Episode 106 – Coffee N5 – How to Develop a Custom Product in an Oversaturated Market with Allie Egan

Lara Schmoisman sits down with Allie Egan, CEO of whole-health skincare brand Veracity. They discuss the role that hormones play in skincare, how Allie built her incredible team, and why skincare shouldn’t be a “clinical, scary” experience.

What you’ll learn: 

  • Allie shares the “upsides” of women in business taking risks and embracing challenges
  • Allie discusses the “magic” of combining medical experts like dermatologists with a skincare brand
  • Allie tells us the ingredient that is the #1 hormone disruptor (Hint: You might be using it every day!)

For more information, follow Allie on Instagram or LinkedIn or visit the Veracity website.

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Lara Schmoisman  0:05  

This is coffee number five.

 

I’m your host Lara Schmoisman. It’s all about you and I want you to succeed. Download today my free masterclass three ways to stand out from the crowd in the digital world. Sign up for free today. Hi guys, welcome back to coffee number five.

 

Today, you know, this is something that I it’s always on my mind because I live of breathing and eating, marketing and thinking about marketing. And you know, I specialize in beauty, wellness, fashion and lifestyle. And I always impressed because it’s so hard when you’re working on a beauty line. And when I work with my clients, people are so different. And we all have different skills, different hairs on you know that I believe that every brand is unique, and every brand is different. But and the same happens with individuals. So I was nominated and then name one of Forbes next 1000. And I found another honoree out there who’s doing something fantastic. And I mean, I’m so grateful in honor of having the title of Forbes next 1000. But I’m more in love with it because I met these incredible people. I think it’s fantastic what they did, because they really nailed it in finding people that they’re doing unique things out there. And I met Allie Egan so welcome Allie, and I want to talk a little bit about your brand. That is

 

it it’s very veracity, veracity, didn’t say it right veracity

 

and self care brand. And also it’s data driven. They have these little kids that are gonna let I’ll explain it better. So welcome, Allie. Yeah, well, welcome. It’s so nice to meet you fellow honoree. And I agree the, the group of people that they kind of brought together is really fantastic and so different. So I love what you do and excited to chat, but I

 

Allie Egan  2:23  

am the founder veracity. And in short, were a whole health approach to skincare and wellness by focusing on the root cause of, you know, what, how you look and feel. And that’s hormones. It’s crazy, like, more than 83% of your skin is actually driven by hormones. And we all kind of know this, especially as women, but we don’t know which hormones or why or anything like that. And instead, we’re just, you know, navigating the market based on something like skin type, which isn’t really a thing and was just made up and 50 years ago for marketing purposes. And so we had we were about we’re almost a year old, come the end of this month. And we launched with our skin and health test, which is not home spit test. It tests five hormones and your pH. And from that we give you what’s actually going on in your body like what is your estrogen, what is your cortisol? What is your testosterone? And then you get to really understand like, what does that mean for your skin health? What does that mean for your overall health. And then you get a personalized plan both from a skincare routine as well as what supplements to take, what things to add to your diet, what exercise and sleep habits you can do to really treat the whole person and get the best results that you know we’re all looking for.

 

Lara Schmoisman  3:50  

I’m sure there’s a story here you you didn’t come up with this idea from one day to the next. How did you come up with this program? Because I’m sure they took you a long time to say oh, let’s do this. And then she implemented because it’s just it wasn’t just about going and create a line of products

 

Allie Egan  4:11  

100% So yeah, like all things I think sometimes bad experiences bring good new ideas. So I had worked in beauty. I worked at La mayor Clinique origins then I was CEO of a women’s apparel brands Cynthia rally and I never had any intention of just starting another skincare brand or you know beauty brand there because there’s so many of them right? But I went through some personal health stuff that led me to the idea for veracity and really just like the need to give women more information about themselves in the right information. So in short, I

 

I had this skin issue pop up out of nowhere, like like has happened to so many people I saw my dermatologist had these like really, really dry, like an unsightly dry skin. And I see my dermatologist and she was like, oh, it’s probably just contact dermatitis and something’s irritating your skin. Well, fast forward almost four years, I was still dealing with the problem not really getting results, you know, embarrassed about it.

