Jordan Harper: Founder & CEO of Barefaced

Episode 365

Jordan Harper, Founder and CEO of Barefaced skincare brand, took an idea that she was passionate about, that she knew could help others and turned it into a business. Jordan shares all about her journey as a nurse practitioner and how that led to entrepreneurship. This episode is filled with a ton of inspiration and takeaways that you won’t want to miss! On this episode of #TheKaraGoldinShow.

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Kara Goldin 0:00
I am unwilling to give up that I will start over from scratch as many times as it takes to get where I want to be I want to be, you just want to make sure you will get knocked down. But just make sure you don’t get knocked down knocked out. So your only choice should be go focus on what you can control control control. Hi, everyone and welcome to the Kara Goldin show. Join me each week for inspiring conversations with some of the world’s greatest leaders. We’ll talk with founders, entrepreneurs, CEOs, and really some of the most interesting people of our time. Can’t wait to get started. Let’s go. Let’s go. Hi, everyone, it’s Kara Goldin from the Kara Goldin show. And I’m super, super excited to have my next guest here another incredible founder, Jordan Harper, who is the founder and CEO, bare faced and bare faced is a skincare brand dedicated to simplifying skincare through high quality cruelty free products that are restorative and preventative solutions and easy everyday practices for all to be able to incorporate into their life. So how’s that for a marketing pitch for? In addition to founding and running beer face, Jordan is a nurse practitioner, very, very cool. And I can’t wait to hear more about her journey and just what it’s like to actually launch a product that she’s been really interested in launching. But overall, she felt like she could launch something that would help a lot more people. So very, very cool to have you on Jordan.

Jordan Harper 1:43
Thank you, Kara. Excited to be here. Yeah,

Kara Goldin 1:45
super excited. So before we get into hearing more about bear faced, I’d love for you to talk for a moment about how you started. Like, did you always think you were going to be an entrepreneur, obviously, you wanted to get into helping people, you became a nurse practitioner, talk to me a little bit about kind of what you thought you were going to be doing?

Jordan Harper 2:08
Yeah. So I look, I never technically thought I was going to be an entrepreneur. But when I look back at my childhood, it’s everywhere. I was always starting businesses and trying to get creative on different ways to make money. And I think what made me an entrepreneur, is that I is that my parents never really they gave me an allowance, but they never were giving me money. You know, like we had, obviously they were taking care of me, but they were never giving me money. And so I always had to get creative on, you know, and resourceful on like ways to make money. So I was always starting little businesses, whether it was like selling bracelets, working at a concession stand, you know, just like thinking of different things because I wanted to get things or I wanted to travel and they weren’t like, okay, sure, you can just do whatever you want. And I think them making me kind of get resourceful is in turn probably what made me an entrepreneur because neither my parents are entrepreneurs. And we don’t really have that in our family. But I think probably they didn’t even realize that they were turning me into an entrepreneur by making me be resourceful.

Kara Goldin 3:11
Yeah, no, definitely. I think yeah, the more they I had very similar experience with my parents were they would say, you know, they would talk to me about money and very early age and have me budget and so same, you know, give me a lot of reins to to be able to screw up if I didn’t really think for myself. So it’s a I think it’s great training for sure. So how did you decide to become a nurse?

