people's stories is therapeutic for me. So let's go way back in time. Dan, So like your ten eleven year old self, what do you want to be when you grow up.
Dan HodgdonI want to be first one to be a paleontologist, and then I get kinda tired of dinosaurs. And I want to be like, ah, ah, an anthropologist archaeologist like Indiana Jones, like, you know, uncovering some ancient civilizations and discovering the world
Jodi KatzDan, I wanted to be the same.
Dan HodgdonOh really?
Jodi KatzYeah I had a first grade teacher who went on. I guess a summer vacation to Egypt and she brought back. You know her souvenirs and you know, whatever else you collected. And she told us the stories of her journey and I was hooked.
Dan HodgdonYeah. Yeah. Absolutely. I mean me, I decided, you know, I think Indiana Jones was probably part of that, you know. But but um, you know, I'm looking at dinosaur bones was interesting from, you know, at a really young age. But then there was like, what did they do? What kind of what kind of infrastructure do they build that? That was the thing that was really interesting. How did these people back with limited resources and tools? How did they create like you know of the ecosystem? Or or or for agriculture or like, you know, the systems of government and like the whole like preservation of property laws. And so it's just, you know, a technology and industrial revolution, I always. How did you do that? With what little things they had. And that was always like fascinating to me. And and like, if if I were somehow transported back in time within hours that I have that was always a game? You support myself. Like what advantages? What could I do with even prove that some in the future like, you know, one of my favorite books going to the kit was a Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's court? It's a book by, you know, Samuel Clemens and and Mark Twain. And and it's about this very thing. But this guy was in bed, doctor. You went back to medieval times in and was able to create like electricity at all those cool things. And so I don't know. It's I love the idea of being able to go back and see how people did the. I guess I like. And I also like taking things apart to see how they work and then and try to figure how to like, put them back together again and maybe even make them a little better. And I think that's sort of And how to fight dirty my entire life usually breaking more things that I fixed up sadly. Ah.
Jodi KatzLet's go back to the dream. Number one. Paleontologists what was your favorite dinosaur.
Dan HodgdonO T, Rex. Of course it was. You know, as as a young boy, for sure if there was a limited amount of of information that I mean, even if he learned special kid about dinosaurs, the pecking orders and like these were the apex creditors, on the top of the food chain, you know, for me dislike, you know. But how do they get there? And then, like, what happened afterwards? And then how did we get here? And what was that exchange that that happened when they were here? And then suddenly they're not. And then people are the dominant that are the apex predators. I guess if you will of of the of the planet so I don't know. It's ah, it's I also have ADHD. Which is probably evident from the few minutes we've been talking together and I got to go all around the the places. And that's also sometimes I think that could be. Ah. A blessing and a curse. You know lots of ideas and and be able to see things very quickly sometimes and and see things with different perspective than than maybe a straight linear approach, but also can be. You can be distracted easily as well. The important thing for me was to find something that you're passionate about. And so, like, for example, was totally interested in Paleontology a kid, but then it had a kind of like none of that. That I not that I knew everything there was about dinosaurs, but I kind of like my interschool I shifted something else. And then like, oh, now I'm all into that and totally forget about this thing. And so for me, it's been really important. People ask me, you know, for career advice. I'm always like the the thing that you gotta do. Make sure that whatever it is, you're doing that. You're passionate about that. You love it. Because as long as you love, it won't feel like you're actually working. And you know, and that and you'll be able to stay engaged focus. And maybe people will have the most trouble focusing as idea. But like, you know, when I'm when I'm meant to something I'm all in.

