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“It takes a village” is an adage often used to describe the support needed to raise a child but it also perfectly describes what entrepreneurs, especially women, need to launch and grow successful businesses while living balanced and fulfilling lives. It was this realization that led Shalini Vadhera, author, celebrity makeup artist, and global lifestyle expert, to launch Power Beauty Living. The business, which Vadhera describes as a passion project, grew from her own experiences as an entrepreneur and the lack of mentorship, community and resources available for women building their businesses. This was definitely something that resonated with us, so we reached out to Vadhera to learn more.
What is Power Beauty Living?
Power Beauty Living is a platform that shares the knowledge of top female thought leaders and experts from around the world by providing women with a community of support, love and empowerment. Through panels, programming and events, Power Beauty Living equips women with the tools they need to be a warrior in business, tips to looking beautiful so they have the confidence to go after their goals and most important, tools to creating a daily ritual to create balance in their life.
What made you want to create this platform?
One of the things I noticed from traveling the world, especially working as a spokesperson for the Body Shop, and having a lot of one on one conversation with every day women was that there were a lot of women who were unhappy, who were too stressed, were in abusive relationships, were in jobs they hated and were constantly looking outside of themselves for validation. And I was like, ‘enough is enough.’ We need to actually start empowering ourselves and being our own best friend so that we aren’t reliant on outside validation from anyone. A big part of Power Beauty Living is being able to give women the tools they need to power up their business, power up their beauty and balance their lives. So it’s three b’s – Business, Beauty and Balance.
What tools are you giving women within the framework of Business, Beauty, and Balance?
For business, it’s getting female thought leaders to actually talk about the trials and tribulations of their own career journeys, whether they are entrepreneurs or working in corporate America, and how they were able to navigate that. And also giving women assistance in funding, from how to fund your business to knowing the difference between a good faith and bad faith deal, how to deal with a contentious boardroom, how to build your personal brand and why honoring your gut instinct is a crucial element of business success. So, those are many of the things in business that people don’t usually talk about and a lot women have to learn the hard way. I thought, why don’t we help each other out and talk about it more openly and transparently so another woman doesn’t have to go through that because she has been given the guidance and the knowledge.
Power Beauty Living really came out of the tough lessons you learned from launching your cosmetics brand. Can you tell us more about that?
I’ve been an entrepreneur since I was nineteen when my dad gave me a plane ticket to India and told me to go start my own business. I started in fashion, selling sweaters and surf clothing to local companies in San Diego, then went on to sell sterling silver jewelry with semi-precious stones to Macy’s and other boutiques. But it was my last company where I built a multi-million dollar cosmetics brand that I learned a really tough lesson. I literally had to walk away from the company because of investor issues and really needed guidance and mentorship which was difficult to come by. I found it challenging that there was a real shortage of women that could help me on the funding path and women that were funding early stage companies and startups. In my one year road show to raise money, I never saw a woman in an investor boardroom. It was an eye opening experience.
I ended up taking a deal that was not in my best interest. Had I had a mentor (ideally a woman as they were plenty of men but more that wanted to date me vs. fund me!) to share the good, the bad and the ugly and to look at the deal and tell me, these are the pitfalls and these are the upsides, it would have made a big difference.
Now, I mentor a lot of entrepreneurs. I recently had a young woman entrepreneur come up to me and tell me that she was really excited to find someone to fund her business. When she told me the deal terms I said, ‘so, you’re okay with giving up the majority control of your business, where they could fire you or take your company in a different direction, or take your idea and move on without you. Is that okay?’ And she said, ‘Oh, I didn’t know that’s what this deal meant.’ It’s providing that type of guidance for young entrepreneurs that could really help them. And many of them are so passionate about their idea and concept, they are just excited that someone is willing to fund them. It’s nice when there’s another woman taking a vested interest in helping you. Since I and many other female entrepreneurs have voiced the disappointment in the shortage of this type of mentorship for women by women, I wanted to create a destination made up of amazing, kick-ass women who’ve made it but are also willing to share the trials and tribulations of their journey and how they were able to navigate, rebound, learn etc.
Are the events and workshops primarily for entrepreneurs and businesswomen. Who else can attend?
The core audience is women in business but it’s also for women who are trying to balance their life and be their best self. We have a lot of women who are moms who feel like they’ve lost their sense of self or are too stressed out and are not able to create that balance in their life. Some of the workshops that we’ve curated and will be launching in 2015 include everything from manifesting your true abundance, to making fear work for you no matter what you’re doing in your life whether it’s your career, your relationships, or your own personal goals. So, it’s really for anyone that wants to live their best life and that’s every woman. And since we’re approaching it from the perspective of ‘Business, Beauty and Balance’ it allows for different topics and different events to appeal to different types of women.
Can you tell us a bit about the events and workshops you have coming up?
We’re launching Tuesday night with a beauty networking event and it’s really the perfect girls night out. You can come in and get Silk Peel Facials by Envy Medical ( a big celebrity favorite) and makeovers from one of my favorite Hollywood makeup brands, Cinema Secrets, as well as have some really yummy cocktails and be with your girls all while getting great business advice from amazing businesswomen who are going to be sharing ways to power up your business, while you’re powering up your beauty and learning how to balance your work-life relationship. A lot of our workshops are going to be based on the experts that we curate – we’re working with some of the top yoga instructors in the world on ways to help people get in tune with their bodies, we’re also creating panels on how to fund your business and in January we will be working with the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandizing to help students who are moving into the workplace to fearlessly go after their career goals. So, it’s really a 360 degree approach on how to live your best life.
What is unique about Power Beauty Living that sets it apart from other business networks for women?
What makes us really unique and different is the fact that we’re taking a very holistic approach to your life. Yes, you can definitely find other resources for business tips but can you also learn how to tap into your true purpose, look beautiful so you feel beautiful and balance your life? We’re bringing you a full 360 degree approach to living your best life from the inside out. And for me that was the big lesson from what I went through – that it’s not about the external but tapping into your spirituality, listening to your intuition and honoring it and then using it to benefit you in all aspects of your life. So, that’s what is really different about the destination and the community that we’re creating with Power Beauty Living in that it’s a very inner and outer approach to taking your business to the next level, your beauty to the next level, and having access to amazing experts from around the world all in one place.
The launch event tomorrow evening will be in support of Girl2B, a charity which helps young, underprivileged girls in Calcutta, India reach their full potential by providing education tools so they can achieve financial and social independence, becoming agents of change in their communities. Part of ticket proceeds will go to support Girl2B.