Divya Gugnani is a self-confessed serial entrepreneur, serious Girl Boss, mother of two, and Co-Founder of Wander Beauty, the brand coveted for creating multitasking beauty products that streamline your routine and make getting ready easier. Read on to learn more about the chance meeting that led to launching Wander Beauty, her top three tips for entrepreneurs, and how she manages to sneak daily self-care time into her busy schedule.
Q. Tell us about meeting your now business partner Lindsay Ellingson, what led you to starting Wander Beauty together, and how your business and community have evolved along the way?
I met Lindsay at a party shortly after I had my daughter. I was itching to get out of the house, and it ended up being fate that I was invited to a party hosted by a mutual friend. Lindsay and I instantly bonded over our love of travel and beauty, so we scheduled a lunch to get to know each other. As we talked more and more over that lunch, we both realized that even though we had such different lifestyles (her a jet-setting model, myself a mom of two and entrepreneur), neither of us felt spoken to by the beauty brands of today. Beauty brands were telling us we needed dozens of steps in our routine, and none were speaking to our busy lifestyles. We knew we were onto something, but to be sure, we surveyed 100 women to see what their own beauty pain points were. What we heard was much of what Lindsay and I had discussed: Women wanted fewer products that made getting ready easier and allowed them to do more with less. They were also doing beauty beyond the bathroom, just like us.
We started Wander Beauty to focus on multitasking beauty essentials that streamline your routine and cut through the clutter of products. We launched with our On-the-Glow Blush & Illuminator, which can be used on eyes, lips, cheeks and body for a full face in a single stick.
Since then, we’ve grown our collection to 40+ essentials in color, skincare and hair. The average woman has 15 minutes to get ready each morning, and we’re the go-to brand to deliver solutions that allow her to maximize that time. We’ve continued to keep our customer at the core of everything we do, and she informs our product development decisions 360-degrees.
Q. There are so many different opinions on entrepreneurship - jump in and start, take your time and plan it all out, side-hustle life, the list goes on and on. As a self-confessed serial entrepreneur. What are your thoughts on the topic and can you share three tips or life lessons you would give to someone thinking of starting their own business?
I was an accidental entrepreneur, but after I started and sold my first business, I was hooked. In my career, I’ve started four companies and invested in over 60 startups over the past 19+ years. Every entrepreneur has their own journey, and there isn’t one “right” way to start, but here are my top tips:
- Make sure your business is solving a problem or an unmet need.
- Find the white space.
- Continuously learn and iterate.
Q. Between Wander Beauty, two small children, travel, business commitments, and speaking engagements, how do you balance it all and make time for your own health and wellness? Do you have a regular workout routine, carve out self-care time, or spend your Sunday meal prepping? Share a typical day or your go-to tactics for making it all looks so easy.
Every day, I meditate in the morning and evening, which I’ve been doing since I was in 7th grade. I sneak in self-care time in small chunks. Even during the busiest days: I spend 10-20 minutes stretching or exercising in the morning, I take a call while walking so I can get my steps in, and I always devote Sunday nights to a full skincare routine. My husband and I will put on our Fast Lane Instant Facials together, and catch up on our shows on a Sunday night.
Q. What is your personal beauty philosophy and how do you share that with your daughter/children?
My beauty philosophy is the same as our brand philosophy: I believe in fewer, better beauty essentials. I want my daughter to feel just as confident without makeup on as she does with it on.
Q. As a true Girl Boss, serial entrepreneur, wife, mother of two, and Co-Founder of Wander Beauty, tell us – what’s in your bag?
- S’well Bottle: I’m constantly drinking water throughout the day and this allows me to take it from meeting to meeting.
- Notebook: I’m always writing things down, whether it’s a to-do list or notes from a meeting.
- Metrocard: Since I’m always bouncing around from meetings to dinners to the office to home, and I get car sick, I prefer riding the subway. My bag is usually overflowing with Metrocards.
- Play All Day Translucent Powder: One of my favorite products that we make! The problem with translucent powder is that is usually comes loose, which means it’s a mess to take beyond your bathroom. We reinvented this must-have for touch ups by putting the powder inside of an antimicrobial puff. That means I can blot my face before a meeting without being stuck in a cloud of powder. A lifesaver for sweaty summer days!
- Nude Illusion Liquid Foundation: Like I mentioned, I’m always on the move. This foundation has a doe foot so that I can use it as foundation, concealer or to spot correct. Plus, it’s in a tube which means it won’t ever break in my bag.
- Pistachios: I always keep healthy snacks on me so that I can balance out the pizza that often acts as lunch. Life is all about balance, right?
- New Products I’m Testing (white tube and glass jar with pump): The entire team at Wander are guinea pigs - we’re always testing new products on as many people as possible to get feedback. I’m enjoying these two so far!
- Lipsetter in Nolita Nude: My go-to “my lips but better” shade. Our Lipsetters are liner and lipstick in one single component, so I always have a full lip to dress up or down on demand.
- Sunglasses: If I didn’t have time to put on mascara, sunglasses instantly make me look put together (and they also block out the sun, of course!).
For more details on Divya’s Transience bag, see our Swing Bag 02 in Plum Scuba.
This interview was crafted by Tonya Mann @BeautyTipsy