Episode 74

Mabel Lee’s is the classic story of a hobby, born out of a desire for a better product, turned successful business. Lee created Velour Lashes while still in college in Toronto, and seven years later is defining success in a deeper way than just the numbers. Seeing her team grow as humans both personally and professionally, while delivering a game-changing product that helps women streamline and polish their beauty routine, is the true reward. (Though the brand’s overnight social media explosion didn’t hurt, either.) The CEO and reluctant public face of the brand steps out of her comfort zone in her first-ever podcast appearance.

AnnouncerWelcome to WHERE BRAINS MEET BEAUTY™ hosted by Jodi Katz, Founder and Creative Director of Base Beauty Creative Agency.
Jodi KatzHey, everybody. Welcome back to WHERE BRAINS MEET BEAUTY, I am sitting next to Mabel Lee, she is the founder of Velour lashes. Welcome to WHERE BRAINS MEET BEAUTY.
Mabel LeeThank you. Thank you so much for having me.
Jodi KatzSo, you just told us this is your first podcast recording ever.
Mabel LeeYes.
Jodi KatzThat's so exciting.
Mabel LeeYeah, I'm very nervous for it. I don't usually do interviews, especially podcasts, so, I'm excited for it. To learn how it all works. But for me, I never really put myself out there as a founder.
Jodi KatzOh really?
Mabel LeeYeah.
Jodi KatzWell, you should. 'Cause your story is so incredible and we'll get to it today.
Mabel LeeThank you.
Jodi KatzSo, tell me where the nerves, and the fear come from.
Mabel LeeI think, for me, I've always envisioned running my business behind the scenes, and I've done that so well. Like you said earlier when we first had a chat, I'm the type of founder that once I've done my work, I go home, and I do more work but I'm such a homebody. Being the face of Velour has always scared me, and that's something that I've tried to avoid for the past seven years since Velour started. I really do like enjoying my private life and so the interviews, putting the brand out there, as well as my story, is something I kind of avoid, but now it's something I'm trying to get into. Because I know it's necessary to grow the brand and it's a great story, like you said.
Jodi KatzRight, so, I've heard this from a lot of founders in my day job at the agency, we have to coach founders who are reluctant to be, essentially, the stars of the show, to say, this is the climate in the market place right now, where people are really responding to founders.
Mabel LeeTotally.
Jodi KatzSo, by staying behind the scenes, you're basically saying, “No, I don't want to grow."
Mabel LeeExactly. That's totally, my whole team, they're amazing and they always encourage me. They're like, “You have such an amazing story, you're such an inspiring woman, CEO.” And they tell me it's so necessary to get out there to empower women, to even tell the story, not just to grow the brand itself, but it's really getting our story out there.
Jodi KatzRight, so the more vulnerable you are the more open people who meet you are going to be. It really does this sort of osmosis effect.
Mabel LeeFor sure.
Jodi KatzI told you, I'm such a wallflower, I really don't wanna be in the thick of it all, I wanna watch it and be an observer to it. I feel like a beauty anthropologist in many ways. But my team too said, “Jodi, these stories are really important, and your point of view is really important.” So, I had to take a deep breath and do it. But every time I go to an event and have to meet new people, I literally have to take a deep breath to myself, and talk to myself in my head, like, "Go ahead, you can do it."
Mabel LeeIt's in a full day preparation for me, it's like, I have to mentally get into the game, and then, even when I'm there, it's really like ... I think for us women, we also get in our own heads a lot. We overthink things. I'm starting to try to really just live in the moment. For me, what I've been doing lately, doings things that make me get out of my comfort zone. I've actually learned a lot, this is one of them. Just forcing myself to do it because I think the rewards are fully there.
Jodi KatzYeah. I think that there's something about dignity building when you face new challenges, right? If we didn't face this challenge of having to be in front of people and be vulnerable, we wouldn't have had the opportunity to build up more dignity in the sense of pride. When we stay in our comfort zone, we're missing out on that fuel and energy, that I think building energy brings.
