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Audio and Photo Credit: Mercedes and L'amour et la Musique
Ready for some real talk around the beauty industry? Check out our Founder and CEO, Orion Brown, as she discusses the purpose behind BlackTravelBox® and the problems with today's beauty market.
Episode also available on:
Your Purpose is Beauty
Episode 33: Orion Brown, BlackTravelBox: Clean Beauty Essentials to #TravelinColor + An Ongoing Race and Beauty Industry Discussion
Mercedes ( 00:00:08 ):
Hey guys, welcome back to Your Purpose is Beauty. This is episode 33 of the podcast, and I'm on a little bit of a roll with interviews today. We're talking with Orion Brown, who's the founder and CEO of BlackTravelBox, which is a premium, clean beauty brand targeting women of color. So Orion and I actually know each other kind of by acquaintance. We were both at the university of Chicago. We were the same year class year, and we lived in the same dorm and we never really kind of knew each other. I can't remember if we talked about it in the conversation or you're here today. I think it was when we were chatting in preparation for the conversation today, but we lived in this dorm at the university of Chicago called the Shoreland, which has since been converted to luxury apartment buildings in Hyde park, which is on the South side of Chicago.
Mercedes ( 00:01:08 ):
But at the time in the early two thousands, when we were in school, it was a dorm and it's like, kind of right on the lakefront overlooking Lake Michigan. And it's like, kind of, maybe it may be a 20 minute walk to campus. People that lived in that dorm were sort of not really isolated, but you just kind of saw everybody all the time in the dorm and taking the bus to and from campus. So anyway, she lived on the sixth floor. I lived on the 10th floor and Kabe, my husband now lived on the 12th floor. You just kind of knew each other. So Orion and I had some mutual acquaintances and a couple of weeks ago, her name popped up in my inbox as she was letting me know about BlackTravelBox. And she had come across my podcast and I wrote her back and I was like Orion, I totally remember you from the University of Chicago.
Mercedes ( 00:02:04 ):
Like I lived in Shoreland and we have these mutual friends in common. And she wrote back and I don't think she had made the connection previously, but she was like, Oh my gosh, yes, I totally remember what a small world. So it was really nice to get that email from her. And it just happens to be such a nice synergy of fit for having her on the podcast. So I'm really excited for you to hear her story today about this company, which is fulfilling a really necessary niche in the beauty industry. Let me tell you just a little bit about Orion's background. She is a brand strategy professional with over 15 years experience dynamically leading cross functional teams across multiple industries within both large and small cap businesses. Her areas of deep expertise include consumer insights, driven, brand strategy and packaging innovation and portfolio management.
Mercedes ( 00:03:02 ):
So before she became a full time entrepreneur with BlackTravelBox, she led brand strategy for Oracle. And then she also previously worked at Hasbro and actually spent the bulk of her career at Kraft foods where she led marketing management and operations initiatives across several beloved global brands. She received her bachelor of arts from the University of Chicago and holds an MBA from Duke university. Orion is also a lover of travel and food spending. Most of her free time outside of her career pursuing the best of both, which she's going to get into because travel was a huge impetus for her coming up with these products and actually launching this business. Some of the products that BlackTravelBox makes are they're mostly hair products. So they have a shampoo bar conditioner bar, a co-wash bar. They do a hair balm, lip balms, body balms.
Mercedes ( 00:04:00 ):
And Orion has generously agreed to offer a special code to your purpose of beauty listeners. So you can use the code purpose 10 to receive $10 off your order of $50 or more. So I'll make sure to include that in the show notes, in addition to talking about Orion's background and how she came to start this company, we really start diving into some of the racial dynamics of the beauty industry. And this has been a topic that has been in part of the conversation, especially in the organic eco quote unquote clean beauty segment of the beauty industry for quite a long time. You know, the eco organic slice of the market is often portrayed to be very white and very elitist. So I thought it was just really amazing to have someone here on the podcast as a woman of color who can speak firsthand to what that experience has been like, her perceptions of it, how her community perceives it and BlackTravelBox is a clean beauty brand.
Mercedes ( 00:05:15 ):
That's how she positions herself, the ingredients that she has chosen to use her stance on chemicals in cosmetics products. I mean, she has a clear perspective on all of that. So it's very squarely in these broader conversations that I think are really important to, to have always been having. But obviously they're part of the public consciousness. Now more than ever Orion is able to really eloquently speak to racial dynamics and privilege in the beauty space. And I'm really, really excited for you to hear from her today. If you missed last week's episode, it's an interview with Ava Zhan of earth wise, beauty and Pacific Northwest essences. That was such a fun, inspiring interview for me to do it. Doesn't give a lot of interviews. So I felt really honored that she decided to come on your purposes, beauty, and it was just such an enlivening and informative conversation for me.
Mercedes ( 00:06:13 ):
So if you haven't checked that out, it's episode 32, we talk about the essential oil debate in skincare. We talk about some of the more technical aspects of flower essence healing, which I think will be really interesting for people. We talked about Chinese medicine, Chinese herbs versus Western herbs. Yeah. It was just such a, such a wonderful, wonderful conversation coming up on the podcast. I think I'm going to be doing another what's in my cup. And on my mind episode, if you don't know what this is, I'll include the previous one that I've done in the show notes, but there's a little story behind the title and it's just an opportunity for me to basically have a coffee talk where I answered some commonly asked questions. I really want to talk about these liver and gallbladder flush videos that I made on YouTube five years ago. Now that I still continue to get emails and questions about this process. It's the Andreas Moritz, I believe was his name. He has actually since passed away the person that wrote the book on the, I think it's called the miracle liver flush or something, miracle liver gallbladder flush. It was this whole part of my own healing journey. And I just really want to address it the same way that I addressed the Zach Bush on gut health supplement. I was getting so many questions on that. So I really want to answer that question. And I am trying to think I wanted to talk about the new relaunch of L’Amour Veilleux product, but I think I might make that into a YouTube video. I thought I could do a summer skincare routine and a discussion and demo of L’Amour Veilleux. So that'll be coming up on YouTube.
Mercedes ( 00:07:55 ):
On Patreon this month, the Patreon exclusive podcast episode, which is episode 31. So if you're just on the public feed, you'll see that episode 31 is missing from your feed.
