When I was a kid, I thought it was cool that my dad developed products for big companies, but I always wanted him to launch his own brand so that he would have the freedom to create anything he wanted. I love meeting entrepreneurs who make their ideas come to life—whether those ideas take the form of digital assets or tangible, physical products. I met the star of today’s Q&A at the We are Women Owned popup event at Artists and Fleas in SoHo, NYC. As the founder and CEO of The Rooted Brand, I know how busy she must be, so I’m thrilled and honored that she’s participating in this Q&A.
Read on to find out what drove her to start her own company, and what kinds of beauty products she likes to use to put the “babe” in “boss babe.” She’ll also share some sage advice for anyone out there who’s thinking about launching their own company. (Speaking of sage, The Rooted Brand produces a sage-based smokeless smudge spray that’s “the ideal blend for new beginnings.” Fitting, no?)
Here’s Josmery in her own words:
Dominican New York native, Josmery Brito, is the founder and artisan behind The Rooted Brand, a smokeless smudge spray line. Josie B gives us a glimpse into tradition and the rich history of smoke ritual and lends it a modern twist through her hand-poured, ethically-sourced creations. Each blend is specially curated with its individual affirmation, its Rooted Mantra, and serves the company’s mission to create access and education to wellness for all.
Q&A with Josmery Brito, CEO of The Rooted Brand
1. Could you tell us what inspired you to start The Rooted Brand? Was there an “aha!” moment, or have you always wanted to do something like this?
It’s funny that you mention the “aha” moment. Smudging has been a part of my family’s tradition for as long as I can remember. And the smudge sprays, well those I had already been making for myself for over two years. The idea to turn this practice into a product line came to me while I was re-reading one of my favorite books, Paulo Coelho’s The Alchemist, just this year. Mid-read, I experienced what I can only describe as a spiritual download. It was a call to bring my sacred creations mainstream. Visions came through describing the aesthetics of the bottle, the packaging, which blends to create… everything down to the name “The Rooted Brand” was made clear. (Talk about alchemy, huh! I can’t make this stuff up!)
2. What was the biggest challenge you faced when launching your company? What’s the hardest part about being a CEO/founder and what’s the best part?
As a creative with no background in business, building a company from the ground up, while exciting and rewarding, has also proven to be quite challenging. There’s so much to learn from licensing to trademarks, web design, point of sale, marketing, wholesale… the list goes on and on. The learning curve is steep but every day feels like a new adventure!
3. Could you give us an idea of your skin “personality” and concerns (hyperpigmentation, redness, etc.)? Are there any particular products that are really effective for you?
I have acne-prone combination skin that’s very sensitive to hyperpigmentation, which results in both oily and dry patches and acne scarring all year round. What I’ve found to be the most helpful is keeping a minimalist skincare routine; as natural and as few products possible.
Here’s what you can always find in my bathroom cabinet: Neutrogena’s Ultra Gentle Hydrating Cleanser and Oil-Free Moisturizer for sensitive skin. Pro Tip: I add a drop or two of frankincense oil to my moisturizer bottle to aid in scar reduction and firming. Plus it gives my skin a nice glow.
For makeup removal, I use Garnier SkinActive’s Micellar Cleansing Water prior to washing my face. I also mask intermittently. In my current rotation is GlamGlow’s Supermud Clearing Treatment, while my forever favorite is Aztec Secret’s Indian Healing Clay + Bragg’s apple cider vinegar.
4. Could you describe your hair type and what hair products you like to use?
I have fine curly hair with finger-sized coils so for me it’s important that I moisturize my strands without weighing it down. Every few weeks I’ll make a homemade mask, like my mayo and olive oil duo, and then follow up with my normal wash and style regimen. I use Love Curl Shampoo & Conditioner by Davines and Mixed Chicks’ Leave-In Conditioner.
All of the above mentioned are sulfate and paraben-free, feel gentle, and are lightweight. Between washes I simply re-wet my hair in the mornings with a mist bottle and head out the door. This quick and simple routine is ideal for my busy, on-the-go schedule.
5. Are there any other skincare or hair care products that you’re currently using and loving?
My dermatologist recently recommended a sunscreen that’s specially formulated for my skin type: EltaMD’s tinted UV clear broad spectrum SPF 46. I’ve just added it to my shopping cart, so I’ll keep you posted on how that goes. 😉
6. Do you travel a lot for work? Do you change your usual skincare/beauty routine when you’re traveling at all?
I am sometimes called to travel for trainings or trade shows. When I do, I tend to keep my beauty routine simple and consistent since my skin is quite sensitive to changes. My toiletry bag is stocked with travel-sized bottles of my skincare & haircare staples. Whenever I’m running low, I simply refill from my full-sized bottles which saves me a ton in the long run.
7. Do you have any advice for anyone who’s considering starting a company?
Having a strong support system is everything as an entrepreneur, so no matter how small you’re starting off, make sure to build your team. Lean in on your friends and family, and play to their strengths. We boss babes wear many hats and often work around the clock, so make sure to also carve out time for yourself.
Beauty and brains
I loved hearing Josmery’s advice for entrepreneurs—and I even picked up a new tip to try for my acne scars (has anyone else tried using frankincense oil?). Thanks to her, I’m definitely going to think of the awesome term, “boss babe,” whenever I meet people who are working their butts off to pursue their dreams.
Check out The Rooted Brand’s line of smokeless smudge sprays here.
P.S. Are you an entrepreneur, blogger, artist, or other type of human who would be interested in participating in a Q&A like this? Get in touch with me here!