Around my birthday, I like to take some time to reflect on my life, personally and professionally. I am so proud to be the founder of this business. It’s an honour to help people look and feel well. I can’t lie though, I can be overly judgmental about myself (especially as my birthday approaches). This year, I found myself thinking a lot about what it means to be an older woman in business.
Many of my counterparts in the clean beauty space are younger than I am. On one hand, this makes me so happy. Knowing that Gen Z and Millennials are embracing more healthful and sustainable practices gives me hope about the future of our planet! On the other hand, being a bit of an older founder gives me some anxiety.
With the Lisa LaFlamme news earlier this year, I worry that I’m perceived as less savvy, unworthy or unappealing in this judgmental world that’s ruled by social media. Plenty of people say this isn’t true; however, I believe it’s an unconscious bias.
But the more introspective I got, the more I realized that my life experience brings a lot to the table. As they say, with age comes wisdom. Five insights really stuck with me:
1. I’m more comfortable in my body and more in tune with what it’s trying to tell me. I’ve had a challenging relationship with my body in the past. I’ve worked hard to improve that relationship and my body has rewarded me. I sleep better, stand taller and am able to listen when my body is telling me that something isn’t right.
2. I understand the importance of kindness. My dad used to say “Being kind is something you won’t regret.” I think about this every day and do my best to approach every situation with kindness. As the saying goes, you catch more flies with honey than vinegar.
3. I realize the value in genuine authenticity. When I started Graydon Skincare, superfoods weren’t popular and superfood skincare was essentially non-existent. Instead of hopping on a popular bandwagon, I created something authentic that I’m deeply passionate about. My vision of feeding the skin with nutrient-rich superfoods still guides everything that we do at Graydon Skincare.
4. I know that it’s never too late to go all in. Sometimes I can’t believe that I was a yoga instructor and vegan chef before I started Graydon Skincare. Back in the day, I even worked in the corporate world at Nestle and Nabisco where I learned about product development. I feel like I had to live those lives in order to discover and manifest my true passion. In the earliest days of Graydon Skincare, I was a single parent and waited until my son was older before I committed to launching this business full time. I hope my journey inspires others to start living their dream at any age.
5. I’ve witnessed real change in my lifetime. The world has come a long way since I was a kid. Our attitudes, language and values are evolving. People are no longer comfortable accepting things just because they’ve always been that way. With dedication and passion, real change is possible. I believe that beauty can be (and needs to be) better. Based on all that I’ve seen, I know that I can bring about change and make beauty better for everyone.
As my birthday approaches, I’ll keep these insights at the front of my mind. I’ll remember that my age is not a curse, it’s a blessing. It has given me the experience and wisdom I need to run a successful, mission-driven company.
I will spend this year being grateful for who I am, what I’ve accomplished and how fortunate I am to have lived another year. I’m excited for my next spin around the sun!