We had the good fortune of connecting with Shilpi Jain and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Shilpi, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
I was working in corporate Research and Development when a personal circumstance led me to find a solution. It was in 2006 when my son was a little over a year old. He had acute eczema on his body. I was shocked that the number one product in the market for childhood eczema had petrolatum and mineral oil as primary ingredients. Being a trained Medicinal Scientist and an expert Cosmetic formulator, I went to the lab and researched for bio-identical compounds that can help alleviate eczema. My philosophy was to make something without any harsh chemicals, and without any side effects. After a couple of weeks, I created a serum for him. Within a few days, he had instant relief and within a couple of weeks, his eczema was completely healed. This led to friends and my own physician trying on their patients and asking me to make more. In 2011, after 5 years, I noticed the gap in the personal care industry where products were made more for commerce than to really solve problems. I wanted to create products that would not only be clean, and free of harsh chemicals, but can be used by all women and men. The idea was based on my own personal life. I was constantly under stress, juggling between work and personal life. I also knew that aging is directly affected by stress as well as our thoughts, our physical and social environments. A strong believer in the principals of Ayurveda, I wanted to somehow amalgamate the principals of Ayurveda and time-tested ayurvedic herbs with modern pharmaceutical delivery system to create products that would target skincare issues arising due to stress in our daily lives. This was the principle behind Skinveda. By way of an algorithm, I could determine the outcomes of stress on your skin and that led to your skin type and recommendations for products. I was fortunate to have a lot of family support to quit my corporate job and create a much needed change in the way women and men thought about their skin. In 2013 I got into Whole Foods and in 2017 I re-launched the line and made it completely gluten free and vegan. since then, Skinveda has been making its way in several homes and we hope to become a household name one day.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
The quote: “Throw me to the wolves and I’ll return leading the pack” stands a deep meaning and applies in some way to when I started business. It wasn’t easy. Being a research scientist all my life and being hands on, what drove me to start my business was my passion to change the mindset of skincare industry to break the norms. I still remember an incident where I was at a cosmetic summit in Dallas, Texas back in 2009. That was the time when no one ever thought of a water less skincare brand. So, when they asked about the future of skincare, I raised my hand and said since water is a scarce resource, why not create a waterless skincare line. I remember everyone laughed at that thought – and half a decade later, it is all about anti-aging oils, waterless products. We know that oil penetrates our skin better. So I wanted to open the minds of consumers and know how to read the label, how to decide what is right for their skin based on their lifestyle. Skinveda – The Science of Skin, was targeting age-related issues women and men across the globe face due to stress in their daily lives. By listening to our mind-body cues and using the right skincare products with herbs that are time tested and proven for their clinical efficacy, I knew that I could create a luxurious, effective, cruelty free, and vegan skincare brand. But later I realized after getting into Whole Foods, that there was more to it. I had a skincare brand on the shelves of some of the flagship stores, but people didn’t know me or my brand. In 2016, after being in Whole Foods for 3 years, I decided to collaborate with a marketing team and figure out what is the magic behind driving sales. It was then I was opened up to the world of PR, social media, marketing and branding. And my packaging was given an uplift as well as the products. After being launched at the Indie Beauty Expo in 2017, I remember the positive feedback I received from some of the high end prestigious beauty gurus. I must say that social media is still something I have not completely figured out. If you have a good product, I believe that speaks for itself. But, when combined with the right marketing and branding, it makes a brand successful.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Depending on the weather, the answer would change. However, I would take my friend to visit the Dallas Arboretum and botanical garden which I love, and the Perot museum. I think Texas is so big, if you have time, you could drive down to Austin The Hill country and enjoy the lavender fields and hike up a trail. Being a vegetarian all my life, I would take them to my favorite places to eat and dine. I am fond of Indian, Chinese and Mediterranean cuisines and I know we have plenty of options.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
There are several people without whom Skinveda would not have existed. First, I like to thank my husband, Dr. Alok Jain, for his tremendous help both emotionally and financially. He is the reason I was able to make such a huge decision and take a risk financially. Next, I like to thank my son, Abhi, for being the reason I started Skinveda. He has helped me tremendously by creating a beautiful digital display of my logo that was the highlight at the Indie Beauty Expo when I first re-launched my skincare line with the new prestige packaging. I want to thank my daughter, Shreya, who helped me relentlessly every summer and with social media – something that I have still not completely understood:-)! Last but not the least, I want to thank Becky Rivera, for believing in me and helping financially. I also would like to thank my parents for instilling the love of chemistry and creativity in me. My mother is a Scientist and has been the reason why I dreamt of being a Scientist one day.