H IS FOR HER x SHOP / GOOD
I never thought of Instagram as a place where I would meet some of the most inspiring people in my life, but, that’s exactly what Instagram has become. Leah Kirpalani and I first met (virtually) three years ago when we were launching our individual businesses. We shared a similar aesthetic, but we also shared in a deep desire to help people. Leah’s journey to natural was a long and painful road. It was through her own illness that she discovered liberation from a world filled with toxins. She’s taken that experience and turned it into something beautiful that we can all enjoy.
In the beginning of H IS FOR LOVE I remember struggling with how to share my knowledge with people. How could I convince them to believe that this current world is full of damaging, toxic chemicals? Did I spout statistics and use fear? My gut told me that fear wasn’t the way. What then, is the opposite of fear? LOVE. So I chose to focus on the light instead of the darkness.
This is very much what Leah does in her business. She’s opened a hugely successful clean beauty shop in San Diego (and they’re about to open a second one!) called Shop Good that has everything from bath salts and toothpaste to highly effective skincare, makeup, and internal beauty supplements. It’s one stop shopping for the woman who wants a beautifully curated, thoroughly vetted offering. They also have a full-time esthetician on staff that customizes the most luxurious facials, in-house. Leah’s approach to beauty makes natural very chic.
Several times a month Shop Good hosts events with guest speakers who range from brand owners to nutritionists. I’ve had the honor of being one of those speakers and the energy in Leah’s space is full of love and light. Over the last few years she has built something has and will continue to change people’s lives for the better. Her branding is brilliant, and she’s a force to be reckoned with (housed in the tiniest little frame). I’m honored call her my friend and to be on this journey alongside her.
1.Tell us about what you do. What is your business or craft?
I'm Leah! The founder of Shop Good, a clean beauty and wellness boutique and spa based in San Diego, CA. We're out to make healthy living accessible, fashionable and fun for the modern woman! We do this by offering our highly curated online and in-store assortment of all-natural skincare, makeup and wellness products, our in-store organic spa, monthly educational events and workshops, and our daily content with a greater mission to inspire effortless wellness everywhere!
2. This is exactly what I love about you. You have that elevator pitch down, girl! So, what inspired you to begin?
The inspiration behind my business is rooted in the ten years of unanswered health issues I personally endured. Right before starting my first job out of college, my body and its immune system essentially broke down. From losing my hair, to dealing with horrifying cystic acne, to gaining a significant amount of weight out of nowhere, all the way to becoming allergic to basically everything I ate. My eyes burned, my abdomen bloated, my muscles ached, my face and skin constantly tingled and I went sans period and normal bowel movements for years.
After sifting through countless traditional doctors from multiple schools of thought and still receiving zero answers, I longed for a spaceI I could go to seek answers with people that understood me and what I was going through. With relatable and attainable recommendations and tools that could help me heal. It didn't exist at that time... at least not yet.
I hope that Shop Good is just that. Not only are we a clean beauty + wellness boutique (online and in our San Diego store!) offering everyday essentials that are curated and filtered based on safety of ingredients... but we also strive to be safe space where our customers can share their wellness stories / be inspired by new ways of taking care of their bodies. Our physical store also offers the opportunity for customers to come in and touch and try on our curated assortment of clean beauty and skincare products, which allows us to hold one-on-one conversations and personalize each of our customer’s beauty and skincare routine. It's the space I so wish I could visit, back then.
3.What was the scariest part about starting your business and how did you move through that fear?
Ironically enough, the scariest part was of the journey was when my business model started working. It was that moment when I knew that if I continued on this path and took next critical steps... my business would likely consume my life and take up every other thought in my head. I knew that the trade off for chasing my dreams was going to be big, and I wasn't sure if I was ready to take that plunge. It was terrifying. People tell you this about entrepreneurship, and I most definitely had heard it before, but I don’t think you can really grasp what that feels like until your fully in it and making life decisions based around this business you've created. Missing family trips, pouring life savings into business strategies and no longer prioritizing my self care -- it all happened because I decided to push forward. Regardless of how hard I knew it would be, I also knew there was nothing else that was going to fulfill me like the work I do for Shop Good and ultimately for women everywhere. There’s no other work I could dream of doing, and this pushes me through the fear I have and trade-offs I make, daily.
