October 12, 2021 • Women Founders

FOUNDER FILE: Meet Shannon Soller, co-founder of Beauty Beyond

How and why did Beauty Beyond begin?

My journey started as a makeup artist 25 years ago. It followed with 10 years working in marketing, product development, and sales for Adidas. The concept for Beauty Beyond started brewing after I had my son who suffered from severe allergies and eczema and I could not find any products that would relieve his skin. The dermatologists would recommend one thing filled with heavy steroids and the natural products only seem to make things worse. One night I was given this fancy product that said “Organic Bath Soak” for Sensitive Babies. I put my son in the bath and within minutes he started swelling up and broke out into hives. I had to rush him to the ER as he was going into anaphylactic shock and it was only there that we found out he was allergic to eggs and dairy. Nowhere on the packaging did the product say it contained dairy. It was only after I called the company the next day did they tell me it contained milk. A couple of years later my partner Simone, who also shares a passion for clean beauty, wellness, and health approached me with the idea of hosting beauty workshops. We started to brainstorm what we thought was missing in the market, and how we could provide a point of differentiation. This was 8 years ago before the clean beauty movement was trendy. We wanted to create our ideal shopping experience. One that was rooted in high-level service, trust, and transparency. We started researching and curating the best brands, products, and ingredients. Clean Beauty Concierges, Skin Care Experts, Ingredient Enthusiasts. This was how Beauty Beyond was born. 

What is a personal beauty expert and why do we need one?

Everyone needs a beauty expert in their life. They are your beauty bff that will be honest and provide you with exactly what you need as well as with the best service. We believe less is more and don’t try to sell you on stuff just for the sake of it. We spend so much of our time researching brands, testing products and ingredients. We truly want to see our clients on a simplified and realistic routine that will be achievable for them. We also provide private consultations which include bathroom cleanouts that allow clients permission to purge. This can be not only educational but an extremely cathartic experience. Let’s be honest…we don’t feed our families expired milk. We may go through our closets. But when it comes to our products, medicines, lotions, potions, and makeup…we all need a helping hand purging that gift with purchase eye shadow we will never use but for some reason, we won’t throw away.  

Clean, green, and organic beauty have become buzzwords in the last few years. Why should we be using clean products and how can you help us incorporate them into more than just our bathrooms?

I actually think the opposite is true. It’s usually easier to convince someone to start with food. They understand that eating clean food is important and can wrap their head around healthier food habits. Skincare is next. It’s become more popular in recent years. We started Beauty Beyond even before the movement was really hot. Before IG influencers were popular, before Credo and Detox Markets were everywhere. But thankfully more people are understanding that you can get wonderful results using science and nature. Makeup is usually the hardest one to convert people to. It’s only been in the last couple of years where new and emerging clean brands have actually made makeup that is rich in  pigment and wears well on the skin. As a makeup artist, I only use clean makeup on my clients. But I have to be honest with them and promise that I will be able to deliver results that look and feel (better) than what they have been used to. That being said I am always on the hunt for an amazing clean mascara that actually works. Or something that surprises me!

How has the beauty industry changed in the past few years and where does it need to go in order to become more inclusive, healthier, and more regulated? 

Knowing that there are about 500 ingredients banned worldwide that aren’t regulated in the states just makes my mission to advocate and educate even stronger. I have loved to see that ingredients like Oxybenzone have been taken out of sunscreen. And organizations like EWG are keeping brands accountable. I love that we have more and more female owned businesses and opportunities to support women of color spotlighted in the beauty industry. 

During the pandemic, how did you shift your business and how did the shift help you grow, change, or focus your business?

We started providing more and more zoom consults during the pandemic which actually turned out to be a wonderful opportunity to reach a more diverse clientele and provide support for a broader client base. We work with the Rodeo Derm practice of Moy, Fincher & Chipps providing pre/post-op recovery to all of their patients who have had laser procedures and once the office we pivoted exclusively zoom during the pandemic once they reopened in June 2020 and our business has continued over zoom.  We send all of their patients home Beauty Beyond post-op recovery boxes and then zoom with them 7 days after their procedures. This allows their patients to get extra support with their skin as they heal and that they are using clean products which will give them the best long-term results. 

As a female founder, what do you want your legacy to be?

Honestly, I want to be an example for my children, Cooper and Presley. Don’t be afraid of hard work. Be authentic, humble, and spend your time doing something you are passionate about. I know that I can make a 20-year model look beautiful in a photoshoot, but if I can make a 40-year-old who has been taking care of everyone but herself for the past 5 years feel confident again, or a woman who just finished chemo and doesn’t have any eyebrows feel beautiful or even just like herself again, then I feel like I’m doing good work, making a difference. 

What’s next from Beauty Beyond and what can we look forward to? 

We are working on setting up a more permanent space within the Moy, Fincher, Chipps practice and will be spending more in the new year working with patients on skincare, makeup, recovery and procedure options. 

The Riveter Fast Five

What’s the first thing you do every morning?

In the past 2 months, I have been using the Aura app and I have been meditating. In the morning I usually just do the 3-5 min one but I am committing to that little bit of time to just try and be grounded, mindful, and focused on setting an intention before the mad rush of getting the kids up and ready, fed and lunches made and out of the house by 7:15.

What’s the last thing you do every night?

Same goes for at night. It’s the Aura app but I usually do the 20 min or longer one for sleep because I basically haven’t slept for 13 years…since I had my son…and I’m trying everything to be more zen. 

What app can’t you live without?

I wish I could answer this to sound really savvy but honestly, I would say Waze because I spend so much time dropping off orders, going to clients for consults, driving my kids to and from school, and am a hockey mom so I always need the most efficient directions. 

What book do we need to read?

Mother F*cking Girl Power,” is a collection of quotes & mic drops to empower your inner badass. I recently sent this book to a handful of my girlfriends who I thought needed to be reminded of their inner badass. 

What business or person should we have our eye on?

The beautiful Milck (Connie Lim) is someone I admire as an artist, an activist, and a friend. She is doing such meaningful work and I am so inspired by her.  

After beginning her career as a makeup artist, Shannon continued her love and creativity for education by working in product development, marketing, and sales for companies such as Estee Lauder Group, Fresh, and Adidas. She loves looking for niche brands and feels that when it comes to the beauty industry, we are in a time of information overload. Sometimes too much information is not always a good thing. Wanting to be that filter and help streamline these products for her clients, Shannon believes Beauty Beyond can provide not only a valuable service but bring education and customer service back into the retail environment.