- Jennifer on her passion for helping others find self-acceptance and happiness
- How she refused to force-fit herself into a corporate job
- Jennifer started reading children’s stories during lockdown to help parents that were homeschooling
Jennifer Norman is the Founder of The Human Beauty Movement and Humanist Beauty. Jennifer talks to 35 Thousand about her 20+ year career in the beauty industry, refusing to force-fit herself into a corporate job and her passion for helping others find self-acceptance.
Describe yourself in 3 words…
“Compassionate, soulful, generous.”
Tell us about your work…
“After spending a 20+ year career in the beauty industry, I’ve come to realize that beauty comes from inside. It’s about self-love, not self-adulation. So I’ve dedicated my work to helping others find self-acceptance and happiness.”
Do you work in the spare room, a skyscraper or other
“My business is currently based out of my home. Definitely not a skyscraper!”
What parts of your work give you energy?
“I love the creativity and artfulness of my work. Developing new content, seeing products come to life, inspiring others, and connecting emotionally through shared feelings, experiences, and faith in humanity. All those aspects give me great energy.”
What parts of your work drain you?
“Accounting, business modeling, forecasting…these are definitely important and necessary but not the most riveting parts of my work.”
Most pivotal point of your career so far?
“Becoming my own boss. It’s been so liberating to be able to pave my own path rather than trying to force-fit myself into a corporate job that didn’t suit my sensibility.”
Best piece of advice you received that you now pass on to others?
“Be you. I never really took that advice to heart, because I didn’t think it was acceptable or possible to ‘be me’ before. I used to put on so many fronts – a professional front, a fashionista front, a workaholic front – it got to the point where I lost myself. I felt like my life was not really my own. Now, I feel as if I am living my truth, and it is beyond refreshing. I would encourage everyone to really take the time to meditate and get to know who they really are so their lives and relationships are completely real and natural.”
Describe your pre-pandemic day-to-day…
“I’ve been an entrepreneur since 2019, so I was already working from home when the pandemic hit in March 2021. My days were varied but tended to involve business set up, sustainability research, design work, product development, website development, and creative production.”
How has your daily life changed, what’s your new normal?
“My daily life is filled with way more Zoom calls and Google meetings than ever. In-person meetings and business lunches have become non-existent.”
Has the Corona crisis impacted you personally and professionally? How?
“The challenges I’ve faced pale in comparison to so many people. Personally, it’s meant sacrificing.
Personally, the Corona virus crisis has given me a heightened awareness of how we as humans are so connected. We all breathe the same air. A virus that germinates in one locale of the world can spread so quickly, human to human, around the entire globe. It gives me an even greater perspective on how even just one person has the power to impact the entire world.
Professionally, the Corona virus impacted my business in that it caused my supply chain to shut down. My initial brand launch was delayed several months, but it did launch successfully in September 2020.”
What, if anything, keeps you up at night?
“I have a son who lives with chronic illness and severe disability. He uses a ventilator to breathe, is non-mobile and non-verbal. Ensuring he is breathing and finding a cure for his condition are two things that tend to keep me up at night. We’ve had to keep ourselves super-isolated during the pandemic since my son is immunocompromised.”
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?
“For me, helping others is the best way to get through any day. When the pandemic hit, I recognized that I was not as impacted as many others. So the first thing I asked myself was what more I could do to help others in their time of need. I started an impromptu 30-day video campaign called ‘From My Closet’ to offer inspiration and give away high-ticket items from my closet to help bring a little bit of happiness and joy to viewers. The campaign raised funds for #BlackLivesMatter and The Gates Foundation.
Next, I realized that many working parents were going to have to homeschool their young kids for the very first time. To help them manage, I started livestreaming children’s book readings every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, starting with my own children’s book series, The Adventures of SuperCaptainBraveMan. I then started inviting other children’s book authors to join me and read their books to our fans.”
What has kept you sane? And kept your family sane?
“I’ve really felt just an overwhelming sense of gratitude for my health and for all the love and support I have around me. Meditation and yoga, Disney+ and ice cream, and laughing at just about everything has helped keep us all sane. It’s important to not take anything in life too seriously.”
Did 2020 change your outlook on life in any way?
“2020 was the year that my eyes were opened to a greater sense of consciousness. My ability to tap into messages from the universe, remove blockages, and manifest success has unquestionably heightened. I know 2020 was a very challenging year, but great learnings and lessons always come from the toughest challenges when you’re open to receiving.”
Are you travel ready? Where do you want to go, with who or would you rather stay home?
“Fortunately, I am now fully vaccinated, so travel has become more of an option. My family is planning a mini-trip to Joshua Tree at the end of the month to celebrate my son’s 15th birthday.”
Finish this sentence “If you look in my handbag at any time you will ALWAYS find….”
“My wallet, my keys, my phone a pen and hand sanitizer.”
What are your work-from-home saviours?
“Strong black coffee in the morning. A protein berry smoothie for breakfast or lunch. Binaural beats for focus. Sweatpants.”
Name your 5 essential items of clothing:
“Boy, has this changed over the past year! I used to be a designer clothing, shoe, and handbag addict. But I cleaned out my closet, and I gave a lot of my designer items away. Now, hippie-indie-comfort is more my style. So I’d say my 5 essential items are (1) my Sita Couture Kiara linen sleeveless maxi hooded dress, (2) my Spiritual Gangster Love sweats, (3) my Free People open kimono poncho hooded sweater (4) my SunChild Goa beaded silk wrap dress and (5) my handmade feather peacock earrings.”
How do you see your business or career in two years from now?
“I’m excited about the impact my company The Human Beauty Movement will continue to make with respect to radical inclusivity, wellness, and sustainability in the beauty industry and beyond. I see the momentum growing and believe our work will be well recognized around the world. I also am thrilled with the initial feedback I’m getting on the launch of Humanist Beauty. We’ll be building a very mindful portfolio of exceptional products over the next couple of years.”
What’s something you haven’t conquered yet but really want to?
“I plan to do a TedTalk in my lifetime.”
What could you say to your 20-year-old self that would help her the most?
“Take time to get to know yourself. What you perceive as pressures from society are all just mind games to test how true you can really be to yourself. Happiness lives inside. When you love and accept yourself, you can manifest anything you wish for your life.”
Do you have a life motto or mantra that really resonates with you?
“To myself: Better, happier and more beautiful every day.
To my son: Today is going to be an amazing day because we are together.”
Pets, hobbies, external commitments?
“I have an adorable rescue chihuahua named Ziggy Smalls.
I’m learning to play the djembe and the acoustic guitar.
I author children’s books called The Adventures of SuperCaptainBraveMan that helps kids learn about friendship, kindness, and inclusivity of those who may have a physical or neurological difference.”
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