Space NK x Nancy Twine | International Women's Day 2019


To celebrate International Women's Day, we partnered with Space NK who spoke to female founders, friends and industry leaders to hear about how they make it work at home, in life, and in business. Who run the world?




Keeping reading below for Nancy Twine's full interview on starting her own business and overcoming obstacles along the way!





Emily: Was there a lightbulb moment for you in starting Briogeo? What made you leave Goldman Sachs and say, “I’m going to start a hair care line”?

Nancy: I’d like to think that I’m a very methodical person, and I always like to put a lot of thought into things before I make a decision. I actually went to the small business library here, on 34th street, and was literally studying the natural personal care market to really understand who the players were and what the opportunities were. One of the things that I noticed is that so many of the clean brands that existed in beauty were 1. mass brands, and then the prestige brands that existed primarily were in skincare, and then some in makeup, but there was really no one doing prestige, clean haircare.


The big lightbulb moment was that there was this big white space that existed, and I knew that natural and clean wasn’t just going to be a trend - something that came and went. I knew, fundamentally, it was going to be the future of how people seek out their beauty products.



I said, well, if no one is doing or owning clean hair care, there’s such a white space, and if I’m going to enter this beauty landscape, it makes sense to do it where I could one day be a dominant player, which luckily we are growing to be.


Emily: Is there anything that you wish you had known before you started that you know now?

Nancy: There are a couple of things. I just feel like the beauty landscape has changed so much that even if I did know a lot before I started, maybe a lot of that information wouldn’t even be relevant now because the way that brands are thinking about marketing and are thinking about packaging and messaging. It’s just so different. I guess it would’ve been helpful if I knew how big and important social media would ultimately play and the development and the success of the brand. I think that that’s an area that we would’ve invested more closely early on, but I think that’s one of the exciting and challenging things about the beauty space right now is that it’s ever-changing.


Emily: What advice would you give to other women in the business, trying to make it work the way you did?

Nancy: I was actually talking to someone who was graduating from school. They had a business idea and they wanted to jump straight from college into this entrepreneurial venture, and while it’s so exciting, I think that you should never rush your idea. I think that there’s a lot of benefit from actually working, whether it’s in the industry or not, but just getting work skills and learning how to navigate that, and then also being able to save up some money, because starting this business wasn’t easy. I had to invest a lot of my own savings just to get it off the ground.



Emily: What would you say are some of the obstacles you may have faced?

Nancy: I think one of them, just truthfully, has been scaling the business, and a lot of that has to do with scaling the team - really finding the right talent that can really thrive in a startup environment. We operate so fast-paced at Briogeo, and it definitely takes a certain mindset and work ethic to really thrive, but I’ve just been so honored. We have such an incredible team of guys and girls that are so passionate about the brand and what we’re doing.


Emily: What would you say your approach to work, life and balance is?

Nancy: I think it’s definitely something that evolved, because I know when I first started my brand, it was like I was living, thinking and running Briogeo 24/7. I was working weekends and I was working evenings.


I think you get to a point where you gain a certain confidence, and you realize that hey, if I don’t get to this tonight, or, if I don’t figure out a solution until tomorrow, it’s not the end of the world. Things keep going.


I’ve seen some of my friends burn out or just go so hard that they’re not as effective, so I think I’ve just consciously made an effort to be on when I absolutely need to be on, but when it’s time to disconnect, that’s really important too.



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Just touched down in London town 🇬🇧

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Emily: What would you say has been one of your biggest career highlights?

Nancy: There have been so many, but I would say, most recently, it’s actually been launching Briogeo in the UK. We launched online with a couple of retailers last year, but actually just two days ago, we launched with Space NK and about 40 of their Brick and Mortar locations. It has just been such a dream and so cool to see Briogeo, not just in the US, but internationally, and people really connecting with our products.


Emily: Is there anyone or anything that you feel like you can attribute part of your success to? 

Nancy: I think the first thing that comes to mind is that I didn’t start my career doing this. I actually spent the first seven years of my career working for one of the largest investment banks in the world, and I must say, I worked with some of the smartest, most strategic, hardworking people that I’ve ever met in my life. When you come out of college into a work situation, you’re so malleable. You’re just a sponge and you take up everything around you, and I just learned so much about working hard and thinking smart and just being a really good business person from that experience. I think it would’ve been a lot harder to start this brand if I didn’t have that. 


Emily: What gave you the imputes to go from idea, to creation stage? 

Nancy: I actually started thinking about starting my own business shortly after my mom passed. I lost my mom really suddenly and tragically in a car incident, and not only did it give me the desire to start my own passion project, but I think it also fueled this new mentality of, life is short and it’s not promised to anyone, and we have to make the most of our lives and our opportunity.


I wanted to just do something that I truly truly loved and I could look back on and say, “Wow, I did that.”



Emily: How would you like Briogeo to be remembered?

Nancy: I think we’re doing a lot of things differently, and despite being a clean-focused brand, I think our approach and our storytelling – we’re about having fun and celebrating individualism. I think a lot of hair care brands in the market can be very serious or scientific, and I think that we really are bringing a lot of fun back into haircare, and I do want to hopefully be remembered as a brand that was really a part of that transformative moment in haircare of people really thinking about their scalp and their hair the same way that they do their face and skin - that kind of 'skinification' of hair movement.




 Happy International Women's Day to all our #BriogeoBabes out there!


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