Mercedes ( 00:08:07 ):
I did a whole episode on the fraughtness- Is that a word? The complication around ancestry and ancestral healing in my life and from my perspective. So I talked a lot about how I have regretted having an ancestral DNA test done several years ago and just kind of tying it all together with some of my awakenings around what's been happening in the world and how that's put me really kind of at odds with family members. So it was a okay, I guess, kind of a therapeutic episode for me to do so that's on Patrion at the $3 level at the $7 level this month, I'm doing a video all about Western herbalism, which has been my big takeaway from the global pandemic is how I can foster a culture of health here at home. Learn to make herbal medicines, which are, is really our birthright as human beings on this planet.
Mercedes ( 00:09:04 ):
It's just been such a loss to knowledge in a lot of ways, unless you actually seek it out. A lot of it gets discarded as folk medicine and the common perception is that it's maybe supplementary and maybe like somewhat useful, but that pharmaceuticals in Western medicine are really the heavy hitters. And I've just been, re-evaluating a lot of that. I think a lot of people have. So I'm going to spend the video probably in my kitchen talking about overnight infusions. I'll talk about the herbal body oil in class I've been studying or watching the material on. I'll probably do a tour through my herbal cabinet. And I think I'm also going to do a little tour of our garden, which sadly has been somewhat disappointing this season. So probably talk about all of that. So I think it will be a really engaging video. I'm really excited to put it together.
Mercedes ( 00:09:56 ):
It will be available on Patrion at the $7 and above levels towards the end of the month, probably. And then I have other levels at Patrion. I don't want to necessarily bore you with all those details here, but individualized Q and A's. I do live get ready with me's every Friday morning. And I have an astrology of beauty reading tier where I do a chart reading. All of that can be found at patrion.com/lamoriellomusic. You can find my six plus years of YouTube videos at youtube.com/memorial on music slash videos. You can come say hi on Instagram at Lamoriello music. And of course I want you to go follow all of Orion's platforms as well. She actually talks about that at the end of our conversation. So I'll, I'll leave it there. And of course, everything will always be included in the show notes. I'm going to stop talking now, but you take in this really engaging conversation from super smart woman, someone that I'm really honored to have had here on the podcast, talking about these issues,
Mercedes ( 00:11:03 ):
I will hop back on the end to say goodbye.
Mercedes ( 00:11:13 ):
So I think a good place to start would probably be at the beginning. So maybe we could hear a bit about your background Orion. And in particular, I would really love to hear about where your love for travel came from, and then eventually how you came to see this need for travel sized beauty products for women of color.
Orion Brown ( 00:11:31 ):
Yeah, I think the originating love for travel really came from national geographic. So I remember going being maybe like nine years old and going with my mom and yard sales, because I mean, that's what summer's for. It's like yard sales and playing and sprinklers. And so I went to a yard sale and this person had, I can only imagine must've been years of National Geographics and like these old paper boxes.
Orion Brown ( 00:11:54 ):
And I spent so much time pouring over these Nat geos and flipping through the pages and seeing all of these amazing, exotic people in places. I remember seeing, you know, the tombs in Egypt and different places in Croatia and just Africa and stuff. And I just thought it was so fascinating to me. It was that Indiana Jones kind of adventure. Every time I got to flip through one of those. So that's where it really started, but I didn't get a chance to build on that love of travel in a tangible way until well, after college, I didn't have a passport until I was 25, actually. And to be Frank most travel. I mean, until the last, I would say 10 years or so was really expensive and just kind of, not something that was accessible. And so once I did get a passport, I just kind of went bonkers and I started traveling as much as I could.
Orion Brown ( 00:12:55 ):
And as frequently as I could, and being in corporate for 15 years, the stress of corporate life and the challenges travel was one of my outlets and self care. I was like, yes, pay me and then give me my vacation days and I'm happy to use those. So that's where I really build that passion for travel.
Mercedes ( 00:13:13 ):
Like what were some of the first places that you wanted to travel to internationally?
Orion Brown ( 00:13:18 ):
I was sort of chicken because I hadn't been anywhere. I hadn't really been that many places in the States, to be honest, I moved around a lot, but in terms of just exploring places in sort of a holiday or vacation type manner, I hadn't done a ton of that. And so I was really looking for a place that I thought I could feel comfortable, but would allow me to really stretch myself. So the first stamp on my passport was Jamaica and my boyfriend at the time is from there.
Orion Brown ( 00:13:50 ):
And so I just felt really safe. I felt really safe with him. I thought this was a great way to explore a place that's very different than where I grew up and the places that I've been. And I absolutely fell in love. I absolutely fell in love with that place. So yeah, that was kind of the first spot. And I think after that, once I had had the experience of, by the way, driving in Jamaica will give you a heart attack.
Mercedes ( 00:14:13 ):
I think in the Caribbean in general. And I know Puerto Rico is crazy too with driving.
Orion Brown ( 00:14:17 ):
Yeah. Yeah. I mean, they drive super fast. The streets are super narrow and I started out just giving myself a Benadryl at the airport and being like, I already know how this is going to go down. By the time I was like my second and third trip, I was like, yep.
Orion Brown ( 00:14:31 ):
Benadryl taking a nap, wake me up when we get there, because I was like, this is a total heart attack, but having such a different experience and Jamaica as an English speaking country. But when you're out with locals, people are speaking Patois. So it's enough that you can kind of catch what's happening, but you really do have to learn the language and the lingo. It was exotic enough to give me a taste for all right. And a little bit of courage of like, okay, let me see what else is out there and what else is interesting. And so, you know, from there it was Europe and Asia and as many places as I could get to, and, and that seemed fun. And far-flung.
Mercedes ( 00:15:14 ):
So yeah. Then you obviously realized through all this travel that there was a big problem in terms of beauty products. So why don't you share a little bit about that?
Orion Brown ( 00:15:24 ):
Yeah, it's funny. I was on a trip to Japan a few years ago and we had planned most of the trip between Tokyo and Kyoto and Osaka, which is what I would estimate as equivalent to the same climate as like Washington DC in the spring time. So it can get a bit warm, but it's usually not too crazy, you know, normal humidity, et cetera. And at this point I felt so comfortable with traveling. I honestly didn't spend much time doing research, which is, you know, when you first started out, you're like, okay, let me check every single thing. And I really didn't do a ton of research and we were talking and decided to pop into Okinawa and see friends and did not realize that Okinawa while it's a small Island off the Southern coast of Japan, it's also like its own tropical rainforest kind of situation.
Orion Brown ( 00:16:14 ):
It was so hot. It was like upper eighties and like 90% humidity. And my hair is I wear my hair natural when I travel for the most part. And I just went straight for it is I went from zero to frizz it 10 seconds. Like we got off the plane and I was like, I am so screwed as, so this was like a day or two into the trip. And we were there for 10 days and all I could do was kind of feel salty and complain that I look crazy because my little bit conditioner is just going to get me through, you know, the next day and a half, which is basically what happened. And I had only planned on, you know, it was sort of surgical when you travel, I think particularly for black women to figure out exactly how we're going to deal with hair because it's, you know, wash day is a big thing.
