When the beauty subscription service Birchbox landed in mailboxes in 2010 it changed the way we shop for beauty products and it changed the lives of its founders, Katia Beauchamp and Hayley Barna.
The Harvard Business School classmates embarked on a mission to make shopping for beauty easier, and while Barna stepped away from the businesses, Beauchamp remains CEO of Birchbox. The company is a leader in the beauty space and Beauchamp is a leader at work and home, running a company while raising four kids.
On the latest episode of the second season of The Motherly Podcast, Sponsored by Prudential, Beauchamp tells Motherly co-founder Liz Tenety about how motherhood was the best thing to happen to her work life.
“I remember just coming back to work and being more fresh and like having had time where my mind wasn’t thinking about work. I found myself in a better headspace with more perspective, a little more chilled out, more creative and also just recognized. Like I just had a lot of clarity. I felt kind of enlightened,” she explains.
Her personal experience as a parent and a business leader has taught Beauchamp that parents are such an asset to a company, and that’s a message that she is trying to spread within and beyond Birchbox. “I definitely witnessed prior to having kids that moms were just so effective at managing their time, having perspective, understanding what was an emergency,” says Beauchamp.
Now as a mother of four herself, Beauchamp understands that the common assumption that motherhood slows a woman’s ambition is often so wrong and that in many cases, having kids makes parents more ambitious, more driven and more determined. She believes that when parents become parents, they may aim even higher at work and employers need to recognize this and see parents as assets.
For Beauchamp, this means “supporting parents through that and also treating them like they are whole people who can still have ambitions and having conversations that don’t presuppose what they need but respect that they have needs.”
It means offering parental leave and helping parents onboard again when it is time to come back. It means recognizing the humanity of employees and changing not just the way this generation buys beauty products, but the way a generation works, too.
To hear more from Birchbox co-founder Katia Beauchamp, listen to The Motherly Podcast, sponsored by Prudential, for the full interview.