Kimberly, what was it like to participate in the Clean Beauty Summer School?
KD: It was so epic. We had all of these CEOs and founders of all these top brands, and it really was open book. Again, I’m realizing I’m an only child and very competitive because some of these women were just like, “And here’s my packaging provider; call Fred on Tuesday!” [laughs], and they were just so open-book about it. It was so informative and supportive.
I do think the other benefit was being with all these other founders. One of the things I thought was interesting from the Black Lives Matter wave in June was that even myself, as a Black person, it’s hard to know what other Black people are doing. I just wasn’t even aware. I didn’t have this community before. And so it was an interesting summer of like, Wait, you’re doing that, and you’re doing this, and you’re not a unicorn, and you’re not a unicorn. There are so many of us out here doing these things and having the same problems. I feel like we talked a lot about how these Black brands aren’t on-shelf, but for me, it felt more like solidarity. I feel like I didn’t even know all the good work that all these people were doing.
How has this year influenced your perception as a businesswoman in the beauty space?
KD: I think self-care and wellness were seen in a very woo-woo way. When I pitched Frigg last year, people were like, “Well, only a small amount of people are stressed.” Fast forward a year, and it’s like, No dude, we all are. So I think coming out of 2020, we are actually turning back to these obvious and ancient traditions and not marketing self-care like, “Let’s go take a bath,” but a process of really doing the work to find out what you really need to do to not literally lose your mind.
I also think there’s this need for truth and transparency. The way companies show up will be fundamentally different from here on out. You won’t be able to just launch a thing and not have an ethos or a mission that’s bigger than whatever you’re selling. Whatever you’re selling is the baseline: This is the pin, but there needs to be so much behind the pin. I think that is the future of where we’re at. And do things differently! If 2020 has taught anyone anything, it’s that there is no benchmark. Do not look to the past—no one knows. It’s just the journey. You have to trust yourself and listen to yourself.