Diana Larkin is the CEO and founder of MyHare an at-home salon waxing experience. She talks to 35 Thousand about how she sold her waxing salon business in LA to start MyHare just 12 weeks before the Corona crisis hit. She explains how Covid has changed her outlook, why she will never put off another adventure and how sex not gin (she said she’s radically honest!) has got her through the past year.
Describe yourself in 3 words…
“Radically honest, funny, loyal.”
Tell us about your work…
“In 2005, I left behind a successful talent manager position to open up a specialty waxing salon – with multiple locations – in Los Angeles. After 14 years, in January 2020 I decided to sell the business. This allowed me to focus on building a brand that takes the salon waxing experience directly to consumers homes via a do-it-yourself, at-home hair removal and body care company. Ten months later, MyHare was born.”
Do you work in the spare room, a skyscraper or other?
“The spare room in my home became my new HQ.”
What parts of your work give you energy?
“Product development is one of the most exciting aspects of my job – it’s my passion. You get a chance to really let your mind be free, problem solve, get creative and see how far you can push yourself to invent new ideas and expand on old ones. Next to that, I enjoy branding work. It’s fun to think through the persona, and how to make it come to life with a voice, visuals, feelings and messaging.”
What parts of your work drain you?
“Logistics and management. I’m an excellent problem solver, but I can’t solve people. It can be challenging to see avoidable and time-sucking mistakes happen, and not want to scream from the rooftops. It’s a difficult balance correcting missteps while ensuring that I am an encouraging team leader. That can be draining at times.”
Most pivotal point of your career so far?
“Selling my first business 12 weeks before a global pandemic to focus on an at-home product line out of total coincidence feels pretty pivotal. Additionally, finding an equity partner to take a chance on me and my idea for MyHare was a game changer, as they provided me the expertise and resources necessary to launch my business.”
Best piece of advice you received that you now pass on to others…
“There’s a reason why they put blinders on racehorses – it’s so they can’t see who’s on either side. The same is true in business. Just focus on your project, your ecosystem, don’t worry about the other guys.”
What’s your context outside of work – do you have family, other people counting on you, pets, hobbies, external commitments?
“I have a 10-year-old daughter named Coco. She is my everything and a bit of a mini me, which is reassuring and terrifying all at the same time. I share her with my ex-husband, who I have a great co-parenting relationship with.
Pablo is my rescue cat whom I named Pablo because I was binging Narcos at the time of his adoption. I also mentor a few women in finance and stocks, because it’s fun and its crazy not to. I’m very passionate about women having a strong understanding of money – how to put it to work, what to do with profits and how to reinvest. I believe this is crucial to growth and independence, and again it’s fun – I promise you.”
Describe your pre-pandemic day-to-day…
“Waking up, checking stocks an hour before Coco wakes up. Getting her off to school, getting in a workout, checking in with work, picking her up, doing homework, making dinner, then we watch Shark Tank or I introduce her to classic 90’s comedies.”
How has your daily life changed?
“Repeat the entire last answer, minus the school, going to the gym, going into work – ha! Everything changed in those first few months of the pandemic, but my little family was able to get into the new norm when we realized we were going to be here for a while. At first, finding motivation was a bit difficult for me, as it was a lot of people. I am a Virgo and don’t love change, although I always adapt. I now have added exercise back into my daily routine and am finding new ways get inspired.”
Has the Corona crisis impacted you personally and professionally? How?
“For me, and I’m sure most people, it was this surreal moment in time where we all were experiencing something collectively – the entire world, all at the same time. In same shape or form, everyone has been impacted by COVID. Personally, I realized the fragility of life and how easy it is to take it all for granted. I thought about the frivolity of the things that seemed so important before but proved to be the exact opposite. It forced me to refocus because all I had was time to think, time to be still. Professionally it was no different. Dealing with total unknowns in the business world and doing my best to maneuver through it took soul searching and focus.”
What, if anything, keeps you up at night?
“I think one of the major benefits that comes with a bit of age and experience is that if you’re lucky, you had many victories with the battle of over thinking and worrying. I’ve found ways to cope by being proactive and involved in the hard times and decisions, and with that comes the confidence that you will be able to overcome the next problem and the one after that and so on and so forth. So, in all honesty, not much keeps me up at night because I know it’ll be there in the morning so might as well get some rest.”
What have been your best coping strategies over the past year? Do you have any objects, routines, or tools that you found particularly uplifting? Gin or Gym?
“Do you want my honest answer? Sex. In all seriousness, I am so grateful to be in a beautiful and healthy relationship with my boyfriend. Our shared attitude and outlook on life made all the difference in the world in 2020. Also, being a mother and spending time and energy putting my daughter’s needs first always helps to put things in perspective.”
What has kept you sane? And kept your family sane?
“In addition to my partner and daughter, friends have been golden. You need a great community to lift you up, always”.
Did 2020 change your outlook on life in any way?
“I’ve never been one who likes to “waste” time, but coming out of this, I will never make another excuse to put off an adventure. What’s the point of working so hard if you can’t do what you want and what makes you happy?”
Are you travel-ready? Where do you want to go, with who or would you rather stay home?
“Once I get my second vaccine, and France is ready to have me back, I will be there! My boyfriend is from northern France and I also have family who I cannot wait to see in Como, Italy. But most of all I would like to continue the tradition of taking my daughter to a place she’s never been before outside of the US during her summer break.”
Finish this sentence “Currently stashed in my handbag is…”
“Aside from the usuals (keys, hand sani, lip gloss, etc.), I have two fortune cookies stashed in my bag, which I’ve convinced myself only to open in the case of low blood sugar or low motivation.”
What are your WFH saviors?
“In my house, there is always music on. It makes me feel like the house is full of my favorite people. Also, strong Wi-Fi and justifying Ugg slippers as appropriate everyday footwear.”
Describe your style:
“My style is the fourth member of the Beastie Boys meets Isabel Marant Winter Collection 2011.”
Name your 5 essential items of clothing:
“Nike Blazer any color, 5 button Levi’s, Alo leggings, crisp white tee’s, high heeled boots.”
How do you see your business in two years from now?
“In two years, I will have brought my entire product line to market, while exploring ways to market outside the U.S. MyHare will be a notable brand in the self-care space that was backed by and built by credible industry experts. I would like to align myself with an organization or a cause that truly does find ways to support future female entrepreneurs because I think it’s crucial to make an impact during girls’ development.”
What’s your go to mantra or life motto?
“Deal with your shit or your shit deals with you.”