Preview Mode Links will not work in preview mode

The Social Impact Startup

Nov 16, 2020

Valerie Smith is the Founder of Klei Beauty, a sustainable self-care brand based in Brooklyn, NY. They believe that taking care of self should never be at the expense of others. For that reason they are 100% 1. Cruelty-free, 2. Water-free, 3. Natural, 4. Recyclable and 5. Charitable. They are on a mission to provide affordable self care while operating with a social impact business model giving 10% of their profits back into the Brooklyn community at three different non-profits.

Valerie started her career in the fashion industry in buying and planning. Although her roles in fashion gave her insight into how manage data & strategically plan, the industry wasn’t right for her.

She started Klei as a side project without the expectation of it becoming its own company. Unhappy at her corporate job, the growth of her company allowed her to plan her exit from fashion. She set a date and financial goal, working & saving for an entire year before making the leap from a 9-5er to being a full-time entrepreneur.

In this episode we discuss:

  • Why taking a leap of faith can be the best thing to do for your mental health
  • How she bootstrapped her business & the moment that changed everything
  • How she creates her sustainable, water-free formulations
  • The tools she uses to help grow & scale her business
  • And why she believes that there’s never a “good time” to start a business & if you want it, you can never start soon enough

Valerie’s story shows that it’s important to give yourself the green light to take risks - even if you are incredibly risk-averse -  and proves that you can give back to your self while giving back to your community.

Connect with Valerie & Klei Beauty


Our intro theme song is “Pico & Westwood” by Esbie Fonte. Check her out here: