Power babes, Rachel Hinds Liverman and Neha Govindraj, are redefining the skincare industry and staying true to their friendship along the way. We chatted with the pair about building their business and how empowering each other has been a major key to their success.
Where are you from?
R: I’m originally from outside of Boston in Newton, MA! My grandmother founded the first accredited esthetics school in the USA, Catherine Hinds Institute of Esthetics which my mom owns, so growing up, I spent a lot of my childhood in our skincare salon and school. We also had a manufacturing and distribution company at the time and I used to love going there to watch the chemists work their magic and fill bottles. I grew up in a family business that taught me hard work ethic from a young age, but mine was especially unique because my grandmother really paved the way for female entrepreneurs. I have never doubted that I could have my own business thanks to her and my mom.
N: I’m originally from Fort Lauderdale, Florida. I’m a first generation Indian American, which means that my sister and I were the first in our family (originally from India) to be born here! For as long as I can remember, I was always taught to dream big, work hard, and be kind. While simultaneously assimilating into American culture, my dad started a business in the engineering industry. As a result, my childhood was a strong mix of being taught Indian culture and values, while simultaneously being exposed to what being an entrepreneur in the US means – and what it takes to do it right. To this day, I continue to hold these learnings close and use them as my guiding light.
What brought you two together?
R: I recognized that I wanted to bring on someone who had complementary skills to mine to really bring Glowbar to life! I started to ask my network for help in finding that perfect person and met a colleague of mine, Alyssa, at Maman one morning last May. I told her what I was looking for and she immediately said “Oh my gosh, I have your girl!”. Alyssa couldn’t have been more spot on and the rest is history. We say we are the yin to one another’s yang and I think everyone we meet would agree!
N: I had been working as a management consultant, and was really ready to take the leap and truly build something. I expressed this to a friend that was deeper into the start-up ecosystem, Alyssa, and two days later she texted me, “I have someone you need to meet. I think I found your next move.” It’s crazy to think how right she was in that moment!
How did you find your passion for skincare?
R: Skincare is in my DNA, but when you turn 30, the fine lines and wrinkles start to come and you reallyyyyy start to focus on it!
N: I’ve always been fascinated by people’s beauty and skincare routines, and once I started seeing results from developing a personal skincare routine, I got obsessive.
What was it like starting GLOWBAR? Any entrepreneurial myth busters?
R: Ha! I love how this is in the past-tense. It still feels like we are starting glowbar and I think that’s a good thing. We continue to push ourselves to think about how we can improve and challenge even our original ideas. I think the one big thing that people don’t tell you is how MENTAL starting a business is. What I mean by this is that it’s not that the actual work is rocket science, it’s the resilience that is required every single day, hour, and minute to keep going that makes starting a business challenging. This makes it even more important for you to have a strong support system and to really take care of yourself.
N: At the very beginning, it was go, go, go. Think fast, work fast, do fast. No one sets a timeline for you, no one sets goals for you, no one provides direction – you do that for yourself. Many of us hold ourselves to high standards, and so it can get challenging to keep up with where we want ourselves to be. But, once you work through that, the actual process of ideating and strategizing is a ton of fun; it is incredible how much creativity we all have stirring in our brains!
How do you divide up the work between the two of you, and how have your roles changed over time?
R: We both have different strengths, and so even before Neha joined, we discussed the division of departments. I think that was the best thing we could have done because it made it really clear where each of us would focus. Early on, we did a lot of things together because we were building the foundation, but now that we are open, it’s becoming increasingly important for us to focus on our areas and really divide and conquer. The beauty of Neha and I though is that whenever we put our minds together, the outcome is so strong and powerful that sometimes it can be hard not working on everything together!
N: Rachel and I really gravitate naturally towards our individual roles for the business; from the beginning, this was always clear. It’s great because the day to day, month to month work becomes more manageable to tackle with clear owners. As for how this has evolved — at the start, there were less distinct ‘functions’ of the business. There was a lot of work around building the general foundation and business plan, so we did all of this together. Since opening, we’ve started to truly own the functions we are energized by while still consistently putting our brains together to make sure we build a great business for the long term.
How does your partner inspire you?
R: Neha makes me believe that we can do absolutely anything and figure anything out. She isn’t afraid of a challenge and it inspires me to shift any fears or ambivalences I have to encouragement and excitement! I think at the end of the day, if you feel supported and trusted by your co-founder, you will continue to be inspired.
N: Rachel brings an energy to the table that is unparalleled. Her energy is real and contagious, and it makes building a business the best experience. I’ve seen the impact it can have on the people around her, and that inspires me every day to radiate positivity and warmth.
How do you motivate each other?
R: What’s funny is that we both know when the other needs it and we become one anothers cheerleaders. It’s a beautiful thing and what makes me realize just how lucky we are to have each other.
N: We’re both present when we show up to work, and that motivates the other to be present too. Beyond that, we’re really aware when the other needs an extra dose of motivation, and know exactly how to deliver that. We never hold anything against one another, and are consistently conscious of how to build each other up. It’s truly so special.
What is your advice to women that want to start their own business, but have no idea how?
R: Just do it. You will find your wings as you go. And, ask for help. Get really really f’ing comfortable asking for help and being vulnerable and admitting that you don’t know how to do something.
N: Ask your questions! Ask for advice, ask for clarity, ask for motivation – that’ll motivate you to start. And once you start, you will keep asking questions and you will figure it out!
What advice could you give on working closely with a friend and balancing a personal and professional relationship?
R: You MUST have a solid communication foundation. You have to be able to disagree, have uncomfortable discussions, and then you must be able to recover. And recovery comes from communicating really well.
N: Maintain communication and respect. Communicate openly and transparently with one another, and keep your respect for one another. If you stay on top of this, you’ll find an inner peace in both your personal and professional relationships with one another.
3 fave LIVELY pieces?
R: I have to pick just three?! OMG I love the unlined lace bra (i’m a sucker for a lace bra under a t-shirt), the kimono post-shower, and the all day joggers for lounging in the house! Really, anything though!