Career Diaries: Meet Skin-Care Brand Founder Tata HarperSeptember 18, 2019
In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, we sat down with Tata Harper, a Latina woman who is one of the pioneers in the natural skin-care space. The Colombian native explains why she founded Tata Harper Skincare — an all-natural skin-care brand that boasts uncompromising beauty for uncompromising women. Read to find out what Tata Harper thinks about clean beauty, her everyday skin-care routine and what’s next for her company.
How did you get started in skin care?
My stepfather was diagnosed with cancer, and through helping him change his lifestyle I started to examine everything I was putting in and on my body. I couldn’t find any natural products that gave me the results and the luxury experience I was looking for, so I set out to create my own. No one should have to sacrifice their health for their beauty.
What moment in your career are you most proud of?
I am extremely proud whenever a customer tells me about how much our products have helped their skin. It makes me proud of what me and my team do, and it really validates the effort we put in day in, day out to try and make a meaningful difference in people’s lives.
What does a typical day look like for you?
The only consistent thing is having time with my children in the morning, getting them ready for school and then getting to spend more time with them in the evening. In terms of my day to day at the office, every day is always a little bit different. There are always new challenges to consider, new innovations to discover and that’s what keeps me excited and keeps me and my team constantly pushing and striving for more.
What's your favorite part of your job?
My favorite part is innovation and working in the lab. My team and I spend so much time finding new green technologies that go beyond typical ingredients like vitamin C and hyaluronic acid – which are ingredients we love and use, but my favorite thing is finding and bringing in new generation ingredients.
What inspires you?
A lot of things inspire me, from my team to the clients I meet, our events to interviews and stories I read about leaders in other industries. But generally, what really inspires me are people who are trying to make a difference and are constantly striving to make people’s lives better.
What advice do you have for female entrepreneurs?
My advice would be to focus on solving a problem. Whatever your idea or goal is, make sure that it’s something that has a meaningful impact on people’s lives.
Did you ever face any advantages or disadvantages as a Latina woman in the industry?
Being a Latin woman definitely has not brought me any disadvantages. I think the one advantage it has given me is how beauty-oriented Latin culture is. I work in an industry that has been ingrained into every aspect of my life since I was a little girl in Colombia, so I was able to infuse that cultural passion for beauty into my company and everything we do.
As a pioneer in the natural skin-care industry, how do you feel about the recent influx of "clean" and "natural" skincare brands?
Clean beauty is definitely the future. I think it’s a temporary term because that’s what customers are demanding, so eventually all brands will get there as they continue to use fewer controversial ingredients — and I think that it’s great. However, natural beauty is completely different. That’s what we do, and it goes far beyond being clean. Clean is the baseline and it needs to be done and I’m proud to be a part of an industry that has started to make an effort to be less dirty. It’s a great first step, but there’s still work to be done.
What is your daily skin-care routine?
For my morning routine, I always start by exfoliating with the Regenerating Cleanser — exfoliating daily really lets my skin breath and glow since it gets rid of any build up, it also helps the products to sink in. I follow with Hydrating Floral Essence to help prep my skin for treatment and help my serums penetrate deeper. Then it’s all about layering — I use Elixir Vitae on my whole face, next I’ll use Elixir Vitae Eye Serum and then Repairative Moisturizer. I don’t really wear a lot of makeup, but I do love blush, so I always finish with Very Naughty on cheeks.
At night, I always start with double cleansing. First, I use the Nourishing Oil Cleanser to get rid of that top layer of dirt and grime from the day, and I follow with the Purifying Cleanser to actually cleanse and detox my skin. Then, I use Hydrating Floral Essence. For serum, I use Elixir Vitae on my face and Boosted Contouring Serum on my neck. I like a thicker eye cream at night, so I usually use a Boosted Contouring Eye Balm. I also like a richer moisturizer at night, so I finish with Crème Riche.
What's your favorite product from your line?
I cannot live without Elixir Vitae. It’s seriously my desert island product. Elixir Vitae is a part of the Supernaturals collection and is our most powerful face serum with 72 ingredients that work like a daily dose of injectables. It has radical new green technologies, like a quadruple neuropeptide complex, that smooth and fill the look of wrinkles and restore volume.
What does beauty mean to you?
To me, beauty is about self-care. I think of it as being another one of my daily wellness rituals because it contributes to my own sense of wellbeing.
What is next for Tata Harper?
In the short term, we are trying to become even more sustainable and are looking into a product refill program. In the long term, we are hoping to branch out of skin care. I’m passionate about fragrance and hair and delving into new categories to give our clients more options.
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