A blessing and a curse. You know lots of ideas and and be able to see things very quickly sometimes and and see things with different perspective than than maybe a straight linear approach, but also can be. You can be distracted easily as well. The important thing for me was to find something that you're passionate about. And so, like, for example, was totally interested in Paleontology a kid, but then it had a kind of like none of that. That I not that I knew everything there was about dinosaurs, but I kind of like my interschool I shifted something else. And then like, oh, now I'm all into that and totally forget about this thing. And so for me, it's been really important. People ask me, you know, for career advice. I'm always like the the thing that you gotta do. Make sure that whatever it is, you're doing that. You're passionate about that. You love it. Because as long as you love, it won't feel like you're actually working. And you know, and that and you'll be able to stay engaged focus. And maybe people will have the most trouble focusing as idea. But like, you know, when I'm when I'm meant to something I'm all in.
Jodi KatzSo let's go back to archaeology. Have you ever been exposed to any of this in real life?
Dan HodgdonYeah. Actually when I was in college, I signed up to go in this filter tour to some archaeological dig at the. I guess the trash cans were were. Thomas Jefferson used to dump all his waste, you know and admire the cello. And so you know. And then we took all these. You know, pre courses on it and have the grids and the tooth brushes and the like. And I realize that that terms like, oh, this is a really slow process that's probably beyond my attention span to be able to pay that much attention to the fine detail. I mean, I like so much respect and admiration for the people that do. But I think my vision of it was like a rather stupid like Indiana Jones caterpillar. You could go in and tear things up and pull things out of walls. And you know, run from traps. Yeah. I realised kind of at that time. But yeah, you need to have like steady hands to attention span that can expend for hours just like, you know, being very, very careful. And I'm I'm I'm a little like I just want to get in there and. Get into it. You know? I mean, like the clocks we made in the the multiple, all his inventions for so again, that was all things so amazing. Like he was this man. You know, there was there's it's a dark side. Of course. But like that, this guy could come up with all these amazing inventions and and have the time to really, you know, get into like the hybrid plants and and and including different hybrids and in different species and and and and developing different streams and things like that while, you know, also developing all these different kinds of devices that may the technological advances, you know, kidding around the home as well. I always thought and then had time to play the violin. You know. Yeah.
Jodi KatzWell I think, um, at the time if you said. Word museum to the kids. They were there. Done. You know, like leave me alone. Maybe they'd find it more interesting. Now they're a little older, okay? So let's talk about your peripatetic, right? I would say as a child? Right you lose a lot of places you had a lot of experiences. Um. In your teens, you spent summers on a farm in Vermont, and you describe the farm is pretty rustic. So tell us about those experiences.
Dan HodgdonYes. So my father comes from a long line of dairy farmers in New England. And and so, um, you know, he he he likes the same easily. One of the seminal escaped. And he did that by your money away and joined the Navy. When he was seventeen, he went on to become an engineer, and we moved all around the world because of his work. But he was, you know, very can serve a very traditional limited with, you know, think pepridge farm kind of thing and so but you and everything. They they they consumed or use was either grew or raised themselves. And you know, so if you didn't have a good season like.

For the vessels with were all canned and the potatoes will put in the cellar like that mass if you had to last through the winter, right. And so like my father wanted me when you live overseas and your Kitty can get a paper route like you can't they don't allow you to work. And so my dad's like, I don't want my kids to grow up into the spoiled brats, or like his his thing send me back this summer camp, which was on surfers of my grandparents' farm. And it would be one of my uncles. Ah you know. And or aunt and um. And I would be kind of like farmed out and and and use this manual labor's as much as you know, as I got bigger, I was able to do more more work and it was less babysitting on their part. But um, yeah, that was that.

It really. I mean, you know, growing up in cities as I did, you know, internationally to like, you know, I have no idea like where vegetables and everything in the store or anything was out of the fridge. And so like seeing how, oh, you have to see and you actually, if you want good stuff next year, you have to get the best seeds from this harvest and then like, save them and and plant them in the right a place and can't place type the same thing in the same place every year because you have to rotate crops and the but it was it was. Um yeah. It was very a rustic but also, idealic, you know, everything was simple. And this was before the Internet and we didn't have like satellite Tv your cable TV. I'm I'm an old guy and, um, but it was really just a way to disconnect and and and and but also connect with, like with the Earth and with the way things actually.

