Behind Her Empire
Behind Her Empire
Oct 26, 2020
Finding Your Why & Living Your Purpose with Karissa Bodnar, Founder of Thrive Causemetics
Play • 56 min

Karissa Bodnar is the Founder and CEO of Thrive Causemetics, a high-performance vegan, cruelty-free direct-to-consumer cosmetics brand.

Karissa grew up on a farm in Washington state and always loved creating makeup since she was a young girl. After working as a make-up artist to pay her way through college, she landed a job at Clarisonic and then was working in L'Oréal’s luxury division. Karissa never aspired to start her own business until she lost her dear friend, Kristy, to cancer at just 24 years old. As Karissa reflected on the generous life Kristy lived, she felt inspired to take action on her passion and create a brand that was truly bigger than beauty. A month later, Thrive Causemetics was born. Starting out, Karissa self-funded the business, made formulas on her kitchen counter, and fulfilled orders all out of her 1-bedroom apartment. 

Six years later, Karissa has built a company with philanthropy at its core. Thrive Causemetics has donated over $100 million in funds and products to women's charities since inception. However, none of this could have been done if it weren’t for the success of her products. Thrive Causemetics has grown to be a multi-million dollar company and is known for its best sellers which include Liquid Lash Extensions Mascara (one was sold every 5 seconds), Infinity Waterproof Eyeliner, and the Buildable Blur CC Cream. 

Acknowledging her amazing work and success, Karissa has been named in Forbes’ 30 Under 30, Forbes’ America's Richest Self-Made Women, Marie Claire’s Most Powerful Women and Inc.’s Badass Female Founders list.

In this episode, we'll talk to Karissa about:

* Karissa shares her childhood living on a farm and how it impacted her creativity at a young age [3:06]

* How working at Clarisonic really change the trajectory of her career and what she thought was possible [8:54]

* How the passing of Karissa’s best friend, Kristy, inspired her to re-evaluate her purpose and start a company [11:20]

* Karissa shares how she designed her life to self-fund the new brand she wanted to launch [14:40]

* Karissa discusses why trial and error was essential to creating awareness for her new products [19:20]

* The importance of hustle and grace when launching a business & how Karissa landed a spot on Good Morning America [26:14]

* Karissa walks through what helped the company go viral after two years of slow growth [32:00]

* Key advice and tips she gives to other entrepreneurs looking to build a business [35:10]

* Karissa explains how constant rejections in the early days pivoted the way she thought about the business [40:36]

* How Karissa manages her mental health during difficult and challenging times [43:36]

* The toughest lesson Karissa learned on her entrepreneurial journey [45:13]

* How to build a network and the importance of reaching out to people who can help you with your goals [47:46]

Follow Karissa:

* Personal Instagram:

* Thrive Instagram:

* Thrive Website:

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