We had the good fortune of connecting with Teju Owoye and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Teju, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
I started Clean Rebellion because I was frustrated by all of the harsh chemicals and yucky toxins in the beauty products that I was using every day. Growing up, I suffered from eczema, and I didn’t realize that some of the harsh cleansers that I was using made the problem worse. I started hacking my beauty routine by experimenting with diet changes and switching to cleaner beauty products. On this journey, I got introduced to castile soap and immediately fell in love with it! But, I struggled with the major brands on the shelves—they either used cheaper oils (like palm oil) in their blends, or they had scents that I didn’t love. So, I rolled up my sleeves, got in my kitchen, and started creating my own castile soap, which is now our signature product. Our soap is made from 100% organic olive oil and scented with beautiful, natural plant-based essential oils. It’s designed to be the perfect, mild, gentle cleanser for your skin.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
My business, Clean Rebellion, creates high-quality products with organic ingredients designed to help our customers look and feel great. Our signature castile soap is a versatile, luxurious cleanser that you can use every day. One of the unique things about our products is that each of our bottles includes a positive affirmation on the front. We decided to include these statements on the packaging because we believe that positive affirmations have the ability to transform lives. For years, the beauty industry has told us that “we’re not enough.” We’re rebelling against that messaging and it starts with our packaging. Each affirmation is for our customers. It is to remind them that they are more than enough every single day.
Getting to where I am today has been a journey of ups, downs, false starts, wins, and losses. When I started my first business, I had no clue what I was doing. It took a ton of learning, failing, and getting back up to keep going. Positive affirmations and positive thinking helped me to “stay in the game,” especially when things got really tough. I also surrounded myself with a tribe of powerful, optimistic, and supportive entrepreneurs who served as thought-partners and confidants on the journey. Additionally, I immersed myself in books, podcasts, seminars (like Thrive), and coaching programs (like M.I.T.T) that helped me increase my skills and become a better businesswoman. One of the biggest lessons that I learned over the years is that you have incredible power over your mindset. Shifting your thoughts will shift your life. It’s so important to feed your mind with positive things and to surround yourself with positive people. It’s also OK to unapologetically let go of people or things that are no longer serving you. One of my mentors also shared another powerful piece of advice that has stuck with me throughout the years—”No” is a complete sentence. We all have the right to say no to things, without any explanation or justification.
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?
L.A. is such a diverse place filled with cool neighborhoods and interesting experiences. If a friend was visiting me, I would first take them around Santa Monica to explore and experience all of the vibrant restaurants, stunning coastline, and interesting shops. We would start off by exploring the pier and then make our way to the Third Street Promenade. Then, we would head over to Montana and grab a bite at Art’s Table. Later, we would make our way over to The Detox Market and Burro for a bit of shopping. Finally, we would head to Manchego for happy hour and indulge in delicious Spanish tapas. Finally, we would head to Shutters for sunset and drinks.
Throughout the rest of the week, we would head to some of my other favorite attractions in L.A. and the surrounding area including The Getty Museum, Griffith Park, The Malibu Pier, Elysian Park, The Los Angeles Zoo, The Venice Canals, The Broad, The Museum of Jurassic Technology, and Walt Disney Concert Hall. Another day, I would take them to Marina del Rey, where we would use the water taxi to cruise around before grabbing drinks and a bite at SALT. Another day, we would break a sweat by hiking up the Baldwin Park Stairs. After we’ve worked up an appetite, we would grab lunch at “Meet Me in Paris” in Culver City. We would finish the day by relaxing at VodaSpa in West Hollywood before grabbing dinner at Laurel Hardware or Cecconi’s. For Sunday brunch, we would indulge in the fresh fare at Avra and then pop over to Wally’s in Beverly Hills for a few drinks.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I’m incredibly grateful for all of the people who have served as mentors and inspiration on my journey. I’m so blessed to have a wonderful family; my parents, sister, and brother have helped me navigate the ups-and-downs of entrepreneurship. They have been my biggest fans and cheerleaders every step of the way.
I’m an avid reader and there are so many books that have been incredibly instrumental. I’m so thankful for books like, “The Four Hour Workweek” by Tim Ferriss, “Scaling Up” by Verne Harnish, “Rising Strong” by Brené Brown, and “You are a Badass” by Jen Sincero. All of these books (plus hundreds of others) served as major catalysts at key times in my life. There are so many friends, team members, and mastermind members that have supported me—it would be difficult to list them all! I wouldn’t be where I am today without such an incredible tribe.
Emily Aguilar and Jessi Taylor