In a bi-weekly series, we're interviewing female executives, founders, CEOs—basically, boss ladies—on their "power suit" a.k.a. the outfit they wear every day for easy dressing to conquer whatever the job throws at them.
Clean, natural, silicone-free—all these words might have popped up into our own beauty vocabulary a few years ago but Nancy Twine's been preaching them her whole life. Twine is the CEO and founder of haircare line Briogeo (opens in new tab), whose products are all up to 90 to 100 percent naturally derived and packaged in bottles that are both recycled and recyclable.
Prior to founding her successful company, Twine had learned to make natural products from her grandmother and mom. This stayed with Twine as she worked at Goldman Sachs, but in 2010 when her mother passed away, that was the tipping point when Twine realized, as she says, "life can be short and it's important to maximize the time" one has. She threw herself into studying the beauty industry, from learning to create nontoxic formulas to testing hundreds of formulas with a chemist, and launched in 2013. When Sephora reached out to carry her line in the U.S. and Canada (opens in new tab) the very next year, Twine quit her job and fully dedicated herself to the brand. (At 31, Twine was also the youngest African-American woman to launch a line with the popular retailer (opens in new tab).)
The company is currently based in New York City and employs approximately 40 people. As for what separates Twine's haircare brand from others in the market? Briogeo appeals to consumers by hair texture (coily, dry, wavy, thin) rather than ethnicity and offers high-performance products that are free from sulfates, parabens, phthalates, silicones, DEA and synthetic color. (My favorite for fine hair is the ginseng and biotin shampoo (opens in new tab).)
"Diversity was important to me in creating the brand," she says. "Historically haircare was a category that was separated by ethnicity, so I wanted to create a line that was inclusive and catered to all hair texture types." The name itself also speaks to the brand's ethos. The Italian word "brio" means "vibrant, colorful, and full of life" while the Latin word "geo" means "earth/nature."
And Twine is her company's number one fan and tester: One of her personal favorites is the Don't Despair, Repair! Deep Conditioning Mask, which "is a holy grail product that's like giving your scalp a facial," she says. I'm sold. Outside of her beauty recs though, the entrepreneur also has great taste in clothes. Here, she discusses what it takes to run a business and what her power outfit is at work.
Her Morning Routine
"A few days a week I train at Equinox, which typically takes place at 6 a.m. On those days, I am up by 5:15 a.m. to start my day with a workout. Then I will come home and make some breakfast, take a shower, get ready for work. I'm typically in the office by 8:30 a.m. until 7. Sometimes I'll have events after work, whether it's meeting with a friend for drinks and dinner or an industry event. By that time, I get home well after 9."
Her Getting Dressed Strategy
"I know some people plan outfits in advance, but I don't do that unless it's an important event or something. I am always checking my calendar, however, to see what my day will look like, so that dictates how I dress. For example, if I have important VIP people coming into the office, I won't wear jeans, I'll wear a dress. Or if it's a day that I am light on meetings, I prefer to be a bit more casual."
Her Work Uniform
"I prefer wearing dresses, skirts, and top combos since I am not really a jeans person. When I do wear bottoms, it's that or cords though. I don't wear any other textures outside of those pants. One of my favorite places to shop is Intermix because they have a good curation of brands. I love Ganni, Alexis, Alice & Olivia, Re/Done's jeans, and for [more of a] Parisian flair, I like Sandro. I also never used to be super into shoes, but lately I've been buying a lot of designer pairs from Valentino and Jimmy Choo and Stuart Weitzman. I love my Manolo Blahniks, which I wear winter or summer. For sneakers, I like APL.
[As for my work tote], I have this Celine bag that I wear year round, but I definitely need a lighter color for [the warmer months]. I have two laptops, one at home and one at work, so I don't have to lug them around. I wear my Cartier and Jemma Wynne bracelets every day and love Lizzie Fortunado's funky, chunky earring selections because they're super cool."
The Three Words That Describe Her Power Outfit
"I think power outfits are all about confidence, quality [in the clothing materials], and are special. I know when I wear some of my 'power outfits' people will say things to me that they wouldn't normally say—compliments on my look etc... power outfits are all about embodying confidence."
"I think we all have the power to manifest what we want in life. I am a big believer in vision boards, really putting out there what it is you want, but also you have to meet your vision halfway with hard work. If you just have a vision and want to create a brand/start XYZ but you're not willing to put in the work, then your vision will just be a vision and not a future reality."
If you love Twine's work style, shop similar pieces, here.
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What The RealReal's COO Wears to Work
Marina Liao is the former fashion news editor at MarieClaire.com, where she covered celebrity style (from Meghan Markle to Katie Holmes), fashion trends, and shopping advice, plus conducted original interviews with industry insiders. She's also had many opportunities to write content in other areas such as beauty, food, tech, and even home. Her previous fashion stints include POPSUGAR and Cosmopolitan.
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