business change beautycounter judith manriquez

There are times when big shifts happen.

This is one of those times.

This is a long and personal message sharing the new choices I’ve made about my work and how I’m choosing to make a difference in the world.

 


For some context you need to know some things about me that you don’t know.

I’m a business geek. I enjoy business. The operations. The technical stuff. The project management. I loved org behavior in college. I enjoyed running, managing and growing my marketing company. And when we set it up, we set it up like we wanted business to be.

Back then people and companies didn’t do what we did. 100% health insurance paid for families. Vacation time when you needed it. Flexibility and autonomy for all. Transparency. We recycled. We took every non-profit request for help probono.

We were small but we did right by our people, the planet and our community. Because every person mattered whether they owned the company or not. But that wasn’t how most businesses did business.

When kids came along, a whole new level of personal responsibility opened up for me. After all, I had this new fresh life to steward and care for.

I was super cautious about what I fed my kids and infants. I made my own food and tried to pick the best formula when breastfeeding ended. I was as natural as I could be.

My sons were born in 2001 and 2002 and at that time the internet was a baby. Finding information then was not what it is now. So resources were harder to come by when I wanted to make healthier choices for my family.

My life tripped into a new gear after my son spent his third year sick almost the whole year. It was the year he started Montessori school. He was congested. Had chest colds and ear infections. I figured it would end when school was out but it didn’t.

After a visit to the doctor revealed he’d be taking allergy pills for the rest of his life, I decided that just wasn’t okay and found another option.

That’s when I found a naturopath who did energy work. By the end of the summer, we eliminated wheat and most dairy and my son was totally healthy. His congestion and allergies only came back when he had too much wheat.

We also seriously decreased sugar. We made our own home-made bread and pizza. And tried every version of non-wheat pasta we could find. The options were pretty lame.

All of these diet changes are SO much easier now, but 15 years ago, people thought it was pretty extreme.

I’m a pretty clean eater. I’m super attentive to what’s in our food. Because I’ve lived through the impact it has had on our lives.

When my daughter was 3 we had another level of learning. She would get a cough at night that wouldn’t clear. She didn’t cough much in the daytime but at night it began to get so bad it was asthma-like.

By the grace of sheer intuitive guidance, I decided to stop using her super natural bubble bath. The kind sold in Whole Foods. And her cough and congestion vanished in a few days.

Mind you, by then I’d already been on a mad hunt to figure it out. We visited with the doctor. We used essential oils. We went to free and clear detergents and cleaners. Eliminated softener.

I already had a sense that products could be harmful just because the scents offended me. But I took it to a new level and paid attention to everything I purchased that went into my home.

I’ve muscle tested and I have tried more shampoos over the years in an effort to find the ones that work for the different hair types in my family.

How could I know which product to trust? I’m not a chemist. And I wasn’t going to make my own shampoos and soaps. So I did my best with what I would find easily.

And here’s just one more personal things about me.

I recycle. Perhaps compared to most people around me I could be considered extreme devoted. I lived for 2 years at a house that did not have city services so I’d store it up and drive it all to a recycle center every few weeks.

I’m aware of every item I put in the trash. Inside I cringe when I imagine that bag or container or packaging ending up in a hole in the earth or floating in the ocean. Not decomposing ever. Out of sight does not mean out of existence.

So this brings me right back to business. I believe every single company that makes anything should have to be responsible for their ‘trash.’ Even after they sell it to us. I believe it would make them far more attentive to what they put in the world.

All of us need to do right by our people (out kids, our neighbors, our employees, our customers), the planet and our community. Companies included.

That about gives you the personal stuff to bring you up to speed.

 


 

My son has had acne for about the last year and a half. It started up when he was 14 or so.

It is not severe. But it has been consistent. Forehead, cheeks and some chin. We tried an esthetician and high quality products. He cleaned up an already pretty clean diet.

As his sophomore year started a few weeks ago, in his quiet but direct way said he really wanted to do something about it. He was willing to be serious and dedicated.

My husband had severe acne as a teen and ended up using acutane. For us that’s the nuclear solution after we’ve tried everything else.

So I had a mission and started my research. Facebook opens up the possibility to hear from so many people’s perspectives and experiences. I got excellent feedback. Nearly all of which I was familiar with.

There was a recommendation for a tool I wasn’t familiar with. And a suggestion for products by a company I hadn’t heard of.

It was this exact message that came through Facebook from someone I did not know:

Hi Judith,
I saw your post on the group page about your son’s acne.

There were many great suggestions regarding diet, because that is often key, but I would also offer another suggestion.

I saw someone mention Beautycounter, and I am a consultant. I am by no means an expert, I can only tell you what I know personally has helped clients.

Acne treatments prescribed by doctors, while well intentioned, often cause more problems and can be rather painful.