Slowing everything down from like a city, like Bangkok it to like rural Vermont were like times can be said so. And we're still using some of the same equipment, you know, telling you equipment planning from it that we use century ago in the family, you know, and same techniques and traditions and and things like that. So it was it's a real will. Um items also a way to unplugging and and and really connect with what I think is today the more importance. It's our connection with with the nature of the planet.
Jodi KatzDan you mentioned a few places that you lived. Tell us all the places you know. Can you go down the list? Yeah.
Dan HodgdonSure I lived in, um, lived in the in the Middle East for awhile in the side. Maybe other than Thailand, Singapore, Indonesia, um, of the Bali I lived in and in Europe. I've um, but I think by the time I was I was seventeen I'd count it, wasn't it. This is Recollections of teenager survey being somewhat hyperbolic or think of them like over twenty places. We moved around a lot because my Dad has always been on a post and then like that post, Dan would be like living in a couple of different places in between next assignment. Kind of things come into the life of an army brat, but with without the the military.
Jodi KatzSo um, these family farms, Vermont, do any of them remain.
Dan HodgdonYeah. I at first. I thought everyone said, you gotta go into business business. I mean, that was the thing when I was a kid like you got to be a businessman. Even know what a businessman was. But but the classes that I started, I think that's what I I my major was when I first evolved because I simply told me to do, um, but even though it's far more interested in art and far more interested in history. But what I really like get turned onto was like, you know, taking like biology and in in physiology and and in chemistry where I gravitated towards towards those classes and then I changed my major, um, you know, after my freshman year to to to biology and with a minor in philosphy, so, you know, because I like to get distracted a lot and walking out of school.
Jodi KatzSo you had a lot of, um, I guess growth opportunities as a kid traveling all over the place living everywhere, seeing all these from cultures. You had summers on the farm by the time it was, you know, bound for college. Did you have a career in mind?
Dan HodgdonYeah. I at first. I thought everyone said, you gotta go into business business. I mean, that was the thing when I was a kid like you got to be a businessman. Even know what a businessman was. But but the classes that I started, I think that's what I I my major was when I first evolved because I simply told me to do, um, but even though it's far more interested in art and far more interested in history. But what I really like get turned onto was like, you know, taking like biology and in in physiology and and in chemistry where I gravitated towards towards those classes and then I changed my major, um, you know, after my freshman year to to to biology and with a minor in philosphy, so, you know, because I like to get distracted a lot
Jodi KatzAnd walking out of school, What was that first job?
Dan HodgdonYou know what you think. First of all, didn't from the school because I was I had started. Um. I kind of I ended up like basically having to support myself and pay my way through school. And in order to do that, I started a business. And it was an import export Business is my first company. And so um, it it. And that's kind of how I that's how I pay my way through school and so like and until until till very recently for a brief moment where I worked, you know, for a company that was done by John Paul DeJoria. Um for like I think they were for like sixteen months. I've never ever had a job. Really have always kind of hustled and did my own thing and and have my own businesses. Many of which have like failed miserably. Some of them had like, you know, various levels of success which count like living out. This is not a bad thing.

But I do kind of feel like that. Whole experience in I was seventeen two to today or to what I started. Making more, for example, was sort of like a like a training ground. You know a university of life if you will that. And I feel like I sort of like Forrest Gump my way through all these different things which all led to this one. The vegamour beast that we're working with a fair amount today
Jodi KatzOkay, So Dan, I wanna switch gears a little bit to this world of fair trade. And you touched on a little bit about your, um, partnership with a very famous hair person. You have a commitment to building fair trade partnerships in the world. What does this mean? And when do the start? And how does this work?
Dan HodgdonIt's started so. My wife and her side of the family or father, never relatives and family friends. All are in. You know, my father's like, you know, engineering and in petrochemicals, her sites, all agency for international development World Wildlife Foundation. You know, UNESCO, that's kind of NGOS. And so I was always fascinated by by the work that they did all over the world helping, you know, developing countries with like, you know, things like creating eco-friendly sustainable jobs and stuff like that through public private partnerships, or sometimes it's through. You know, government funded Ngos. I started. I was asked by a friend because of my, you know, living experiences, you know, farming in agriculture said to help set supply chain in in Southeast Asia. For you know, the spec in 2006. And I kind of like got from behind the computer, because I was just like coding at the time and building like payment gateways and things like that. I was like, all this is great. I get to go back out to fill. They get to kind of like, you know.

Learn to use some of the stuff that I grew up like, you know, from experience ahead of going to the charm and working to some of the farm. And I have set up like, you know, stables as supply chains for either having issues with like some ingredients were behaving differently from one source and another source. And the formulations this is fact been cleaning was first just kind of getting off off the ground. And um, but but, you know, and I saw the impact that it hadn't be able to like, create like green, eco-friendly job opportunities for people that were like that that didn't have much of another opportunity. You know where they were living? Um. You know is at that time in Southeast Asia. And so a part of me that that's already kind of clicked, I think there's something here, right. Um. Fast-forward to, you know, 2012 2013. And I'm trying to find the source of marula oil for for John Paul, Missouri. Because he's launching this new this hairline that included that and um, and I I knew.

