Just in time for the cooler months ahead when our skin needs a little extra TLC, I sat down with Boston’s Charla Jones, Founder and CEO of Eu2Be Nourishing Skincare. From her maternal grandmother’s Midwestern speakeasy where blues and jazz greats played for glamorous crowds, to her world-traveling aunt Eugenia for whom Eu2Be is named, Charla draws inspiration from the women who cared for her and the ways they embraced and used their creativity. Get to know Charla Jones, the beauty behind Eu2Be today on In Her Shoes.
In Her Shoes: How did you get started with Eu2Be and what was your inspiration?
Charla: Eu2Be was born out of my desire for a new conversation about beauty, inspired by my beloved Aunt Eugenia, who had an indelible impact on my sense of how to be in the world – how we each have within us the power to create beauty and to be beautiful.
In Her Shoes: Let’s get into your ingredients and the types of solutions they provide the women and men supporting your brand.
Charla: There’s no such thing as a single, magic ingredient. With a strong assist from moisture-locking Brazilian oils, all Eu2Be products contain powerful combinations of nourishing oils that are rich in oxidants, vitamins and essential fatty acids. They provide conditioning agents to the skin and give our skin the nutrients and healing properties it needs. All of our products are made in the USA in small batches – and with each iteration we feature ingredients sources from a different country. Our first stop was Brazil!
In Her Shoes: How closely involved are you in the actual making and marketing of Eu2Be?
Charla: My products exist because I made them. I chose a Black female chemist to help me identify completely natural and totally healthy ingredients that are gluten-free. Sustainability was a factor that was important for me. My chemist understood how to get to really good moisture and together, we understood how we wanted our skin to feel. Most skincare products are designed to feel good for the first five minutes but my brand provides long time moisture.
I came from a marketing background so I do my own. The ideas, branding and execution comes from me. In my past career, I launched different brands for other companies, so now I’m doing it for myself and for a brand that truly makes a difference.
In Her Shoes: What is a day like in Charla Jones’ shoes?
Charla: My typical day starts with a ritual of grateful listening. Listening to my body is a practice I use to get a read on the inner resources that I have at my disposal for creating the best day that I can. After that, I get busy with my brand’s work. Along with the typical stuff like dealing with email and phone calls, I spend a lot of time exploring online. I’m also getting the scoop on product-related news and happenings in the beauty business.
Eu2Be takes a great deal of creativity, and I’m very curious, so a portion of my day is dedicated to play even when I’m working and traveling. It’s how I engage and nurture my creativity. I’m a big believer in taking a pause around five to reset myself for evening activities. Sometimes this includes more work hours, attending board meetings or cultural events. But I regularly take time to make home-cooked meals for myself.
Around eleven, I start moving toward shutting down for the day, which is something that I have to work on. Even with all the late nights, I have to say that I LOVE sleep. So I prepare myself with an evening skincare ritual of soothing skin care products with nourishing ingredients (this is why I created Eu2Be!). A skincare ritual and getting good quality sleep time are the true secrets to being beautiful, inside and out!
In Her Shoes: What is one business mistake you learned from or one business lesson you’d like to share with In Her Shoes readers?
Charla: The business mistake I made has to do with making decisions where I didn’t pay attention to the intelligence that came from my gut vs. a decision based on “logic.” You have to respect the intelligence that comes from having the courage to follow your intuition. You have to be fearless about making the right mistakes. Mistakes are not the problem. The problem (or challenge) is operating in a way to avoid the mistakes and working through them. In doing so, it’s important to combine your “checklist” with your gut instincts.
In Her Shoes: How do you balance family and personal life with entrepreneurship?
Charla: Entrepreneurship is a way of life for me. I grew up surrounded by entrepreneurs. My grandmother and aunts owned businesses. Even the jobs I’ve held were entrepreneurial. The hardest thing for me is putting a stop or a punctation mark on my work day. My personal life and work life blend together so as you can imagine, putting a stop to my work for Eu2Be is challenging sometimes. I’m a strong believer in cocktail hour at the end of the day. It’s so important to have that coffee, tea or glass of wine to “check out” and get into the next part of your day. So then I ask myself if I should put the punctation here for the business day or continue to charge on.
In Her Shoes: Any big fourth quarter or early 2015 plans for Eu2Be?
Charla: The product is available online so we’re looking for ways to connect with people through events and retail partnerships. Our first products were all about ingredients but the next products will be focused on time as an element in beauty care. Hopefully, we’ve nailed the ingredient conversation and people know we’re a reliable, go-to brand. We want to shift the conversation and have people look at the time and ways they care for their bodies.
To learn more about Eu2Be visit Eu2Be.com!