I always recommend first trying our charcoal bar to cleanse and then follow with a few drops of our No. 3 Balancing facial oil.

These are pure plant oils that help Nourish the skin and balance sebum (oil) production in the skin. I also recommend maybe a Charcoal mask treatment once a week, and for spot treatments.

Based on what you said where his acne is, I would also suggest looking at what he is using for shampoo/conditioner. A lot of hair products can cause irritation and leave residue in the skin trapping oil and dirt in the pores.

Again I’m not an expert, but I have seen success with these simple changes.

If you want more info on Beautycounter products or have questions, please let me know!

PS-please check out the Skin Deep data base on EWG.org to see if maybe some of the products he currently uses could be causing any irritation, it’s a great resource for finding safer products!
Have a great night!

Here’s how I translated that message in my mind as I read it:

“Oh how great – it helps to have someone to ask about Beautycounter ( I had already looked up Beautycounter but had no idea where to start or if it was legit)”

“Blah blah blah, doctors, blah blah blah product recs, more blah blah about the products”

“Look at shampoo”

“Huh? Hmmm….”

“Blah, blah, blah.”

“What’s this link?”

Click.”

I’m not mocking here. It’s just that when there’s so much info from someone I don’t really know I tend to skim – I’m being honest here. Don’t you do that when you feel like someone is selling or pitching you?

I was skimming for what was helpful and I found it in more ways than I realized at the time.

I’m greatful for Dana who was more than amazingly helpful as I asked more questions.

Within a day or two Dana had shared just a bit about Beautycounter and since she’s half a country away from me, I didn’t have access to their products but here’s what got my attention:

    • Beautycounter started 4 years ago, by a woman who was inspired to change the world after a nudge from a friend to watch the movie An Inconvenient Truth and do her part to be accountable.

 

    • When the founder started the company, she made the choice to start by getting certified as a B Corp. It is something a for-profit company opts to do because it matters to them. It means that the company meets rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency.

 

    • The company mission is to get safer products in the hands of everyone AND actively advocates for better legislation and regulation of the chemicals used in products we put on our body.

 

    • Beautycounter considers environmental footprint, sourcing and packaging for all their products.

 

    • They’ve also developed incredibly rigorous standards for what ingredients they will use in their products. So much so that they have promised not to use 1,500 ingredients that are known to be harmful. They also initiate their own studies and research. And do not test on animals.

 

What all that means to me is that Beautycounter is a company I can respect because if I were to build a company, these are the very values and qualities I would build right in from the start.

All the little bits of my personal story line right up with what this company stands for. Responsible business, safe products, environmental impact, concern for their people.

I’ve known about B Corps for years and we really need so many more companies to follow that path because we need good businesses that are aware of themselves in the world.

We need responsible business even when it isn’t convenient. Ones that are attentive to the well being of the planet and to the safety and health of everyone living on it.

I like to believe that most people and companies are doing the right thing and that I can trust them. We all do. We trust that the food on the shelves won’t make us sick. We trust that the clothes we buy won’t fall apart in one wash. We trust that the products we put on our skin won’t harm us.

We don’t have the time or the mental capacity to learn what chemicals are bad for us. Which ones contribute to cancer, hormone disruption, skin allergies and other health issues.

But I know from personal experience that I have to be cautious with personal products because they are harmful and I never know which one or why or to what degree.

So I can appreciate that there is a company that is taking on the responsibility for health and safety. Not only for its own good but for the greater good.

That makes Beautycounter a company I can trust and stand by. And this is HUGE for me.

 


 

If you’ve followed me for any length of time, you’ll know that I’m deeply committed to a world where people live with, and from, their Soul.

It’s the work I’ve grown into over the last decade and it’s the path I help others live.

I’ve worked solo in large part because I haven’t found another company that I can lend my passion to. That aligns with my values or the way I live. Or offers the flexibility and space to work when and how I want.

I just haven’t come across my ideal job description which would look pretty much like this:

We are seeking a practical minded claire-cognizant who is hyper-responsible, loves details and wants to grow herself and her team through Soul-aligned action that benefits all stakeholders – company, team members, and the planet. We offer the opportunity to set your schedule, run your team like you want, spend time with family when you want and earn good money because we believe in sharing our wealth with those who help grow the company.

Since the world just hasn’t been ready to offer that kind of job description, it’s made me naturally suited to life as an entrepreneur, and highly unemployable.

 


 

If we are friends on Facebook you may have seen this post recently:

 

You see, I was pretty much offered a job that fit the job description above.

 

And it scared me down to my toes.

Because it didn’t look like what I thought it would. And because it made me question what I stand for.

 


 

It wasn’t a direct job offer in the way we traditionally get one.

Instead it was one of those things where you know your Soul team is dancing around you chuckling with the humor of the situation.

They were laughing because they know that when I believe in something I invest in it, with all of me. Whether it’s a friendship, a client, a cause or a company.