Orion Brown ( 00:17:04 ):
Styling is a big thing. How am I going to make this fit into a leisure trip? And so I was complaining and feeling salty and I realized I was like, all these places I've been to. And at that point, I think that was like country ms. Say 13 or 14. And I'm like, all these places I've been to thousands of photos. I take so many photos when I travel. I love taking photos, but most of them I'm not in. And it really is some version of that issue where I just don't feel like I look my best and everybody would love to kind of have that ideal moment, that little Instagram worthy shot, where they just look amazing and they're showing off the place that they're at. And I realized there was a lot of photos I just didn't participate in because I was immersing myself in the experience by sacrificing sort of my personal beauty regimen and creating, you know, not feeling completely in my skin while I was traveling. So I was like, I can't be the only person I know. I can't be the only person. So that's where the idea started. And I started to build out the brand idea and talk to other women like me and other actually men as well and ask them, what is it that they're doing? Like, is this a problem for them? And I got a resounding yes.
Mercedes ( 00:18:23 ):
So you mentioned that you have spent the last 15 years in corporate and you know, you, I think when we talked previously, you told me that you started BlackTravelBox in 2017 as kind of a side project at the time. So yeah. Maybe you could share a bit about your like work experience in corporate, because I think you told me that you've worked in branding and things like that. And then how you got to this point where you decided to take the leap and actually launch your own company after identifying that there was this problem that really had a need in the market.
Orion Brown ( 00:18:56 ):
So my background is pretty eclectic. I actually coming out of college, went into banking and I did internal consulting and project management for several years within the financial services industry. And then pivoted into brand management, which is for people who aren't familiar, it's basically every product that has a brand label on it has a manager behind it. That's sort of running that business almost like a mini CEO. And so I had done brand management for give or take about seven or eight years and ended up pivoting again, kind of bouncing around to a new role where I was really focused on consumer insights and helping our fortune 100 clients really understand consumers because that's something, that it's the core brand and in a lot of people miss, and they don't necessarily know how to bridge data to, to get to those insights. And so I was doing that and it was really interesting work, but I didn't have my hands in an actual brand.
Orion Brown ( 00:19:56 ):
I had my hands in other people's businesses giving them, you know, coaching and consulting for that. And so I really did miss having a physical product that I helped create. And there's something about seeing your product on shelf that gives you like this weird little like, Oh, it's my baby, it's right there. I could see it again. I could touch it. It's tangible. And so that trip that I mentioned into Japan was spring of 2017. So by the fall I had decided, you know, maybe I should just go ahead by the end of the summer. Really? Maybe I should just go ahead. I'm going to form the LLC to force myself to actually work on it. I was like, I would feel too guilty if I had an LLC and didn't do anything. So I formed the LLC and I got started and I, it really was a passion project. It was a nights and weekends kind of thing. And through the holidays, It was put on the back burner, you know, cause there's family and travel and all of that.
Orion Brown ( 00:20:48 ):
And I came back around the following spring and bounced back into it and continue to work on the base formulations the product lineup as well as doing a lot of consumer insights and research for most of that year. And it was, you know, in parallel with work and it was, you know, when I could get to it, I did. And eventually I chose to leave the corporate space, not necessarily to become an entrepreneur, but because I just really found the corporate space challenging from, you know, just being a black female, to be honest, there were days where there was just immeasurable disrespect and just unabashedly. I don't have a good word for it that wouldn't, wouldn't be a swear word. So it's one of those things where I was like, I'm done, I'm tired of you paying me, stop, just stop.
Orion Brown ( 00:21:43 ):
I left my laptop. I left my badge and I, and I walked out and it wasn't until after I left that it occurred to me. I should probably consider taking BlackTravelBox as a, as a full time operation. And that was, that was an interesting time. It was definitely an interesting time, but it really was a combination of just kind of praying and being like, God, I am not sure if this business is going to be a thing I've just kind of barely been working on it. I know that there's a market. I know our consumers, I am our consumer. I know it can be done and I definitely know what should be done, but you know, I'm gonna need some signs, right? So like give me a sign that this is just a stupid thing. And I should just go and get another job in a better space.
Orion Brown ( 00:22:29 ):
You know, where people are respectful, then just like, let me fail immensely. I need a spectacular failure. So I know to leave it alone. And I said, you know what, I'm going to take three months and this'll be a life experiment may take three months and really dive into this. And if I see the signals and the signs there that this is, this is the way to go, then I'll continue on. And that three months was spectacular. It was, there were so many things that happened. And I just, I was like, okay, well that was a clear, that was clear. I'll keep going.
Mercedes ( 00:23:01 ):
Well, so now let's talk about the products and in BlackTravelBox that you sell. So maybe you could share a bit about conceptually how the brand is laid out the products in the line, and then you, we haven't talked about this yet, but you're squarely in the eco green quote, unquote clean beauty space. I have some issues with that label and we can get into that a little bit later, but you're, you're clearly in this kind of alternative beauty space in a way. So yeah. Maybe just talk us through the brand a little bit.
Orion Brown ( 00:23:33 ):
Yeah. So the first piece of the brand was sort of the packaging and how the brand presents to the world. So one thing that I knew was going into what we call the haircare aisle.
Orion Brown ( 00:23:46 ):
There isn't an ethnic skincare aisle, by the way. And there aren't as many quote unquote ethnic skincare brands, but going into that aisle is it was very clear that very few places had elevated brands made for people of color made for black folks, right? So you didn't see much either accessible luxury or flat-out luxury products. And frankly, in the luxury space, there's there's, I would argue that there's probably zero. There may be one or two out there, so don't yell at me, but, but there really isn't very much. And so I started out with an elevated brand sense and that sense of luxury and that sense of creating something that's really aspirational. And then I kind of thought about, okay, so from a product perspective, what products do I need, functionally? What's the problem that I'm challenged with? Well, it's, I can't go into a hotel and use what they have.
Orion Brown ( 00:24:39 ):
I can't bring enough of the stuff that I want to bring. And even when I do, it's still really a cumbersome and kind of pain in the butt process to have these tiny little models that leak that take up space, they do all these things. I really wish there was something that acknowledged me from a product perspective as a traveler and as a personal. And so I started going after those most polarizing items. So you'll see what we launched. We launched the shampoo and conditioner because the shampoo and conditioner was the thing that I never used personally at the hotel. And I would talk to other people and they would say, yeah, sometimes the conditioner, especially for folks who do and goes, you know, you, you use it to not only co wash. You might use a little bit as a leave in to help style and conditioners while they may not necessarily be the most effective.