 

And then separately, I was trying to start my family and we weren’t having success. And so I ended up in the fertility clinic, getting my hormones tested. And from there, I uncovered I had an issue with my thyroid, I have a condition called Hashimotos, which is a form of hypothyroidism. And, and that’s what led me down the path to uncovering that that was not only one of the major drivers in my infertility, but the root cause of my skin problem. And once I was able to get that under control and and change what I was using topically as well as changed my diet, I’ve literally never had the problem again. And it was this realization that I truly believe if I had known for years prior what was going on in my skin in my body, like not only would I have been able to get better, like look better, so that my you know, dry skin issue was in there. But I also think I would have like been able to get the care earlier that I needed. So it wasn’t going through this like epic infertility battle with, you know, ectopic pregnancy miscarriages like IVF the whole thing and, and so it just like I felt so personally passionate about getting women that can really connecting your personal health with your aesthetic health, which is like why, why hasn’t this been done before? And being able to, you know, like I said, get women the answers they deserve and not have hormones just be this like, sort of shameful thing, but really empowering us to understand how we can better optimize our hormones for you know, again, to feel and look our best, but then also understand what is going on sort of underneath the hood. This is incredible, because you read out they are these all these skincare proteins, and we’re trying to label the skin in, put them in little boxes, like what are your teaching? I you? What do you want your lines to be removed Spot Removal. But I mean, we know that what happens in our skin comes from the inside, not from the outside, necessarily. Right? Right. It’s a It’s crazy. It’s like we’ve made, we’ve made the world of beauty so freakin complicated, that no one knows how to navigate the system themselves. And they end up like self diagnosing or now having to take a quiz. But it’s like, if you’re not looking at the right information, like you’re not going to get the right answer. And so that’s you know, what we really wanted to say like, your skin is your largest organ in your body, it is connected to everything else. If you know what’s going on underneath, you can know how to get better results on your skin too. I love to hear about the Iran I think is fantastic. But also I want to hear how I mean you’ll be in from of course, being the CEO of an incredible company, and you have an amazing experience, but then having to start from zero. How how do you start? What was your first step and say, Okay, I’m doing this.

 

Allie Egan 8:28  

Yeah, it was a bit crazy. And apologies, my son is making a little appearance. But, you know, it took a lot of just bravery. But that was enabled by people around me. You know, I was able to kind of share my idea of very, very early stage and and get feedback from other smart people and say would wait, why Yeah, that is a good idea. Like, why hasn’t that been done? And that enabled me to be like, Wow, I think there’s I loved I love being CEO of Cynthia rally, don’t get me wrong, super fun to go to fashion shows build, like global brand. But but ultimately when I thought about it, and I was like, I can actually, you know, we say at brasserie, our mission is to get women on a path to better skin and better overall health. And

 

Allie Egan 9:25  

And just when I when I saw that opportunity to do something bigger, I said, I have to do this. And it may be hard, but it’s also like that’s what’s cool about doing something hard. Like there’s a lot of upside, not just for myself, but for you know, hopefully, women everywhere. So how did you go about building your team? How did you go about okay, where do I start? Yeah, so I had actually made the decision to start the company in January 2020. And I was going to leave my position at Cynthia and start and I April 2020 20. Funny Yeah. And so didn’t realize that that would be the midst of a crazy global pandemic. Yeah. So in a weird way, not being able to go anywhere or do anything gave me a lot of time to start the business. But the first thing I did was literally just start talking to experts, right? Like, I have a background in skincare, I have a degree in Business and Finance and foreign affairs. But I didn’t have I don’t have medical experience beyond my own. And so the first thing I did was literally talked to I think, like over 100 doctors across different practice areas, and ended up building what is now our medical advisory team, which is a dermatologist and OBGYN, an endocrinologist, a functional medicine doctor, and a nutritionist. And then we ran a pilot study with a bunch of women testing a bunch of different attributes from hormones to vitamins to different nutrients, and start started to look at, like, what does actually drive skin health? And what can we measure that is going to give us the best ability to give you you know, personalized recommendations that are going to make a clinical difference in what you you know, see and feel. So people will go and buy these tests, how Bioderma and how they apply it?

 

Lara Schmoisman  11:29  

How do they apply the test? How do you do the test, you need to do it in a library, you can do it at home, oh, you can do it at home, it’s a super easy spit test, it takes you know, somewhere between five and 10 minutes, you just spit in a tube, and you get a prepaid

 

Allie Egan  11:46  

mailer and you just mail it back to us. And within,

 

within usually about seven to 10 days, you get your results back. And you can log in and you get to see your actual levels for all of your hormones and then get that personalized routine. And so it’s super easy. And that’s what that’s what the magic is, it shouldn’t be this, like overly clinical scary experience, like we’re about when I say is optimizing health, not that there’s no disease you’re gonna get diagnosed with or anything like that. So it’s, it’s really easy and kind of fun. Let me ask you a question. So you decided to go down because he had to do two things in one hand, you had to create all the testing with the labs, all the system to do this, then

 

Allie Egan 12:35  

the platform for people to check that and on top of that, then you had to create a

 