Mabel LeeTotally. As an entrepreneur, one of my missions is to continuously learn. If you don't get out of your comfort zone, you won't learn anything new. At that point, I feel like that's being successful at all. For me, it's really trying to get as much information and learning as much as possible.
Jodi KatzYou just touched on something that I think about often, which is the definition of success. A lot of people around us might determine that success equals money, right? But I've started to realize, it's taken me a long time to realize that success is not about money.
Mabel LeeIt's not. Velour is seven years old now, and I think the past year and a half that's exactly what I'm starting to realize. It's not the money. For me, it's building up my team, making them better. I've always told them my purpose and my mission are really to build, internally, a culture where anyone that comes through Velour, if they ever were to leave me, leaves better. That's something that I think is successful. Making other people grow as human beings, whether that's professionally or personally, that's what I define as success.

When I first started, I was always like, “Oh, I wanna hit this milestone at Velour. I wanna make this much money.” Once you hit that, you're kinda like, “Okay, what's next?” I'm sure you've asked yourself that so many times. I feel like I'm at the point where it's just like, “Okay, once you get the money, it really doesn't mean much if you're not working with people you love. You're not building and developing people.” I fully define success very differently now than when I first started.
Jodi KatzI think there's such a great pressure around us, though, to determine that success is equal to selling your company for a billion dollars, or whatever it is. Those things happen, but they're incredibly rare. Most of us, as entrepreneurs, are building the business in a way where we're like, “We can pay the overhead and not sweat it.” Right? Cover our costs and have some extra money. Right? Bonus people out. These kind of small milestones are really more true to the entrepreneurial experience in this industry, and I'm sure, many others, than the reality of selling the business for a billion dollars.
Mabel LeeYeah, for sure, that's not really our ... We get asked quite a lot, “Would you sell in the next year or two?” And that's not my mission at all. I think we have a product that's really empowering women and it's making women feel confident every day, and that is what makes me tick every day. We do trade shows and we do lash applications every time we go do trade shows, and the reaction we get when women look at themselves in the mirror for the first time wearing lashes, that's why I do what I do. I love that part of my job. It's not, the missions aren’t really to sell the business any time soon. This is so much fun.
Jodi KatzLet's talk about this passion for lashes. You told me that it started in college?
Mabel LeeYes.
Jodi KatzHow did this happen?
Mabel LeeSo, I went to the University of Toronto. I'm Canadian, a very proud Canadian. While I was in school, I wore lashes every day. So, lashes were my foundation or lipstick for most women. I didn't need anything else but lashes, because for me being Asian, it really helped open up my eyes, and that was really my confidence piece. So, I wore it every day. I was also very studious and so, I was in school twelve hours a day, if it's not in class, I was studying. Back then, seven years ago, there was nothing out in the market that allowed me to wear all day long, because, by the fifth hour, I'm like ready to peel them off. Kind of like a bra, you just want to go home and take it off.
Jodi KatzBecause they get itchy or sticky?
Mabel LeeThey're just uncomfortable, because they're so heavy and they're plastic. The drug store ones that you would get, they just didn't sit well on my eyes. Because my eyes are a bit smaller, I felt that it couldn't handle that kind of weight or that discomfort. Basically, I was like, "I wish I could create my own lash to fulfill my needs in the lash phase."
Jodi KatzLet me just hit pause here, because when I was in college, I was basically wearing pjs to classes, right? I wasn't at all focused on my beauty routine. This was a conscious decision? You were like, "I'm gonna wake up twenty minutes early in the morning then I need to because lashes are that important to me."
Mabel LeeYeah. Well, the lashes don't take me twenty minutes, lashes is like contact lenses for me. It really was just part of my beauty routine. I didn't feel like it was a chore in the morning or anything like that. I've always, even at a very young age, even in high school, I always put my best foot forward. It wasn't for anyone specific, it was just it made me feel better. It made me feel more organized. It made me feel more ready for the day to take on whatever I was going to take, whether that was an exam or a presentation, for example. That was always my habit, so it was part of my everyday beauty routine to wake up, spend that extra five minutes to get ready, to do your hair and get dressed.
