Three Ships #HerHustle Interview with SkinTē founders Bassima Mroue, Amy Bader, Elizabeth Zieg

Three Ships #HerHustle Interview with SkinTē founders Bassima Mroue, Amy Bader, Elizabeth Zieg | Three Ships

The founders behind SkinTē Collagen Sparkling Tea wanted to create an easy, effective and fun way to consume collagen. Not only did they do this, but SkinTē includes many additional functional and good-for-you ingredients - which, of course, you know we are all about here at Three Ships!

SkinTē was founded by a unique powerhouse trio: Bassima Mroue (CEO, and the Biz Brain), Dr. Amy Bader (The Doctor), Elizabeth Zieg (The Chef). Together, their skill sets blended perfectly to create the success that is SkinTē today.

Let's get to know the founders and their journey a bit better:

Can you tell us a bit about yourselves, and what inspired you to start SkinTē?
We each went through major life transitions (back surgery, divorce, loss of a child), and channeled all that energy to create a brand that has a positive impact on emotional and physical well-being.

We wanted a product that was great for skin, hair, nails, joints, gut, mood AND we didn’t want to compromise on taste. Dr. Bader designed a unique and powerful formula with ingredients hand-picked for emotional and physical well-being, which Elizabeth used to work her magic and create delicious flavor profiles. We are the first product in the market that combines collagen, super herbs and tea in a light, refreshing, fizzy and fun experience. It’s a true lifestyle product – our consumers reach for SkinTē for their morning or afternoon ‘pick me up’, with their meals as a light and refreshing beverage, after a workout for post-exercise recovery, to prepare to ‘glow’ for a special event, or as a beauty cocktail.

Being an awesome female-founded trio, can you talk a little bit about the importance of establishing differing roles/responsibilities in business? 
From day one, our roles were clearly separate and we believe this is a big reason for our success working together. We each have very important and distinctive roles, and no one wants the other person’s role. Amy and Elizabeth do not want to be CEO, and Bassima is not allowed in the kitchen and would be dangerous with Amy’s patients. We also have a deep bond as sisters who have been through the trenches together, and a deep respect for each other’s contribution. 
Strangely enough, we have very rarely disagreed on business decisions because of this. And when we have disagreed, we have taken the time to talk it through, and often defer to the person with the most experience in that area. For example, if it’s a decision related to R&D, Amy and Elizabeth have the most experience around ingredient selection and flavor profile. When it comes to the more traditional business decisions around sales, marketing and operations, Bassima as CEO would make the final call. 

The biggest advice we have to founders is that there needs to be mutual respect for what you bring to the table, as well as a clear final decision maker, to avoid spin and keep the momentum going. A bad decision is better than no decision, and then you can fail fast and recover quickly.

SkinTē Collagen Sparkling Tea

What do your typical days look like?
Bassima: As CEO, there is rarely a typical day for me! But since COVID hit, I have not been doing events and traveling as much as I normally would. So my days are typically full of zoom meetings with accounts, investors, and my team. I take a lot of little breaks throughout the day to walk around, stretch or grab a SkinTē! I don’t like to have a rigid schedule and generally let the day (and night!) flow based on meetings I have.

Amy: As a busy mom, practicing doctor, adjunct clinical faculty, AND a SkinTē co-founder, my days are often packed and changing minute to minute. I try to be highly organized while also maintaining an attitude of staying entirely flexible. 

Elizabeth:  Like Bassima, I rarely have a typical day as far as work projects go. Sometimes my day is more focused around daily operations while other days more R&D. What is typical for me is that I meter my days around drinking teas and coffees I love while usually also trying new and different products. I start with espresso, move into caffeinated SkinTē and then transition to caffeine-free during the afternoon and evening. Tasting and evaluating other products on the market is a super-fun part of my job.

What was the worst piece of advice you’ve ever received?
It was more like the worst comment. We were told that the Beverage industry is a monster and that it would be challenging to succeed. Clearly we ignored that feedback.

What does success mean to you?
Success is building a purpose-driven and trusted food and beverage brand, that makes people feel healthy and beautiful from the inside out.

SkinTē Collagen Sparkling Tea

In moments of self-doubt or adversity, how do you build yourself back up?
We have each faced significant personal adversities in our lives, and emerged stronger. We see ourselves as the three-legged stool, holding things up together. Anytime we have self-doubt or adversity, we remember what we have individually and collectively overcome in the past, and we lean on each other and rise above it. It’s like a muscle that has become stronger and stronger throughout this journey. We know we have fallen before and we have an intuitive confidence that no matter what, we will be able to rise back up, and always stronger.

Do you have any morning routines or evening rituals to help you stay balanced?
Bassima: My favorite evening routine is a hot bath with epsom salt and essential oils. It is the perfect way for me to end my day and clear my head. The infrared sauna has been another great way for me to feel balanced and centered. 

Amy: I take a hot bath EVERY evening no matter how late it is when I finally get the chance. It absolutely helps me transition from a hectic day into a relaxed mode ready for high-quality sleep. It is essential to my wellbeing (I often sip Hibiscus Vanilla while in the tub)! 

Elizabeth: As I mentioned above, I like to start my day with espresso (or sometimes black tea) and catch up on the news in a few key areas: global events, business headlines, beauty launches, and food/beverage innovations. This practice helps me stay informed on what’s happening in the world and seeds inspiration for the direction we are headed.

Where can we find SkinTē in-store and online?
We are available at retailers nationwide, such as Sprouts, The Fresh Market, Harmons, New Seasons, Market of Choice, and many others. You can search for loctions near them here. We are also available online at skinte.com, amazon, snackmagic.com, and goop.com.

 

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