Episode 174
September 5, 2023

Roots of Resilience

with Greg Starkman, Founder and CEO of Innersense Organic Beauty

About this episode

Greg Starkman, the Founder and CEO of Innersense Organic Beauty generously shares some of his defining moments with us, touching on the intentional way they have selected, produced, and released products, surviving the tougher times before things started to tip toward success, and how an approach of steady and continued growth has served the company so well. Our guest also talks about leadership and his continual journey of learning and support for his team, so make sure to tune in to catch it all in this inspiring conversation with Greg.

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In This Episode You’ll Hear About:

[02:12] Greg talks about the recent changes in San Francisco, growing up in Los Angeles, and the family values present in his home.

[09:52] Entering the beauty industry and finding purpose in professional life.

[18:07] Challenges that Greg and the company faced around sourcing ingredients after launching.

[21:40] The key products that Innersense brought to market initially and more recently.

[26:47] Greg reflects on the biggest challenges and surprises on his journey with Innersense; demand, marketing, and the 2008 recession.

[32:20] Moments of learning and self-doubt, and the fundamental place these have in the life of an entrepreneur.

[35:40] People, planet, and purpose; Greg shares why standards for the cosmetic industry are so important to him.

[39:35] Thoughts on growing as a leader and allowing increased autonomy for the team.

[45:15] Advice from Greg about pivoting, learning, and a steadfast attitude.

 To Find Out More:

Awesome CX

Innersense Organic Beauty

Greg Starkman on LinkedIn

Lee Greene on LinkedIn

Lee Greene Email

Stairway to CEO

Stairway to CEO on Instagram


“As a kid, I did a lot of different things. I would work and earn extra money in salons sweeping hair, and I would actually fill product vats for my mom.” [0:07:32]

“In my early teens I definitely became that wayward kid that was always out and about, and always in some level of trouble.”  [0:08:00]

“Even though we were very affluent growing up, there were never any handouts.”  [0:08:42]

“I was kind of a late bloomer, I never really figured out what I wanted to do until I was probably in my early 20s. And I think at that point I felt like I found some level of purpose when I got into the beauty industry.” [0:09:38]

“We took that cosmetic ingredient standard and brought that into hair care.” [0:15:25]

“It literally took a good ten years for us to even spark at the level of scalability.” [0:16:24]

“We made a commitment from day one to work with ingredients that were very pure, and highly efficacious.” [0:19:18]

“It doesn't matter how clean or how organic a product is, if it doesn't perform, the consumer is not going to come back and buy it.” [0:19:34]

“It's just about continuing to educate and inform the safe cosmetic consumer who is looking to make healthier and cleaner choices, and do it in a very authentic way.” [0:21:28]

“We have been very intentional over the last 18 years with the types of products we introduce. Believe it or not, we only have 22 products.” [0:23:37]

“It was just perseverance, and an unwillingness to fail.” [0:30:11]

Read the transcript

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