Thought Leadership

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Giving Back from Day One

by | December 11, 2023

There are many reasons why I wanted to start my own agency, Base Beauty Creative Agency, and I’ve talked about them before. These include choosing clients with meaningful stories to tell, mentoring talent as I wish I had been mentored when working for others, and, of course, creating outstanding work to support the beauty and wellness industry that I love. There’s another: the opportunity to give back and pay it forward to organizations I believe in.

Many companies implement philanthropic programs only after achieving a level of success, which is understandable; dollars are usually tight at the beginning. But philanthropy was one of the pillars of our value system from the start. From the day we opened our doors, we began to identify organizations with missions that spoke to us and our work in beauty and wellness. Our support was pretty basic in those early days, but that didn’t matter. That support was baked into our annual operating budgets, and it grew as we did. Now as then, Base Beauty’s COO, Aleni Mackarey, Ph.D., MS, and I are so inspired by non-profits doing vital (often thankless) work every day. These organizations are staffed by kind and caring souls, modern-day heroes.

One of my early guests on Where Brains Meet Beauty, the Base Beauty-produced podcast I host, was Karissa Bodnar, founder of Thrive Causemetics. Inspired by the loss to cancer of a friend who had devoted her short life to public service, this twenty-something entrepreneur made philanthropy part of her day-to-day operations, donating one makeup or skincare product to those in need—from women vets to women in homeless shelters to women battling cancer—for every one sold. Like us, she made this part of her company’s ethos before her business was really established, finding a way to help needy communities even when dollars were tight. It can be done if you make it a priority.

Here are a few of the organizations we support at Base Beauty:

  • GIRLS HELPING GIRLS. PERIOD. This program was started by a family, including two thoughtful teenage girls who noticed a pattern of female classmates missing a few days of school every month. To their surprise, they learned about “period poverty” in their middle-class community and that pads, tampons, and menstrual cups are not covered by benefit programs such as SNAP. So, they stepped up to fill the void, soliciting donations of menstrual supplies and funds to purchase them, and providing them to food pantries, social service agencies, schools, and community groups that distribute up to a year of supplies at a time to girls in need. The group has grown impressively, from boxes in the family’s living room to a wide network. I am honored to serve on their Advisory Board.
  • Planned Parenthood Federation of America. Now more than ever, when women’s healthcare facilities and reproductive rights are increasingly challenged, we feel it is essential to support the tenacious, caring, and brave work of this nationwide organization.
  • Skin of Color Society Foundation. In 2004, Susan C. Taylor, M.D., founded this organization with a mission to promote education and excellence within skin-of-color dermatology. Working with so many skincare brands at Base Beauty, we have seen the need for more awareness on the part of healthcare providers and the general public on the specific dermatologic needs of skin of color. SOCS impressively fills that need.

We continue to expand our roster of support and encourage any businesses or individuals who can to do the same.

Message our CEO with your thoughts: Please share with us organizations that you support and want to spotlight.