Jordan Harper 3:42
i This is funny, I didn’t even I always thought I always loved traveling and I loved at first I just loved the flexibility because I could live and work anywhere. And like you and I were chatting earlier I studied abroad a couple times but I also volunteered post nursing school in Peru and so I lived there for about four months volunteering at a clinic. I always knew I want to incorporate like giving back with my career but also having the flexibility to travel. And then kind of so that was what I was thinking my my parents were always like, really made me think about career choices. I’ve had so many friends go back to school for multiple different careers. And I feel like they really I shadowed different people and it felt like a good fit. However, I knew I wanted to do nursing but I did always know I wanted to take that next step and which is why I decided to become a nurse practitioner. Because I in high school I started to have cystic acne and I remember going to see a nurse practitioner and I just found everything that she was doing so interesting. And then I went to so she prescribed me medication helped me treat cystic acne with a skincare routine and then some prescriptions as well. And then I got laser hair removal. And I remember going to this like medical spa plastic surgeon’s office type place and and a nurse practitioner treated me there. And I was like, hold on, this can be really cool like laser, aesthetics, laser hair, all that kind of stuff like, and so I asked her I’m like, what are what do you do? What’s your title and she’s like, I’m a nurse practitioner, you need to become a nurse practitioner because you can treat patients you can prescribe. It’s basically you know, the step below a physician and three additional years of schooling, whereas the physician is a residency and, and also, like, we don’t have to be the physicians, we can, we can be that step below, treat patients, and then, you know, we still have that resource if we need. So that’s really my journey of like, how I knew like, I knew I wanted to do something where I could really be hands on with my patients, and nursing kind of like alone doesn’t give you that option to treat patients really one on one from the capacity that I was looking for.

Kara Goldin 5:50
So where did the idea for bear face come about? So you’re a nurse practitioner, you’re practicing. You’ve had your own experience with cystic acne, but how did you go from actually serving consumers to deciding to develop a physical product.

Jordan Harper 6:10
So I was treating patients in office for injectables, Botox filler lasers, and when they would come in, I was doing this for several years, when they would come in, they were willing to, you know, pay for all these different office treatments, but they weren’t doing the daily treatments at home, it would be like going to the dentist, but you’re not brushing your teeth twice a day, like, Oh, hold on, you gotta get your foundation, you have to be using daily skincare to have long term skin health. Before you even think about adding in these additional treatments, you’re not going to be whitening your teeth, if you’re not brushing your teeth every day, you know, those go like I think of skincare and like teeth brushing go like really hand in hand, because that’s essential to have healthy skin. And so I saw this in office, they were willing to invest, they wanted to invest in their skin, they just didn’t know how to do it. And I really believe in medical grade skincare results driven skincare, but also long term skin health, you know, you don’t want to strip the skin. So I what I found myself doing was educating a lot on skincare. And what I found was how confusing it was. And so from there, I was really trying to simplify it for my patients create different routines. And so it started just giving me some ideas. Like why do people have to use six different products to do one thing? Now? Sure, you can’t one product is not due at all. And that’s just like, that’s not gonna probably ever exist due to the needs of the scan, the formulations, all that kind of stuff. But I was really trying to simplify it because, you know, people want as little as minimal routine as possible with the biggest result. And so I found a hard I found I was having a hard time doing that. So I just started like, I started talking to a chemist, which I am like, amazed that I don’t even honestly, I’m like, What was I thinking I can’t even believe I started doing this. But I, I saw an opportunity met a chemist started talking to them. And I wanted to really have products that did more than one thing. So that way you’re using a hero product, every product can be a hero product that’s serving, serving the skin. So that was like on the back end, I’m still treating patients, they’re still confused about their skincare routine. And so it really stemmed from, okay, how can I serve my patients there, there’s almost a gap in the industry of education. And you have to come into the office to get this education to get this service to get this results driven products. And I had a friend who was an influencer on Instagram. And so I would frequently show up on her page. And she was like, you just need to create a page. I’m getting so many questions every time you’re on about skincare and I don’t know anything answers. So I started doing that. And I basically just started posting about my before and afters in office. And then I started to see again, just like I was seeing my patients in office, the biggest question was skincare. And so I started sharing more skincare content, and posting different recommendations. And so again, and then on the back end, still talking to this chemist talking about some formulations I’m working on or talking about some formulations I had ideas for and needs that I saw. So these are like going on hand in hand, but I’m still consistently seeing patients in office. So all that to say long story long is that it really like showed me I’m not creating products based on what I think the industry needs. I really saw based on treating hundreds of patients or maybe more like over the past 10 years. What do the what does the people what did the people need? You know, how can I serve them and giving them the best experience from a customer facing standpoint, by providing them education and teaching them about their skin so then then they can pick products that are best for their skin type and seeing results while seeing results.

Kara Goldin 9:57
That’s so cool. So what year did you actually start are creating products for Beerfest.

