I spent last weekend in Charlotte, NC, experiencing the Beautycounter LEAD Conference. Here’s the recap!
My First LEAD
I’ve been a part of Beautycounter for four-and-a-half years – since 2019 when I decided I had better start caring more about the quality of the products I was putting all over my body. But this was my first LEAD Conference! We missed a few IRL years during the pandemic, and last year I couldn’t make it to Austin due to our family beach trip. I knew this year’s event would be great, and it WAS! Watch my recap video here.
Traveling To Charlotte
Luckily I didn’t have to travel far. I drove the boys down to my parents’ house on Thursday night, got them settled for their two-week stay, and on Friday drove to Charlotte to meet my sister at her house and take a Lyft to the JW Marriott for the weekend. Here’s the recap!
2023 Beautycounter LEAD Conference Recap
Just like blogger conferences are magical meetings of digital friends in real life, this conference was no different! Brand Advocates from all over the country flew to Charlotte for 3 days of speakers, sessions, and connection.
LEAD used to be open only to leaders in the company, but now all consultants can attend. There’s also a virtual option for those who aren’t able to travel.
KERF Loves Hillary
I was super excited to spend time with (and room with!) my amazing virtual assistant Hillary! She’s been a part of team KERF for almost five years. I am so grateful for her! We talk on voxer on a near-daily basis, and while we think we met at a blogger conference years ago, this was our first time really getting to hang out in person.
The opening session started Friday at 3pm with a welcome from Beautycounter’s founder, Gregg Renfrew. Gregg stepped back last year to give space to a new CEO who has since left. The entire community was so glad to see Gregg back. The company is not the same without her.
Gregg reminded us why many of us partnered with Beautycounter in the first place: to get safer products into the hands of everyone. What drew me to Beautycounter was not just the fact that I needed new sunscreen and moisturizer, but that I wanted to help advocate for responsibly sourced and tested ingredients, transparency in fragrance, and sustainable packaging.
You could buy creams and serums in a million different places. Beauty products are sold everywhere, just like there is a coffee shop on every corner. But we know all coffee is not roasted, brewed, or sourced equally. Beautycounter is a B corporation, putting people and planet before profit. And our products are amazing – I’ve loved using them for 4+ years. By providing solutions for all ages and types of skin, Beautycounter is advocating on behalf of everyone to make all beauty clean beauty.
At the end of the session, we were each gifted a Countertime Regimen! A reminder that the basics matter as much as the shiny new products.
We had a cocktail party reception for dinner that night – complete with B cupcakes!
We were up early looking for coffee on Saturday morning. I had a Starbucks gift card so I headed there for coffee and came back with some bland oatmeal for breakfast.
Day 2: Advocating For Clean
Then it was time for day 2! Our session opened with a talk from Lindsey Dahl who is the former Head of Mission for Beautycounter. (She now works at Ritual Supplements, which makes me want to drop everything and try them.) I trust Lindsay’s opinion on any brand more than just about anyone! She has 20+ years of experience advocating for safer consumer products through policy and market change. (Read more here.)
She spoke about what it means to be clean in an industry where the word clean is totally unregulated. Maybe you’ll recognize some of the brands in this chart:
She also shared how Beautycounter’s standards for things like ingredient testing and sustainability (and more) are higher than most companies who simply donate 1% to the planet (which is great! But could be better.). No company is perfect, but I’m very proud of what Beautycounter has accomplished in its first 10 years.
And just before lunch – Beautycounter announced a huge new product category launch that I am SOOOO excited about!!!
We went out to lunch as a group for more bonding time <3
And then poked around in the Counter Hub where there were lots of fun things to play with!
There were a variety of breakout sessions on topics like skincare basics, systems in your business, and diversity and inclusion.
I attended a session on “How To Use Inclusive Language” that was very helpful with language around gender, holidays, and other diverse categories.
The Impact Scholarship
Beautycounter has a DE&I team (diversity, equity and inclusion) and the company has been working to increase diversity among brand advocates for years now. At the talk, I heard several advocates say that the group looks so much different (more diverse) than it did just a few years ago. One of the ways they’ve been doing this is through the Impact Scholarship.
The Impact Scholarship is a program designed to support equity efforts and expand presence in underrepresented communities. To date, Beautycounter has been able to welcome more than 200 BIPOC, LGBTQ+, and disabled Brand Advocates through the program.
How? Each month from the 1st-8th, those who identify with one of the underrepresented communities can apply for the scholarship, and if selected, will receive everything you need to start a clean beauty business and become a Beautycounter Brand Advocate – for FREE. (That’s worth more than $1300 in product.) If you’re interested in applying, learn more here. I’d be happy to talk to you more about it too!
My sister and I went to the room to get dressed up and then headed to a reception put on by the DE&I team.
Dinner at Caroline’s
We then went back to the hotel (prompting me to change out of heels and into flats!) and had dinner at Caroline’s Oyster Bar.
Saturday Night Fever
The party of the night was disco-themed, so people everywhere were in sequins. Check out our disco ball! They had an open bar and passed desserts. Plus lots of dancing!
We had a lot of fun playing on the steps as we headed back to the hotel : )
Hillary and I finally had a decent cup of coffee and delicious breakfast at Not Just Coffee. That yogurt bowl!
We wrapped up the weekend with a session by Michelle Poler who documented 100 days of fears and is now an inspirational speaker. She left us with an extra dose of confidence. Her talk with really entertaining and funny!
Beautycounter LEAD Conference: The End.
It was an epic weekend through and through! The Beautycounter mission is best powered by people through the impact of storytelling. I heard so many stories this weekend of a hundred different reasons why women were called in to work with this company, including breast cancer, becoming a mother, or losing a mother. Everyone already uses personal care products. Maybe switching to safer might be something you feel called to do.
Whether you are a follower who reads my posts, a first-time or loyal client, or a future Advocate – thank you for your support.
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