Orion Brown ( 00:25:30 ):
They very rarely have a tendency to have detrimental effects on the hair. Shampoo can be a nightmare. I once used a hotel shampoo that it matted my hair so badly. I thought I was going to have to cut it. It was really bad. It was damaged for weeks after using it. So I started out with shampoo and conditioner. Both of them are in solid forums or bars. So that kind of eliminated the mess, factor. It eliminate the TSA, not letting me bring as much as I need factor cause they're concentrates and they're just really easy to use. So we started out with that format and then it was, well, you know, hotel lotion is a joke. If you go on Twitter, you go on a black Twitter and talk about Ashley knuckles and hotel lotion. And you will have an entire day long conversation because it's just ridiculous how watery it is. It has these fillers that aren't particularly emollients and waxes and things like that. And it's, it just barely passes us something wet to put on your skin and typically leaves, you know, a really icky kind of gray film, especially if you have darker tone skin and I'm not even that, you know, dark Brown skin.
Mercedes ( 00:26:44 ):
And I have issues with that. And so it's one of those things and acknowledging that people come in different shades and testing your products so that it works on, you know, aesthetically on everyone is, is a, is a big thing that doesn't happen. And so we started out with those products through an, a lip balm because everybody loves lip balm. It's like the best at it. You know, nobody wants chapped lips and just kind of went with that. And, and that was the sort of impetus since then getting feedback. It started to grow a little bit or played around with, and we've had a, co-wash and we have a hair balm and there's much more that's going to happen as we've been gathering data from our customers to really round out the line and make it make sense for, for those travel basic needs. And then we're going to elevate that then into maybe the not so basic needs and get into some of the fun spaces so that people can really pamper themselves while they're on the road.
Mercedes ( 00:27:37 ):
So do people buy the products as kind of like a set or you can buy them individually?
Orion Brown ( 00:27:43 ):
Yes. And that's a good question. It's so funny because people see the word box, there's domain beauty subscription boxes. We did start out having subscriptions available to products, and we're going to bring that back. So you guys are probably the first to hear we're bringing that back, but the idea of making it a guess, what the heck you have in a mailbox this month subscription box. I just had no interest in that. And again, you know, I built the business around, I built it around me and I hope that there's a bunch of other MES out there. Those are the things that were really a pain in the butt for subscriptions for subscription boxes. So I definitely didn't want to go that direction. So given that the global pandemic has really profoundly changed the landscape of social life and air travel life for people everywhere.
Mercedes ( 00:28:29 ):
And given that your company was founded on this concept of travel-friendly TSA approved products, you know, what are you thinking in terms of potentially pivoting to full-size products? Or have you seen like a down tick, are people still buying these products and just using them as travel size at home? Are you, are you hoping to ride it out? You know, how have you experienced also, how have you experienced, what's been going on being, you know, homebound in Colorado and not able to travel?
Orion Brown ( 00:28:55 ):
So there's a lot to impact there. I would say in terms of just being home bound, it's really evident to me how much I value travel as a form of self care. I really do. I really value it and what I've been trying to do for our customers and our audiences to acknowledge that for them as well. Right. You know, what I noticed was early on the chatter around travel didn't really come down very much because people were like, okay, so we had a ride this out for like four, six weeks.
Orion Brown ( 00:29:24 ):
Okay. It's fine. Now I'm more concerned about like the family reunion that I have planned or the trip that I already have planned and whether or not I need to like, how do I navigate canceling or rescheduling all of that. Right. So sort of business as usual with a bump in the road. And then it really became like the, I don't think there's any end in sight. I just want to really be in a, on a beach in Bali right now. And so what I tried to do was keep that moment that you, when you book your ticket and you know, you're going somewhere and you have something to look forward to, I wanted to recreate that moment. So for myself and, and for our customers. So I've been spending a lot of time still, really acknowledging that we shouldn't go out because I believe that it would be, I just think it would be unethical for me to be like, yeah, you should be planning that trip.
Orion Brown ( 00:30:15 ):
Yeah. You should go ahead and book that ticket and make sure you buy our stuff. That's not wellness for our community. Right. That's greed. And so you know, I try to talk about travel, but always keeping in mind that it's not something we're doing right now. And let's find ways to bring that magic of that moment. When you book a flight to this moment, without you actually putting yourself in a position of, you know, being endangered or, you know, getting potentially getting sick or making other people sick. And so you'll see things like our hashtag is #travelincolor. And so it's been also travel in color, hashtag stay home in color too. And it's just to, you know, keep it light and keep it fun. But I love the immersion into the travel lifestyle that we've been able to maintain. It's been cathartic for me to look at gorgeous travel photos and share them with people and say, have you ever been here and swap stories and things like that in terms of product line and COVID, and everybody thinks second side and all of these things going on, I really did have to take a moment and step back and say, how far of a pivot is too far and what makes sense for this environment.
Orion Brown ( 00:31:30 ):
And what I would say is a few things. So I've had actually customers ask us for full-size products, quote, unquote full-size products. So that's definitely something that's I think is going to be on the horizon. And it's always an interesting balance. So, you know, if your audience is interested in kind of thinking about how, how do you pick products, how do you create and pick products and what you should sell and what you shouldn't skew proliferation, or each individual item that you sell? It would be careful not to start making a whole bunch of different things because you lose a lot of efficiency and it makes it harder for you to do the few things you do. Well, it's just like going to a diner when they have too many pages. You're like, okay, I'm on page 22. I've seen lamb, I've seen pizza. I don't know how I feel about this. We're about to get into the taco section, like what's going on? Can you do any of these things? Well, so so the larger sizes are TBD, but I think a few things will come a few thoughtful things will come. And then in general, the first pivot that I I took was because I didn't want to lose the travel aspect. That really is essential to the brand. The brand doesn't make sense without the travel aspect. I don't think because
Orion Brown ( 00:32:40 ):
there are brands out there that make hair and skincare products that I can use that I can use at home. And while there's room for that. And we can continue to proliferate that my unique culture ad is around the travel space and that's really our positioning and pivot point. And so that was something that was really, really core to it. So I started out with launching a COVID Relief Kit, and I'm going to caveat this with, I really dislike when companies give to a cause just to give to one or, you know, hop on the bandwagon. And it really has nothing to do with their mission and their vision and what they're in the, in the world for. But from a mission vision standpoint, for me in BlackTravelBox, we are all about the wellness that comes from using travel as a form of self care.