Jodi KatzAlright, so your mission then, I guess, or your goal as a company in a broad sense, is to educate people like me into thinking that lashes is really just like putting in your lenses or brushing your teeth?
Mabel LeeYeah. We're really trying to make a big word that Velour is approachable. We're trying to make any product we launch approachable to the regular women or customer. Recently, we launched the effortless collection in collaboration with Sephora, and that was mainly to do that. Every time we spoke to a woman, they say they want beautiful, long, thick lashes, but, extensions isn't the right route to go because it's too damaging for their lashes, for example. Then they said false lashes was too difficult to apply. I hear that all the time, and for me, it was like, “No, it takes only ten seconds every day.” So, we asked them. We asked most women, “Why do you think it's difficult?” And they said they don't know how to measure their lashes, they don't know how much to trim. So, we actually created a collection where you don't have to measure, you don't have to trim. It's actually a shorter band, and so you just glue, and you pop them on.

Super easy, you don't have to really think about it. Our best collection to date.
Jodi KatzBack to college, I'm sitting next to you in my pj pants, you're sitting next to me with your lash look done. What did it take for you to convert these drug store lashes into lashes you wanted to wear, or was it even possible?
Mabel LeeIt really wasn't. So, on the weekends, my best friends and I ... Velour is actually made up of three best friends in total, so it's me, Angela and then George. All of us went to school together at the University of Toronto and on one of the weekends, I was just like, “Guys, I am so over these lashes. I need to make my own.” And we started figuring out, Angela was just like, “Do you think it's the material?” I was like, “You know what, I actually think the plastic was so stiff it didn't feel good on the eyes.”

So, we actually started sourcing different hairs and what I said was, “Man, I wish we could make lashes with real hair.” Because it was light, and it was finer. Then we started sourcing. We actually came across the mink material. Making sure it was cruelty free, we actually started making our own in the bedroom. Started literally using a cotton thread band, we placed individual places of hair to create our own lashes, and we just literally put them on our eyes. And it looked incredible. It literally looked like your own lashed, but thicker.
Jodi KatzWait. So, you and your two friends sat together and decided, “Let's explore this.” But this is like beyond just talking about it. You're really actually picking up the phone, finding these sources.
Mabel LeeIt was a hobby, yeah. It was more so, “I need better lashes.” It was really a hobby, we didn't have a name for them, we didn't have a logo, we didn't have a business or anything. It was literally like, “Let's just try to make our own lashes for fun.” We actually started making our own and we're like, “This is something very unique.” We source someone that was able to make it for us on a much larger level. So, we created eleven different styles to start.
Jodi KatzAs a hobby?
Mabel LeeAs a hobby. For me, it was, “Okay, I want a style for this event, and then for this occasion, and then one for everyday” for example. So, eleven was actually a very small range compared to what we have now. We did that. Angela used every day, I used every day, and at one point, we're like, “You know what, let's just try to sell this online.” So, a friend made the logo as well as the packaging. It was the old purple packaging that most people know us for. We launched the business in June 2011.
Jodi KatzWere you still in school?
Mabel LeeI graduated at that point, and then immediately upon graduation, I got an offer to work at the Canadian Pension Plan Investment Board, so I was doing capital markets. In finance, completely different role. I ran Velour after work. I was working nine to six every day at CPPIB and then basically, once I got home, I would work on Velour. Even on the weekends, we would travel to do trade shows, and at the trade shows that's where we really caught a break by making relationships with celebrity makeup artists. Our first one was actually Wei Lang, which was Beyoncé's makeup artist. We caught a really really big break, I think within the first eight months of launch, we got blasted on social media. So, people were like, “What, what is Velour lashes? How are they selling a pair of lashes for thirty dollars when drug store lashes should be five dollars?”

So, we got a lot of buzz, and then, the next tweet we saw was, “Why does Beyoncé use Velour lashes? What's Velour lashes?” I had no idea this article was launching. Then we googled it and People magazine actually released an article headlining, “Beyoncé Buys Velour Lashes by the Ton.” Overnight, we just kind of blew up as a brand. Our amazing influencers have really helped us go global.
