Health & Skincare University of Iowa Writing Certificate

From Self-Hatred to Expanding Beauty Brand

A Women’s Story on How She Overcame Self-Hatred and Began a Natural Beauty Brand

By Rhiana Chickering

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I hear my boyfriend tell his friends that I “look like shit without makeup,” While walking through a hallway in my residence hall at the first university I attended. He had confirmed what I thought of myself and of all my insecurities that were largely due to acne I suffered from during my early college years. Even though it was a trivial comment, I was going through other confidence-lacking issues at the time.

With low self-esteem issues, I began working and studying extra-long hours as an escape from my emotions. It got to the point where I was not wearing make-up or using skincare products for me anymore. Instead, I was using make-up to make myself appear more beautiful for him, so he would think of me as beautiful. My self-esteem began decreasing faster than ever, and I felt alone.

A few years later, while researching natural skincare products, I discovered From Molly With Love, a skincare brand created by Molly Beane in Pacific Beach, CA. Her story is inspiring and unique, and she lets us know that we are not alone.  Moreover, with media messages portraying beautiful, thin models with perfected facial features and skin, positive messaging is more important than ever.

For the interview, we decided to meet at Better Buzz coffee roasters in Pacific Beach, CA. It was the perfect place to conduct this interview. The atmosphere at Better Buzz is always relaxed and crowded with the kindest and most interesting people. Music played through the speakers as coffee fanatics worked on homework or had brunch with friends. It was quite loud, but the noise gave us the perfect amount of privacy to conduct the interview.

After learning about toxic chemicals in some skincare products, Molly was shocked, exclaiming, “When you purchase products, you don’t think that what you are buying could be harmful to health. You assume that if it is on the shelf, it is safe.”

At this time, Molly was working at a public relations firm. Even though she attended college for public relations, she was not happy throughout her career, referring to it as the “dark-side of PR.” She always wanted to become an entrepreneur, but she did not quite know how this passion would work out. What few people knew was that she was also struggling with alcoholism, and after discovering disappointing news, her problem only became worse.

In 2015, around on her 30thbirthday, she was informed that she was infertile, crushing her longtime desire to have children. As a child, Molly felt unloved by her family, and longed to someday have children of her own to love.

Because Molly felt like her body was failing her, she became depressed, and her struggle with alcoholism worsened. She began to escape her feelings of depression through drinking, partying and working long hours at her PR firm.

She recalled a time when she was sitting at her desk the morning after Super Bowl Sunday, stating that she “felt like her soul was scraped out with a butter knife.” This situation terrified her, and she felt like she had hit rock bottom.  Soon after that she became unemployed, which depressed her even more.

While combatting alcoholism, Molly felt useless and worthless. Then, one day, she woke up and realized that she did not want to feel this way anymore. Therefore, she set out to go to rehab in order to heal herself physically, emotionally and spiritually.

Molly began to eat healthier to clear out the toxins of drinking and partying from her body, and she returned to her passion of yoga. Additionally, utilizing natural, non-toxic skincare products was a large part of her self-care routine. She recalls experimenting with various natural ingredients and oils and researching skincare recipes and cosmetic formulations online for enjoyment with no plan to launch a skincare business at that time.

After creating her natural skincare products, she would give them to her friends, who loved the results of her products and urged her to sell her finished products. One day, she sat up out of bed and realized what she was going to do next. At that moment, she immediately knew she would launch a skincare business, and it would be named “From Molly With Love.”

Therefore, she began a small Etsy shop online, stating that she had “no idea what she was doing.” Her and her then boyfriend, now husband, designated a portion of their already small 500 square foot apartment for her business, and Molly began creating, packaging and labeling her products.

As Molly absorbed herself into her business, she felt useful for the first time in her life. She finally felt as though she found her passion and her purpose in life.

Her first product was Beauty Oil, a natural facial oil that moisturizes skin. She reminisces researching and learning that oil would not clog pores, and even heals breakouts while eliminating the remnant acne scars.

