What it means Use Less. Love More. Q+A with
YA: What inspired you to start Beauty Heroes?
JJ: I remember the moment that the idea for Beauty Heroes came to me. I was working as a Spa Director at the time. I was standing at the front desk, telling a guest about one of my Hero products, which happened to be the Red Flower Ohana Gingergrass Bamboo Scrub, as I had done a hundred times before when asked for a personal favorite product recommendation. But this time, I had a flash of inspiration for a service that would allow me to share Hero products in a broader way – by delivering one Hero product a time and slowing down beauty discovery.
But, before that, there were many moments that finally crystalized into what is now Beauty Heroes. First, there was the slow realization and drips of information about potentially harmful ingredients in the products that I was using in my spa. Then, there were the women (and sometimes men) who would come into the spa and ask not to be sold anything during their spa treatment, because they had just purchased $700+ of products at the last spa they were at – and didn’t know what to do with all that product. Then, my perspective on skincare and beauty shifted even further when I met you for the first time and when you came to train my spa staff. You inspired me and our whole spa team to tell the story behind Red Flower to every guest who we introduced to your products in our guest rooms and treatments. And, finally, the moment that I was diagnosed as infertile with a severe hormone imbalance and my 3-year road to recovery that was only possible after I removed known hormone disruptors in my environment.
All those moments combined were the inspiration to create a service and beauty store that would help others discover truly healthy beauty, one healthy Hero product at a time.
YA: You’ve coined your approach to beauty as: Use Less. Love More. How do you define that and why has this become such an important part of the Beauty Heroes philosophy?
JJ: The words ‘use less, love more,’ were spoken by me in a meeting a few years ago, when I was articulating my intention for Beauty Heroes to a colleague of mine – when I was first starting the company. It was how I described my ‘Why’ for the company. The way I was defining it at that time was that I wanted Beauty Heroes to slow down beauty discovery and connect people to what they were using on their skin and bodies by delivering just one ‘Hero product’ at a time and educating on each product with a hope that the connection would lead people to use fewer products that they love more.
The term ‘green beauty’ or ‘slow beauty’ usually pertains to the quality of the ingredients used in the products – indicating that the ingredients that they are organic, wild-crafted and/or sustainably sourced from reputable sources. I am not sure these terms have been understood or interpreted to also include how much beauty we consume. I know I’ve personally discarded way too many unused or partially used products in my life/career. And, I’ve purchased a lot of products without being conscious of whether I would fully use and enjoy them.
I don’t think we can have a conversation about green beauty, healthy living and wellness without including a discussion about consumption. We all know that collectively, we need to slow down consumption. Businesses generally don’t want to talk about this because they are concerned that telling consumers to buy less will negatively affect their business. I don’t believe that. I believe that consumers are smart, and want to interact with companies that align with their values. And I believe this because I consider myself the average consumer. The truth is that we need to do more than buy healthy products and recycle our packaging. We need to buy less AND buy better.
YA: What about the Love More part of your approach? I love talking about ‘LOVE’, I mean, who doesn’t? Can you tell me more about that?
JJ: I’m so glad you asked about that Yael! In fact, I’ve started to write more about Use Less. Love More. for a book and through that process I’ve discovered two things about loving more. The first is that using less is an act of love – an act of love for the planet, for each other and ultimately for yourself. Every time I make a conscious choice to ‘use less’, I experience love. I’ll take an easy example with plastic cutlery. I’ve been carrying bamboo cutlery in my purse for a while now and I no longer use plastic cutlery when I eat out and travel. Bamboo cutlery makes food taste so much better than plastic does, so I immediately feel like carrying it in my purse is an act of self-love, just because I’m making my personal experience better by using it. Plus, I know that I’m not wasting plastic on single-use plastic cutlery which feels loving towards the planet. This is such a small and simple act of love. We should all be doing this because it feels like love to do it, for no other reason. I have become interested in finding all the little ways I can invite more love into my day and into my life by using less.
The second thing I’ve learned is that I can take this lens love using less and loving more and apply it to every part of my life, not just the physical in the sense of using less stuff – but also the emotional, internal and spiritual. I’ve learned that what I over-consume most of is myself, by not taking care of myself properly. This shows up in over-thinking things, anxiety, not sleeping enough, over-eating an onwards. I’ve found that how I consume things emotionally and internally pretty much reflects outwards into how I consume everything physically.
YA: You talk to your customers quite deliberately about your intention to help them, use less and love more. How do you reconcile this as a business owner?
JJ: This has been such a fascinating exploration for me. I believe in quality over quantity when it comes to beauty products. When you buy better, you need (and hopefully want) less. The Beauty Heroes discovery service was intended to help develop a new pattern of discovery, one product, one brand and one connection at a time. I believe that when we are connected to a product we use on our skin and bodies; we have a heightened experience with that product. And in my experience, that connection leads us to use less and live lighter. It’s a subtle shift that can maybe begin with your beauty products, but then expand into other areas of how we consume in our lives.
I believe that we all know that we, collectively, need to substantially slow down consumption, and that if we don’t do so willingly, we will be forced to, eventually. I’d rather talk about that openly, and support our customers in making conscious decisions in how they can buy and discover beauty. We have clients tell us all the time that they are going to take a break from discovering with Beauty Heroes for a few months because they want to use up some of the products they have, and that they’ll be back. And I am always happy when I hear that from our clients. And, it has been especially rewarding when clients write to us that, ‘in the spirit of use less, love more’ they are taking a break from Beauty Heroes, and that they’ll be back. It’s a constant retraining, for sure, to celebrate slowing down and conscious consumption. But it’s necessary and I hope to talk about this more with other business owners, like you.
Ultimately I believe in balance. I am the last person who wants to give up my beauty products and a lot of my comforts. But I know that if I want to continue to enjoy them, I need to be mindful of my consumption. I hope that more companies emerge that have a mission - and a business plan - that helps us consume slower, better and lighter.
To learn more about Beauty Heroes® download Jeannie’s FREE eBook, Be Your Own Beauty Hero, available in PDF, iBooks and on Kindle.