Jodi KatzAlright, so let's go back. You are working a full-time job, on the weekends you're working the trade show circuit, building relationships. But it doesn't sound like you set out to go to the trade shows and say, “We want to make relationships with celebrity makeup artists, let's track them. Let's figure out how to [crosstalk 00:12:53].”
Mabel LeeNo, not at all. Funny story was, one time we did a New York trade show. We had our booth there. And again, it was just to learn to sell and see what people think about our product. For me, I thought it was a farmer's market kind of concept. But it was really an international makeup artist trade show. There were pretty legit people, but I don't come from a beauty background, so I don't know who's who. This was, I think, six years ago. Pat McGrath comes by, I don't know who Pat McGrath is. So she comes by, and she has an assistant and she's like, “I want this, this, and this.” I was like, “Oh my gosh. She bought like ten lashes. Great.” Fully charged her for it. The assistant pays, and then the booth beside me taps me on my shoulder and was like, “How dare you charge Pat McGrath.” I'm like, “Who's Pat McGrath? I don't know.” She's like, “That's one of the best makeup artists, the most well-known makeup artist in the world. And you just charged her for ten pairs of your lashes.” I was like, “Well, I needed the money. I'm growing my business. I'm still in debt. I needed the money.”

So, we've really grown organically. I have learned so much now. Now, if I saw Pat McGrath, I'd scream, but back then, I really had no idea who was who.
Jodi KatzRight. Well, I mean, doesn't that just speak to the product that people who can get anything for free are willing to pay for it.
Mabel LeeYeah. Exactly. And it also says we really built the business out of passion and we really just wanted to get the product out there. We weren't planning to do any sort of marketing, like I said, we weren't looking for celebrity makeup artists or anything like that while we were there.
Jodi KatzRight. So, before you told me that you wanted to make the lashes out of real hair, what is that?
Mabel LeeSo were thinking, the whole concept started when I was like, “I wish I could literally take my own hair and put it onto my eyes.” So, we're like, “Maybe the key is real hair. Some sort of real hair.” So, we started sourcing horse hair, human hair, and then we ended at mink hair. All the hairs that we were testing was real hair. Mink was actually the closest and the finest to what natural lashes look like.
Jodi KatzI think you told me that the brand is cruelty free, so how do you use mink and be cruelty free at the same time?
Mabel LeeThat's a great question. So, the mink hair actually comes from free range zoos. A lot of the people actually think that the hair is actually through skinning or killing animals. We don't do that at all. It's actually naturally shedded hair. So, mink farms usually have two shedding seasons, one in the spring and one in the fall. We just collect that recycled, naturally shedded hair, and we use those.
Jodi KatzSo the animals are just wandering around, doing their thing, and then the workers collect the hair that falls?
Mabel LeeNaturally shedded. Yes.
Jodi KatzThen clean it and sell it to you? Got it. So, I didn't even know that this exists.
Mabel LeeYeah, totally. And then, with Sephora, the collection that we launch is fully synthetic. In the Sephora collection, which is what we call the silk collection, that is actually made out of synthetic material, not mink hair.
Jodi KatzHow does it compare to the mink? The synthetic?
Mabel LeeThe synthetic is a bit shinier, but we've come such a long way with developing the synthetic that mimics the mink hair. People love the mink hair, but for us and with Sephora, we really wanted to develop a very unique line. The only difference, I think, is that it's slightly shinier, because we really couldn't have that same effect of the look.
Jodi KatzRight. Right. It's so fascinating to be using an animal derived product but be cruelty free, right? I bet you've got a lot of questions about that from people on social.
Mabel LeeWe did. Actually, at the beginning of the business, we did, but we were so honest and we've been so transparent with our processes that now we actually never get that question. Because the silk collection with Sephora has grown so much, a lot of our consumers are actually moving towards the silk.
Jodi KatzRight. So, when we talked the first time, you said to me, and this is a quote, “Lashes put me in the right head space.” What does that mean to you?
