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Erin K Leale

Owner of Simple Elegance Skin Care


What inspired you to start your business?

This question is hard for me to answer only because when I sit down and think about it, I feel my answer is not pretty, interesting or intriguing. I lost my passion for the career I worked in as a software consultant in the fuel industry for 20+ years. My drive to innovate, create and implement was gone. It was so tough to just get out of bed in the morning. I was living for Friday and my anxiety and depression would come creeping up on Sunday. This went on for months. Every week I tried something new to get out of my rut. Nothing worked. In November of 2019, 11/11 to be exact, after another meeting that was nothing more than a non-productive screaming match, I got off the phone and decided, a year from now I WILL NOT be doing this anymore. I didn’t know what I would be doing, but it would not be what I was currently doing.

A year later, here I am. I own my own company. I am in the beauty industry. I have 15 products on Amazon with 2 different product lines and I’m looking to expand into Canada in 2021. Hard? Yes. But I love it. I believe in leading by example. I want to be the owner that sets an example for others to follow. I want to provide a place to work for others where they feel safe and valued as employees — where we can work together as a team. If you are too busy rocking the boat, then you are too busy to row it in the same direction. (I don’t remember where I heard this BUT it is so true).

What advice would you give to other women entrepreneurs?

“Yes, you can.” It is hard but very rewarding. Surround yourself with people that build you up. Just because the plan changes, does not mean the dream is over. Plans change all the time and usually for the better.

What three traits define you?

I am a hard worker / not afraid of change / and have an ability to embrace challenge.

What women inspire you?

  • Sarah Blakley – Spanx – Her Mastermind Class is Awesome!

  • Coco Chanel – I forgot how far women had come from the 1800’s to today. Because Coco was a woman she could not have a bank account back in the early 1900’s.

  • Elizabeth Vargas – If you know of anyone at all struggling with addiction, her book is a must read.

  • Evy Poumpouras – Becoming Bulletproof is a great read.

Then there are all women who made it in life by working hard. Any women that have overcome challenges in life, from being a single mom, to getting out of debt, to helping others when you can hardly make it on your own. There are so many women out there that do so much!

What do you see as the coolest or most important trend in your industry?

  1. Sustainable packaging. This is nothing new, but I feel it is very important that we keep exploring options in this industry. Glass is really the packaging I would love to use. It is 100% recyclable but heavier to ship.

  2. Quality, sustainable ingredients – I love researching solutions and trying new formulations.  I took a few formulations classes and I have one more class to take that is really involved.  I like to make sure I understand why certain ingredients are necessary and what works best for different skin conditions and types. It is also very important to make sure the ingredients are not damaging our earth.

What do you love about being a business owner?

Every package that I pack and send out, I put extra effort into making it a quality experience. I add a few samples or a hand sanitizer. I am so thankful to the person who took the time to buy our product. I pack it with care, and I appreciate the opportunity. I think about how hard we all work for our money and I want the customer to open our package and enjoy the experience.  Sounds over the top for an item that might be $20, but that is what I love. I want to provide an experience to the customer that makes them feel appreciated. I always remember how people or situations make me feel – when I feel appreciated, I come back with gratitude.

How do you define success?

Creating a solution to a problem – big or small – to me that is a success.

What’s the best piece of career advice you’ve ever received?

“That will never work” — sounds funny, but that only makes me work harder.

If you didn’t have to sleep, what would you do with the extra time?

In my creative mode for work: I would research products, design labels and ads, review data results and create more advertising tests to collect data to review. I would have at least three different products going through research at a time. I would test out different ads and video ads to see what types of results they produce. I love working with data as much as I love being creative.

What are you reading or listening to now?

  • Women Who Own It - podcast

  • Dolly Parton – Dream More

  • Green Beauty Conversations – podcast

  • Amazon University – they have several webinars weekly

What’s the best way to start your day?

Coffee with my husband, seeing what sales came in overnight, the feeling a relaxation. I don’t have to hit the airport, answer an angry email when a solution is out of my control, and I can look forward to doing it again tomorrow.

Fill in the blank:

When I face a challenge, I... stop, breathe, think, regroup.

If I could go back in time, I would tell myself you can do and be anything you want to! Believe in yourself.

The one thing I couldn’t live without is… my faith. I learned it later in life and it has made a HUGE difference.

By this time next year, I will be… turning a profit.

The best thing that happened to me last week was… receiving really great product reviews and consistent sales.

To get my creative juices flowing, I… get a good night’s sleep.


Simple Elegance Skin Care provides skin care products made with natural and organic ingredients. They create products that are simple, elegant and help you feel beautiful. Their focus is on natural products with powerful formulas that are gentle and effective.

Learn more.

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