Jordan Harper 10:02
So I started formulating them in 2018. I did my first small batch launch Black Friday 2019. And I just did it, it was a password protected site. I strictly did it because my husband was in a residency, we were living in Charlson, and then he matched in another state. And so we had to move, I had to leave my entire patient population that I had built up over the past seven years, and I was the only one working. So my husband’s in school. And I, we had an eight month old daughter, and I was like, Well, I don’t want to lose all these patients that I’ve just spent the past seven years building and serving. And so I started just selling the products to only offering it to my patients. And so it was a password protected site. And I just sent it out to like just my patient list and it sold out. Like within, you know, a couple days. And it was a we had the window open for three days sold out. And so then I was like, Okay, I’m going to do another launch, I had no money to be launching these products. So I pre ordered. So they like doing the launch, they pre ordered. I bet it took me eight weeks to get the product sent to them. But I will say because they were my patients. And because they had like I had the trust built from like serving them in office and online. They knew that like I was good for it. It wasn’t like they were just waiting for two months and like this girl, so I had to use what they preorder to then pay to actually place the official order. Which is just so cool. And like fun to think about how like. So anyway, so then that happened. And then I relaunched again, in January, still only password protected site, I just was doing small batch orders, and basically paying for future orders which exists, you know, with previous and pre orders. And we kept selling out. And again, I’m just thinking, Okay, I’m only offering this to a population of my patients, and then they’re referring it to their friends. So then I took off the password protected site. And place like my biggest order, I remember, it was like $25,000. And I was so freaked out, I just put it on a 0% interest credit card. And I was like. And I was just like, You know what I mean, we have no money. But here we go. And it was just like the most amazing. So that was January 2020. And we still to this day have done no paid advertising. All of it has been like, you know, referral based, and we’ve grown really quickly. But it’s been very organically. And yeah, it’s just been a really cool thing. So I don’t even know where I got where I got on that. But that’s really where I started it to really serve my patients. So I never thought it was going to be it like grew into something way bigger and way different. And I think I just kept seeing opportunity and seizing those opportunities.

Kara Goldin 12:59
That’s awesome. Which has been fun. Yeah, that’s so great. So your first product that you launched, what was that?

Jordan Harper 13:06
So we actually did are a handful of products initially. And I truly believe in like long term skin health, and results driven skincare. And while I think there’s a lot of fun things we can use, I truly believe like building and starting in the foundation, kind of like building a house, you’re never going to build a house without a foundation. So I launched the products that I know based on research, I’m just not pulling this pulling this up. And a lot of the decisions that we we don’t follow like trends, we look into trends, and we can support them. But we don’t base our product formulations on trends, we base them on like sound research. And so I launched products that we’re going to build your foundation for long term skin health. So toning pads, which are our exfoliating pads, and they’re actually a gentle exfoliating pads. So they’re depending on your skin type. Some people use them twice a day, some people use them three times a week. And that’s to get the dead skin cells off the surface of the skin. We have an anti aging moisturizer, so it’s not just hydrating, it’s got a lot of ingredients for redness, strengthening the skin barrier, nourishing the skin. We also have vitamin C serum. So okay, my very, very first product that I was formulating were the toning pads, because they’re almost like a serum treatment, but they’re in a pad form. And that’s really what’s going to like I consider that your prep step. So you’re putting that on right after cleansing. And then you’re applying your serums and products after and that’s going to prep the skin to get rid of all those dead skin cells, but also increase your absorption of the rest of your skin’s skincare. That was like my baby. And then we kind of grew to create like that foundational system.

Kara Goldin 14:53
And they’re the pads. You and I were talking about them. They’re amazing. They’re so so great and they’re not drawing at all They’re just yeah, they’re super super Yeah. And

Jordan Harper 15:02
they have acids in them. But they also have a lot of soothing and calming ingredients to reduce redness and hydrate the skin. And that’s why, you know, we we get tons of stuff on our skin, all day long pollution, all that kind of stuff, makeup, sunscreen. And so these are really good at just making sure you’re not getting any buildup on your skin, but they’re not going to strip the skin, these are what would sell out. And I’m telling you, we these are still by far our number one seller. Both of them, we have two types, one for more oily skin and then one for normal to dry. And they sell they consistently like sold out for the first year of launching. So that was like the hype, specifically, like when we first launched, which was fun.

Kara Goldin 15:43
Super, super cool. So somebody has really, really dry skin, especially during the winter, what do you recommend which of your products are really like the balm for that. So

Jordan Harper 15:54
I think that something that people so obviously you need to be moisturizing your skin and but I think that something that is commonly kind of forgotten about with dry skin is that you need to exfoliate. And if you’re not exfoliating your skin, then your products can’t penetrate. And a lot of times what what people do when their skin is dry, they just keep moisturizing keep moisturizing. Well, if you’ve got dead skin on the surface, that moisture moisturizer is even going to penetrate. So I love we have glow peel pads, which are amazing for dry skin. Now you’re only going to use these one maybe three times a week, but they’re gonna take off that top layer of dead skin that would be like more of a at home chemical peel is what I call it. So it’s a definitely a stronger product that you would not want to use every day. But that’s going to help kind of reset and then that way you’re applying your moisturizer. And we also have a product called overachiever, which strengthens the skin barrier. And that is that’s like probably one of the products I’m most proud of because it is so unique in the industry. And it supports. It supports all the other products that we have or you know, other products people may use. But it also increases the ability of your skin to tolerate products. And a lot of people have issues and sensitive skin and problems tolerating product products like retinoids. And this is going to like support that so that in the winter is like key with moisturizer. But exfoliating I think is just a forgotten step when you’re because you think oh my skin so dry. I can’t exfoliate.

Kara Goldin 17:27
Yeah, no, exactly. That totally makes sense. So what’s the name of that product? By the way?

Jordan Harper 17:33
Glow peel pads? Or is are these foliate or that I was talking about?

Kara Goldin 17:37
And then the but you mentioned the one

Jordan Harper 17:41
over achiever,

Kara Goldin 17:42
the overachiever, overachiever.

Jordan Harper 17:45
You’re nuts. It literally does what it says it does a lot. And that’s why I named it that. Yeah,

Kara Goldin 17:49
that’s awesome. So how did you come up with the name bear faced.

Jordan Harper 17:53
So a lot of what I like to do is be real be myself be true to self. And a lot of that means what not being not hiding behind a mask. And so when I look up what bear face means It means unashamed. And I want to always feel one, I always want to be like I can sleep at night, I want to be always unashamed of what I do. Because I know I’m like living a life of integrity. And then I also love supporting any type of organization that helps prevent human trafficking. And so that’s something that I feel like is a very hidden, not talked about thing that’s going on behind the scenes. And so a lot of every year we we support a handful of organizations through different donations that we do. And so I kind of wanted to tie in both the give back and bringing things out of darkness to light to support causes that need to be supported. And also just like playing on you can feel comfortable in who you are, and supporting people’s skin journey. Because if you feel comfortable in your skin, you’re going to feel more comfortable. Out in the world.

Kara Goldin 19:07
Yeah, no, definitely. So what’s been the toughest thing about launching a physical product for you? I mean, there’s always lessons learned along the way. I mean, I You could call them failures or screw ups or whatever. What’s sort of like one that has come about that you were just like, why didn’t I know that? Or no one told me this.