Orion Brown ( 00:33:34 ):
And since travel is not the form of self care that we can use right now, we want to continue to promote wellness in the community and other ways. And so I use the example of Chicago, where population is around 40 to 45% black. But when you look at that might actually be a little bit lower now, but when you look at how many people, the percentage of people that were dying from COVID, it was like 80 to 90% were black. And so those types of disparities we've heard of, you know, across the country and even across the globe. And so I wanted to create something because there's a lot of people working eight times as hard from a frontline perspective, too, especially the medical workers to make sure that folks are getting tested to, you know, triage them, to take care of them. And they're working crazy hours and they're doing a lot of work.
Orion Brown ( 00:34:25 ):
So we created the COVID kit, which is a body balm, the lip balm. I didn't just throw in everything that we have. These are, you know, thoughtful products. When you're wearing a mask and your lips get dry from all of the moisture being sat right on your face, we wanted to give them lip balms so that they could use that to, to kind of keep their under-mask health. And then the Body Balm really was I had noticed myself just being at home. I was trying to do practice washing my hands as frequently as possible and being really mindful of that. And I remember seeing a story of a doctor who was talking about how he's basically washing his hands, like 50, a hundred times a day, which was easily, far more than I was watching it. I thought I was doing a lot and my hands were dry and cracking.
Orion Brown ( 00:35:11 ):
And I used the body to sort of deal with that. And so we created a kit that was a donation item. It is a donation item still available on our site. And that was our first pivot product to help maintain relevance as well as to really contribute in a tangible way to COVID treatment efforts and to our community. From there, we just launched a staycation set. So if you can't go out, stay in, and our staycation collection launched with three candles that are destination inspired. So they're all about some sense that will transport you to places that if you can't really actually go there, because you know, this isn't the time to be flying, you can at least think about it. And so that, that staycation collection will grow in the future. We've gotten great feedback on the products and sold out a couple of times already. And I'm really excited to have something that sort of captures that beauty and wonder of the, of the travel experience, but brings it in the home space. And that's something that will also be an enduring piece of the brand in the longterm.
Mercedes ( 00:36:21 ):
So tell me a little bit about like ingredients and, and what was kind of your experience with green versus conventional beauty before you started these products of your own, or did you know that you wanted to formulate and be in kind of the eco beauty space and also I think you told me this last time we talked, everything is manufactured in Colorado, is that right?
Orion Brown ( 00:36:43 ):
Yes. Yeah. So in terms of being clean, eco green, all of those things, I just kind of feel like things you put on your hair and skin probably shouldn't try to kill you. That's just honestly, my product ethos. I don't believe that everything synthetic is bad. We have testing for that. We can test and make sure that those things aren't bad. I don't believe that everything natural is necessarily good. It depends on what it is. I mean, hell you could lick a tree frog, but I think you'll get pretty sick. It doesn't matter if it's natural. So to me, the ethos is transparency. So we're very clear. All of our ingredients are up front, nothing is going in our product that isn't on our ingredient list. Our ingredient list is available both on the product and on the website. And you know, just trying to make products that are safe for humans to use is really the key.
Orion Brown ( 00:37:42 ):
And so there was a study that came out a few years ago, it was maybe 2018, and this was the first time anybody looked at it. Cause again, the ethnic aisle does not get a ton of love. They looked at several products and sort of the ethnic haircare aisle and not just the classic. I think people kind of think of, Oh, you're talking like relaxers and things like that. Those are harsh chemicals. Now they were talking like serums and glosses and other, you know, what people would think or should be rather a nerd kind of products that have, you know, really mild ingredients. And they found that there were so many chemicals in them, not even just actually on the label, but when they lab tested it, there were chemicals that were put in there so that it could, you know, have a better shelf, shelf stability and all of that.
Orion Brown ( 00:38:29 ):
And they just never listed it. And they're the types of things that cause fibroids and hormone disrupting chemicals. And it's just insane to me that I, that I grew up being told I needed to and had to shop in because the mainstream I'll quote unquote only serves normal hair. I mean, next time you go, just check out how many things say normal on the package. That's a problem. But the aisle that I was sent to basically a death trap. And so I can't approach our products without knowing that they are as safe as the things that I want to put on my body. They also have to be effective, but there's, those two are not, they shouldn't preclude each other. So, you know, also speaking to the contemporary landscape of 2020, you know, we've been going through this global pandemic collectively, and we've also been part of a re-invigorated social movement around racial justice and equality.
Orion Brown ( 00:39:24 ):
So this is an especially salient issue for the beauty industry, which has struggled with issues of inclusivity, diversity, accessibility, and equality for a really long time. And I guess I would argue that this is even more of an issue for the eco or as I said in air quotes earlier, the clean beauty space, which has really been roundly criticized for being a space of white exclusivity and privilege. So I don't know if you have thoughts on that to share, you know, what has your personal experience been like? I mean, I know you shared just now about growing up, going to these particular aisles of products, but as you've gotten more into the clean or green beauty space, you know, what have you seen or how have you been seeing those issues play out in race and beauty? Yeah, I mean, I think there's, it's very interesting because there's a lot of things that we're just not aware of consciously that are driving the beauty industry and driving the standards for beauty.
Orion Brown ( 00:40:25 ):
And when we look at things like the feminist movement, there's a white feminist movement and then there's the rest of us because the collective issues of women isn't actually included the reflected issues are those of typically, you know, a mainstream white woman or that idea of mainstream mainstream culture becomes defined as that. The same thing in beauty, I always give the example of, imagine the hair color aisle, you're walking down an aisle and there's hundreds of boxes, right? So say there's a hundred different hair, color shades all the way down the aisle. 75 of those boxes are typically not women of color. It's changing a bit, but for the most part, if I've got photos, it's 75% of them are white faces with a bunch of different hair colors for a women of color like me. I have to look at those boxes and then imagine if I think that color would look nice on my skin tone or someone who looked like me, or even just someone with darker skin in general, right?
Orion Brown ( 00:41:31 ):
You can't perfectly put yourself on the box. At the end of that aisle, you may see four little boxes with black faces on them. And I think everybody would agree that we all assume that those aren't for black people and the rest of them are for everyone care. Fundamentally is not made of different things. Race. I have to remind your viewers is not genetic and you can use hair color on pretty much any hair. Now, if it's damaged from different heat and all that, those are variations, but genetically speaking, the blonde you use can be the blonde that I use can be the red that I use to be whatever. And so that double standard is interesting. When you start to talk about what products are made for whom and how that sort of psychology works. So this is why we have it. It's such a thing as an ethnic hair care aisle.
