Interview: Rebecca Carrera, Maven Beauty Bar
After building an impressive background in beauty, Rebecca Carrera founded Maven Beauty Bar, a clean beauty boutique located right in the heart of downtown Fredrick, Maryland.
Inside her lush boutique, you can find some of the top brands in the clean beauty industry such as Indie Lee, COOLA, and HUM Nutrition. You can also make an appointment to get your brows looking like Bey with their incredible threading services. It’s easy to say Maven has become the go-to brow salon among Fredrick’s locals.
Today Rebecca is giving us her inside scoop on entrepreneurship, clean beauty, and how to be superwoman (i.e. successful business owner and mom extraordinaire.)
How did your path lead you to start Maven Beauty Bar?
I have loved fashion and beauty since I was in middle school and I always knew I would do something in one of those industries. I started in the fashion world with Nordstrom and then made the move over to beauty for more growth opportunities within the company. After learning the ins and outs of the retailer side I wanted to explore the vendor side of the business. All the long hours and different jobs with different skill set prepared me for owning my own business.
Did you ever picture yourself owning your own business?
Yes, it was a dream of mine since I was a kid. I loved walking through all the high end “mom and pop” boutiques in Georgetown and I knew I wanted to have my own.
Where does your passion for green beauty stem from?
It started with just cleaning up my own lifestyle when I was expecting my 3rd daughter. When we initially opened we had a mix of regular products and clean, but it didn’t take long before I knew we needed to offer something unique in Frederick and MD. There aren’t many options to shop clean beauty with knowledgeable staff in a brick and mortar store.
What was your vision for Maven Beauty Bar when you first started? How has it changed?
My original vision was to offer high-end beauty brands and educational makeup services to the women of Frederick. I don’t think we’ve deviated from this original mission, but it’s definitely expanded and grown into something much more. We’re now known as the premier place to have your brows done and non-toxic beauty is center stage. We are continuing to grow the educational piece of it and I hope to see that more front and center for 2019.
What’s your typical workday look like?
I had to laugh at this because there’s never anything typical about being a business owner. Some days are up and some are down, but a typical weekday for me is getting my kids off to school, then get through the list of errands I have (business or personal), arrive at the shop between 9:30-10 and take my first client at 10 for a brow appointment. I typically take 8 appointments a day, then leave to get my daughters from school and head home to try to finish up admin work while wrangling homework and sports. On a Friday or Saturday it’s appointments all day from open to close and Mondays when I’m “off” I usually write orders, run payroll and catch up on emails in between grocery shopping and laundry.
What’s the best lesson you’ve learned from starting and running your own business that would like to share with others who may just be starting out?
Your business may not end up exactly what you originally envisioned it to be. Mine has gone through so many evolutions. Also, my best piece of advice is “this too shall pass”. Everything is temporary, so if you don’t like where your business is, evaluate it and make changes. You have to be flexible and move with your business.
Where would you like your business to be in 3 years? What are the long-term goals for Maven Beauty Bar?
I’d love every brow chair to be filled all day, every day of the week! We’re looking at adding more services to our menu as well, so I hope to be still building our clientele base and teaching people about clean beauty.
You’ve done such a great job branding your store, and making it a welcoming place for your customers. Do you have any advice for other businesses owners on incorporating their brand identity into their physical store?
Thank you! Sometimes it comes as part of the evolution of the business. We started off with a different name and a different vibe and then it evolved into this. It was almost like going through the awkward middle school years, teen years and then finally figuring out who we were. I love where we are now with it.
We know you have a full plate. What’s your secret to balancing your business, life, and family?
There’s no secret, it’s NOT balanced. I think that’s the big secret all working women need to know. You will not ever have it balanced and that’s ok. Sometimes I’m feeling great about my family life and my business life is dumpy and vice versa. It’s really never all in sync. I’ve learned to accept the feeling of never being finished with things, although sometimes it’s stressful. I think women should talk more about how we don’t have it together and less about our perfect social media life. We’d all be a lot better off and much more supportive of each other.
What’s your best piece of advice for someone who’s trying to make the switch to a green beauty routine?
You can do it little by little. Don’t waste your hard earned money by throwing everything out (unless you want to). As you run out of an item, then replace it with a clean one.
What’s the best business or personal book you’ve read recently?
Present over Perfect by Shauna Niequist