The Biggest Lessons Learned In 2020, According To Beauty Brand Founders

Here's what they learned about business, beauty, and life.

Beauty brands are looking back, reflecting on how 2020 shaped them. Founders including Huda Kattan of Huda Beauty and Amy Liu of Tower 28 Beauty certainly had a packed year filled with products, but as they revealed to NYLON, this year also brought about a number of changes. Some of your favorite founders joined NYLON in a moment of reflection, sharing the biggest lessons they learned in 2020.

As founders previously shared with NYLON, the beauty industry is not one size fits all, and that proves especially true in this brief period of reflection. While Charlotte Palermino, the co-founder of Dieux learned that patience really is a virtue, Sarah Gibson Tuttle, the Olive & Founder and CEO, learned to be intentional in everything, even areas outside of her nail empire.

There's no telling what 2021 might bring, but as you begin to look towards a new, and even better year, take a look back with some of the biggest founders in beauty on what they learned in 2020.

What was the biggest lesson you learned in 2020?

Alisa Ford, Glory Skincare Founder

"If there is anything I learned from 2020, it is that in order to succeed, you have to be able to adapt to change. The Glory Skincare website was launched in February and shortly after, the pandemic happened. We made the pivot in providing curated Glory Skincare boxes and it was one of the best decisions we made. It allowed us to still meet our mission of serving melanin-enriched skin while also providing a wide selection of wellness products. At a time when people started to understand the importance of self-care, we provided wellness essentials that catered to their specific needs. Now, our wellness boxes are our best-selling product. I am grateful that my team and I were able to adapt to the new landscape of the pandemic. I am even more grateful to know that Glory Skincare offered our customers a place of comfort and solace during these unprecedented times."

Charlotte Palermino, Dieux Co-Founder

"With the Internet and seeing brands rush to market to be first we’ve come to the realization that patience is a virtue, not just for our sanity but for our end product. Taking two years to do R&D, find suppliers that can grow with us and ensuring everything from packaging to product aligned with our values has set us up for not only a product we’re proud of, but one we’re seeing our community be proud of too."

Amy Liu, Tower 28 Beauty Founder

"2020 has taught me gratitude - and specifically how grateful I am for the people in my life. With fewer distractions and a slower pace of life, I have been able to concentrate on what matters most, my relationships with my family, friends, team, and community. Although the country has never been more divided, it's also given us the opportunity to bond together over shared values. As a company, we have been open in our support of BLM, voting, and more. It was scary at first to be so open but if you stand for nothing, what's the point? Honestly, I'm grateful for every Zoom call with my team where we can still joke around and dish on the Bachelor, every interruption from my kids because it means I get to see them during the day, and for my pandemic puppy who reminds me to go outside and take a walk."

Huda Kattan, Founder of Huda Beauty

"Set goals for yourself but be agile as things come and go, shift and change. Accept the reality for what it is but allow yourself to let go and move forward when things go awry. Limit your expectations on how the world would go or should go. We naturally want to have control and when things are out of our control, we struggle and that’s totally normal. It’s been a journey dealing with this struggle for me this year but, I’ve adjusted my outlook, set realistic goals and started accepting change and going with the flow a lot more than I used to."

Sarah Gibson Tuttle, Olive & June Founder + CEO

"Be intentional. This year taught me how important it is to choose your focus. At work, that meant figuring out how to bring every product, every post, and every piece of content back to our mission of beautiful nails for everyone. At home, it meant being super present with my family and making that time special."

Spencer Arnold, Co-Founder of Bathing Culture

"Every facet of what we do needs to be intentional and intersectional. We have chosen to take responsibility for the privileges we have been given, ensuring that all of our efforts, both internally and externally, are always thoughtful and inclusive. It's embarrassing to admit that while it was something we've always personally felt passionate about, we weren't actively thinking about how to "walk the walk" as a business, but now it's become part of our process to always push for better representation. It's still surprising how often we're told that we were the first to ask a vendor and/or another brand about how they practice inclusion, treat their employees and the environment."