I came from roughly, and and and if it was, it was the best place to source is like Southern Africa, and it's also available Madagascar. But like but by going out there and filled and and and and then finding out where it's at, what's the tradition of harvesting it and and and and that there was no large supply chain is so labor intensive, and no one really had put together either a system for collecting it and pressing it. And we had to come up with all filtration system everything. But it hadn't been done before. And I just saw like it could incorporate. They could. You know, we could benefit thousands of people. But right now, for example, we've worked with about five thousand women in fair trade partnership. What that means fair trade to to me. And there's what their various definitions there's you know, a lot of people have adopted. It is like, you know, and have different definitions, but it's it's it's paying a fair living wage, you know, and I think above and beyond that, um, and then letting people participate in the success of of of your of what your business is. Right. And so I look at that. How do we pay like well above whatever, the the minimum wages?

How do we make it sustainable? And and and how do we do it? So that fifty five diversity in mind making sure that we're creating something that is sustainable. That's not that's going to help you with. And that like, you know, hurt the Earth. And so we set up these these with all of our suppliers. We make sure you. If we either providing the were actually either the producers or our partner company is the producer of the raw materials that we're using and many of our formulations, or if we are sourcing from people that producing that we don't have access to. It's really important for us to thing. Incorporate the same level of transparency and their their. You know, it's making sure that as well, obviously, it's not causing any harm to people or the planet that there is a fair and equitable change for the resources that that that that they're getting. And and and that there's full visibility into that supply chain so that we can make sure you are either in our own audits, or they're externally audited that that that that's been.

In fact, the business is being conducted fairly and they all think we're benefiting from that. And for us, we take it to the next level where we we then reinvest like a portion of proceeds the profits back into those communities to help with things that that that that they may not have access to immediately. But but but they have expressed an interested wanting like, you know, H I V awareness, you know, education, literacy programs. There's these wonderful I just came back from a trip. And we're working with, ah, people in the in the areas communities that reflect our Marula farm. There's this amazing daycare center that like is pretty much the only source of, ah, solid mill for six hundred and fifty kids a day. And so. But they had this amazing program for that had the garden to provide vegetables and everything for for the children all year round plus a tilapia pond. But because of global warming, let those you don't have access to wider. So like we've we've commissioned a study and we found out all we can dig a well.

Oh it's going to cost like fifteen thousand dollars. But it's gonna make it completely revitalized like garden net Tilapia pond program. So these kids have protein and vegetables in their diet for, you know, for an extended extended period of time. And so those are the kind of things you know. And that benefits everyone because, you know those people are connected to us. And and and that we are, we sourcing raw materials from the area anyone to make sure that if we're if we're taking something we're not just paying for the investment paying for it in a fair exchange for the actal commodity, but also reinvest in this communities, because if you feel that rising tide should lift all ships. And and I guess that's kind of how I think about it. Is that an official like, you know, Un backed, you know, guidelines? But it's it's it. This feels like for me. It's just like it feels like that.

What we should do because we can and and wearing the beauty business. You need the markup, sir, are considerable and so like so why can't we put that money back into communities that are able to list to produce these amazing products that were that were able to share with the rest of the world.
Jodi KatzSo is your work with vegamour and attempt to grow to have more resources to grow. These other programs is it sort of like a catalyst.
Dan HodgdonYeah. Absolutely. I mean, it was kind of is actually the reason why I started Vegamour vegamour was just. Ah. It was really a case study to demonstrate, because before I was, you know, I'd set up this amazing supply chain for all these amazing botanical oils that that you know that that are. I had never really been like.

Been able to produce it at a large scale sustainably and is also a whole filtration process, which I won't go into that had to be engineered made so that it didn't involve heat or pressure or solvents and detergents in. And it wasn't didn't even require a lot of energy to to clean these oils so that they've maintain the integrity of what made them so amazing as a cosmetic beauty oil in the first place, I am trying to create more opportunities. But I was selling the raw materials to, you know, some big strategic to, you know, it's pinnacle. proctor gamble, it's the etc. And what I would find is that that people would be using them. But like there's a lot of sometimes this marketing claims not those people. But some of the people that were like, what we've I was like, if you use these at the right percentages and make them bioavailable, they actually have these benefits that you can see it with your eyes that people will be.

But I had a lot of people weren't really. That's not the way everyone else formulates. And so I gotta look, I'm going to show because I if I think show that you can be profitable and by formulating the right percentages and then actually making the bio-available and people be so happy with results, I'll come back and purchase again. Even if it might be a little more expensive than you know that that it would be worth it. And so that's why I started vegamour thinking It's kind of just proof Case thinking that if I could show people that they were going formulate the same, it would change it. It was a little bit ridiculous. And speak just goes to show my naivete and lack of experience. But you know? But what It has done me. Good. They were took off and it's becoming this disobey. Which is kind of cool. Because now we have a platform that's even figures. And what I was trying to be forward? That was just like, you know, industry facing, and and hopefully that we can, we can view.

