When you meet someone passionate about something it's inspiring, especially when you understand that passion. Allies founder Nu Dao is one of those women who found a problem and decided to do something about it! Skin is our biggest organ and taking care of it, understanding it and know what products to use to help do that are more important than we probably give time to.
What's your Daily Routine?
Reading, Orienting, Kickstarting, and Execution
I wake up and read daily digests to see what’s happening in the industry and massive markets such as China that we will eventually open in. China is where consumer shopping behavior is volatile and shifting constantly because of the new consumer tech and distribution methods, which means there is a ton of opportunity to experiment. A lot of the innovation in last mile fulfillment is happening there.
Skincare is seeing rapid growth in both emerging and mature markets. It’s a thrilling time in the industry and there’s so much growth and new distribution models to reach consumers. I spend about an hour reading relevant digests in the industry.
My go-to knowledge sources:
Beauty Matter (full disclosure: Kelly Kovack, Beauty Matter Founder/CEO is on our advisory board)
Jing Daily (The best China digest!)
I typically spend about a half hour planning for the day. If it’s meeting heavy, I’ll try to get low hanging tasks out of the way first. I prioritize tasks as 1 2 3 urgency level and start at 3.
A day doesn’t start without coffee! I stopped drinking dairy (strict directives from our Executive Esthetician, Yelena Royzen). I am absolutely obsessed with oat milk right now.
It sounds like exactly what it is. We have daily standups with our team where we discuss what everyone is working on and staying aligned on goals for the week and month. There are metrics we target for the supply, demand, operations, and technology.
That ranges from onboarding new brand partners, increasing our operational prowess, or deploying new features to the backend software and site.
I’m incredibly lucky to work with a team who is high output and their work ethic reflects that.
What's your favorite healthy habit?
My healthy habit is also what keeps me sane - regular exercise. It’s how I manage stress.
I try to do some cardio and sweat at least 4-5 times a week. Our office is 2 blocks from Blink Fitness - I typically go for a run around 8-9pm after my work day ends.
If I’m feeling ambitious - Barry’s Bootcamp or Flywheel!
How did you come up with Allies?
I spent most of my teens watching my mom’s daily self-care ritual -- maintaining a healthy complexion. I would always use her skincare which she would scold me for - the formulation was too “mature” for my young skin. I think it was just too expensive to use on 15 year old skin!
But I loved the feeling of actively doing something everyday to take care of yourself. It was rooted in health and not vanity. That’s always been my relationship with skincare.
When I got older and struggled with acne in my early 20s and later again in my late 20s + the dreadful year of 30! I call 30 the year of hormonal rage. Skincare then became not just rooted in health, but it morphed into being functional.
I wanted to solve my own issues but also saw so many of my friends struggle with the same issues. My passion and love for skincare combined with my experience building next gen retail platforms created the perfect storm for the job I’m meant to do in this decade and beyond!
What is your goal with Allies?
We want to help women feel empowered in their skin and make it easy to achieve that.
I looked at the CPG goods industry as a whole and realized that for decades men have been creating products for women that are not safe for women. We’re at a critical inflection point with the way personal care products for women are being manufactured and marketed to women. Transparency is so critical to this new generation of consumers. We live in the Information Age. Your ingredients should pass the Google test - plain and simple.
What's your favorite skin care product?
I love peptides and a good functional serum (read: very active). I typically store my serums in the refrigerator to maintain maximum efficacy. Vitamin C in l-ascorbic acid form can become unstable when exposed to oxidation. When it turns yellow is when you know it’s lost about 50% of its efficacy.
I cannot live without toner. For someone that has oily/acne prone skin -- it’s a supercritical skincare step for us oily people! Especially in the warmer months.
What inspires you?
Empowering women everywhere to live their fullest lives. We live in exciting times where gender roles are shifting for women.
Beauty and skincare is an industry where there is the highest concentration of women entrepreneurs. I wanted to leverage my experience, knowledge, and network of incredibly talented product marketers, designers, and engineers working in technology to build a platform and help other women get their brand and voice out.
What's your spirit animal and why?
I don’t know if you’ve heard of primal astrology but it’s when you combine your birth year (Eastern zodiac sign) and your Western astrology sign (month and day you were born).
My combination equates to the honey badger which I find absolutely hilarious! I suppose I am relentless when it comes to reaching the goals I set out for myself and the team.