Lynn Power left a successful 30 year advertising career, as CEO of J. Walter Thompson NY, to become an entrepreneur. She launched MASAMI, a clean premium haircare, in February 2020. And hasn’t looked back since.
I wanted to know more about her fearless journey, so I reached out to ask her some questions. Here is what she said…
Tell us what life was like before you began your fearless journey?
I had been working in the advertising industry for my entire career and was running agencies. At the time, I was the CEO of J. Walter Thompson NY. But, I found that I wasn’t enjoying it much anymore. I was dealing with a lot of administrative work (HR issues, legal issues, finance meetings, etc) and had gotten away from what drew me to the industry in the first place — building brands.
What made you want to take the leap and start your company?
I decided it was time to stop building other people’s brands and to start doing it for myself. When I left J. Walter Thompson, I actually started a brand consultancy with a partner. We worked almost exclusively with startups which I really enjoyed. I found it fulfilling to make a direct impact on their business in a very tangible way. But then I met my co-founder James, who had been working on haircare formulations for about 10 years. I loved what he was doing. We decided to partner together to launch MASAMI which we founded in 2018 and haven’t looked back.
What have you learned about yourself during this journey?
I am much more adaptable and entrepreneurial than I realized. I always knew I had an entrepreneurial gene (both my parents were small biz owners) but I wasn’t sure I would like the “grind” of it. But it turns out, I like the flexibility of working when I want and controlling my schedule. And of course, launching during Covid certainly has given me a perspective on how to pivot and not get too caught up in your plans.
What would you do over again before you took the leap? (If anything)
I would take some time to build up my clean beauty network and also a network of peers and advisors. That has been incredibly helpful and I always advise other entrepreneurs to make sure they have a strong network, but there is no reason to wait until you leave your job and start your business to do that. You should always be growing your connections and network — you never know when it might come in handy.
What is life like since you’ve taken the leap into fearless living?
I have crafted my business around my lifestyle — which is super flexible. I like being able to work in Palm Spring, NYC, The Berkshires, wherever. And now with my own business, it’s been great to be able to create my life the way I want it. I like to blend my business and personal lives (for me that works super well), so I work with friends, my kids help out and my husband is our investor. It all comes together in a really fulfilling way.
Tell us about your company.
MASAMI is clean premium haircare with a Japanese ocean botanical that’s all about hydration. Our formulas are high performing but don’t weigh your hair down — which is something our customers really love. We are also gender neutral, vegan and cruelty free. And of course, have no sulfates, parabens or phthalates. We are a DTC+ brand (we have our own e-commerce site but are also sold on Amazon, in stores like Showfields and Verishop and have salon partnerships with Spoke & Weal and DreamDry).
What is one useful tip you would share about entrepreneurship?
Make sure you understand your product and market fit (how scalable is your idea) and spend time nailing your brand proposition and brand values. This is incredibly helpful as you grow, bring new people into the team and launch new products. All too often, I’ve seen founders focus on the product vs. the brand and end up with messy messaging that needs to be reworked later.
What has been the most difficult part of your journey?
Well, launching during Covid has certainly been interesting. It caused us to rethink our salon strategy (as most were closed for most of 2020) and focus on content and e-commerce. So, the unpredictability of it all has been a hard adjustment. But it taught us to go with the flow.
What has been the most rewarding part of your journey?
I’ve really enjoyed getting feedback from our customers about how our products have transformed their hair. And we’ve created a large size ceramic bottle with refills that I love because it enables us to help the beauty industry evolve and become more sustainable which is part of our mission.
How do you stay motivated when things get tough?
I’m lucky that I have an amazing network of supporters, friends and family who have been amazing. It’s easy to be positive when things are going well, but you really see the character of your team when things are tough and we’ve all had each other’s backs, which makes me feel like we’re in it for the long haul.
Share something about your journey that you feel is important that we have not addressed.
Both James and I are “older” founders — MASAMI officially launched in February 2020 at New York Fashion week. We were both 53. You are never too old to do what you love.
Want to follow her journey?!
Thoughts?? Let me know in the comments…
Stay Fearless 💋