Jazmin Alvarez, Founder + Chief Curator, Pretty Well Beauty
With $300 and two suitcases, she came to New York City with her eye on being a model agent. From there, Alvarez transitioned to casting and photo production before taking the leap to entrepreneurship.
Jazmin Alvarez talks to host Corynne L. Corbett about her winding path to becoming abeauty entrepreneur. She came to NYC after graduating from college with two suitcases and $300, determined to be a model agent. Her first opportunity came from Ford Model Management on the men's board and she turned it down in favor of an internship at another agency. When that opportunity didn't pan out as hoped, Alvarez went back to Ford and asked if they would consider her for the men's board again.
I actually turned that job down and went to One model management for an unpaid internship that I thought was going to turn into a full-time position. They had Naomi Campbell at the time. So, you know, they were like the hot new boutique agency of the moment. So after about two or three months, it did not turn into a full-time position. I ended up going back to Ford and asking them about the position that they had previously offered me was still available and they hired me and it ended up being one of the most fun experiences of my life.
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This is just one example of how Alvarez took on the challenges in front of her without fear. She shares how she transitioned to casting and later photo production. She points out how her time at Art + Commerce set a standard of excellence that she still refers to today. And what it was like to produce ads for Rolex, cast NY Fashion Week shows, and cast the models for the social campaign for the Fenty Beauty launch.
She shares how her interest in clean beauty was strictly personal at first and how Pretty Well Beauty went from an Instagram account to an e-commerce business showcasing a carefully curated collection of beauty and wellness brands that she spends a minimum of 4 weeks, and a maximum of a year, vetting. She and Corbett discuss why clean beauty should not be strictly reserved for white women (aka the Goop effect) and how Black and Brown women have been creating clean products for eons.
You know, when we hear people from Goop or any of these other companies raving about Ashwangandha and Turmeric all these herbs and stuff that are in these skin care products that have been around for centuries, as if they're talking about as if they just discovered it. It feels a little bit like cultural appropriation. And I think it's an extremely inappropriate and disrespectful because you're you are taking something from people who you are not acknowledging in any way.
She shares some of the clean beauty and wellness products that have her attention right now. They include Ilera Apothecary, Element Apothec and Taza Ayurvedic. And Alvarez also reveals how she plans to expand the Pretty Well Beauty footprint in the future.
I look at the ingredients first and everything that's in it. If there's nothing in there that's toxic or unsafe, then I request samples of the products. So they'll send me the products. And I need at least four weeks to be able to use everything, because that's usually how long it takes for you to start to see results. I'll use the products for a minimum of four weeks. [I will take it to the next step] If I like the products, if I feel like they are beneficial and they're effective and I'm not experiencing any sort of reactions that are negative or if they are just they if they just feel good. I pay attention to like all the details of what my experience is, not only from a consumer point of view, but also as a beauty buyer.
Guest Bio: Jazmin Alvarez is the founder and chief curator of Pretty Well Beauty, an Afro-Latina owned clean beauty and wellness website that launched in 2019. Alvarez, a 14 year veteran of the fashion and beauty industry is an alum of Calvin Klein Condé Nast and in 2017 she led the production and casting for the digital launch of Fenty Beauty. Having experienced first-hand the direct relationship between the products that you put on your skin-your body’s largest organ- and your vital organs. Alvarez curates a diverse product offering that adheres to the strictest standards of clean and sustainability practice. Diversity is at the heart of Pretty Well Beauty’s mission which seek to reclaim wellness and clean beauty to be accessible and approachable. Alvarez’s unique curation prioritizes a product selection that addresses a wide variety of needs, fits various price points and highlights the founders from a variety of backgrounds.