Shay Hoelscher, CEO and owner of privé products is our Empowering Woman of the month of March! Read about Shay's business journey and advice she gives to women who wish to become future entrepreneurs.
What did you do before starting your business?
35+ years in the Beauty Industry, holding senior executive positions and the position before privé as a "turn around" company where I was bitten by the entrepreneur bug!
What sparked your interest in being an entrepreneur?
First and foremost, I have always thrived on leadership and to me, entrepreneurism is connected to leadership. To me, leadership is about "showing the way." Prior to privé, I had the opportunity as CEO of a bankrupted professional beauty brand and turned around the company. The process of the turnaround and creating a valuable and viable company inspired me to venture out on my own as a CEO of my own company. I have always been passionate about wellness and health and dreamed of creating a haircare brand that reflects my passion and values for wellness, health and beauty.
Looking back, did you ever see yourself ending up in a role like this?
Yes. I have always loved building relationships and for me leadership is about relationships and trust. I didn't have the exact template, but I knew that someday I would have my own company. As said in Forrest Gump, Tom Hanks says "Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know which chocolate you will get." This clearly was my next step in my journey and it's been incredible! Every day is a school day and I am driven by the challenge.
How has privé products changed your life?
The beauty industry has shaped the person I am. It has taught me many things about grit, perseverance and to never give up. These experiences have contributed to my core beliefs in work and life and feel grateful for all of the learnings.
What would you say is the best part about being a woman in this industry?
I don't really think about being female except I get the incredible opportunity to work with many other smart women. I love how women like to collaborate and to me great things always happen when we do so.
Who are other women that you are inspired by? Who is your biggest mentor?
I am inspired by many. To name a few: Cheryl Sandberg, Ruth Bader Ginsberg and Angela Scott (Office of Angela Scott Company).
What are the common problems faced by the beauty industry today?
Pandemic issues, supply chain issues that contribute to long lead time on getting raw materials and getting products made.
How do you persevere through tough times?
Lean in, be strong, collaborate with my mentors and always stay true to my core values and beliefs.
What do you want to achieve next?
Make privé products a profitable, viable and successful brand.
What are your goals in the beauty industry?
Doing things differently. Always trying new ways as everything is an experiment in my mind.
Where do your find your inspiration?
Reading, podcasts, following other likeminded companies and staying up to date on the latest technology.
What is the most rewarding part of your journey in the beauty industry?
Helping others, mentoring and celebrating their growth.
What advice do you have for young women who are considering their future career and dreams?
Anything is possible. Never give up. Be fierce. Be confident. Do the right thing and seek to find your inner compass. Lead by example. Be kind and bring grace to those around you.
What is the one book that you would recommend to every aspiring female entrepreneur?
I have a few! Atomic Habits by James Clear. Lean In by Cheryl Sandberg. Dare To Lead by Brene Brown. The Infinite Game by Simon Sinek.
What behavior or habit have you adopted that has had the biggest impact on your business?
Being transparent, being curious, giving feedback and creating an environment that includes inclusion and equity and caring.
What advice would you give to your younger self in relation to life and work?
Always follow your gut.