What I left off the list of information above about Beautycounter is that they sell their products three ways: directly through their website, through limited-time partnerships like they did recently with Target and through sales consultants.

I’m sure my Soul team laughed even harder because they knew what my mind would do with that information.

My mental, practical voice would sound like this: “well, if I believe in what this company stands for, and I’m going to buy products to try them out, and if I like them I’m going to tell everyone, so doesn’t it make sense to become a consultant?”

And then my little self would respond like this: “eeewwww, it’s direct sales and it’s a BEAUTY company.”

And that’s when I knew I needed to do some work ON MYSELF.

Because I could see the mis-alignment.

If this really was a company that I could stand with and promote without even seeing or trying their products because I believe in what they stand for, wasn’t I already selling? So what was the hang-up really?

Do I really have a hard time selling something at all, let alone something I believe in? And don’t I believe in myself?

And then on to the judgements around beauty.

Beauty is a top level desire and value for me. I’ve written it countless times in my planning. I believe that beauty is the language of God, or the Creative Force of Life.

I SEE the beauty of someone’s Soul expressed in this life when I work with them.

But to contemplate selling beauty products? Seriously? Isn’t that beneath me?

If I think that, then what does it mean then to see myself as beautiful, or to see others as beautiful?

I cringed to full-on think it and feel it because I was so embarrassed to know that lived within me.

It was such a dissonance in my body that I could feel it in my chest. Like my heart was being compressed.

There isn’t anything more damaging to me, or, I believe, to anyone, to live out of integrity with yourself.

And the seemingly simple act of finding answers for my son’s acne, brought me up close and personal with these giant mis-alignments with my Self.

I know, because of the way I know things, that this was the Universe’s way of presenting me with a full-stop moment which could unfold with a bounty that I couldn’t even conceive. Or I could go with easy and buy the products I wanted to try and move on with life as it was going.

 


 

I have had many moments in my life where I was making a choice for the measure of who I am as this Soul-human walking this life – choosing to leave El Paso and go to college, choosing a life with my partner-husband, choosing my children, choosing to co-create consciously with my Soul.

In all those instances and so many more, I was relatively unaware of them as choice-moments on the trajectory of my life.

But with this, I’ve never been so poignantly aware of this choice-moment as a tipping point.

 


 

I’ve accepted the job with Beautycounter.

Let the adventure begin.

 


 

So, what does this mean going forward?

I’ve decided to build a new business with Beautycounter. And I’m setting some extremely ambitious goals for myself. I’m giving my competitive, ambitious self free-reign and it’s getting pretty creative.

And since I’m building a company, I’m recruiting a team which I haven’t had in the decade I’ve worked solo. I can’t even begin to convey how excited that makes me. Let me tell you why:

  • Working solo has it’s benefits, but I miss the colleagues, the team work, the shared successes
  • It’s thrilling having like-minded people around me growing themselves and their business
  • I love helping people grow their business and I’m good at it; and I look forward to coaching and helping others build a sustainable business and income in a way that works for them
  • As a young company growing quickly, Beautycounter businesses have the potential for immense growth and financial reward
  • It gives passionate, heart-centered, conscious people a means to grow an income on their terms

 

I’m taking a hiatus from writing to you here for at least 6 months. However, my work as a Soul Mastery Guide is not ending or stopping. And, as my schedule permits, I’ll continue to take clients when we have a mutual Soul connection.

 


 

How you can be a part of my journey and make a safer, cleaner world for you, your kids and grandkids:

Beautycounter is about educating and advocating for safer products for everyone. While I’ll be selling products and building a team, the priority for me is educating and advocating. So, ask me, if you have questions or concerns about products. If I don’t have the answer, I have the resources to get it.

Be a part of the counter movement for safer, cleaner products, join me at my new Facebook group, Live the Beauty Within

Here’s how to order Beautycounter, to benefit you and to benefit me 🙂

Here’s how to join my Beautycounter team and build a business that serves your life path in the way you want it to

 


 

I don’t want to leave you hanging. So, what happened with my son’s acne?

I believe shampoo is going to end up being the invisible contributor to the problem. I’ve checked the ingredients and there are quite a few that are known for hormone disruption and sensitivities.

But we will see.

We created an approach that included: nutrition, digestion, skin care and emotions. He started Beautycounter products on August 17 and it takes about 30 days for skin to show improvement and healing. It’s been about 3 weeks and I’ve noticed improvement. We still have 3 to 6 weeks to go.

(Full disclosure: Safe skin care is only one piece of what’s important for healthy skin. Beautycounter has made it easy for me since they have a list made up of more than 1,500 questionable or harmful chemicals that they never use as ingredients in their products. Check out their Never List™. )

If you’ve made it all the way through to here, I’m so grateful. Thanks for being on this journey with me. There’s even more fun in store.

 

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