How Fed Up Became a Startup

In My Own Words

It’s 2012, at the height of my career with Smashbox. I’ve given it my all for seven years and played a key role in helping the company become the fastest growing independent beauty brand in the country. We’ve recently been acquired and I have a set-for-life job offer. I have finally arrived — and then I quit. I’m burned out and fed up with the industry’s obsession with millenials, as well as the outdated practices and stereotypes preached to women (particularly over 40). There has to be a better way.

Right around then I meet "the one": Romeo, a retired racehorse who is also burned out from a demanding career on the track. He needs a home and I need a purpose. The two of us move from LA to my friend’s old dairy farm in Northern California’s wine country, where we live with a herd of 30 free-roaming rescue horses. As I shovel poop, bale hay and spend my days and nights in rhythm with Romeo and the herd, I begin to re-calibrate and find my center again. I begin to get still inside. Still enough to plug into a deeper wisdom, where I realize what my body needs to heal and what my heart needs to express.

Romeo’s big, soulful presence in my life was guiding me toward my fully realized self - my skin glows, my energy soars, and a raw joy and enthusiasm ignite my heart. The vibe I’m putting out even draws in my husband-to-be. Then one day I’m put squarely in contact with my truth: I’m not done with the beauty industry! Instead of walking away because I dislike the outdated values it stands for, why not champion a new narrative? Why not tell the real story that is: every woman, no matter how young, old, tall, short, skinny, fat, fair or deep, is infinitely beautiful as long as she is following her TRUTH.

The spirit of a woman who is freely expressed and self-realized is TRUE beauty.

And so it begins.

Michele Gough Baril
Founder, Iris&Romeo

 

p.s. The Iris has 3 petals that symbolize faith, valor, and wisdom. The qualities a woman needs most on her path to becoming. Iris also happens to be my Mum’s name. Love you mama!

How Fed Up Became a Startup

In My Own Words

It’s 2012, at the height of my career with Smashbox. I’ve given it my all for seven years and played a key role in helping the company become the fastest growing independent beauty brand in the country. We’ve recently been acquired and I have a set-for-life job offer. I have finally arrived — and then I quit. I’m burned out and fed up with the industry’s obsession with millenials, as well as the outdated practices and stereotypes preached to women (particularly over 40). There has to be a better way.

Right around then I meet "the one": Romeo, a retired racehorse who is also burned out from a demanding career on the track. He needs a home and I need a purpose. The two of us move from LA to my friend’s old dairy farm in Northern California’s wine country, where we live with a herd of 30 free-roaming rescue horses. As I shovel poop, bale hay and spend my days and nights in rhythm with Romeo and the herd, I begin to re-calibrate and find my center again. I begin to get still inside. Still enough to plug into a deeper wisdom, where I realize what my body needs to heal and what my heart needs to express.

Romeo’s big, soulful presence in my life was guiding me toward my fully realized self - my skin glows, my energy soars, and a raw joy and enthusiasm ignite my heart. The vibe I’m putting out even draws in my husband-to-be. Then one day I’m put squarely in contact with my truth: I’m not done with the beauty industry! Instead of walking away because I dislike the outdated values it stands for, why not champion a new narrative? Why not tell the real story that is: every woman, no matter how young, old, tall, short, skinny, fat, fair or deep, is infinitely beautiful as long as she is following her TRUTH.

The spirit of a woman who is freely expressed and self-realized is TRUE beauty.

And so it begins.

Michele Gough Baril
Founder, Iris&Romeo

 

p.s. The Iris has 3 petals that symbolize faith, valor, and wisdom. The qualities a woman needs most on her path to becoming. Iris also happens to be my Mum’s name. Love you mama!

JOIN THE CONVERSATION @IRISANDROMEO

JOIN THE CONVERSATION @IRISANDROMEO