Julep founder & CEO Jane Park and I met recently at a QVC beauty showcase and bonded over reinventing ourselves after babies and a mutual love of all things beauty and style. Jane’s success story is a great one.
Despite a law degree from Yale and an executive role at Starbucks, she left the corporate world to pursue her passion for beauty and reinvent the the nail salon as a social club for women. That was in 2007. Today, Julep has 4 Seattle-area salons and a flourishing online business of professional-quality products that are free of DBP, toluene, formaldehyde, and formaldehyde resin as well as parabens, sulfates, synthetic fragrances, petrochemicals, phthalates, GMOs, and triclosan. I’m crazy for Julep’s on-trend nail colors and style quiz that guides you towards shades that may best suit your personality.
Here’s a little Q&A I did with Jane to see what motivates her, how she recharges, and what beauty products she recommends:
Babble: You didn’t begin your career in the beauty business so what led you to Julep?
Jane Park: I started Julep out of a passion for reinventing beauty to be about connection. We started off with nail color because it’s what I love to share with my sisters and girlfriends, and I love how connection happens so naturally in our parlors.
Babble: What’s the best advice you have for those looking to start their own business?
Jane Park: Almost everything is fixable! There are so many decisions both big and small you have to make as an entrepreneur, and many of them won’t be right. My “mistakes per day” exploded when I started Julep because I was doing everything for the first time and learning so much. But the good news is that most mistakes are fixable— from typos to conversations you wish you had approached differently.
Babble: Raising kids while running a successful business is no easy feat, what steps do you take to achieve a balance?
Jane Park: One important lesson I have learned is that balance is different for everyone and it’s helpful if you think over a reasonable period of time. In any given day or week, I might be focused on one aspect of my life or the other. For example, I am not in the office early every morning because I drop my kids off at school. But there are weekend days sometimes when I’m on-air at QVC, which is a sacrifice of time with my family. The key is making sure that you are not “giving” only to one aspect of your life.
Babble: What kinds of things do you do for yourself to refresh and recharge?
Jane Park: I’ve been really into Pilates recently. I think I’m the oldest person in my class, and my instructor doesn’t really cut me any slack for that. But I started exercising when I turned 40, which is my way of focusing on me.
Babble: You live in Seattle, what are some of the best places for beauty junkies?
Jane Park: Julep Nail Parlors of course! It’s the best place for a clean, green mani-pedi with your friends.
Babble: Who are some beauty icons that you look to for inspiration?
Jane Park: I wish I had the poise of Audrey Hepburn, and I also love the approachable, effortless look of Jennifer Aniston and Jennifer Garner.
Babble: What’s your Julep Style? Mine is Classic with a Twist. I love those quizzes!
Jane Park: Bombshell, I was surprised to learn. Ever since I got that result in our style quiz, I’ve given myself permission to buy leopard print belts and scarves that I would have otherwise passed up before. I was actually telling an investor about the fact that I was a “Bombshell” and he misheard me and thought I said “Momshell”. Less sexy but maybe more accurate!
Babble: What’s new from Julep that we should be on the lookout for?
Jane Park: We are coming out with an incredible new DD crème that is so good for your skin. It’s great when makeup can also be good for you by protecting and improving your complexion. We are calling it “DD” because it is a “dynamic do-all” formula that combines the SPF and coverage of a BB with all the brightening skin care properties of a CC but with lightweight, buildable coverage.
Jane Park: Fabulous bright pedi nail colors! I am addicted to yellows, like our new color Abbie.
Babble: Is there anything special on your Mother’s Day wishlist?
Jane Park: My kids are 8 and 11, so I’m just excited to extract every last minute of snuggling out of them before they don’t think it’s cool anymore.
Babble: What can we find in your makeup bag right now?
Our Julep Dry Clean Invisible Dry Shampoo, which I love because I have dark hair, and our dry shampoo is invisible and really does take the place of a shower. 4 lipsticks (coral, red, and 2 shades of nude), 2 lip glosses, blotting paper, and mascara. Also our Mighty Nail & Cuticle Serum since I have raggedy cuticles naturally.
Need some Mother’s Day gift inspiration? Check out Julep’s Mother’s Day Gift Sets:
Julep Mother’s Day Recommendations 1 of 8
Guiding Light $54 / $43.20 2 of 8
Helping Hand $84 / $67.20 3 of 8
Infinite Love $24.99 / $19.99 4 of 8
Heart to Heart $28 / $22.40 5 of 8
Skinsational $28 / $22.40 6 of 8
Upper Hand $34 / $27.20 7 of 8
Just Add Color $26 / $20.80 8 of 8