Building your own beauty empire: it is something many women dream of. 25-year-old Julia Veer decided to take a leap of faith and founded together with her foliage Randy Feliz, the greedy beauty brand Clay and Glow. But how did she do that? And is running your own business really as fun as it seems? We called Julia to ask her the shirt of the body.
Clay and Glow
If you haven’t seen it in the ICI Paris store, you’ve probably spotted the brand in the beauty bag of many an influencer. Clay and Glow is an incredibly popular skincare brand and knows how to conquer the market enormously. With products that each do something good for your skin and also come in a photogenic packaging, the brand is continuously growing in popularity.
Was it always Julia’s dream to start her own beauty brand? Not really. Although entrepreneurship has always been in her blood. “It wasn’t always my dream to be an entrepreneur, but back in my school there was always a mother who came to pick up her son from school – I think she was a real estate agent or something. She would wear those high heels and then I would think: I want to be like her. Not necessarily as an entrepreneur, but just because she really was a businesswoman.”
“I want to be able to say: this is my brand.”
After quite a few side hustles, Julia was sure she wanted to set up something herself. “I really wanted a brand of my own. That I have made a product and can say: this is my brand.”
‘I’m just going to design my own products’
Julia herself regularly suffered from skin problems. There was actually no product that really worked well for her skin – and that got her thinking. “Until I used a mask for my face and had a mega allergic reaction. My face was super red, hurting and then I saw that the product I was using was real full of shit fed up. So I thought: I’m just going to design my own product.”
Have you ever looked at a jar of a beauty product, then you know that beauty products contain many different ingredients with complicated names. Julia can also talk about this and quickly says that she really has no chemistry knowledge about this. “I have no knowledge of beauty and ingredients, so we quickly looked for an expert who does understand them. Then we talked to a man and he said: we are going to do this.”
“People think I cobbled this together at my own kitchen table, but of course he did this in his own factory.”
What were the biggest obstacles?
“If I had known in advance what was involved, I wouldn’t have done it,” laughs Julia. There is so much that comes your way that you know nothing about – and that you have to Google again and again. It is precisely that naivety that has had a positive effect.”
If there’s one thing Julia hadn’t considered, it was the amount of patience she had to have. You would think: you design a product, it is developed and then you sell it. But that is very different in practice. “So many things come your way and things go completely different than you expect, so that can be quite possible overwhelming are. Your patience is really being tested.”
“Do you think it’s too much work? Then you don’t really want it.”
Do you want to start your own business? Then you really have to be behind it one hundred percent, according to Julia. “You should prepared to do a year or two or three less. So hand in on your social life, finances or lifestyle. You have to give up to start a business,” she explains. “No holiday or dinner for once, but your focus on your business. Randy and I did the bare minimum to put as much into our business as possible. If you can, then I think you’ve already made it. Do you think it’s too much work? Then you don’t really want it.”
How do you keep this up 24/7?
Julia and her partner normally do well in running their own business. For example, Clay and Glow now has its own office and already employs eight people. For Julia it sometimes still feels very unreal, but also very nice. Yet running your own business is extremely tough. The work always goes on – and that is something Julia sometimes encounters. “I don’t think I can ever turn it off in my head, but I don’t mind because I like doing it. I do set targets, so that when that goal is achieved, I treat myself to something nice like a weekend away. That’s how I keep it up.”
“Before, I didn’t even know it was Saturday or Sunday, because I always worked from home, then everything got mixed up. Now that I have an office I really try to avoid that.”
Running a business with your partner: is that fun?
Collaborating with a partner? That is something Julia can really only recommend. Provided you are both the same goals have in mind. “It is also just really nice to work on something together, you have a goal together, together the wins. I would advise everyone to do it together with your partner, but only if you really want it together. Otherwise one is running faster than the other.”
Julia honestly says that she and Randy can argue a lot when it comes to work. “Do we ever have a fight? Yes, every day. Well, arguing, it’s nice discussions. It’s really nice that you can enter into that discussion, because I would never have that with the girls at the office, then I’ll tell my story ‘nicely wrapped’. We both have our own tasks at the office and that makes working very pleasant. So we each do our own thing.”
Nothing is what it seems
Julia really wants to debunk the fact that running your own business is all roses and moonshine. “Entrepreneurship is not just glitz and glamour. I show on TikTok that I record a podcast and visit events, but that is not the case for the first three years. Then you’re on the laptop in an attic room struggling to pay your rent. It is not always as beautiful as you show on social media. If you have yet another task that you don’t feel like doing, or that is very boring, don’t share it. It’s not as easy as it seems.”
Via TikTok, Julia is busy uploading videos that give a realistic picture of her day. Because many people don’t expect it, but as an entrepreneur you really spend 90 percent of your days at the office.
@juliaveerx Day in my life | Episode 10
From manifesting to thinking in solutions
Busy days at the office, setbacks and a lot of patience: it’s all part of it. However, Julia does have an important lesson for all women who also want to become successful entrepreneurs. Are the numbers up? Then Julia says she adheres to an important rule. “I always try to think in terms of solutions, to see what causes it. We have a kind of golden rule: focus, constant and innovation. Whenever things go wrong, one of the three goes wrong. Sometimes we are so busy with meetings, but then things go wrong with sales. Then you know that the focus was not there. For example, being constant is very important on TikTok, sometimes I’m so busy that I forget those videos, because only when you’re constantly busy, things go well.”
And last but not least manifesting has also played a major role in the success story of Clay and Glow. “I have a vision board in the background of my phone with all the goals I want to achieve. I also state my goals and pretend it has already happened. For example, by taking a picture of Sephora, because I would like to lie there one day. Putting this photo on my vision board makes me believe that these goals are not impossible. Why you have to pretend it’s going to happen? Than act you too.”