Jordan Harper 19:29
Oh, and this happens every day. Yeah, I think the hardest thing is, I have a medical background. So I feel like you know, I’m very involved in all of our formulations, all of the back end, you know, research that we do on our products, clinical trials, all that. So I feel like so strong in that area. I feel but no one I know I’m the CEO no one helped. No one as far as like I’ve my team is amazing, but I’ve really had to like grow my team as we could afford it. So at first it was just me in my garage packaging products, you know, building accordingly. So I have made a million mistakes. But I think that the thing I do feel like I’ve tried to do anytime we’ve made mistakes is one, I just always take ownership of it, because ultimately, it’s a lesson for me to kind of see, okay, what can I do now in the future to improve my communication, and figure this out. So kind of like viewing them more as challenges to overcome and not getting stuck in like the moment of it? physical product, and I know, you know, this is, it is, it’s like, until you get in it, I can’t even believe we even get anything, it is wild, all the steps that it takes to get to a physical product in hand, is incredible. And it really blows me away, especially when we started in 2020, with all of the supply chain issues, we had product that was just sitting in the ocean for months that we couldn’t even get. And that was just wild. But I would say like, there’s been a lot of situations, and it’s actually just recently happened, where we’re working with a new manufacturer for a product, and there was a lack of communication. And we had paid like our deposit. And they produced all of the units, 50,000 units without our approval. And they’re not right. And I can’t, I can’t sell those. And so we’re, you know, we’re still trying to talk through, but ultimately, it’s like, that’s my responsibility. I’m like, who’s my boss? Who’s going to solve this for me? But it’s ultimately like one of those things where I’m like, shoot, okay, well, that’s gonna be a really unfortunate loss. And it’s my fault, because I didn’t properly like, I didn’t know that those are going into production. And it’s just one of those things where it’s like, okay, well, I gotta learn from that improve our communication. And that’s really all you can do.

Kara Goldin 22:00
Yeah, no, definitely. It’s definitely those first few batches. I think for no matter what industry you’re in, everyone’s got stories, where you know, you sometimes you just have to say, Okay, we need to move on. That was like, I’m not going to be able to do anything about it. But it’s absolutely, you know, something that all entrepreneurs go through, we’ve had many guests on that have talked about it in the food space or right, accidental mistakes, that ended up being new products as well, that they never really thought about, but that we’ve had many of those too. So what advice would you give to aspiring entrepreneurs knowing what you know, today, like as you’re launching? I mean, I think being an entrepreneur is way more tough than I think people ever think it’s going to be, if you’ve got a you mentioned, you know, supply chain issues, I mean, especially people who had never dealt with, you know, pandemics as most of us hadn’t. I mean, there’s all kinds of issues that were probably definitely tied to that. But I, I’m curious what you would say to that.

Jordan Harper 23:16
So I think, a couple things, resourcefulness, you have to be resourceful. Like, no one is going to help you in the sense where like, and I tell this to my kids all the time, because they’re like, I need this, I need that. And I and I always say, no one has to help you. So get that out of your mind, like no one has to help you. If they do, then one you you know, you’re either paying him or you’re like really like you have to reach you know, find your people that you can use as resources, but being resourceful and that means like, you’re going to have to just, you know, whether it’s Googling, whether it’s trying to network, you have to learn how to figure stuff out and it’s not glamorous. I think that’s where people think entrepreneurship is glamorous, because you see someone 10 years out, you didn’t see, you know, the person 10 year you didn’t see me in my garage, because at that point, I wasn’t sharing that on social media, because I thought that was embarrassing. And I think when you’re first starting out, you have you’re putting, you’re putting yourself out there and it feels very embarrassing. And you have to you have to believe in what you’re doing like to your core that you know, it especially like on social media. Now you have to be on social media. And I know like, it’s like, Man, I know everyone’s judging. You just feel it right. You’re like I’m really putting myself out there. And you have to be willing to like, believe in what you’re doing so much, that it’s bringing so much value that it doesn’t matter what people say. And I think that’s where a lot of people you know, there’s that fear of what are people going to think and for me, I knew what what I was doing was serving and helping people. And even though Yeah, I felt like I was cringe worthy. You probably know at times, and but that’s what it takes to put yourself out there. And it goes back to the love this. I think it’s a Teddy Roosevelt, Teddy Roosevelt example of demand in the arena. It’s like you have to put you’re like, Okay, I’m in. I’m in my own arena right now. And there’s going to be the spectators who are going to be hating on certain stuff. And maybe you don’t want to always check your DMS to see what people might be saying, like, why are you doing that? Or cringe or whatever. But you have to be like, I believe in what I’m doing. And that’s where you’re putting your ego aside, like, I’m not doing this for me. Yes, I’m very proud of what we have. But I know that what I’m doing serves other people. And so it’s so much bigger than me. And so I can feel so confident in that. When I’m bringing it out into the, into the world.