Mabel LeeI just feel like my look is complete, yeah know, and it makes me ready to go. That's really, when I say best foot forward, that's how I feel when I have my lashes on. I just don't feel complete without them. Most women say they need their brows to go out, they need foundation. For me, truly, it's my lashes. It just completes me.
Jodi KatzSo are you going to the gym in your lashes?
Mabel LeeYeah.
Jodi KatzAnd going to the food store in your lashes?
Mabel LeeYeah. It's part of my everyday routine, so I wake up and most of the time, by the time I get home, I don't go back out. For example, if I wake up, I put my lashes on, I go to work, and then I go workout after work, I don't take them off or anything. It's part of my ... Yeah.
Jodi KatzAnd you don't have sweaty lashes sticking to your cheek or something after a workout
Mabel LeeNo, no. They stay on all day. Our glue is actually really good, so it stays on all day. Just don't go swimming in them.
Jodi KatzOkay. So, what would you do when you go swimming?
Mabel LeeI take them off. Yeah, they're not waterproof or anything like that. We definitely don't suggest soaking your face with water when you have lashes on.
Jodi KatzAnd is that a consumer desire to be able to swim in their lashes?
Mabel LeeI don't think so, no. I don't think that's a big request from our consumers.
Jodi KatzMaybe as we get even more selfie obsessed, that will be your request [crosstalk 00:17:50]
Mabel LeeI don't know if that would be a good look though, with wet lashes.
Jodi KatzYou're an entrepreneur based in Canada, you're here in New York today, how are you gonna be spending your time?
Mabel LeeI actually just flew in for this podcast.
Jodi KatzOh, cool.
Mabel LeeYeah. So I'm leaving right after this. Like I said, this whole year is about the “Yes” and doing everything that makes me feel out of my comfort zone. So yeah, today I just forced myself to get on a plane, do my podcast, and I'm gonna head home to my dog and my fiancé.
Jodi KatzThat's awesome. I'm really proud of you, it's hard.
Mabel LeeIt is. It's scary. It's very scary.
Jodi KatzSo you have a dog at home and a fiancé, you said?
Mabel LeeYes.
Jodi KatzDoes the dog come to work with you?
Mabel LeeYeah. Every day. He's me therapy every day. Being an entrepreneur, I'm sure you understand, it's extremely stressful. You develop anxiety a lot because you're worrying about your team all the time. Also, the growth of the business, that's one thing that I've dealt with a lot and Big Al has been such a huge therapy for me.
Jodi KatzBig Al?
Mabel LeeYeah, Big Al. That's his name. He's a big dog. I was like, “Aw, a great name would be Big Al for him.”
Jodi KatzYou mentioned the stress and anxiety that comes with running a business, for me, I think the biggest challenge for me to still overcome, because I really have been unraveling many of my challenges, is the sense of financial insecurity. Even when things are good, it's always in the back of my head. Like, “What's it gonna be like in six months? Will we have enough in the bank to meet our overhead? Where's that next line coming from?” It's sort of always stuck on me, even though it's shrinking, it shrinks I'd say like every six months that insecurity shrinks, but it's still with me. What is that one thing that you'd love to shake? To be able to grow out of worrying about?
Mabel LeeFor me, it's not so much the financial part I get worried about. I am the type, when I achieve something, I always strive for what's next. It got to the point where my life is Velour. I didn't have balance. That was one thing that really hit me. I just came back from my bachelorette trip, we went to Morocco. My girlfriends took away my laptop and wouldn't allow me to work. The past seven years I've never done that and I'm not kidding you, I legit had a panic attack because I wasn't used to that. Immediately, when I saw that happen, I was like, "Mabel, there's something wrong. You cannot make Velour fully your life. You need to learn to build relationships outside of work. You need to do things you love outside of work." I didn't allow myself to do that because I literally put the whole burden of Velour all on me. I was just worrying about everything and I just didn't have, and I still don't right now, have that balance in my life, and that is what keeps me up at night.

