Name: Adina Grigore
Location: Brooklyn, NY
Education: Bachelor’s Degree, Fordham University (Anthropology and International Studies); Holistic Nutrition Certified, Institute for Integrative Nutrition
Job title: CEO, SW Basics
What she does: Itchy, red and inflamed: sensitive skin can be a major drag. And when you’re “epidermically challenged,” it can be nearly impossible to find skincare products that won’t aggravate it further. Adina Grigore knows the challenges of sensitive skin first hand. That’s why she concocted the very first batches of her skincare products at home in her kitchen – and continues to create new potions and lotions for her brand, SW Basics. “SW is a truly all-natural skincare line made from super simple ingredients. No frills, always five ingredients or less. We’ve grown into a full brand sold nationally and on our own site,” says Adina.
How she got her gig: Having sensitive skin ultimately lead Adina to creating her own brand of natural skin products. She always suffered from having overly sensitive skin and tried every brand under the sun, but her own. “I’ve always been interested in wellness and nutrition, but I definitely ‘fell’ into the skincare part of it. I created products to ease my sensitive skin, which evolved into a complete line and company,” says Adina. She assumed if her products were working on her, why not take it one step further and help others?
The Big “O”: “Being featured in O Magazine was huge for us. It definitely felt
like we’d made it!” says Adina. “If you get Oprah’s stamp of approval, it’s like you’ve arrived, officially.”
Reading Required: “Well and Good NYC is a big resource for me, and I love Young Entrepreneur,” says Adina.
Network Connect: Adina is dying to meet the pair that paved the way for eco- and skin-friendly cleaning products. “I’m pretty obsessed with the two guys who started Method Soap, Eric Ryan and Adam Lowry,” says Adina.
Day in the life: “I use mornings to check email and spend some time at home cleaning, doing dishes, or fretting over all the things that need to get done each day. Then I go into the office and make product, pack orders, and deal with our operations,” says Adina. “[My boyfriend/business partner] and I work pretty late, so we’ll get home between 8 and 9 pm and eat dinner before either getting back to our computers, watching sci fi, or reading until we go to bed.”
Press the Pause Button: Short bursts of yoga and meditating help to curtail Adina’s stress level. But when things get too chaotic, she opts to do nothing – for a bit. “Or, I’ll indulge in lame things like bad TV! Also focusing on one thing at a time, or taking a step back to notice that things are going great really help, too,” says Adina.
Email Meltdown: We all need to vent at some point or another, but vent responsibly, warns Adina. “I once got upset that an account of ours asked for a discount, and wrote a big angry email about how unfair it was because we’re a small company and it’s so hard to give discounts and they should know better and then I added that they were so rich and some other mean things, intending to send it to my boyfriend/business partner,” says Adina. “Instead, I sent it back to them. To this day, I regret it. I try to think about my rants before having them, and then I only do them out loud.”
Advice: Just like there is never a perfect time
to go back to school, get married or have a baby, there isn’t the perfect time
to start a new business. It takes courage, perseverance and action. “Just
start. Ignore every single excuse telling you you’re not ready. You will never
feel ready, and you are already ready. You seriously cannot create something
perfect in your head,” says Adina. “So
many people seem to think that (including me), but it’s impossible. Everything
is a draft until you put it into the world, see how it goes, edit, and try
again. You do this over and over, and that is how you have a business. And life.”
This job’s for you if: you have resilience and “a huge ego” says Adina. At least she doesn’t mince words!
Lesson Learned: Lessons are a plenty when it comes to opening up your own business. “Lord, there are so many. I’d say learning that true success takes time and insane amounts of hard work. Like insane. There’s no such thing as having a great idea and getting millions of people to care about it the next day. It sounds silly when it’s spelled out like that, but I think deep down that’s what us entrepreneurs dream about,” says Adina. “Sustainable success can take years.”