CRO & Co-founder, P/Y/T Beauty
I started my adult journey at the University of MD where I met my now co-founder/partner Mary (Owings) Schulman. I went right into public accounting and then consulting with Arthur Andersen. After five years there, I left to go to the University of Chicago, Booth School of Business for my MBA. Following graduation (and a short stop in banking in NYC), I landed back in my childhood home, the San Francisco Bay Area working for Gap Inc. I spent 10 years there learning all things retail including CRM and ecommerce. I changed retailer employers to Sephora where I learned about the beauty industry and fell in love with it. I had the privilege of running CRM, consumer insights and consumer analytics. It was this last experience that launched me into my own beauty company, PYT Beauty®. I still live in San Francisco with my husband and 3 children.
Get through my list
Have patience and be mindful.
Get outside and run/bike/walk/climb stair
Take time to smile at a stranger.
Slow Down, we move too fast.
A Day in My Life:
What do you love most about Your City?
I live in San Francisco and I am so grateful that it is a big city. I have everything I want at my fingertips. What I really love about that is that I get to walk or ride a bike almost everywhere. San Francisco is a really small land area and walking everywhere is a real option.
Favorite breakfast meal & restaurant?
This is a hard one because I am usually getting 3 kids out the door to school at breakfast time. If I have to pick, I love Jane on Fillmore Street in San Francisco. It is about a mile from my house and they have really good avocado toast.
What are you doing at:
6:00 AM – Wake up and work out
10:00 AM – Working
12:00 PM – Favorite Lunch spot/meal? In my kitchen (I work from home) eating my avocado toast with egg whites.
7:00 PM – Getting my children through homework and putting my youngest son to bed
11:00 PM – Asleep (I hope!)
What drink do you need to get through the day and at the end (and how many)?
Coffee. Cappuccinos actually. I drink one big one in the morning and then another one at 2 pm. I try not to drink alcohol during the week, but for sure on the weekends (and Thursdays are close enough). I love a good glass of sauvignon blanc.
Most used App/Favorite Instagram Account?
@PYTBeauty of course! I use social media to keep up with my friends actually.
What should everyone try at least once?
Running a marathon. It teaches you how to train for something, endure something and recover from it!
Where do you enjoy getting lost?
On my piano. I love to play and don’t get to very often but when I do, I can really lose track of time.
My Native AdVice:
How did you get into the industry?
I was working at Sephora running consumer insights, consumer analytics and CRM. I could see an emerging trend happening with clean beauty. It was really exciting. When my college friend Mary called and had this idea, I had to jump on it with her.
Career advice to those in your industry?
I read Sheryl Sandberg’s book, Lean in and found it really inciteful. She made 2 points that have resonated in beauty. First, find a mentor. Beauty is different and having someone to go to as as sounding board or friend, is worth a lot. Second, life and work is a jungle gym not a ladder. Sometimes we move up and sometimes we move sideways. This puts a lot into perspective as you build a career over a lifetime.
Any emerging industry trends?
Ideal experience for a customer/client?
One that is so good and memorably it makes you want to tell all friends about it. Brands that have sharing power will win.
How do you motivate others?
Prior to PYT Beauty, I always ran teams of people. I have found that listening to what people want to do for their careers and helping them achieve their goals has always been a great way to motivate them. If you have people that are excited about what they’re doing and meeting their personal goals, they will give you 150% and stay loyal.
My Native AdVantage:
What are my aspirations?
I love the play, Hamilton. This has really made me think about “My Story”. What will they say about me after I am gone? It has led me to make different choices in my life. I want to be successful in my career, but I want a career and a life that leaves more than just what is on paper. I want to inspire my children to do something amazing and to learn how hard it is to build a business and really work for things you want.
My Biggest Success?
Personally? Raising my 3 amazing children to be great people. This is hard work and so rewarding. Professionally? Launching PYT Beauty®. They are actually kind of similar. When we launched PYT Beauty, I made a joke that it was like birthing a child. This baby is finally sleeping through the night but not yet walking. I cannot wait for it to be running.
My Most Challenging Moment?
Deciding to leave the corporate world for the start up one. This is a big change for long time corporate managers both physically and mentally but one that has been very rewarding to me.
My dad gave me a great motto when I was young, “Life is about trade offs”. He is really right. We can always be doing something else, living somewhere else, working for a different company. I think through my decisions with that in mind all the time and it has made it easier to make decisions and I have far less regrets.
My Favorite People/Role Models?
My grandmother was a big part of my life as a girl. She really showed me incredible qualities – patience, generosity, perseverance. I feel lucky to have had her early in my development and think she helped shape me into who I am.