Kara Goldin 25:49
I think that’s such great advice. For sure. It’s, I think, you know, social, you’ve done a great job of that Helen, who was on our podcast a few weeks ago, I mean, she’s done an amazing job as well. I think that the more that you can really embrace it, and let people know who you are. And your authentic self is absolutely key for sure. Especially in growing your brand and also attaching a person. We’ve certainly done that at hints, too. And sometimes it’s a little scary to get out there and really be talking about your why. And you know, you’re gonna have judgers haters, for sure. But I think it’s a way to grow the brand and letting people in on sort of how you’re thinking about things is really, really key. So I absolutely love that you’ve done that. So what is the best advice that you’ve ever received?

Jordan Harper 26:45
Two things telling self talk, positive self talk. And so when I was younger, you know, you want to say that you can’t do certain things. And I, my mom would always say, like, do not say that you can’t do something, say, I can figure this out. And I can handle this. And you know, we’re going to I’m going to be able to figure this out whatever this situation is, I can figure it out. And I think positive self talk and not let not like so all of our life is lived in our right here. between our ears. Yeah. And so really saying, like, you can choose to my mommy. So I say you can choose to have a happy heart. You cannot choose what happens to you. But you can choose how you react to that. And I think to me, that’s like, the most powerful thing is like, I have the choice of how I’m going to show up, I have the choice on how I’m going to react to a situation. And if I know, you know, I will always find a way to figure it out. And that’s that I feel like it’s like, ingrained in me through just positive self talk. So I rarely, I can’t even think of a time when I heard my mom talk bad about herself, whether it’s like body, you know, a lot of that like, comes from a parent that you see, they’re always body shaming themselves. And a lot of that stems down, you know, to daughters, and I didn’t realize that until I got older. And I just think it’s like, the best thing is just don’t you gotta build yourself up everyone else, potentially trying to build you, you know, break you down. You got to take care of yourself. So making sure to really like the power of our mind and valuing that I think is like, so there’s not a piece of advice, but kind of like, you know, overarching?

Kara Goldin 28:29
That’s no, that’s super great. And especially, I think for entrepreneurs, I mean, you’re hearing tons of noes along the way and you run into hurdles every single day. So I think that that’s a terrific reminder to end on for sure. So well thank you so much Jordan, everyone needs to order bare faced for sure and and check it out. They really truly are terrific products from a great founder and entrepreneur, Jordan Harper and nurse practitioner, too. You have lots of great tips on your site as well. And I know you’re doing lots of other interviews to where you talk much more about skincare, which is super, super important. So thank you so much for coming on, for sure. And thanks, everybody, for listening to so have a great rest of the week. Thanks, Kara. Thanks again for listening to the Kara Goldin show. If you would, please give us a review and feel free to share this podcast with others who would benefit and of course, feel free to subscribe so you don’t miss a single episode of our podcast. Just a reminder that I can be found on all platforms at Kara Goldin. And if you want to hear more about my journey, I hope you will have a listen or pick up a copy of my book undaunted, which I share my journey, including founding and building hint. We are here every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. And thanks everyone for listening. Have a great rest Does the week and 2023 and good bye for now. Before we sign off, I want to talk to you about fear. People like to talk about fearless leaders. But achieving big goals isn’t about fearlessness. Successful leaders recognize their fears and decide to deal with them head on in order to move forward. This is where my new book undaunted comes in. This book is designed for anyone who wants to succeed in the face of fear, overcome doubts and live a little undaunted. Order your copy today at undaunted, the and learn how to look your doubts and doubters in the eye and achieve your dreams. For a limited time. You’ll also receive a free case of hint water. Do you have a question for me or want to nominate an innovator to spotlight send me a tweet at Kara Goldin and let me know. And if you liked what you heard, please leave me a review on Apple podcasts. You can also follow along with me on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn at Kara Goldin. Thanks for listening