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  • Writer's pictureBaker Institute Team

"I have learned so much about myself."

Megan Rankin '20 | Start Up Major | Marketing Minor | Entrepreneurship and Business Information Systems Hometown | Middletown, NJ

All of the founders that were a part of LSV 2019 each shared their unique stories and how they got to where they are today. While I connected with each founder differently, my favorite founder was Nils Johnson, Co-Founder of Beautylish. Beautylish is a company I’ve known about for a while and have personally used myself. Their expansive range of products and willingness to create a positive customer experience is why I choose Beautylish over other retailers. The beauty industry is something I am extremely passionate about and I aspire to have my own cosmetics company one day. When I saw a Live Case with Beautylish was part of the LSV core program, I was excited to be in the presence of someone, such as Nils, who is so influential in the beauty industry.

Immediately my mind was flooded with questions to ask Nils, as this was such a rare and unique opportunity I was given. The reason I chose Nils as my favorite founder goes deeper than just the fact he works in my desired industry. The way he operates his company and his values are something I admire. He is more focused on pleasing the customer than making money and that is hard to come by in a founder, especially in Silicon Valley. Nils makes sure his company goes the extra mile by paying extra attention to the way products are shipped out and even includes a personalized card in each package. Nils is a very hands on founder and explained to us that he personally will email a customer back if there are any issues. As someone who frequently purchases beauty products, I appreciate when a founder cares about their customers and creates a personalized experience.

After the live case with Beautylish, my desire to create my own cosmetic company was at an all time high. Seeing how Nils and his other founders built Beautylish from the ground up has inspired me to continue in the process of creating my own startup. As part of the Startup track in LSV, we spent the day at the NASDAQ Entrepreneurial Center talking about our passions and our “why”. After diving deeper into the true reason behind why I want to start my own cosmetic company, I discovered my “why” is that I want to create a better, more inclusive community especially in a world that is so divided these days. I plan to achieve this by creating products that are all inclusive no matter skin color, age, gender and that are also cruelty free. Another exercise we did was completing a “day in my life” where we drew our values and how they were incorporated into our daily life. I presented each step of my life as a step in my makeup routine and showed how I value passion, knowledge and community. I have learned so much about myself throughout these exercises during the whole Lehigh Silicon Valley experience. This experience has made me so much more self aware to a depth I could not even imagine before coming to Silicon Valley.

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