Play a part in helping drive the other people that are in business to to formulate the several ways to be mindful of like where they're sourcing ingredients from two to many, even have like a social impact program in my for that. But also to formulate knowing that, you know, if we do it right, you can actually These parts can have a significant impact and and help people feel better about themselves because their skin hairs better. Whatever.
Jodi KatzOkay. I think I've been using my New Jersey accent to say the name of your brand wrong. So you're saying Vega more
Dan HodgdonVegamour Yeah.
Jodi KatzAnd I said, Vega more. Does that happen a lot?
Dan HodgdonYou know it sounds good. You say potato. I say potato like it's this goes, it's. Yeah. It's vegamour. I think if we put a little accent that you early E, I I'm told, like, I feel that would make it very clear to everyone with my marketing team tells That doesn't fit now, but that would probably still be Jersey into it.
Jodi KatzOkay. My last question. You've mentioned a few times that you know you. Have your eye on something. You put your mind to it. And then you're like, yeah, this isn't for me. Move on. So I'm wondering how that impacts your management, your leadership style, right? You have a ship to keep floating. Right into pointing the direction. Um. I totally get you about like the shiny things on the same sort of way I have. I think my brain works a lot faster and a lot of my team members are like, what. What are you saying? I'm like it makes so much sense, right. So I kind of feel like we're probably pretty similar that way. I'm curious. How do you lead to get the job done? But also, like, keep room in your pockets and in your brain for these, like next big ideas
Dan HodgdonI mean, passionate about somebody which they were up to so passionate about vegamour not only what I think to be done and change the game in terms of like.

Create a new category and and and changing way people think about care and the hair care and hair health, just getting the message up and being able to have like an use of resources from the success of that to to reinvest back in these communities, which is why I started in the first place. I feel that I'm singularly focused. I like to think I'm able to pivot when when I need to as you get big eager as as you become more successful that you know, being a little bit of jet ski that could turn around the time becomes like an oil taker. And it takes like, what maybe ten miles to turn around, you know, and I haven't planned cognizant I try to be very? You know, I've been told that, you know, people like me like we were. Maybe even you like with ADD. We have like Ferrari Brain but bicycle brakes. It's so it's so that it and I and I can see how it can be totally frustrating for.

It's sometimes it feels like we're we're I'd like to see it. But I'm never going in the other direction. It's just kind of instill directionally the same way. It just might. We might have to alter course, a little bit. And for stamp us with a team that is is nimble and also likes a challenge and also likes to like, you know, think things all the way through and also know that that being so precious. But if it's recording something, it's a bad idea. That seemed like a good idea. It's better to let it go and take the next right. Indicated action based on the data that we have. I mean, I'd like to think everything we do is data-driven. We're kind of like that's my jam. I like to know I I'm not a big fan of opinions. I like to have formed opinions based on like the pertinent data, relevant data that comes in. But yeah, it's it’s.

It's a little erratic and and as we get larger to fit. But I think we've really have pretty a purpose. And it has never changed missions ever change sometimes the way to get there to keep the goal is has been, you know, of course I want to try everything. But now see, if we can't try everything as we become larger, we have become a singularly focused and and it has to to, you know, rely. I can't control everything I have to like delegate and and let the subject matter experts that fall on board to, you know, to to take the business to the next level and let them do their jobs, but just type in feet, my job was to try to be there to support them and getting the tools they need to be successful.
Jodi KatzDan, I wonder if you're the same. I'm challenged by knowing what. Goal is and having to be patient to get there. I call it limbo. Like I know where I need to be. I know what what needs to be done. But like sometimes as a process, there's you know all these twenty four hours in a day all the stuff this limbo. Do you feel challenged by that?
Dan HodgdonYes. You know, when I see something very clearly, it's like I kind of try to explain to people. It's like being on a bullet train and like, whew, you get to the end, really like a second. And you see you see the scenery out the windows? You know, there was a car there. There was a farm near there was a lake there, but but then to try to go back and unpack it and explain it that it's like very excruciating and painful. And and it's something I'm afraid. What if I can't remember all the information that got me there?
Jodi KatzI love that this gas for sure. It's super helpful for me to hear that. What's your one piece of advice you have for managing stress?
Dan HodgdonAh. Puzzle or enigma suddenly becomes very clarity by by folk by taking the focus off for a moment or two. So I do think that having multiple interests can be beneficial if you can be disciplined about it and and not get, you know, we could become too distracted and take your eye off the prize.
Jodi KatzI love that for sure. It's super helpful for me to hear that. What's your one piece of advice you have for managing stress?
Dan HodgdonAh sh. Can I get two pieces of ice to pieces to make one? Make sure that you're getting at least eight hours of sleep a day. It's the biggest game changer. It makes it. That's what we do. Our body repairs itself restore the stuff. Our brain gets reset. Everything is the single most important thing you do for your health. And if you manage the stress that we have today better than you medication better than anything. Second thing if it stresses an issue as it isn't, I mean, it's easy stress as well. But like a meditation practice is.

