CEO & Co-Founder, P/Y/T Beauty
A beauty straight-talker juggling the business world with mom life, P/Y/T Beauty CEO Mary Schulman has long been an expert on balancing conference calls with homework help. She’s a serial entrepreneur with an eye for the next big thing and the instincts to follow through.
Back in 2007, after 10 years working in the finance industry, she branched out and founded the better-for-you snack company Snikiddy®. Why? Well, she had become a mother and was concerned about her kids’ health—creating a line of delicious snacks with good ingredients seemed like the right move at the right time. At Snikiddy, she served as the head of sales and marketing for the company, overseeing all programs and initiatives, strategic planning, product and recipe development, and more. Utz Quality Foods, Inc. acquired Snikiddy in late 2015, soon after, Mary realized that the same trends she had seen in the food industry (consumers looking for natural ingredients and fewer preservatives) was now true in the beauty world. Once again, her instincts (and her conscience) served her well—seeking to fill a need for cleaner, better cosmetics, P/Y/T Beauty was born.
As for her own routine, Mary regularly rocks the au natural look, opting for a mix of high-impact and low-maintenance looks (but she’s never without P/Y/T’s Primed + Ready Mascara). Mary works hard but knows the importance of unplugging and unwinding after a long day—preferably with a glass (or two) of her favorite Sauvignon Blanc.
I seek balance in my life although, like so many of us, I struggle to achieve it. In a perfect world, I do yoga every day to ground myself and clear my head. The truth is, when I do commit to going, I find it challenging to focus on the task at hand. But I try to be kind to myself—I’m the co-founder of a start-up, raising 3 children plus a dog and a cat, not to mention trying to be a good wife and partner—there’s a lot on my plate. But I love intensely in all areas in my life and it’s this very passion (for my work, my family, and my well-being) that has led me to create products that help make life a little less complicated. I’m proud of that.
Side Bar – I don’t have patience for tardiness, it’s one of my biggest pet peeves.
Goal of the Day: Making time to center myself. I try for 10 minutes every morning—I have to set an alarm, otherwise I keep opening my eyes to check the time (it always seems like the longest 10 minutes of every day).
Thanking God for all the gifts he has provided.
Walking the dog…I actually do love this!
Complimenting someone each and every day.
Be generous with gratuity, donations and tipping (it always come back around).
A Day in My Life:
What do you love most about Your City? I love Washington, D.C. for its beautiful architecture and museums (although I don’t go to them nearly enough). This year, I’m planning on getting tickets for the National Museum of African History and I’m really excited about it.
Favorite breakfast meal & restaurant? Avocado…anything. Basically, put an avocado on it and I’m in. My favorite new spot is Jullii in Rockville, MD.
What are you doing at:
6:00 AM – Working out (If it’s a good week, I try to do 3 days…but I sleep in on the weekends for sure!)
10:00 AM – At my desk, working hard.
12:00 PM – Favorite Lunch spot/meal? Cava, of course. My husband is the CEO, so I’m just a little biased—but it’s my honest answer, too! I would eat there just as much as if he weren’t involved.
7:00 PM – Eating dinner with my family. We make an effort to eat together as much as possible. It’s challenging with everyone’s schedules, but when we can pull it off, it’s always special.
11:00 PM – Sleeping! Bedtime in my house is 10pm.
What drink do you need to get through the day and at the end (and how many)?
Sauvignon Blanc–two-ish glasses.
Most used App/Favorite Instagram Account?
Life360. It’s an app/family coordinator that helps us keep track of each other. I love having it on my teenage girls’ phones—although they’ve fully turned the tables on me and each Friday, they give me my driving report including hard stops, rapid accelerations, and phone use in the car!
IG account –
I have several favorites it’s the artistic look that always catches by eye anything beauty, healthy living, food, home décor, landscaping and family oriented.
Here are a few
What should everyone try at least once?
This was really hard for me to answer. I thought about it for a couple of days. On a surface level I would say a new look (change up your makeup, your hair, your clothing style) and see how it feels. On a deeper level, try something spiritual such as meditation, yoga or prayer.
Where do you enjoy getting lost?
In a good book
My Native AdVice:
How did you get into the industry?
My career has kind of mirrored my eldest daughter as she grows up. I say this because I founded Snikiddy Snacks when she was young, knowing moms like me would want healthier (but still delicious) snack options for their families. Fast forward a few years to when she’s 13 and starting to dig into my makeup bag—this pushed me to take a closer look at the ingredients in the cosmetics we wear every day. I realized there was a need for high-performance, yet affordable makeup that doesn’t use harsh chemicals and isn’t tested on animal (things we like to call “BS”…aka “bad stuff”). This is where the concept came from, but P/Y/T Beauty is for anyone ready to make the jump to cleaner beauty products—teens, adults, anyone.
Career advice to those in your industry?
It’s not easy. I recently read a quote from Alisha Ramos, the founder of Girls’ Night In, that I thought said it so perfectly: “‘Just quit your job and do it’ is bad and privileged advice.” You really do have to go in with a plan. You have to know you have a differentiated product and there’s a consumer need for it. It took us two years to create P/Y/T Beauty, and that includes both the brand positioning and products themselves.
Any emerging industry trends?
CBD oil for sure. Much like my avocado point above, it seems like all it takes is for someone to throw a little CBD oil into something and people are willing to give it a try. I do believe and hope that label transparency will increase.
Ideal experience for a customer/client?
We want our customers to feel confident from the inside out. We want them to love the way they look and know they’re using makeup with better ingredients to get there (and they haven’t tapped their savings account in the process—that’s big, too!).
How do you motivate others?
I believe in giving those that work with me the ability to make their own decisions and manage their own budgets. I am a “No BS” kind of woman, which means that a compliment is real, but it can also mean honest, hard feedback happens, too. For the record, I also want honest, hard feedback coming my way as well.
My Native AdVantage:
What are my aspirations?
Both personally and professionally, I want to inspire women to be leaders, founders, risk takers, and entrepreneurs.
My Biggest Success?
I would say co-founding P/Y/T Beauty. The first time you start a company, it’s with a bit of naiveté. The second time around, you go in with both eyes open because you know more. It makes it even more challenging in many ways.
My Most Challenging Moment?
My most challenging moment was less of a “moment,” and more of a specific time in my life, I’d say. I’d just founded Snikiddy Snacks. I had a young daughter and a baby (they’re 18 months apart). I was trying to run a business and also juggle two young children—not to mention, my husband was COO of Snikiddy as well. It’s funny, at the time I didn’t know how we’d get through, but looking back, I think it made our family stronger and more resilient.
Try to look at every day from a positive angle, but not at the risk of delusional thinking.
My Favorite People/Role Models?
My mom is my favorite role model. She is insightful, kind, and full of amazing advice (only when asked) and lives by the rule of “No BS.” She also taught me to say “no,” which can sometimes be hard for women, because we like to do it all. But saying “no” when something doesn’t work for you feels great and we should all do it more often.