Lindsay Ellingson &
New York, NY
It all started with… too many products, not enough time.
Your powder has shattered in its case from carrying it around, airport security won’t accommodate your cosmetics (and neither will your favorite purse), and your makeup mirror is the flipped camera on your iPhone. Sound familiar? These were issues supermodel Lindsay Ellingson and serial entrepreneur Divya Gugnani experienced and went on to solve with Wander Beauty: portable, internationally-inspired, multi-tasking makeup essentials designed to simplify the modern woman’s lifestyle.
How do you see Wander enhancing the beauty routines of time-poor, on the go women?
Divya: When we met last June, Lindsay and I bonded over our love for beauty and travel. But we saw problems in our routines (that a lot of women experience) which we really wanted to solve. Women are no longer sitting in front of a gorgeous vanity and spending 2 hours on their makeup before going out for the day. They’re running around, working, taking care of kids, traveling. The modern woman’s lifestyle demands simple, multi-tasking products — less stuff that does more.
Lindsay: Starting a business wasn’t on the radar for me at all. But Divya and I hit it off straight away — she’s a serial entrepreneur with a background in tech, and is such an inspiring woman who I’ve learned so much from. We saw an opportunity in the beauty world and realized we could do something together. Both of us were always doing our makeup in the back of a cab or on a plane, and knew that many other women were doing the same. Women are busier than ever and need products that will simplify their lives. So that’s what we’re creating — products that are easy and luxurious, that can fit into any bag with no mess.
Stepping out of your comfort zone is where you’re going to grow the most.
- Lindsay Ellingson
Any tips for overcoming obstacles?
Divya: Lindsay and I went into this with a long-term vision of what we want to build, and have been incredibly determined to get there. We haven’t let any road blocks get in the way. Fear of failure and getting things wrong is something we all experience, but there’s a lot of positive energy between us which really helps.
Lindsay: It comes down to staying motivated, and what motivates me is being around our team. Our team is amazing —they’re so positive, creative and hardworking. Brainstorming new products and concentrating on our vision is really invigorating and keeps me focused. I also do yoga every other day which keeps me grounded and balanced.
Listening to our customer is something we’ve built our business on. We’re constantly listening to our audience, and as we grow and iterate, we take all of that feedback into account.
- Divya Gugnani
Has your personal sense of style influenced the Wander aesthetic?
Lindsay: I like very delicate, small things which I carry around in tiny purses. I’m not one to carry around big tote bags. Our products have been developed in line with that — they’re going to fit into your smallest clutch.
Divya: As the Creative Director (and Co-Founder), Lindsay has really honed in on that modern, sophisticated aesthetic and brought that to every last detail. Everything is born out of this inspiration for travel and the idea that our customer is on a journey with us. So you’ll see a lot of that influence in all areas of the brand as it develops, from product to our blog.
What’s some advice that you would pass on to other entrepreneurs?
Divya: Eradicate the fear of failure. There are a million different points where you might potentially fail when you’re building a business, and that fear can be crippling. You have to trust your instinct and go with it. If you don’t succeed it’s not always a bad thing — failure is something you can learn from. You will make mistakes along the way, and you need to turn them into learning experiences and grow from them.
My mantra is to be courageous. This is a whole new venture for me and there are times when things are a little scary, but I’m constantly reminding myself that I can handle anything that comes my way.
- Lindsay Ellingson