Being able to be a well-rounded individual, not just an entrepreneur, that was really something that I battle with a lot because, when I'm in to something, I'm a hundred percent into it and I don't focus on anything else. This is something where I'm working really hard to fix. I think a lot of entrepreneurs, as they grow their business, it becomes lonelier and lonelier at the top. I don't wanna be that way.
Jodi KatzRight.
Mabel LeeI think that's been my biggest struggle that I wish I could shake. I wish I could be that entrepreneur that has it all, really, where I have that balance in life.
Jodi KatzRight. So, I mean, what you're describing I think is pretty common. Especially, you started your business so young.
Mabel LeeYeah.
Jodi KatzFor me, when I was right out of college, work was my life. I made my friendships at work, I go out after work with my work friends, right? Not that I didn't have other friends too, I did, but that was really the catalyst for a lot my post work socializing. Work, in many ways, in my twenties, was all encompassing. It wasn't my company, I was just a cog in the wheel, but I don't think it's unusual to dive into this. This is what you've been working for in college, right?
Mabel LeeYeah.
Jodi KatzThis is something you've been waiting for. But I do understand the powers and the seduction of growing a business, and I think that's what you're responding to on your bachelorette trip, right? You didn't want to let go of the seduction of growing a business, right, and having access to all the information and being there for your team and being there for your customers. It really is, I think it's just such a powerful pull.
Mabel LeeYeah. It is. No one will understand it. Even when I was in Morocco, they don't understand it. I don't ever blame them for it. It's hard. That's exactly how you feel. You have everything, the information, you want to help your team, you want to be there for your team you wanna be there for your suppliers and your vendors. Being completely turned off for seven days killed me. It was the hardest thing ever for me. Yeah. It is that powerful where you literally go into panic when someone takes it away from you.
Jodi KatzRight.
Mabel LeeIt's also, that's what drives that growth and that passion, and that's why I work every day. I used to work in finance, and after work, you're able to go and hang out with your colleagues. You turn off, you can truly turn off. But for me now, it's work nine to six in the office, and when I come home I work until midnight. There's really no time to say, “Okay, after work I'm gonna go hang out with friends.” I think that's what I'm working on now is figuring out that balance. I do believe that we can have it all.
Jodi KatzRight. So, what is your first step now that you have awareness, right? Your eyes are open to really how all in you are and that being all in might be too scary, right? What is the first step in trying to unravel this?
Mabel LeeI'm starting to reach out to the people that really matter to me and put it into my calendar, “After work, I'm gonna go have dinner. I'm gonna go watch a movie with this person.” It's in my calendar. Back then, I just never made it priority to put it into my calendar. I just wanted to leave my evenings open to work, which is a terrible way to live your life, so now, I'm reaching out to the people closest to me, the people I want to maintain relationships with and calling them, say, “Hey, when are you free for dinner? Let's do it and let's put it into the calendar.” That's helped me a lot, now that it's in my calendar, I can't change it.
Jodi KatzRight. I think that's really wise. The mental state of saying, "I'm going to make an effort." I mean, that's what you're talking about, right? You loved your friends even though ...
Mabel LeeI do.
Jodi KatzYou weren't seeing them. But you have to make that extra special effort. There was a time, I think it's sort of similar, when my kids were little, so I was an entrepreneur and I had little kids. And I didn't make time for anything. I didn't do anything. I felt so overwhelmed by the pressures to keep doing what I want to do in business, and the desire to spend a ton of time with them and be very hands on. So, I never ever made a plan with a friend.
Mabel LeeDid you feel fulfilled or happy at that point in your life?
Jodi KatzNo, it was total chaos. It really was. Because I was actually the opposite of you. I was trying to do it all, all at the same time. I started my business, just like a year before I had my first child. It kind of grew up together, my son's almost eleven and my business is eleven.
Mabel LeeWow.
Jodi KatzI lived in a state of total chaos for many years, because in my head, I wasn't willing to say, “I'm gonna have a babysitter with my kids.” I just wanted to be that super hands-on mom, but yet, my business is not a hobby. It's really business. How do I do both? What ended up happening in this world of chaos is that I really ended up resenting both. I resented the work when it encroached on my kids and I resented my kids when it encroached on my work, and I wasn't happy. I was happy enough, but I wasn't like joyful, right?
