We had the good fortune of connecting with Paige Padgett and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Paige, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
I’m a risk taker. I believe no risk, no reward. But I do think risk should be measured. Current life circumstances should dictate that amount of risk. Risk taking has always played a large role in my career. I was a pioneer of green beauty over 15 years ago when on one was talking about natural and organic cosmetics. It was especially difficult as a professional makeup artist. Editors, agents and artists said it was impossible to be a green artist and create beautiful faces. I found the right agent, the right client and it paid off for me. Now it’s on trend to be clean and green.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
I founded Erthling over a year ago. It’s my third attempt at starting a brand. In my first attempt I exited the company after 11 months. My business partner was making decisions that were causing the company to lose brand equity, so I walked away. About 18 months later he asked me if I wanted to buy the company—I passed.
I started my second company three months later. But by then I was struggling financially. I am a union makeup artist, but I found working those hours as a single mom nearly impossible. I prioritize my daughter over my work. I took a job that allowed me to take her to kinder and pick her up, eventually I had to start working in production again.
Simultaneously I was working on a product for the new brand but the product I was working on turned out not to be feasible. After sending out a test batch to influencers the feedback I received indicated to me that I needed to change the component. It turned out to be too costly to produce. I put the product on hold and ultimately scrapped the brand.
Finally I created Erthling. We are launching on Cyber Monday with a limited quantity of about 200 pieces. I’m taking less risk this time around, but I have a lot of skin in the game. I am heavily invested with time and money but it’s not all or nothing. Our first product is called SPACECREAM bio glitter vegan highlighter. I’m super proud of this product. It’s made with high-quality nourishing plant-based ingredients from the local organic farms. Our ingredients are ethically sourced and child labor-free. There are no fillers or petroleum-based products. It’s skin care with pigment and mica.
What I’m most proud of is that it’s a social impact company. We advocate for social and economic justice. We always have. Long before BLM we advocated for medium to dark skin tones and LGBTQ+ individuals. We believe that everyone deserves to be treated like core members of society—not fringe. We do this through our imagery and our messaging. We also believe that high quality natural and organic products should be accessible to all. Every product is priced at $24 or less. And for every product sold we donate $1 to Youth Emerging Stronger to provide wrap around services to homeless youth.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I always go downtown. I like to have drinks at Upstairs at Ace Hotel for the spectacular view. Maybe we’d have brunch at Bottega Louie, or The Original Pantry cafe then go to Grand Park. I would make reservations for The Broad. I am not much for seeing a lot of the Hollywood tourist attractions. I’d prefer to take someone on a walking food tour downtown or an architectural tour of Frank Lloyd Wright homes.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Ken Cook, President of EWG and Nneka Leiba VP of Healthy Living Science EWG get my shout out. I based my entire book around their methodology for evaluating hazardous chemicals in cosmetics. Their research and advocacy shaped my green beauty philosophy.
Website: https://www.paigepadgett.com, erthlinghq.com
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/we.are.erthling/, https://www.instagram.com/paigepadgett/
Erthling photo Credit: Johnny Braddock, Book Photo: Don Flood