Meet the #GirlBoss Who Started a Mega Beauty Brand in Her Kitchen
Spring is finally here, and that means a major makeover for our closets, like switching out our baggy sweaters for festival essentials and maxi dresses. But the warmer weather also calls for more opportunities to show skin. Insert Jessica Kernochan, the entrepreneur and founder of LALICIOUS. LALICIOUS, now a massive beauty brand known for their incredibly hydrating, all-natural scrubs, oils and balms, started from the comforts of Jessica’s kitchen as a hobby. Luckily for us, Jessica took the time to tell us all about how she started from the bottom and got here. Read on for some major beauty babe inspo.
B+C: What were you doing before launching LALICIOUS, and how did the business come about?
JK: Prior to LALICIOUS, my background was in operations amongst various industries. When I started LALICIOUS, I knew the basics for running a company, which enabled me to embrace my first entrepreneurial endeavor, and I haven’t looked back! I had no idea I was going to end up developing and running a successful bath and body company when I was mixing up natural sugar scrubs in my kitchen 14 years ago. I was playing around with different ingredients and making products for myself that felt luxurious and smelled amazing.
B+C: So LALICIOUS started out as a hobby — what made you realize the business was growing beyond your kitchen?
JK: We started getting interest from bigger retailers, and that’s when we really had to figure out the fundamentals of producing quantities bigger than I was able to do alone. It was a very exciting and scary time for us, but the dot com that I had been working for finally folded, and I had nothing to lose.
B+C: Early on, what was most difficult about running your own small business?
JK: Space was certainly an issue in the beginning. We thought we could go to a manufacturer and have them reproduce for mass production. What we found out was that no one could make our Sugar Scrubs the way I could. We quickly had to find a warehouse large enough for manufacturing needs, hire ten people to help fill orders and get enough ingredients and components to fill the orders. There are inevitable obstacles that will present themselves at one point or another, but we have had great success with our products. People truly become addicted to LALICIOUS once they have been introduced to the brand!
B+C: How much time was spent in research and development, and what led you to create a line that was all natural?
JK: Both my parents were surfers and health nuts. When I was growing up, my parents used coconut oil for everything, and we were always using natural ingredients for cooking. When I started mixing up ingredients in my kitchen, I already had the knowledge of what ingredients are good for the skin and what aren’t. That part was easy.
B+C: What sets LALICIOUS apart from other beauty brands?
JK: What really makes us stand out is the fact that we, as a brand, have so much heart. LALICIOUS started out as a labor of love, and that carries through to today. I make sure every little detail is perfect and have never made anything that I don’t use on myself all the time. We still produce our signature Sugar Scrubs by hand, and put the labels on jars and fill them ourselves. On busy days we’re all in the warehouse helping out, and despite our growth, if you call the office, there’s a good chance I’m the one picking up the phone.
I really believe that if you really love what you do, that shines through and that joy is totally infectious — and we’ve seen that with our customers, who are just as passionate about LALICIOUS as we are. Of course, the addictive formulas obviously help too!
B+C: Tell us a little bit about your new line, Sugar Lavender.
JK: Sugar Lavender started out as a limited-edition Sugar Scrub to benefit Look Good Feel Better, which is an organization that is dedicated to improving the self-esteem of women undergoing cancer treatments. It ended up being so popular that we added the scrub to the permanent collection — sort of like a secret menu item for those in the know. It’s both herbal and sweet and smells so delicious that the obvious next step was to use that same addictive fragrance to create a whole line, which debuted this spring.
B+C: What’s the one must-have LALICIOUS product?
JK: I would have to say the Sugar Scrub, because you can use it for basically everything. It’s a great daily exfoliant that’s effective but not harsh on skin, but there’s so much more to it. It’s incredibly hydrating, so if you’re traveling, you don’t even need to pack a body butter. I also use it as a lip scrub to smooth and moisturize before applying lipstick, and a friend of mine loves using it on her face when she wants a glow. My husband even uses it to exfoliate his skin before shaving.
B+C: Is there a story behind the name?
JK: When we first started, we named our company Jessica’s Bliss, and we were getting big press from People Magazine and Allure. Bliss spa quickly found out about us, and we were forced to change the name. LALICIOUS is a made-up name that came about on the 405 FWY in Los Angeles, stuck in traffic. Not a great story, but certainly true.
B+C: Who or what inspires you day-to-day?
JK: The scent of fragrances, the touch of ingredients, pretty colors and all the testimonials that come in daily. The smiles on people’s faces when they talk about their favorite LALICIOUS products.
B+C: Got any advice for future #GirlBoss fashionistas and beauty babes?
JK: I can’t stress enough how important it is to use sunscreen and keep your skin moisturized. All the damage starts to show when you hit 40, and boy do I wish I had listened to my mom.
Tweet us which #GirlBoss we need to talk to next @BritandCo!
(Photos via LALICIOUS)