Allie Egan  12:41  

line of products. Yep. Yeah, no, we basically have three, I say three different businesses rolled up in one. So it’s crazy and my team maybe sometimes thinks that I’m insane. But I really didn’t get the magic of having all those things together, which makes for you know, a better product and experience you know, similar to how I’m sure when peloton was starting people thought they were insane for how you’re going to build a physical bike and, and do the software behind live classes and hire talent and deal with you know, celebrity kind of trainer people. But like, it’s like those three things together is what makes this like amazing product. And I think it’s the same thing for us because the diagnostic is great. But if you don’t if you get a diagnostic and you have no way to interpret what it means, or then what to do about it, it’s like so what, and so by us using the diagnostic but then combining it with the soul what to do about it, which is both the physical product so like how do I get results, as well as the soul what to do about it, like from a content perspective and understanding like, how does this affect my my skin health and overall health? You know, in other areas, like I said, diet, exercise, sleep, all these other things like that is what makes this special sauce of like, really thinking about your skin health from from the whole health perspective. There is now a new trend about what we call medical grade cribs. And how are you different than medical grade cranes? Or in general? Yeah, first and foremost. So we design our products with our medical advisory team as well as a PhD in Hormonal Health. And so two things that enabled us to all of our products are completely proprietary like in actually formulated by us, which is you know, the dirty secret in skincare and, and beauty in general is that people don’t realize that like there’s a lot of the same product that just has, you know, different labels for each brand, right.

 

Allie Egan  14:50  

But the two things that enable us to do is actually designed products to be hormonally targeted to treating the source of hormonal imbalance on the skin and

 

Allie Egan 15:00  

And then hormone really safe. So instead of just this blanket term of clean beauty, we said, Okay, your body has an amazing ability to heal itself. So the worst thing you can do is get in the way of it by putting things on your face that are disrupting your hormones. So all of our products are free of endocrine disrupters, both in the formula as well as in the packaging. So everything is plastic free, which is huge, because plastic is the number one hormone disruptor. So now you have a brand, you have a product, you have a test, how do you educate people about something different? Something new? Yeah, well, we’re actually I feel like still learning so much about this. I mean, that’s part of the boat’s super exciting thing. And then also really exhausting thing of being an early stage company with a product that’s not that doesn’t have a playbook written about it, right? There’s not like a, hey, if you want to sell a new brand of water, this is how you do it, right? You launch at a concert or, you know, whatever, and you grow from there kind of thing. And so we’ve learned a ton about what what how you connect with people, how you resonate with what they’re experiencing, in their day to day, both skin and hormonal journey. And then how do you like, how do you explain a totally new process? Like you just asked me, like, how does it work? Do I have to go to a lab? Do I have to do all these things. And so, so we’ve tried to be as transparent and as concise as possible. And it’s also for us at this stage, it’s about really connecting with, with women who’ve been there in a way shape, or form and, and once they go through the experience of taking our tests and seeing the results, like, you know, they become our biggest advocates and so, so we let them help us tell the story as well. That’s amazing.

 

Lara Schmoisman  17:02  

If you had to do it all over again. And tell us that story. Something that you did that is you said, Oh my god, I should have done that. But you learn so much from that, that would have saved you so much time if you knew that.

 

Allie Egan  17:19  

Oh, my goodness, that is such a hard question. And I think I mean, I’m sure you would say something similar with like entrepreneurs, you don’t want to like beat yourself up because you’re you’re sort of learning all these things as you go along. And you you do the best you can I think one thing I would say is that I no one actually has it figured out whether they’re a founder of their own company, or the CEO of a Fortune 500 company, you know, you’re all just like trying to make the best decisions with the information that you have. I think, goodness, I think one of the really challenging things, starting the company where we did was just starting in COVID, and making physical products and not being able to go, you know, meet all of our manufacturers and suppliers in the same way that you could have in the past. And so we spent a ton of time just really building those relationships virtually and through, you know, friend, a friend and that kind of thing. And I guess, like what I would always say is, the more time you can then getting to know people even you know, outside business partners and how they work and how best to work with them is really key to being able to like do things, do awesome things and do them on the timeline that you want to. That’s amazing. Alex, thank you so much for having coffee with me today. I really enjoy this stuff a lot and to learn about the products and you guys what are you waiting for? Go get your kid get your, your your lifetime. I mean, it’s how much it costs to get the test. It’s one 149 And then you get $25 credit to do your skincare routine as well. Amazing. So it will cost you less than than gas to go into the doctor almost so sure. Yes, exactly.

 

Lara Schmoisman  19:09  

I mean, it saves you the trip. So thank you so much for being here today. And you guys I will see you next week with more coffee number five. Fun everything you need at large boys man.com Or in the Episode Notes right below. Don’t forget to subscribe. We’re so good to have you here today. See you next time. Catch you on the flip side. Chau chau.

 

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