Mangomint Women Leaders Series: Leah Kirpalani of Shop Good
Guys, Leah & I have something in common. No, it’s not that she owns one of the most fantastically marketed companies I’ve ever seen with Shop Good. It’s not that we both started companies focusing on clean beauty, all-natural skincare, and wellness products.
It’s that we can do a brilliant (truly brill) job of speaking in a British accent. There is a lot of value in that. I promise. While mine comes from Love Island, and hers is from Bridgerton (who could resist!), we both are passionate about honing our skill. And after that, our commonality differs -- primarily because she’s an epic boss leading the way in clean beauty in San Diego, and I’m just sitting at home propagating plants.
The name is not just that Leah is really good at shopping (maybe something else we have in common?), but a tribute to being “a one-stop-shop for all things good.” Let’s go back in time to figure out a little more about what “good” means.
On March 11, 2015, Leah sent her first marketing email. While now a full-functioning shop, with products, facials, and skin consults, Shop Good started as health coaching. “The inspiration behind my business is rooted in my eight years of unanswered chronic health issues I faced. Right before starting my first job out of college, my body and its immune system essentially broke down. From losing my hair to dealing with cystic acne to becoming allergic to basically everything I ate -- these were just a few of the symptoms that puzzled countless doctors. I longed for a space I could go to seek answers with people that understood me and what I was going through. With relatable and attainable recommendations and tools that could help me heal. It didn't exist at that time... at least not yet.”
“My hope is that Shop Good is just that. Not only are we a clean beauty + wellness boutique (online and in San Diego!) offering everyday essentials that are curated and filtered based on safety of ingredients... but we also strive to be a safe space where our customers can share their wellness stories and be inspired by new ways of taking care of their bodies. It's the space I so wish I had access to back then.”
She talks about her biggest inspiration, a woman who pushed her to start Shop Good. Justine Kahn, the founder of the best-selling skin care brand, Botnia started giving Leah facials in her San Francisco spa when she was during that critical health time. “She encouraged me to dream big, quit my corporate job, and start my own business in health and wellness. Her skincare brand was the first brand I carried at Shop Good.”
That’s not to say that Leah has created a magic potion, and everything is perfect. She has good advice for new people starting out, “Six years into it, you’ll still be figuring it out. While I was told things wouldn’t happen overnight, I don’t think any new business owner has any idea of the long and bumpy ride ownership really is.”
Leah is looking forward to the future now. As we near the end of the pandemic, hopefully, with vaccinations on the rise, she’s excited to figure out how to get back into the high-touch oriented, in-person experiential, and service-based business she built. “Whew, it’s been a doozy of the year,” she says, “If we can be a small beauty business that perseveres and comes out of this difficult time even stronger, my dream is to build on this foundation and grow into additional space!” There is something else Leah & I have in common - acknowledging the privilege we have and using that privilege to lift up others. She details how during COVID, there has been a renewed focus on self-care, critical self-love and inclusion. This is huge to the business of clean products. People are truly focusing on the impact that they have on the world. “Accelerated by the wild year we just witnessed, I think the movement is towards sustainable or zero-waste packaging and inclusive makeup and skincare offerings for all skin colors. If neither principle exists in a brand's deck, we likely won't consider bringing them on as a new brand.”