Mabel LeeYou feel that something's just missing right?
Jodi KatzYeah. It's taken me a really long time actually to really draw my vision of what life is like for me as an entrepreneur and a parent and a woman and a wife and a friend. It keeps evolving but even just recently, I had this moment where I'm like, "I just gave myself permission to enjoy my work more." This has been a big obstacle for me, I think that because I've always wanted to be this hands-on mom, and didn't wanna be that mom who was going to work at seven and not coming home until eight, because I saw that earlier in my career. I'm like, "I don't wanna be that lady." I thought that if I work harder and love my work more, then I'm gonna become her.
Mabel LeeRight
Jodi KatzBut I'm not gonna become her. I was so fearful of becoming that other person that I've seen in my life that I really put a wall up. It added more layers of resentment and frustration. When I, literally three weeks ago, I said to myself, “I want to enjoy my work more. I love my work. Let me have fun with my work.” All the sudden, everything was easier. It's crazy.
Mabel LeeSo, I love Will Smith, and he said this one quote that I live by. He's like, “the second you accept that life is hard, everything becomes easier.” I really now tell myself, “nothing's easy.” Just accept it. When things do become hard, it doesn't feel as hard. That's exactly what I feel as well. Once you accept it, and once you allow it to happen, it becomes easier.
Jodi KatzThat's such an interesting thing you say and I needed to hear today, because for so many years, and I don't know if you thought this, in the beginning of building a business I assume that at some point, at five year or six years or seven years, all of a sudden it's gonna become easy.
Mabel LeeNo.
Jodi KatzAnd it's so hard. Maybe some things are easier. There was a time in my career with the agency where I really didn't have a lot of money coming into the business. I wasn't even spending money on a cup of tea at the coffee shop. I was so minding my money because there wasn't a lot of cash flow. So that's easier now, but it's still hard.
Mabel LeeYeah. It's just like recognizing that not everything will be easy, and knowing that things are going to be hard that when you hit those hard points, it's not mentally at least, it doesn't feel as heavy on you.
Jodi KatzYes. I think that I have put so much pressure on myself to think that I have any sense of control over this. I don't. I just need to stay in my lane, do what's right for me and my team, and then success, how I define it, will come. If I can just calm the eff down, honestly.
Mabel LeeWe struggle with that, I find. A lot of women that I speak to as CEOs and entrepreneurs, we just put so much pressure on ourselves. That's what makes us amazing. I think we overdo it sometimes. I'm so guilty of that. I put so much pressure on myself, sometimes on my team as well, to always be better. To do better. Not slack off. To hustle. That's just how we are.
Jodi KatzYeah. The hustles important but what I've learned also is to celebrate the wins. Really sit with them for a few minutes. Dance, jump, light a candle on a cupcake, whatever it is, honor those wins. Those are the things that are gonna get you through the harder times.
Mabel LeeIt makes such a big difference. It's what makes you a family and a team. When you celebrate the wins together.
Jodi KatzWell, I'm so proud of you, Mabel.
Mabel LeeThank you.
Jodi KatzI'm so glad that you got out of your comfort zone today to come and see us on the podcast and share your story. I know that by being vulnerable, you're really opening the doors for so much learning for our listeners.
Mabel LeeThank you. Yeah.
Jodi KatzI'm really appreciative of it.
Mabel LeeI really hope the story itself can inspire women to go find a mentor and start a business if they want to, or do whatever they set their mind to. I didn't have that. In school, it was just a hobby, and I figured it out on my own. But if I had a mentor to inspire me, I think I would even be further than where I am today. I hope it does at least that.
Jodi KatzI'm excited to try the lashes. To have a day walking in your shoes with great lashes. Thank you for your wisdom and for our listeners, I hope you enjoy this interview with Mabel. Please subscribe to our series on iTunes and for updates about the show, definitely follow us on Instagram [inaudible 00:29:23]
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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