It has been a game changer for me. If you could meet, don't think we have the time to do it. Even if it's just five minutes a day. Even if it's just a single breath like that's all you have. Is that one moment like it? And it sounds kind of like, you know, Woo but that there's this the the scientific studies from Harvard to Princeton to like University Japan. I mean, there's no denying the benefit of of meditation and lowering stress levels. Lower cortisol levels also helps. By doing that, she'd be able to get a seat that you need to to be able to deal with a stressful day. You know, going forward.
Jodi KatzSo this is a hair question, the second question for you. What are some things that people don't know that have an effect on the on their hair?
Dan HodgdonHere's something that your scalp is the skin. Your scalp is four times more absorbent than the skin on any part of the part of your body. So that you know, we put all this care and like, you know, eating organically produce, such as clean skincare, clean con.

Cosmetics. And yet, we just pour these chemicals, we die or every bleach it. We you know, we put stuff in and make it stay up for, say, data straight into curl it. And this all these things go into our bloodstream from our very, very highly absorbent scalp. So like, be mindful of everything that you put on sap of this thing here, because this is the most absorbing part of your body. He and all that stuff's coming into your into your system.
Jodi KatzI did not know that about my scalp. Well there you go. Yeah. What are your plans for Earthday?
Dan HodgdonOh Earthday. So we have this amazing programs that we've that we're kicking off. And in the Maria is a clean soap program. But there's this amazing. So people might I know this. But in Africa, they couldn't allow people cooking, open cooking fires. And these fires emit a lot of like smoke. And they're not efficient. So you one They they cause ah, for it. And the area that we're focusing this pilot on each family consumes about ten thousand pounds of firewood year. So there's rapid rapid, like deforestation goes on these admit, like forty five tons. Sort of like, you know, carbon emissions in air, but not only that the respiratory illnesses that it causes subsequently can lead to death because ten times more deaths in open fires. Cooking fires in Africa costs ten times more deaths there than malaria TB or H I V AIDS combined. Shoot number. And you know, the world authorization is like cook with natural gas. But that's not an option for every people don't have access to that. We have this creates a program that we're taking off with these stoves by this amazing engineer and and the Netherlands who invented it. It's it's actually you're able to feel it with, like Marula husk that when we we have a limitless supply of that. So we don't have to use any before a de forest. Attribute that the assistant in the shelves the next every crack from a ruler they can, actually, you can boil water in five minutes with this in it burns clean, and there's no need for. And in the midst through four times four times less carbon emissions into into the atmosphere each year. So it's like it's an amazing program that.

We're launching next month. And that's every bit to raise a lot of awareness from that. Because we would actually raise awareness that we can get other beauty brands into help, like contribute to sponsor stoves for families so that we can like scale the program even larger. So we can be, you know, tens of thousands of these things throughout the community save hundreds of thousands of lives each year and like tons and tons of like, um, you know, carbon emissions from going to the arid and and stopping deforestation all together. So that's what im doing for earth day.
Jodi KatzYeah. That's amazing. How can businesses contribute to this? You said you would like other brands to get on board to donate funds to raise money for the stoves.
Dan HodgdonYeah. Well or or sponsor? What are these further? We also have a tree-planting program. We've worked like if some like other like of gardens of hope folk so like reach out to me, you know Dan@Vegamour.Com. And if if you're a beauty brand in the end, you're interested in that. I can show you share information about the program that we're setting up and and and and people maybe organize a trip over there. So people can see the impact that it has.

And to see, you know, the more the merrier. And this is what this is the opportunity that misses a reason. Why did Vegamour in the first place was to try to make to have an impact on the on the world, the environment in a positive way and and and and we can we can we can use successful beauty brands? We can also give back to the communities that are, you know, partly response. Double that for us. Having the ability to make products that we make today in a clean way.

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