RowASeat1: While reading the introduction, I was very touched by your story. If you could summarize your journey through being a celebrity business manager to your diagnosis, and finally to where you are now – Can you walk me through it?
Dana Renee of Beneath Your Mask: Everything happens for a reason.
Me working in entertainment is actually what exposed me to be receptive to natural healing methods through one of my clients. I loved what I did, but it was incredibly stressful. After being diagnosed with lupus while I was living in Atlanta, I moved to LA and embarked on an intensive healing process that included chemo, Chinese herbs, juicing and working on my mental and spiritual as well. That newfound knowledge of what I was putting on my body is what made me pay attention to what I was putting in my body. I wanted to repair the damage from the lupus and medications in a natural, non-toxic way that wasn’t going to further challenge my immune system. I ultimately wanted to share not only the products I’d been creating for myself, but share my story with others who might be experiencing the same.
RowASeat1: Your story is so inspirational, and I love the concept behind your company, what would you tell a woman in her 20s-30s, struggling to figure out who she is and her place in the world?
Dana Renee: I didn’t launch Beneath Your Mask until I was 36. And while I go through those emotions of where I should be in my life at any given time, the biggest thing for me not to do is to compare my journey to someone else’s. I know social media can make that difficult. Trust your own journey, and make it a point to see the beauty in every situation, no matter how bad. That’s not always easy to do at the moment, but if I’d given up when I got lupus intensive healing and the doctor’s didn’t think I would make it, I wouldn’t be in Neiman Marcus and Bergdorf Goodman today. Don’t put a timeframe on your dreams. My dreams are way too big to even compare them to most people’s, and with that being said, I don’t share them with most people. They won’t be able to comprehend them, and that can be discouraging as well. I can’t tell you how many people didn’t believe in my business at first. Stop sharing everything you do, stop looking for validation online, get focused and make that sh*t happen. Periodt!
Trust your own journey, and make it a point to see the beauty in every situation, no matter how bad. That’s not always easy to do at the moment, but if I’d given up when I got lupus intensive healing and the doctors didn’t think I would make it, I wouldn’t be in Neiman Marcus and Bergdorf Goodman today.Quote from Dana Renee Jackson during Q&A for Row A Seat 1
RowASeat1: I noticed that your products are centered towards skin and hair, have you thought about creating a
Dana Renee: I think many women would benefit from more vegan makeup products. Vegan makeup and clean makeup are two different things because vegan makeup will still have tons of chemicals and artificial colors. I don’t want to do makeup because my focus is on skin looking great without makeup. I also don’t wear makeup in my day-to-day life. I might wear makeup twice a month for events, so I don’t think it’s something I’d be as passionate about. I do think there is a need for clean makeup for darker skin tones though because the clean makeup brands don’t cater to darker skin tones.
RowASeat1: Are your products more beneficial to women with dry or oily skin? Or, do they work for both in different ways?
Dana Renee: They work for both. I chose ingredients that balance the sebum and oil in the skin so that they’d be beneficial to all skin types. I wanted a really beautifully edited collection, so I wanted our products to work for all skin types.
RowASeat1: Congratulations on your Neiman Marcus deal! Where do you see Beneath Your Mask in two years?
Dana Renee: Thank you! Neiman Marcus was a dream come true, and something I envisioned before I even launched. I just had no idea how it was going to happen! I see us being a full lifestyle brand, adding more face care, home products, and supplements. I also see us continuing to expand internationally. Right now my focus is on building the proper team to continue to scale and grow!
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