Orion Brown ( 00:42:27 ):
It's not a separation for convenience. Convenience is to have everything in one aisle and just be clear about what your product does on the bottle. But the expectation is, well, you know, everybody else goes to the mainstream aisle and then you go to this other particular one. And so when I hear clean beauty and you know, is this a sort of a white woman's thing? I have to agree. I went to the natural products expo I'm in Baltimore a couple years back, and I completely expect it to be put to shame. You know, that little little thing on your shoulder, that's whispering in your ear and being like, you're an idiot. Why did you start a company? Somebody is already doing this. Several somebodies are probably already doing this the whole time on my shoulder telling me that. And I'm walking the floor and the beauty and the personal care space.
Orion Brown ( 00:43:20 ):
And, and besides the fact that I actually had a super visitor pass because I was coaching a team that was pitching there. So all the food people were talked to me, but I had my hair in locks and I was walking around the hair care and I couldn't even get eye contact from people, which was hilarious to me. Like I could be a buyer, but I noticed there were a lot of white people talking to white people about ethnic hair. And when I say a lot, the four companies that said, had any mention of ethnic haircare, it was white people talking to white people about ethnic hair. And then a lot of a lot of sort of fetishized images of like Africans digging a well somewhere. I'm like, I don't know what this has to do with Shea butter. Like, why do they have to be poor?
Orion Brown ( 00:44:10 ):
Nairobi is not poor. Like Legos is not poor. But when I started talking to people, even the language that they use around product Oh yeah, it's natural and it's this and it's clean and it's organic and vegan and this, that, and other wonderful. So has this been formulated or tested to work on kinky curly hair, textured hair? Well this bottle out of the 50 products that we have is the one that's for dry and damaged hair. These are all for normal hair and this one isn't. And so it's really evident in the industry that the language is there and it's subliminally telling all of us that there is an aberration from the norm, and that's what grows out of my head naturally and all of my families. And that's a challenge. And I think that's something that we need to be comfortable with facing because the flip side is I talked to women all the time who maybe are a little affronted because I'm very much like I made this for a people that are having challenges, you know, finding products that are flagged that show, you know, we're made for you.
Orion Brown ( 00:45:17 ):
And I talked to women that go, well, you know, that's not even really fair because I sneak into the ethnic file and I grabbed it. They always whisper it to sneak in the ethnic Island, get such and such product. It's really the only thing that works for my hair. So the brokenness of our beauty standard and the brokenness of the way in which the aisle works and the language we use doesn't just affect black women. It kind of affects anyone who feels left out by what the mainstream definition of beauty is because the product lines just aren't inclusive. And they aren't thinking about the permutations of humanity, as opposed to like these permutations within a race. You know, what I found was so interesting. And I've been thinking about since when you and I were talking previously preparing for this conversation today is when you were recounting, how you've had white women approach you about BlackTravelBox and say, well, so this isn't for me then. And I find that kind of centering and compartmentalizing, you know, of course, really troubling. Also interesting to think about. So, you know, how have you responded to women that approach your brand that way? Well, my, my little inner voice is like no full stop.
Orion Brown ( 00:46:35 ):
That's true. I mean, that's not true. And the philosophy that I have is if you have skin and it gets dry and you like things that help you not be dry, then I've got body balm for you. But because we have an entire industry from a mainstream that perspect perspective that ignores black and Brown women, I'm going to talk to them because that's good marketing and that's good branding. You can't be everything to everyone in your messaging. Otherwise you still, you don't stand for anything. If you have hair. I mean, I hope it's on your head, but if you have hair and you want to wash it and you want that to be a convenient process and you don't want surfactants and you know, you want something that's a pretty clean, straightforward ingredient line. You should try our bars. And it's no different than trying the different things that are on shelf, right?
Orion Brown ( 00:47:31 ):
You try different brands all the time and you go, well, that one was too heavy for my hair or that one was too, that's really stripped my hair. It was too drying. Like you kind of figure it out. And so we have descriptions as to exactly what the product does and the formulation is just ensuring that it won't do anything really crazy. When put on Brown skin, when put on kinky hair, I don't think it's as complicated as people make it. So my, my response is doesn't really matter, right? You always not, for me, you decide what's for you because the industry is going to tell you what's for you. You still have to make the decision. Just like you get up in arms. When you see a woman who's been overly airbrushed and in a beauty magazine, and you want to, you want to demand that they stop airbrushing.
Orion Brown ( 00:48:18 ):
Don't let the I'll tell you what's for you. Let brands express what their products do. Don't let them tell you what was normal or abnormal and choose things, try things and choose them. You see black being so upfront in my brand because we don't see enough of our faces in enough spaces acknowledged as valued customers and consumers, but it's not an exclusive brand.
Mercedes ( 00:48:43 ):
I couldn't agree more with everything that you're saying. I have a question here. That's what do you feel is necessary within the industry to effectuate real change, you know, really around these issues and what you said about basically not letting the marketing tell you what's for you just resonates with me really, really strongly. And I personally feel like as I go on and in my own relationship to beauty and the beauty industry, it's kind of all about this sovereignty over yourself, and you are the one to decide what's for you. So thank you for drawing that out and illuminating that.
Orion Brown ( 00:49:21 ):
Yeah, definitely. And it's, sometimes it is just a matter of like a lot of these products are essentially the same products. A lot of the things that are on the shelf that we really feel are differentiated. They're really just differentiated by a brand ideal. If you want a fun, funky, big purple bottle of stuff, then get that. And if you want it in something for him and proper and demure, they get that. But it really, it really is about choosing what fits you or what works for you and where you see places that people are being marginalized in language and in the presentation, marginalizing is not the same as segmenting. It's not the same as saying, are you a woman who loves fun and funky bottles, right? Marginalizing is saying, if you don't love fun and funky bottles, you really don't belong.
Mercedes ( 00:50:06 ):
Right. Or we don't have some, we don't have anything for you. Right?
Orion Brown ( 00:50:08 ):
Exactly, exactly. And so that's the difference and we all have to speak up around that.
