My Lusid Journey - Jen Lee
My Lusid journey began a couple of years ago before Lusid was even Lusid. Tash and I were at our side hustle (A dance/fitness studio where we both were instructors) when she first walked in with her latest invention; a curly bar she created for The Curly Bar Company. As an experienced FMCG (Fast Moving Consumer Goods) marketer I was instantly intrigued. I had never heard of a shampoo bar before and was excited by the fact that it was a uniquely different product that was not only good for your hair but good for the environment. I instantly had curly hair FOMO. I have straight hair. Its flat and kinda boring and not particularly long, but long enough to tie up into a ponytail for the practicability of teaching dance.
My amazingly talented friend had created this amazing product for her own hair type. But what am me? Can I have beautiful hair even though it’s not curly? The whole reason Tash created The Curly Bar Company was because she couldn't find anything in market for her that delivered on what it said it would. She bought curly haired products that just didn’t work for her hair type. Not all curly hair is the same and she quickly discovered that the products in market were designed for the Eurocentric hair structure and not her own. She had a devastatingly unique "chocolate lamington" experience from a curly product purchased from Lush that had desiccated coconut in it that gave her the gift of coconut dandruff for days. Obviously not ideal! I had a similar experience for foundation for my Asian skin type. It looked good in-store but when I got home to apply to myself; not only did it not match but I was orange and I looked like a carrot. The make- up industry has previously been hugely Eurocentric influenced until Rihanna launched her Fenty range which is broadly inclusive across all skin tones and gender.
Anyways - I was really excited for Tash and her new bars she had created. I could see real potential and I wanted to help her to succeed to grow her business. A skill exchange enabled Tash to tap into my FMCG knowledge/experience; whilst helping to pretty me up for dance competitions and showcases. Tash even featured as a human prop in this Auckland instructor showcase.*(Photo left by Scott Marks from @realitydysfunction). I was in desperate need of advice as I had never really been taught how to do girly things and lacked interest with various sports deemed as far more important to me growing up, than experimenting with make - up and how to style my hair. I was shocked to learn how little I knew about haircare and that I had been washing my hair wrong all my life! (I will tell you more about that in another post) I was amazed to see the Lusid results first hand. I threw away my supermarket shampoo bottles with sulphates in them. It was like my hair had never been properly nourished before and it started to grow like a weed. I was receiving hair complements because it looked heathier than ever. I had longer hair than I had ever had before. I started loving the hair that was my own. I even started to learn how to dance with my hair out so I could do all the Lusid hair flicks!
Lusid has not only been a life changing experience for my hair but had drastically altered my career path also. My talents were wasted in corporate life. I had attempted to exit corporate life previously to go join the circus. Although the reality of becoming an aerialist was significantly more challenging than I had anticipated.* (Photo right by Allan Bishop Photography) My soul was happily dancing in the air but in the end the realist won out over the idealist in me. I was financially stressed living in Auckland and I was always only one injury away from living outside of my means. Reluctantly I choose to go back to corporate life. I had accepted that I was selling my soul for money but it was worth it to live a comfortable life again free from financial stress of being a JAFA.
Fast forward a year and a half to the first NZ level 4 lockdown. I was made redundant from my corporate job. It was like the universe had spoken. Here was my opportunity to utilise my degree/diploma qualifications and 15 years FMCG experience to do something that I was genuinely passionate about. I had always thought I'd leave my corporate life behind to grow Lusid someday but I had anticipated that it would be at least a year or two down the track. It has been an exciting, challenging, slept depriving, hard-working yet rewarding year. I am super grateful for Tash to have given me this opportunity. It has been fun to learn what our combined super powers can do for Lusid and our Lusid community. I am so appreciative for this new purpose and passion in life. I’m excited to be able to share my Lusid hair care journey as a complete hair amateur, as well as my learnings from leaving corporate life to help build a start-up to it’s potential. It's actually quite spectacular to think what challenges we have faced this past year and what we have achieved so far, but what's around the corner is definitely something to be celebrated.
Stay tuned, stay safe and be kind.
Kia Kaha. Jen