While developing the beauty oil, she experimented with top notes and base notes until she found a light, pleasant scent. After using this product for several years and successfully testing it on her friends, Molly knew how gentle and effective the product truly was. Therefore, she knew that Beauty Oil would be the first product that From Molly With Love would launch.

Ever since that first product, From Molly With Love has valued transparency with their consumers. Every ingredient within the skincare products are listed on the label. In addition, when researching a new ingredient, Molly explains the benefits and reasoning to her customers.

Now, Molly is evaluating the idea of using Leucidal, which is a natural preservative, in her products that contain water. This will lengthen her products’ shelf lives without becoming a breeding ground for bacteria. Prior to selling products containing Leucidal, she plans to create a video that explains to consumers what she will be changing or creating and the reasoning behind the decision.

Molly always had creative and entrepreneurial spirit, and From Molly With Love allowed her to create safe, natural beauty products while also spreading her messages of encouragement.

She explains that society’s unrealistic beauty standard portrayed through billboards, magazines, and advertisements at beauty counters in department stores, has conditioned us to believe that we are not pretty enough, not thin enough, and that “there is something wrong with us at a deeper level.”

These standards have spurred a daunting feeling of self-hatred. However, Molly continues to assure us that these standards are not real unless we make them real; that nothing is wrong with any of us, and we have nothing to feel self-conscious about.

Molly still has a passion for skincare and beauty. However, when she wears make-up, she wears it for herself, no one else. She exclaims that if you wear make-up, wear it to make you happy, not anyone else. Never feel like you have to live up to someone else’s standards.

Thus, Molly’s mission in life while operating From Molly With Love is to make women feel beautiful and know that nothing is wrong with them. From Molly With Love’s story encompasses the goal of feeling better in your own skin and knowing that you are worth taking time for.

As a self-declared feminist, she encourages women to be gentle on themselves and make time to pamper and care for themselves without feeling like they are always having to be working or taking care of others.

“The more you take care of yourself, the more you will fortify yourself,” says Molly. “Then you will get to the point where you can look at yourself in the mirror and feel that self-love.”

During our interview, Molly also had advice for women desiring to own their own business someday. She advises to not “let the perfect get in the way of the good,” encouraging women to begin their business before they are ready, similar to how she started From Molly With Love.

She assures that if she had known how difficult running a business would be, fear may have taken over and prevented her from pursuing entrepreneurship.

“Put it out before its perfect,” encourages Molly. “Get your proof of concept. Then iterate it, and make it better. Also, don’t be discouraged [if] It is not an overnight success.”

Launching a business is not an overnight success, and if your business does fail, it is part of the journey to your own success story. Molly explains that she attempted to launch two PR businesses, but they both failed. However, it was necessary for her to fail to proceed on her path to begin her new company, With Molly With Love.

Moreover, Molly’s PR businesses failed because she just was not passionate about Public Relations. If you want your business to succeed, you must believe in the product and be passionate about your business and the message it narrates to others.

Now Molly’s business continues to grow, but she continues to source the best ingredients possible even though she has to purchase ingredients in bulk after such business expansion. After, growing out of her 500 square foot apartment, and even growing out of an individual space in a co-working studio, she and her husband were able to section off an area within a larger living space to allow for a production area that would not take over their life.

However, Molly mentions that this is temporary. She has a vision that she will someday have a warehouse where the beauty products will be produced, labeled and packaged.

For the time being, though, she and two of her employees are wearing hair nets and creating products in an area within her home.

“As a business owner, you have to get creative,” Molly explains, “No one prepares you for obstacles that get in your way. You have to maneuver around them, especially [within] the first 18 months of business with problems you [do not] anticipate.”

Molly’s story reinforces that every situation in life is part of a journey to your purpose in life. Even the most difficult times will strengthen you and motivate you to work harder toward your goals.

In the meantime, take care of yourself, and complete activities that make you happy. Never feel like you have to live up to other people’s or society’s beauty standards. You deserve to be happy and take the time to pamper yourself. Know you are beautiful.

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