Mercedes ( 00:50:15 ):
Well, I kind of wanted to pivot to back to kind of some business questions, because I wanted to talk about mentorship because as a creative entrepreneur, myself, I just often find myself wishing that I had,
Mercedes ( 00:50:28 ):
I don't know, like more resources or people that I could turn to in that sense. So I'm not sure if, what your experience has been like having business mentors, you know, maybe even in your corporate life, but in the beauty space. And you know, what's some of maybe the best wisdom or advice that you've come across in sustaining and growing your own business.
Orion Brown ( 00:50:47 ):
That's a really good question. It's, it's interesting because there was an article that came out the other day and someone was talking about how black and Brown founders are over mentored and underfunded. And I caveat that I wholeheartedly agree, but I caviat it with the term mentor is a shallow one. In that regard, I put, I put it in air quotes because we get a lot of free advice about things we probably already know. I mean, I kind of went to a couple of good schools. I maybe have an MBA. I don't need the definition of terms right off to me to answer, to have someone answer a question, which happens a lot. It's very interesting. This idea of having a female genitalia just makes you instantaneously 20 points down on the IQ scale. When you're entering a room to talk to people that don't know anything about your industry or your brand or your market.
Orion Brown ( 00:51:42 ):
And so from a mentoring standpoint, there hasn't been a ton. There are definitely people there. There's two ways that I think about mentoring. Well, actually three, I think about mentoring versus sponsorship. And this relates also to corporate mentoring really should be that day to day. How do I get through this problem? Let me bounce some ideas off of you. Maybe let me cry on your shoulder, right? Sponsorship is sort of like that in the sense that it's also someone who brings value, wisdom, and experience, but they're typically kind of, I don't want to say in the shadows that makes them sound weird and quirky, but they're, they're kind of, you know, off to the side and they're standing up for you in rooms that you don't even know. You're disgusting. They're the ones that are making connections, broadening your network, continuing to champion and cheerlead you.
Orion Brown ( 00:52:31 ):
And they're the ones that typically see the best in you, right? Like they don't get to see when you want to cry on someone's shoulder or when you're really mad at a supplier or a partner. Like they're the ones that see the vision that you, that you have and your potential, you know, within your role, either as a founder or as a manager contributor. And so those are sort of two sides of mentoring. And then I think the third piece is sort of where do you get your best sort of day to day knowledge? So I look at that as, you know, you can be mentored by Oprah. Everybody can be mentored by Oprah because she has so much content out there where she talks about her philosophy on life. You don't have to know her personally. You don't have to get time with her because she's created the content.
Orion Brown ( 00:53:18 ):
She's put out the message and really what you have to do is seek it out and learn from it and ruminate on it, kind of figure out what you want to do with it. And so I do a lot of that type of mentorship, or I get a lot of that type of mentorship. And I use spaces like groups and social social group forums, like, you know, social media and Facebook. Those are great places to get day to day mentorship, especially if you're new to being an entrepreneur, how do I make this work? And you can read every time someone has posted about that and all the different ways and all the different things that people have learned about it, podcasts like this great form of mentorship, because you get to hear from people answering questions that are probably the same questions you have about how they figured it out and what to avoid and what to try.
Orion Brown ( 00:54:07 ):
And so those are sort of the three buckets. And I would say I lean heavily on the last one. There are a few people in my network that I do trust and are close. And I, I get from them. I think the biggest piece of mentorship and advice I got was to stay true to the vision because when you are visionary and I'm not saying this to be like, I'm so awesome and lofty, but when you are a visionary people, aren't going to see it. They're not going to see it. If they had already seen it, they would have done it already. You know what I mean? And so not to be so discouraged by the nose but to continue to build out the vision, be smart about how you're doing it, but continue pushing and, and, and be true to what you're trying to create. And that has gotten me through some really annoyingly dark days. And it's been reinforced by our customers and that's a beautiful thing. And it really has rung true over the last couple years.
Mercedes ( 00:55:00 ):
Yeah. If you don't have your vision to fall back on then, like, what are you even doing it for? I, again, just resonate with all of that and in my own process as well. So maybe it would be nice to, I thought it would be nice to close out our conversation today, hearing you share about maybe some other beauty brands that you like to support, or just like expanding your purposes, beauty listeners, universe of brands to put on their radar. Because I think we all, like, I don't know what it is you just, I realized, you know, when I'm scrolling on Instagram or I just everyone's in their own echo chamber, whether they want to be, or not, even if you are intentionally trying to broaden your horizons. So yeah. Any favorite beauty resources or travel inspiration or anything like that that you think would be a value to share on
Orion Brown ( 00:55:47 ):
Curious? Definitely. I am loving the crop of new beauty brands that are, that are coming, that are been around and they're, they're starting to build steam, I would say too, that are very top of mine. And I know both of their owners and this is not just because I know them, but they actually have amazing products. And they're really wonderful people, Undefined Beauty. So Undefined Beauty is a CBD based beauty line. That really just, I mean, it's, it's just gorgeous products. I just, so I love the packaging. I'm one of those people at Christmas. Like I might get you socks, but you will be so excited to get those socks.
Orion Brown ( 00:56:24 ):
I'm going to wrap it and I'm going to put ribbons on it. The bag is going to be dope. There might be glitter. There might be lights. Like I love a good package. And so you know, their products are all nontoxic cruelty, free vegan, eco-friendly sustainable and they're gorgeous, they're elevated. And it's just, it's just a really wonderful brand. So that's in like the skincare space in the makeup space. There's a company called Limbic beauty and they'll make stands for love and makeup in kindness. And it's a makeup line with women in color in mind, but it's made with vegan and natural and organic ingredients. So the founder Kim of that, that company had, I believe some health problems that had really created an impetus for her to clean out the products that she had in her beauty regimen. And so she's created a brand that is all about kindness and clean beauty, which is great.
Orion Brown ( 00:57:22 ):
So those are two brands that I really admire in the skincare and in the makeup space, the cosmetic space in terms of travel, I am consuming so much travel content. It's really kind of ridiculous. One of the things that recently kind of came up was the, particularly in the black travel community is that many companies that are looking for travel influencers are marginalizing a black travel influencer. So we've all seen travel influencers on Instagram, right? And there are these far-flung faces and they got paid really well to go to a party and take pictures with each other. That is the ecosystem like it, or love it or paid it. You know, you can leave it, but women of color are having a really interesting time with not being paid for their content, how their content is being used, reused in ways that weren't even attracted all kinds of craziness.
