Today we’d like to introduce you to Jen Fassino.
Jen, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I started my hair journey in the small city of Eau Claire, Wisconsin, about 65,000 residents. My smaller suburb high school class was about 35 students. To paint a picture of where I started. After a few years behind the chair, I noticed issues arising with my skin and was suffering from reactions to certain styling products. In my free time and with the direction of a client in the chemistry field, I started to study cosmetic chemistry to better understand the issues.
Research, along with trial and error lead me to discover what my irritants were. I limited their use in my hair and skincare routines and noticed improvements almost immediately. I quickly learned that the market was lacking products I could use. The acceptable products I did find, were ineffective or not up to my standards as far as performance goes in hair care styling products. So I started to create my own and work with a “green” chemist in California.
My personal goals were changing in Wisconsin, so I made a decision to move to Los Angeles to work on creating the brand and pursue session styling to supplement income. (*A session stylist is a hairdresser who works on sets/locations for photoshoots, TV, and film.) It took three weeks to find an apartment, a “somewhat” lead on a job and to tie up loose ends at the salon space I owned.
Fast forward three years, I’ve worked at an infamous “A-List” Beverly Hills salon, another well-known blow-dry only based business, and worked with the leading international agency that represents celebrity hairstylists. Networking within those outlets helped shape the current success the business is experiencing. It took 4 years to develop and save enough capital (I am self-funded) to create four products and fund my brand. On April 1st, 2019 we launched our first product, Transcend Serum, a CBD infused hair treatment oil.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
I feel, if a business owner tells you they’ve had smooth sailing for the entire process, they are full of shit. The biggest hiccup we’ve experienced so far would have to be an incident with our website and merchant services. Since we use CBD as an additive in our products, most e-commerce platforms don’t allow for credit card processing. On our launch day, we received an influx of orders and started to fulfill them to ship. The next day, our e-commerce platform flagged us for illegal activity and canceled and refunded EVERY SINGLE ORDER! Even after we shipped a few units out.
We lost so many units and didn’t recover some of the money or re-sales because of this. Future sales we suspended for a few days as we appealed the activity. As a topical and non-ingestable CBD product, we were told this would be fine to sell through the platform. Despite pleading our case and presenting topical usage evidence, we were still denied and had to seek alternative merchant services. Since then we have found the most amazing company to assist us. They have truly saved us and I would gladly refer anyone looking for a provider. Email me! Things will always go wrong in business, it’s your ability to solve arising issues quickly and efficiently that makes the difference.
Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Nomad Haircare – what should we know?
Nomad Haircare is a clean, non-toxic CBD infused hair product brand. We specialize in treatment therapy for damaged and overstressed hair. The products we manufacture utilize CBD distillate to restructure and revitalize hair for all types of texture and conditions. The extremely high omega fatty acids found in CBD contribute to moisture retention, rebuilding color damage, and taming unruly hair. Nomad Haircare is entirely silicone-free, and the distillate mimics a silicone-like texture without the buildup and skin irritating attributes. Another bonus to negating silicone is a lightweight, non-greasy texture.
The brand has been featured in publications such as Refinery 29, C Magazine, Mane Addicts, OK! Magazine, Beauty Independent, Modern Salon, and Style Caster. I am also happy to announce that we are launching our products at Saks Fifth Avenue this month and have a few other major retailers interested in the brand. Stay tuned!
I am most proud of the fact that all of the brand’s chemical formulations were directly developed by me. I have full creative control over every ingredient that goes into the products. It took me years to find a chemist that would allow me that control as well as be present in the lab. Each ingredient I chose directly correlates with the EWG’s (Environmental Working Group) Skin Deep Cosmetic Database for harmful chemical ratings. Per ingredient, nothing exceeds a level “2” out of their 1-10 rating system. Find another product line doing this. I’ll wait! Also, all packaging components are domestic, custom made and are made from recycled material. I am so proud of all of that!
Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
I’ve been extremely lucky to have a very supportive immediate family, an incredibly loving boyfriend and a close friend group throughout Los Angeles and Wisconsin. Those are my people. I also want to acknowledge myself for being consistent with my vision and being relentless with what I wanted. I don’t think we as humans give ourselves enough credit for our accomplishments and the hard work we put into ourselves behind the scenes. Feel empowered, be proud and humble about what you have done, and be the total badass that you are! As for mentors, I follow a lot of female founders for business insight, women empowerment, and general inspiration.
A few of them include Sophia Amoruso, Moj Mahdara, Sara Blakley, Whitney Wolfe Herd (I met my boyfriend on Bumble, so I really need to thank her one day lol) Jen Atkin, Arlan Washere, Allison McNamara, and Emily Weiss. These women’s personal and business stories have really opened my eyes to raise the bar and realize your own potential. They are role models for women in financial literacy, equal pay, women’s rights and treating yourself with respect. They’re part of the “ultimate girl group” of badass, don’t give a f*ck businesswomen. I want to be around people like that!
- Transcend Serum $54
- Website: www.nomadhaircare.com
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: nomadhaircare
- Facebook: nomadhaircare
- Twitter: nomadhaircare