When we think of stylish California women, Geri Hirsch immediately comes to mind. Raised in none other than the City of Angels, the entrepreneur, fashion blogger, clean beauty pioneer, and mom knows a thing or two about balancing it all. On top of running her successful blog, Because I’m Addicted, Geri is the Creative Director and on the founding team of the luxury clean makeup line, Saie Beauty. We sat down with Geri to discuss everything from business-building to clean beauty to motherhood, and of course, wellness. Frenshes, meet Geri Hirsch.
(P.S. if you’re ever in LA you’ll have to check out her Instagram-worthy coffee shop, Neighborhood.)
FRENSHE: Geri, you’ve had success in so many projects and business ventures over the years. Can you tell us how you got started and learned what you wanted to do as a career?
Geri Hirsch: From selling lemonade on the corner as a child to having a jewelry company in high school and slanging Seven For All Mankind jeans out of my sorority room (I interned there and bought up hundreds of their damaged pairs to resell), I’ve always had an entrepreneurial spirit. If you asked me as a child what I was going to be when I grew up, I would say a CEO (albeit, I had no clue what that acronym stood for, I just knew it was a BIG business job). So, off to college, I went where I studied finance and marketing. After I graduated, the internet started to explode: Facebook, youtube, blogs, etc. and through starting a blog and youtube channel where I shared and explored my passions, businesses organically were born. I still have my blog, built and sold a media company called LEAF, own a coffee shop with my family on La Brea called Neighborhood, and am on the founding team as Creative Director of Saie which is a clean makeup line.
F: As one of the OG lifestyle bloggers with Because I’m Addicted, how did you know which topics you wanted to cover and what qualities made the blog take off?
GH: I had no idea! Let’s back up, I started in 2005 when there were only a handful of blogs and zero “blogging industry.” I just shared my life in a real way on Blogspot (Instagram would launch 5 years later in 2010). I was in my early 20s, working my first adult job and living my best LA life (remember the days when Lindsay Lohan and Paris Hilton were always at The Roosevelt? Ohhhh the good old 2000s!!) while on a budget trying to piece together cool outfits, easy home-cooked meals and lots of DIY because it was all I could afford. I think it was all very relatable and individually produced content was so new, it cultivated an audience. Now there’s a multi-billion dollar industry and the categories are like little boxes that everyone wants to stick you in, such as fashion blogger, mommy blogger, lifestyle blogger, wellness blogger, etc.
F: Your brand was always embedded in wellness. What does wellness mean to you and how do you practice it each and every day?
GH: To me, wellness is about what makes you feel your best mentally, physically, and emotionally. For everyone this is different and it’s always evolving. For me, right now in a pandemic with two children and work, it’s about setting my intentions every morning, finding 20 minutes every single day to do some form of exercise, eating whole organic foods, drinking a lot of water and embracing the challenge with a whole lot of love and laughter.
F: Let’s talk about Saie Beauty. As the Creative Director, what were your goals in developing and communicating the brand’s message?
GH: I wanted to build a clean makeup brand that was chic and elevated yet totally inclusive. Prior to launching Saie, I’d been into clean beauty for 10+ years and with the exception of a few brands, it felt pretty crunchy and lifestyle specific (yoga pants, packaging with plants, etc.) but why? Why couldn’t makeup that wasn’t bad for you be fashion-focused, cool, relatable, affordable, and inclusive? That’s what I set out to create and hopefully am accomplishing little by little with every single creative decision.
F: Clean beauty brands are finally getting the respect and attention they deserve. Why is clean beauty important to you?
GH: Your body is your home and you only get one in your lifetime. So why put anything in, on or around your body that’s toxic?
And the truth is, the last time Congress thoroughly overhauled the regulation of personal care products, was before World War II. So it’s up to us as consumers, or in my case, creators, to choose and create good for you products.
F: Did you come across any challenges while helping bring Saie to life? On the other hand, what are some of your biggest accomplishments?
GH: There’s always a new challenge, you know like a pandemic! But it’s par for the course. The biggest accomplishment is creating a line that people truly love. Without that, none of it matters.
F: If you had to pick one, what’s your favorite Saie product and why?
GH: Glowy Super Gel. It’s the most natural glow-from-within highlight that exists and makes everyone look fresh even on their most tired of days.F: It’s obvious that life isn’t normal right now. How are you managing it all while still having a work-life balance, even from home?
GH: There are a lot of ups and downs and in the down moments, I practice gratitude. As eye-rolling as that sounds, it’s true and it helps. That and getting outside.
F: Is there anything you could share on what’s next for Saie? Any exciting launches coming?
GH: Our biggest launch yet is in September! Stay tuned!
F: What’s the best advice you’ve ever received (business or personal)?
GH: Trust your instincts.
F: Do you have any advice for anyone looking to step into the clean beauty space or launching a small business of any sort?
GH: Clean beauty: start one product at a time. When you run out of something, instead of buying your same-old, buy a clean version, and before you know it, you’ll have an overhauled beauty routine. Small business: Just do it! Starting seems to be the hardest part.
F: If there’s one thing you hope your daughters could take away from seeing their mom rise and grind every day, what would that be?
GH: I obviously want them to know that you have to work hard and nothing comes easy but the only thing that really matters to me is that they feel like my number one priority. I don’t want them looking back at their childhood and feeling like they had a mom who worked all the time. I want them to feel like even though I worked hard, I was always there and fully present.
F: What’s one thing you’re loving right now that you think our audience should know about?
GH: The Ellie nap dress from Hill House Home.
THE FRENSHE FIVE:
What’s something toxic you’re trying to get rid of in your life? Alcohol.
How do you keep yourself balanced? HA!
One health or beauty trend you’ll never do again? IV vitamin drip. A huge disaster that resulted in a massive breakout all over my face for three months.
Quote you live by? What you think, you become. – Buddha