Hi! I’m Susannah and I’m so thrilled that you found this blog. I’m a former beauty industry executive that has had two very distinct halves to my professional life. First Half: I was in charge of running national sales teams for large beauty companies producing 10s of millions of dollars a year (I added it up once & I generated over a quarter of a BILLION dollars for main stream beauty companies), toured the country (and globe) WEEKLY speaking to groups of women as beauty industry expert teaching them how to look and feel great about themselves, and even popped up on your local morning shows occasionally to help you look rested on a 6 am segment.
I’m beyond proud of that 15+ year career but I was rarely, if ever, home and saw my husband maybe 3 days a week. I was on a plane 48 weeks out of the year, and would often wake up in hotels and for a moment be disoriented as to what city I was in. I was teaching women how to feel confident with the latest makeup techniques, yet my own skin was SCREAMING for attention from the stress, constant onslaught of dry airplanes / hotel rooms, late nights, and lack of attention to what was actually in all the high end , luxury skincare and makeup products I was using. Confident I was NOT. However I couldn’t let anyone see me crack, my professional reputation was at stake , my face was literally my calling card and close to 100 men and women worked at different levels for me depended on my optimism and to show up for them.
At my lowest point I could barely get out of bed. I remember dragging myself out of bed at 5 am for a typical early morning flight and not even having the strength to get myself ready. I threw all of my essentials into my luggage, took an uber and stumbled through the security line. I could feel that my face was wet as I walking through the scanner but didn’t realize for a few minutes I was crying. My entire body was shaking and I felt like I was shutting down. I had hit my breaking point. I still got on that plane, I used the airport first class lounge to get myself ready in between connecting flights, landed and walked into a meeting looking like I had it together. I took a picture that day of myself to remember the herculean about of effort it took me to just look like I wasn’t crumbling. And OH my SKIN, what had once been clear and vibrant was fighting the worst hormonal acne. It would throb under layers of expertly applied concealer and foundation, pulsing, reminding me of every imperfection all throughout my day. Waiting to present to a national retailer, PULSE, PULSE “You’re not good enough” “You’re ugly” “You’re less than” is what it felt like it was telling me. Waiting to walk onto a brightly lit stage in front of 600 women to teach them (ironically) insider makeup tips to feel confident PULSE PULSE “You’re a fraud”!
Add in the fact that I was desperate for a baby, having been married for well over a decade. I endured fertility treatments, which unsurprisingly didn’t work. I would travel with ice packs for my meds, notes to explain the syringes in case TSA stopped me. Trying desperately to carve out a piece of happiness for myself. Two failed attempts and one miscarriage later the message was clear. THIS. IS. NO. LONGER. WORKING.
Making the decision to walk away from a career I’d spent most of adult life building was one of the hardest to do, even with my body shutting down and never being home. I LOVED the work and my teams. My entire identity felt wrapped up in my job as well since I had sacrificed all of my time and energy into this one role. I will never forget the Valentine’s Day my husband left work early, surprised me at home and said “it’s time” , we need to prioritize you and your health, stop the madness. I felt so many emotions rush all at once after the decision had been made, but mostly I felt relief.
Then came the start to the SECOND HALF: I spent the next month focusing on myself, did beach yoga almost every day, had brunch with friends I never got to see in person anymore, spent time with my husband and just BREATHED without fear of “what’s next”. I also took that time to look inward and ask myself what did I really want to do with my life? I had been using clean beauty products for awhile by then and really wanted to find a way to transition the skills and contacts I had built in mainstream beauty retails to help independent and clean beauty brands. While I was busy day dreaming what that looked like my body had a surprise in store for me: I was PREGNANT! That’s right, I immediately became naturally pregnant the very next month after I left my job. My daughter is my reminder every day that great things come when you put yourself first!
I used my downtime during her pregnancy to launch my consulting business and was incredibly fortunate to work with two of my all time hero product brands right off the bat, Maya Chia Skincare and then RMS Beauty. At the same time I had a vision for this blog, an outlet for the beauty and skincare junkie in me who wants to help others who may be struggling with their skin, their confidence, in just finding the right balance in their lives.
I want this blog to be a place of inspiration, information and JOY! Please let me know what you want to see more of and any comments. I’m excited to start this journey together.