Allison Moss of ‘Type: “Walk or ride your bike”

Walk or ride your bike: If you only need to go a short distance, why not get out and get moving vs. taking your car? This probably comes from over a decade of working in NYC before moving to car-culture California. You’ll get your endorphins going and pump up your oxygen levels, which are two […]

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Walk or ride your bike: If you only need to go a short distance, why not get out and get moving vs. taking your car? This probably comes from over a decade of working in NYC before moving to car-culture California. You’ll get your endorphins going and pump up your oxygen levels, which are two great things.

As a part of my series about the women in wellness, I had the pleasure of interviewing Allison Moss.

Allison Moss is a strategic and passionate executive with 20 years of marketing and management experience. She is also an enthusiastic champion of the movement to bring cleaner, safer beauty and personal care products to market.

Allison is currently the Founder & CEO of type:A Brands whose inaugural product is a patent-pending deodorant cream that is 100% safe, comes in a unique tube, and delivers long lasting odor and wetness protection. Under her leadership, type:A is on a mission to help people lead healthier lives without sacrifice and to help bring clean beauty to the mainstream.

Allison knows how to successfully build connected brands and bring exceptional product experiences to consumers. Her experience includes working with some of the most iconic, dominant brands in the beauty space — Lancôme, L’Oréal Paris, MAC Cosmetics, Estee Lauder — as well as recently for several ‘indie’ beauty brands including Jurlique and Beautycounter.

Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Our readers would love to “get to know you” better. Can you share your “backstory” with us?

I’ve spent my career working in the beauty industry, focused on brand and product marketing. At the start, I worked with mainstream brands like MAC Cosmetics, Lancôme and L’Oreal Paris, and more recently I’ve shifted to work with smaller brands that have a clean or natural focus, including Jurlique and Beautycounter.

The concept for Type:A deodorant came to me a few years ago. I had been searching for a natural deodorant that worked. The dozens that I had tried were all disappointing and would not be able to offer mainstream consumers a no-sacrifice alternative to antiperspirants. Knowing what it takes to build a truly exceptional product both in terms of efficacy and user experience, I had a vision for what could be a game-changing safe, clean deodorant. So I took a leap of faith, and dedicated myself exclusively to the product concept that has become Type:A deodorant. I started work in late 2016, and we launched type:A deodorant on our website in April 2018.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started your career? What were the main lessons or takeaways from that story?

This is the first company I’ve started and it’s been the most incredible, rewarding, exciting experience. I feel a bit like an accidental entrepreneur. While I always had tremendous respect for entrepreneurs, I wasn’t working toward that goal in my career. However when the opportunity presented itself, I knew I had to take it. The product is very special, truly differentiated. Additionally, growing this brand feels like a natural extension of what I’ve done to date in my career. It’s also incredibly rewarding to build a business that does right by people and has a positive impact on our community.

Can you share a story about the biggest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

My motto is “challenge accepted”. Of course there have been struggles along the way, but I really see each challenge as a growing pain and always come out the other side with more knowledge, more passion, and more motivation to keep going. One of our biggest challenges early on was in manufacturing. I leaned on advisors in my network for guidance on planning production and inventory management and therefore I thought I was in pretty good shape when we launched. However as the business took off, it turns out we still weren’t quite well enough prepared. Three months after we launched, we ran out of product and were out of stock for a painful three weeks. The lessons learned during that stock-out helped us prepare and stay in stock for the remainder of the year.

As a female founder, my biggest advice to other women is not to be afraid to seek advice. You don’t have to do it all alone. I am regularly talking to other business founders and trading the what-worked/what-didn’t advice. I don’t always take the feedback, but I always listen with an open mind and incorporate what feels right for me and my business. Additionally, I’m continually surprised by insights that I didn’t expect and really hit the mark!

Ok perfect. Now let’s jump to our main focus. When it comes to health and wellness, how is the work you are doing helping to make a bigger impact in the world?