4. Yes. So much yes. I’m exactly there right now with my business. You seem like me in the sense that doing what we do is less “I want to do this” and more “I’m CALLED to this.” Who is a woman who inspires you?
Can I include multiple women into this category?? The makers of the natural beauty and skincare brands who have gifted us the opportunity to be ambassadors for their beautiful creations. Every morning while walking into the store and peering out onto our shelves, there is a powerful and energetic vibration of healing and love. What these makers have created via their research, creative minds and hands is otherworldly and it inspires me whenever I am spending time in the shop.
Also, my mom. Her strength and courage to take even better care of herself every day inspires me always.
5. I love your mom. She’s such a warm, giving person. I’ve loved meeting her both times I was down to visit your shop! What are some of the key challenges you’ve found in running a business?
Time management. Time management. Time Management. Oh, and I need more time! Running a multi-channel retailer, a team of 4 and relationships with thousands off online and in-person customers is a wild experience. From payroll to instagram to PR to bookkeeping to event planning to vendor relationships, all while working to increase our sales month over month. Whew, anyone else exhausted by that last sentence? Because of these multiple hats, as we call them, I have to be so laser focused on what my priorities are and how to get it all done (plus how to find time to sleep), all while keeping my stress levels down. (My old health symptoms totally flare up if I let stress get out of hand, too). Keeping running lists and blocking out my calendar are a few ways that I push through the challenge of only having 16 waking hours in the day!
6. What has been the greatest reward in starting a business?
The ability and platform to inspire others. My absolute favorite moments in my job are when I hear about a digestive issue improved, a 'question-mark' illness defined, or a product making a life-changing difference in the quality of our customers' skin because of the resources we've provided via Shop Good... This is why I get out of bed every morning and it continues to drive me to find new ways to support our community every day.
7. I feel the same with my own business. What keeps you inspired and how to you change things up?
Our customers continue to inspire me and fuel my passion for continuing to offer new, unique and effortless ways to live well. Each of us are bio-individuals, each with different lifestyles, time constraints and stressors in life. My life's work is to make healthy living more accessible and fun for the modern woman, and I push myself to discover new and different ways to make living well accessible for all women, everywhere. We work hard to offer many different wellness solutions via our shop themes, diving deep into a wellness topic each month. We've talked gut health, skin safety and this month we're supporting our customers in making 'swapping-out' for natural products less confusing!
8. I love that. Your focus on the gut/skin/overall health connection is where it’s at. What do you want your business/craft to look like in three years?
To be opening our second store less than 16 months after we opened our first location is the opportunity of a lifetime. It thrills me that there is demand for support and education around living well with natural products and I’m so honored that Shop Good can be the vehicle for this throughout the greater San Diego area! I'm excited for the future opportunity to provide this support outside of San Diego as well.
9. How about a long game? Do you have a dream beyond doing what you love?
Living a life of contentment and vibrant health, building a family and leaving a legacy that helps future generations avoid illness and disease.
10. How have you grown since starting your business?
When I was sick and all through my twenties, I was nervous in social situations, uncomfortable in my own body and constantly fearful of what others thought of me. I didn't trust myself or my own body. Today, after doing the incredibly hard work to heal my body and mind and following my passion that stemmed from this journey, I feel powerful, strong, in control of my health and have learned how to love myself again. I attribute so much of this growth to starting my business.
Thank you Leah! I’m so excited for you and all that’s on the horizon for Shop Good!
Leah made this playlist back when Shop Good opened its first retail location one year ago this month! Check it out along with her beautiful website and instagram. Links below.
Shop Good San Diego website
Shop Good insta
Shop Good X H IS FOR HER Playlist