Meet Jaz Fenton: CEO and Founder of turmeric-based skincare brand Yellow Beauty.
After facing her own skin struggles, Jaz discovered an age-old solution. Then – alongside her husband and co-founder – she turned it into a thriving biz.
We chatted with Jaz about the beginnings of Yellow Beauty, plus how COVID-19 has given her high hopes for the future.
How did you get started?
I was first exposed to the world of e-commerce while working for Shopify. Back then, my skin was going through a bit of a rough patch and my husband suggested I try using turmeric. During a family trip to Bangladesh, he witnessed the Holud ceremony: a pre-wedding ritual where a vibrant turmeric paste is applied to the bride and groom. Used for centuries in Ayurveda, turmeric has strong antiseptic properties and is known to purify and balance your skin. A quick Google search revealed some turmeric mask DIYs, but we couldn’t find anything we could buy. We ended up creating our own natural turmeric products to soothe my skin – and the results were awesome! We then took it a step further: why not set up an online store and see if others felt the same? What started out as an experiment quickly progressed into something much bigger and more meaningful than we could have ever expected.
Tell me about why you love your job and the cool things you get to do at Yellow Beauty.
I’m creative by nature, so I love that I get to think outside the box each and every day! Running a business forces me to wear a lot of hats, so I’m constantly pushed outside of my comfort zone. It’s not easy, but I’m grateful for the opportunity to grow as a human. Receiving feedback and reviews from our customers is always the biggest highlight. Seeing how much they love our products is really grounding and makes all the hard work worth it.
What does ambition mean to you?
Ambition is never backing down from a challenge. Staying committed to your vision. Trusting your instinct. A lot of people won’t understand why you do what you do. Use that as fuel to prove them wrong!
What was the worst mistake you ever made?
I used to get overly excited if a new opportunity came on the radar. I’d put all my eggs in one basket and let other important things slide. If that opportunity fell through, I ended up wasting a ton of valuable time!
How about your biggest accomplishment to date? What are you most proud of?
Landing on shelves in Anthropologie across North America. I’ll always remember walking into one of their New York stores and seeing our products in person. Such a crazy feeling.
Tell me about some pivotal mentors or mentorship moments.
It may sound cheesy, but the first person that comes to mind is my husband (and co-founder)! He’s been by my side every step of the way. I’m so grateful to have a partner who can truly understand and relate to what I’m going through on a day-to-day basis. We’ve also recently partnered with LoveKind, a collective of like-minded lifestyle brands. The fact that we’ll be receiving hands-on mentorship as we grow is truly invaluable. I can’t wait to show everyone what we’ve been working on!
Do you have any hidden talents? Secret passions?
Growing up, my world was competitive sports. I played everything from basketball to badminton. Not many people know this, but I trained in Taekwondo for 10 years!
How has COVID-19 changed your approach to business, entrepreneurship, and life in general?
As hard as this time has been, it’s also been a huge wake-up call. The world has been forced to take a much needed collective pause. We’re so engrossed in our daily lives—myself included—that it’s easy to neglect what’s important, like true human connection and the health of our beautiful planet. I’m hopeful that these new norms (like wearing masks or how we order food) show us that although it’s uncomfortable, we have the capacity for change if we all work together. It makes me think: what if governments and corporations took climate change just as seriously? What kind of progress would we make?