Happy New Year's Eve, lovelies! We thought we'd end off our first year of the #HerHustle series with, well, us! :) We hope you enjoy learning a bit more about the co-founders of Three Ships. Happy New Year!
What inspired you to start Three Ships (formerly NIU BODY)?
Laura: When I was a student completing my final year of university, I began using coconut oil as a natural makeup remover. I loved how effective it was and that it didn’t sting my eyes but couldn’t stand how messy it was to use! Not to mention that the jar was an eyesore on my bathroom counter. I struggled to find a coconut oil based makeup remover on the market and so created my own! From this, Three Ships' first line of cleansing oils was born.
What does your typical day look like?
Connie: Honestly, no two days are the same. To give you an idea, here’s a peek into this week’s meetings:
- Monday - planning for Indie Beauty Expo, call with marketing agency
- Tuesday - weekly meeting with fellow female-founded businesses in the Make Lemonade Build Your Dream accelerator, retail meeting, post-work event with a Three Ships partner
- Wednesday - full-day meetings with export advisors
- Thursday - meetings with manufacturers to discuss launch of new gel cleanser (and other new products!)
- Friday - coffee meeting with strategic partner, retail meeting, team lunch, meeting
Because every day is different, hectic, and usually involves running around the city, it’s important for me to have routine where possible to stay sane. I start my day with lemon water before hitting the gym, and am trying to get better at eating breakfast without distractions (aka no *ahem* mindless scrolling through Instagram or my inbox). Recently I’ve found reflecting in my 5 Minute Journal during breakfast works well to set the tone for the day. I definitely feel less overwhelmed by the chaos of running a business by maintaining some level of consistency in my schedule!
"We are able to keep each other focused and motivated, especially when everything seems to be going wrong!"
What was the worst piece of advice you’ve ever received?
Laura: Don’t ever have a business partner. I was told this by a mentor of mine around a year before starting Three Ships. He had been burned by a poor business partnership in the past and told me to never go into business with anyone except myself.
Needless to say, I didn’t take his advice.
Today, I can’t imagine Three Ships without Connie and we certainly wouldn’t be anywhere close to where we are now without her as a Co-Founder. I feel privileged and lucky to have a partner in crime who balances out my personality, strengths and ideas. We are able to keep each other focused and motivated, especially when everything seems to be going wrong!
As with any advice, it’s important to take everything in and hear what others have to say. However, ultimately, you should use all of this information to come to your own conclusions.
"Find your gift/purpose in life, and share it with the world. Reflect on what you actually like to do in your free time."
What does success mean to you?
Connie: I have two definitions of success. The first one is to always be kind to others and make them feel worthwhile and loved. I try my hardest to spread kindness and positivity wherever I go. If I’m able to be a positive influence for even one person, I truly believe that to be success.
I am also pursuing success in finding my gift/purpose in life, and sharing it with the world. I think people can get caught up in pursuing careers that don’t necessarily resonate with their talents or passions, especially when they compare themselves to others. I fell into this trap when I graduated, thinking I would only be considered smart or “successful” if I worked in the corporate world (lots of numbers means you’re smart, right?!).
One night, after working a 16-hour day in a field I really didn’t enjoy, I stopped to reflect on what I actually liked to do in my free time. I realized that marketing, interacting with others, and beauty were the things I always found myself researching or doing. From there, it’s been an ongoing amazing journey for me to share my passion for skincare through Three Ships.
In moments of self-doubt or adversity, how do you build yourself back up?
Laura: This is an interesting question because I tend to go to the two extremes! If I’m feeling imbalanced, I’ll grab an Arizona iced tea and go for a walk by myself to think/reflect. To me, it’s kind of like meditation with movement as it allows me to just observe the world outside of myself and reminds me that everything will be OK.
On the flip-side, if I’m feeling low and my confidence has taken a hit, I’ll reach out to close friend/family for affirmation. When you are running a business, it can often be next to impossible to see how far you’ve come. I find that I get so wrapped up in putting out fires or planning/projecting for where we want to be, that I can sometimes become dejected. Having a solid support network around me to remind me of what we’ve accomplished is irreplaceable.
Do you have any morning routines or evening rituals to help you stay balanced?
Connie: I start most mornings at the gym, because it’s hard to know where the day will take me, and getting a good sweat in helps me clear my head.
If I don’t have plans in the evening, I love cooking a great meal. I find it so therapeutic to focus on the ingredients and not on all the thoughts that are usually jumbled up in my head! I also take my time with my skincare routine - no phone or distractions. It’s a great time for me to reflect on the day and relax (jade roller in hand if I’m not too lazy!). I usually journal and review my calendar for the next day before snoozing my inbox. Before heading to bed, I read to unwind and turn off “work mode”. Finally, I often meditate (but 9/10 times end up falling asleep! Oops!).
What’s your favourite Three Ships product?
Laura: Definitely our cleansing oils. It was our first line of products so will always have a special place in my heart. I’ve also still yet to find another way to remove makeup which is as effective as this product! Literally melts everything off and I’ve been working on the same bottle for close to a year!
Connie: I can't live without our Glow Facial Serum. It’s lightweight and fast-absorbing, so I can use it in the morning. A tip I learned from our customers is to use it before applying foundation as a natural primer! It smells amazing (can’t go wrong with bergamot), moisturizes and conditions my skin without feeling oily, and evens skin tone. It’s also our top-selling product, so I’m sure others can relate!
If you liked this interview, you might like our recent interview with Rachel Kelly, founder of Make Lemonade.