I am really passionate about helping people lead healthier lives. In order to make this possible for everyday consumers, I believe that cleaner, safer products cannot have any trade offs from what’s currently on shelf at mainstream retailers. I created Type:A Brands specifically to make an impact on the health and wellness of myself and others to make it easy to adopt clean changes in your day to day life.

We aim to be all-safe rather than all-natural. By incorporating safe synthetics + natural ingredients, we have created high-performance deodorant that’s easy to wear. We’ve also extended that same philosophy to new categories of body care as well. If we can make it easier for people to transition away from “mainstream” products that use toxic ingredients, to something more clean with the same efficacy than we’re doing our job right.

Can you share your top five “lifestyle tweaks” that you believe will help support people’s journey towards better wellbeing? Please give an example or story for each.

Always bring a reusable cup: I carry a small collapsible silicone cup in my bag at all times. Whenever I need water at the airport or a coffee from Starbucks, I have them fill that cup vs. creating more waste and taking one of their disposable cups. Feels good doing good.

Walk or ride your bike: If you only need to go a short distance, why not get out and get moving vs. taking your car? This probably comes from over a decade of working in NYC before moving to car-culture California. You’ll get your endorphins going and pump up your oxygen levels, which are two great things.

Yoga! Okay even if you don’t like yoga, you can take a minute to get up out of your chair, stretch, breathe, and reset your mind. A little goes a very long way.

Focus on your children: I have two small children at home and being a female founder, well, it’s hard to find time to be with them all day. So I find pockets of time where I completely disconnect and focus just on them. Even if it’s 15 minutes… 15 dedicated minutes of uninterrupted time fills all of our cups for a bit.

Switch to a clean deodorant: Shameless plug not intended, but it really is impactful to our health and wellbeing to move away from toxic ingredients in our personal care products, and one of the best ways to start is by ditching the aluminum in antiperspirants and switching to a safer, cleaner option. I have a good recommendation if you need one. 😉

If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of wellness to the most amount of people, what would that be?

The clean deodorant movement!

What are your “5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Started” and why?

  • Get comfortable saying “NO”. It’s hard getting your business up and running, talking to investors, taking friends up on helping where they can… it’s harder when you have to tell these same people “NO” because it may not be the right thing for you or the business. But, as a leader, it’s one of the most important things we have to do sometimes for the good of the business.
  • Get the right team next to you. And if they’re not the right team, find a new one, FAST.
  • Running a business can be lonely at times. Know who you can call if you just need to vent or to get emotional support. We all need it and we’re our own best advocates.
  • No shame in the losses. Every start-up will have many moments where they feel like they are failing. There are many elements outside of your control. You will make mistakes, but also you will have to live through trying times where you do everything right and despite your success, are handed a set-back. Even if someone had told me this, I’d probably have had to live it to really understand and find the courage to keep moving onward and upward.
  • Where to focus: A key investor shared an adage that a CEO has three jobs — set the strategy and communicate it, hire the best talent, and keep money in the bank. As an early-stage Founder, you’re naturally steeped in the business strategy and trying to execute it, likely while the other two seem obvious they often fall off the radar in a young, growing company. Prioritizing my focus to ensure we have the best team (full-time, consultants, agencies) and to carefully manage cash and financing has been critical to our business over the last 18 months.

Sustainability, veganism, mental health and environmental changes are big topics at the moment. Which one of these causes is dearest to you, and why?

Sustainabilityis very important to me. Small changes to sustainability in the beauty and personal care industries can have a BIG impact on our planet. Reducing single-use products and our reliance on plastic impacts our health. Clean air, clean water, clean food all contribute to our own health and well being — packaging and plastics specifically pollute all three. If for no other reason, do it for yourself and the health of your family. I have been passionate about our environment since I was young. It can be easy to throw in the towel and say what I do doesn’t matter, but that’s not true. Every choice you make can have collective impact.

What is the best way our readers can follow you on social media?

I’d love for your readers to follow me on social media!

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