Mercedes ( 00:58:14 ):
So, you know, definitely I would suggest your viewers check out, let me make sure I have her her handle. Right. But it's arnica the traveler. She's amazing. She's done a lot of stuff for the travel channel. She does stuff on her own. Let me make sure I can spell this right. Or you can put it in the notes, but Monica, the traveler is dope. There's tons of fly with Queenie is somebody that we work with. She takes the most beautiful pictures and she's such a fun lady. And so there's just a number of folks out there. And if you check out like the hashtag, you can check out our hashtag you know, hashtag travel in color or check out even essence, a hashtag essence travels. You'll see a lot of really amazing content, creators and travelers that will inspire you. They go to beautiful places.
Orion Brown ( 00:59:04 ):
They have fun. They're amazing people. And we should have more than when our rotation and really show them some love through, through audience building.
Mercedes ( 00:59:12 ):
Definitely. Where is your next travel location? When things are safe to travel, where is your next destination? I'm curious.
Orion Brown ( 00:59:19 ):
Girl, let me tell you our Baytos just opened up. They're working on this 12 month remote traveler visa so that you can go to the country and just like chill for a few months and work from there that I am, I'm like when does my lease up I mean, cause I might have to go and they're also working on the infrastructure. So we touched on a little bit with, you know, the Caribbean it's, the Caribbean could be a little wild, right? Like, I can't always get wifi when I'm in the Caribbean. I can't always get access to like what bank accounts and stuff like that.
Orion Brown ( 00:59:56 ):
And so they're working on, they're recognizing these, they put this out in their statement. They're recognizing that there's some infrastructure, things that have to be done to make this work really, really well. And they want it to work really, really well. So that is on my list. Should they get their ducks in a row? That would definitely be on my list. Sounds amazing. We're trying to plan a trip to Greece over the holidays, but I don't know. That seems quite ambitious at this point, but we'll see. That's our next big destination. Have you been, if they'll let you in, if you feel comfortable traveling, they may not let you in. And I don't blame them cause we've been a little hardheaded, but Greece is beautiful. It's on my list as well. Just a hop, skip, and a quarter of an ocean away is Croatia. And that's been one of my favorite places on the planet to go. And it looks very similar because you've got that sort of Mediterranean coastal. It's just gorgeous and the seafood is amazing. I hope you can make it to Greece safely.
Mercedes ( 01:00:59 ):
So Orion, where can people find, you just tell us all your social handles I'll of course put everything in the show notes, but yeah. Just tell us where we can go find you.
Orion Brown ( 01:01:10 ):
Yes. So The Black Travel Box, you can find us online at www.theblacktravelbox.com or you can find us on social @blacktravelbox on Instagram, on Twitter, Facebook, basically the same idea. And if you want to find me and chat me up, I am on every social platform as Orion_Helena And I was just telling someone the other day, I'm like, they gave me two really complicated names. And then my last name is Brown. It's like go figure and it's not enough to balance it out, but that's what we got.
Mercedes ( 01:01:50 ):
Well, thank you so much for your time and for sharing with the community here today. I'm really appreciative that you came on the show
Orion Brown ( 01:01:57 ):
Yeah, this was great. Thank you so much for having me. I appreciate it.
Mercedes ( 01:02:06 ):
All right, guys, I'm back to close this out.
Mercedes ( 01:02:09 ):
Thank you so much for being here another week. These conversations that I have on the podcast are so inspiring for me. I hope that they are for you. I think it really
Mercedes ( 01:02:20 ):
Is just, this is really where podcasting as a format shines, you know, bringing these long form, it's basically sort of long form journalism conversations to life in an accessible way. And I don't know, I've just been sort of reflecting on that as the podcast grows and I continue to put in the hard work of bringing these to you every week, which is no small feat. So anything you would like to do to support whether that's becoming a patron of Lamore and the podcast, whether that's leaving a rating or reviewing of the podcast, that would be so appreciated or just coming to say, hi, I'm leaving me a comment or letting me know that you're listening on Instagram is always really welcome. I'm so appreciative of all of you who have just always been so supportive of this work. It really means a lot. I do endeavor to get back to the astrology of beauty element, to have these conversations.
Mercedes ( 01:03:22 ):
That was part of the impetus behind the name of the podcast. Your purpose is beauty. I wanted to delve into all the layers of understanding why someone is attracted to a career or a calling around beauty in this kind of very literal sense and the skincare or makeup or in the beauty industry generally. So I'm always kind of trying to toggle between someone's comfort level about having that discussed publicly or are people being open to it. So I just want you to know that that's definitely still part of my mission on here. It's still a craft that I am honing, you know, kind of in addition to a lot of the other things, I'm just such a, I know I've told you this before. I'm just such a true Gemini sun. Astrological charts are so much more than just our sun sign, but our sun sign actually is a, it can be very telling I'm a fifth house, Gemini sun with a Libra stellium and Aquarius rising.
Mercedes ( 01:04:25 ):
And I just see all of my varied creative interests as being so typical Gemini fifth house. So I'm just kind of always wanting to learn new skills and have different creative outlets of expression. And I am hoping that someday it will seem coherent to someone other than me, but yeah, I'm still always a student of astrology. It's something that I want to keep incorporating on the podcast. If that's something that interests you, please do come over to Patrion and check out the astrology of beauty reading, have all of these ideas for content that I would like to make. I think maybe I've told you this before, but I'm envisioning doing some sort of package or like downloadable videos where it would be my interpretation of a makeup look for each of the 12 signs. So Gemini as like a 10 minute makeup video, get ready with me type a video cancer makeup, look, Leo makeup, look, Virgo, makeup, look, and on and on and on.
Mercedes ( 01:05:36 ):
And do 12 of those and have that. Maybe not like as a course, right? But like as a downloadable offering type of thing for like, I don't know, 10 or $11 a video, that's an idea that I have. And then I was also like, thinking way ahead. I totally have never wanted to make my own products, but discovering the world of infused herbal body oils, I thought it would be so amazing to create this offering of infused body oils, one for each of the 12 signs of the Zodiac and create that as some sort of product offering in the future. Like wait on the line when I'm much more expert at all of this. And yeah, I'm just like, I'm delirious. It's like almost 10 o'clock at night and clearly just need to be quiet and go to bed. Okay. I'm going to go do my evening skincare and I'm too tired to take a bath, but that was kind of the plan for tonight. Thank you guys so much for being here another week. I will be here. Same time next week. Hope you'll be here as well.
Ellee is in the building - and this week she's showing us what it means to be a globe trotting Travel Crush. This native New Yorker has climbed the pyramids of Egypt, took her whole life in her hands on the swings in Bali, and she's still pumped for more challenging, new adventures. Read on for her tips on having magical experiences without breaking the bank, her favorite hack for buying cheap flights, and how she stays in villas without the hefty price tag.
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