SHEN Founder Jessica Richards Talks Successes and Failures as an Entrepreneur and Single Mother

As a single mother for two, SHEN founder Jessica Richards is intimately acquainted with the importance of resilience, perseverance and hard work. With her groundbreaking approach to beauty retail, Jessica redefined the skincare and beauty industry by launching, advocating for and supporting the growth and success of the industry’s most revolutionary brands and products.

Jessica’s commitment to curating the best, most efficacious, innovative and healthy products available is what has made SHEN a skincare guru’s essential for over 11 years. For National Entrepreneur’s Day, we’re celebrating our fearless leader and her vision to change beauty forever, affirming that scientifically proven and groundbreaking products can be non-toxic and accessible too. 

What was your key driving force to become an entrepreneur?

When I left my former job, I felt an urge to create something that aligned with my values of health and quality, and unfortunately, at the time, this was a rarity. As I develop with SHEN, my driving forces evolve too. Now I’m motivated to focus on launching new, innovative, and efficacious brands, and advocating for them to support their growth and success. It’s also extremely important to me that I am creating a safe space and community for women to learn, engage and feel better about themselves. Feeling fulfilled in the work I do is crucial, and I can stand proudly with our mission of health, science, safety and creativity.

How do you define success?

I don't have a firm definition of success. For better or worse, I tend to feel like there’s always so much to improve on. But when I take the time to step back and evaluate where I’m at, it feels really good to realize that I have been successfully in business for 11 years! My big successes wouldn’t be possible without the more menial, day-to-day successes, so everyday feels like a vital accomplishment when our wheels are turning!

What best motivates you?

Being a single mother of two boys has shown me the crucialness of instilling values in my children like strong work ethic, the importance of team work and collaboration, and the power of perseverance, resilience and determination. I learned these lessons from my mom, who worked tirelessly raising me as a single parent. When I lead by example, showing my dedication to work without ever allowing it to take precedent over my love and commitment to them as my children, I feel my most powerful and successful.  

Share some the best lessons you have learned as an entrepreneur?

  1. Knowing when the day is done for me is critical. When that time comes, I try to make it a non-negotiable that I stop working- and when I occasionally betray my own rule, I’m never happy with the work I produce anyway! 
  1. As a single mother and private business owner, some days I am more ‘boss’ than ‘mom.’ I’m not great at being a mother, a colleague and a boss at once. Learning to accept these fluctuations and being gentle with myself is so important. Striving for perfection isn’t realistic, but I can find peace in trying my best, understanding that we all have different hats for different days and needs!
  1. Surrounding yourself with the "right" people is vital. One of my biggest lessons in hiring is choosing the person with more experience that pushes the budget, but makes company enhancing changes with their expertise, instead of settling for the person who fits within our budget.

What are your shortcuts to successfully handle frustration and stress?

Absolutely none- I am constantly stressed and the only thing that seems to work is shutting off my phone until I'm recharged and ready to go again. If I don’t do this, the stress takes hold of me and it manifests in my body, be it a nagging pain in my neck or a disruptively upset stomach. If anyone has any tips for managing stress, I will happily take them!

What can we expect next from you and SHEN?

You’ll have to wait and see. But (trust me!) 2022 is going to be the biggest year for SHEN yet! I can’t say much, but I promise our new ideas, brands, and concepts will NOT disappoint. Stay tuned!

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"Beauty is self care. And self care makes us feel beautiful."

-Athena Calderone