We had the good fortune of connecting with Annie Tevelin and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Annie, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
I love this question because I never truly set out to start a business. I had cystic acne for years and after spending copious amounts of money on dermatologists and products that yielded minimal positive results, I decided to take matters into my own hands and go back to school to study cosmetic chemistry. I learned all about what ACTUALLY helps acne vs. what was marketed to me as a consumer. My brain exploded. I wound up going into my kitchen to create what is now the ‘Geranium Drops’ and it healed my skin in less than 40 days. I showed my before and after photos to a Facebook Group I had at the time called, ‘SkinOwl’ wherein I was a virtual beauty advisor helping people interpret their ingredient deck and select the best makeup for their skin (I was a makeup artist at the time). This was the moment SkinOwl took flight. People saw my before and after photos and freaked out. I told them I was using a product I had made in my kitchen and before I knew it, people were ordering it for their children, their husbands and themselves. That was the beginning of SkinOwl.
What should our readers know about your business?
While it has not been easy, getting to where I am today was possible because of my willingness to be who I am, even if its confusing to other people. So often in the beauty industry, people fit a certain mold. If you’re into ‘clean skincare’ you must be into yoga and juicing and meditation. That’s not me. I’m not this or that, I’m everything I want to pursue. SkinOwl is not the umbrella business of my life. Annie Tevelin is the umbrella. It’s whatever sets my soul on fire that ultimately becomes part of my brand. I think what sets SkinOwl apart from other brands is the desire to ‘come as we are.’ To grow in unpredictable ways but to have real heart in the process. Slow and steady wins the race because when you move slowly, you can see where you’re going. This brand is where it is today and who it Is today because of that pace and perspective.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Oh mannnnn! I love this question. I’d take them to see live music at The Hotel Cafe, then to dinner and copious amounts of wine at Augustine in Studio City, then to bed 🙂 I’d hike Eylsian Park, get Menchie’s FroYo and literally eat at Health Nut for every meal possible. I’d take them to Topanga Canyon, to the Sunset Restaurant in Malibu, to Taverna Tony’s in Malibu, and for a long walk along Ventura Blvd. After 17 years in LA, I know that city like the back of my hand.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
There are so many people who I want to thank as part of my journey. First and foremost, my parents. I remember the day I told them I want to start my own skincare company. They smiled and were excited which was such a great way to be received. A lot of parents would lead with their fears, but my parents sat with me and helped me think of a brand name. I want to thank my grandparents, Edie and Hank, for being entrepreneurs and giving me the ‘innovation gene.’ Building something from the ground up is an electric thing to look back on. I am grateful that I had relatives who went through the triumphs and tribulations of growing something that meant something to them. Lastly, I’d like to thank the people that took a chance on me and mentored me through my early days, Sabine Lehmann, Meredith Powell, and lastly, Howard Stern, who taught me the importance of pivoting and going after my dreams of being a podcast host even if my resume was lined in skincare.
Linkedin: Annie Tevelin
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