We had the good fortune of connecting with Pia Beck and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Pia, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
There wasn’t much of one, to be honest!
My story starts in the tech and startup world: 60+ hour weeks in People Operations where I crafted departments from the ground up, doubled national teams, and spun up infrastructures to hit goals faster and fuller.
I realized there was only so much change I could make from within a container built by someone else. And so, I set out to build my own business from the ground up, and to do what I’ve always been great at — being organized AF, grounding the big vision in the details, and creating intuitive systems that can be implemented in a replicable way.
I started my business with no idea of what it would actually be. I just knew that I wouldn’t find fulfillment grinding for someone else’s goals. I started a social media account doing leadership and life coaching, and hosting workshops around vision and goals. In May 2019, I went full time — with no financial runway and no leads, and through lots of intuitive changes, and rapid iteration, started building what Curate Well Co. is today.
Over the last 2ish years, Curate Well Co. has grown hard and fast to serve hundreds of clients — women (identifying)-owned small businesses — all over the world. So far this year, we’ve had clients from all over the US, plus Spain, Russia, Australia, UK, Mexico, and Qatar. We have a membership with +200 members, also located globally, and have cultivated an online community of tens of thousands of women-identifying leaders.
Today, Curate Well Co. helps impact-driven leaders build a brand and business bigger than themselves.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
Curate Well Co. is a consulting and community platform for impact-driven innovators and entrepreneurs who want to set a new standard and scale with intentionality by catalyzing community.
Through strategy and structure, custom-curated solutions, and the resources you need to access the right opportunity and extend your reach, we’ll partner with you to execute your vision with ease so you can impact hundreds of thousands of lives.
We take a community-based approach to brand- and business-building, love to dig into the data to make big decisions, and believe that women can change the world without wearing makeup.
I’ve faced a lot of challenges in building this business. I hosted so many events that hardly anyone attended — I led workshops for two, then five, then 15 people — now our membership has +200. At the beginning it was really tough to pour so much into serving people and have the attendance be so low. I questioned whether I could actually pull this thing off. I questioned if I was really credible enough to be the kind of leader I wanted to be. I questioned whether my dreams were even possible. We see people growing so quickly on social media, and it’s easy to compare ourselves to that. But what people don’t see on social media is what it takes to show up for your ideas before others can hold the vision with you.
The drive to continue pushing through comes from our community. Our clients and community are such an inspiration to me! A friend recently told me that my face lights up and she can hear it in my voice when I’m on to something that’s going to change someone’s life.
What really helped me shift my mindset in those early days was remembering that I had the ability to cause something really significant for the people who did show up. It was about remembering that there are humans on the other side of our goals, our offers, and our thriving businesses — if we can make it about people, we’ll persevere.
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 live in Santa Barbara — and it truly is one of my favorite places in the world, because my soul feels at peace here. We’re actually starting to host in-person immersions here (the Santa Barbara experience, plus a full day of consulting), so your question is so timely and something we’ve been thinking about a lot!
A few musts: coffee at Handlebar, a walk on the beach (I love the Mesa Lane Steps beach, and Parado Lane is another favorite), and tacos — the best are at Lilly’s and Mony’s. There are a few local retail companies that are must-visits: Parker Clay makes leather goods that empower women in Ethiopia through fair wages, financial literacy, and more; Seavees is a local shoe brand that does casual comfort so well; and Idyll Mercantile is a fabulous little plant shop (it was founded by a CWco. community member!).
Happy hour in the Funk Zone is always fun too, and for lunches and dinners, I’d recommend Kanaloa for Poke Bowls, Sakana and Arigato for sushi, and Cubaneo for cuban food. Oh, and our farmers’ market is unmatched! You can catch it on Tuesdays or Saturdays.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
A book that’s been really influential in my vision for Curate Well Co. is Little Black Stretchy Pants by Chip Wilson. It tells the story of his founding of lululemon and goes through all the failures, pivots, starts and stops that took him to that place. It offered me such valuable perspective that it’s actually required reading for all Curate Well Co. employees!
The Deep Well