Katerina Yoffe Larden of Hey Honey: “Bind is beautiful and always trending” with Candice Georgiadis

My advice: Be you. Be determined. Success is not one suit for all, it will come in different ways and at different times. Some faster some slower, as long as you’re headed in the right direction — it will come. I had the pleasure of interviewing Katerina Yoffe Larden, CEO + Founder of Hey Honey — an […]

Thrive Global invites voices from many spheres to share their perspectives on our Community platform. Community stories are not commissioned by our editorial team, and opinions expressed by Community contributors do not reflect the opinions of Thrive Global or its employees. More information on our Community guidelines is available here.

My advice: Be you. Be determined. Success is not one suit for all, it will come in different ways and at different times. Some faster some slower, as long as you’re headed in the right direction — it will come.

I had the pleasure of interviewing Katerina Yoffe Larden, CEO + Founder of Hey Honey — an award-winning line of cruelty-free skincare products developed with the best dermatologists in the industry with just two founding ingredients — honey and bee propolis extracts — for both men + women all skincare types.

Coming from a professional background of marketing and advertising, Katerina and her husband owned a digital agency where they worked with a variety of amazing brands. She learned so many things about so many different industries, and it was life-changing and inspired her to create a launch of a company of her own.

As a busy working Mom, Katerina found it difficult to stick to skincare regimes that required a strict order of multiple steps with a seemingly endless list of products. Her real-life is hectic and ever-changing, just like her skin, so she found a need to launch a line of natural beauty products that are guaranteed to fit any lifestyle, NOT the other way around. Born on the foundation that skincare doesn’t have to be arduous to be effective, Katerina launched Hey Honey in 2014 with a mission to deliver a skincare line that proves healthy, glowing skin can be achieved through simplicity, with a motto “Real Life. Real Skincare”

Thank you so much for doing this with us! Before we dive in, I would love to learn a bit more about you. Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?

Thank you for allowing me to share my story with you! I was always a busy woman. For as long as I can remember, I’ve always worked for myself. I was in the online advertising industry, working seven days a week around the clock. Then I got married, had kids and became even busier. After my husband and I had the opportunity to sell our previous company, we decided to move our family to the states. It was an exciting time in my life and one of the first times I slowed down and stopped running from one place to another to plan our move. While I was packing up our belongings, I noticed how many expired high-end skincare products I had on my shelve that I hadn’t used more two times. This felt exactly like me joining an expensive gym, paying the premium, and not showing up. Frustrated, I started to wonder why I hadn’t used those skincare products more than a handful of times. Was it my busy lifestyle? Or did those products require too many steps? I then realized I wanted my skincare routine to fit into my lifestyle, not the other way around. I wanted it to be easy, fast-acting and I wanted to love it. I became obsessed and started thinking about how I could make that change and create products that would fill all those needs — and that is how Hey Honey was born.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began your career?

When I moved to the States, I realized that business culture varies from place to place, even though the world is so connected. Learning the business culture in a new country was like starting over from scratch, even though I had so much experience. Launching a company in a new country was and continues to be an interesting experience! +Really everything new we do is an interesting experience. I love our industry and that it keeps me on my toes because it is always changing in so many ways.

Are you able to identify a “tipping point” in your career when you started to see success? Did you start doing anything different? Are there takeaways or lessons that others can learn from that?

Starting a new business in a new country and learning a new language, without previous experience in the beauty industry, was all very challenging. Wanting to do things my way and sometimes against the stream was also a challenge. It is important that I look around and learn from successful brands and entrepreneurs that were thriving. But it was also important to remember that every individual and brand is different, you bring your personality to everything you do and follow your heart. In the first year of business, I felt that I was making products for myself and my family, even when people said that a certain product would not work because it was not “trending”, we still moved on with it.

The tipping point of success in my career was in late 2014 when Hey Honey launched its first program with IPSY. We chose to launch with a Peel Off Mask, that was considered to be “not trendy or “vintage”. However, the success that immediately came with the product launch and the buzzing social presence was the first realization that I am no longer making products for myself, I am actually touching others with my creation. People value and connect with the Hey Honey brand message — we are able to deliver products that do exactly what we wanted from day one. When we started receiving reviews that validating our brand message, I knew this was our turning point.

My advice: Be you. Be determined. Success is not one suit for all, it will come in different ways and at different times. Some faster some slower, as long as you’re headed in the right direction — it will come.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person to whom you are grateful who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

In 2014, we were working out of our basement with limited products. Then came Allison Slater Ray, who offered Hey Honey its first IPSY program. We had so many questions — what is IPSY? How will it benefit Hey Honey? How will we manufacture such a high volume of samples? I thought she was so brave☺ But we accepted the opportunity with both hands and thank Allison, to this day, for the special opportunity. Fortunately, enough, there have been many great people along the way that have been sincere and helpful in us finding our success.

We are of course grateful for our customers — their kind reviews and support have helped us became a stronger, confident and more knowledgeable brand We value our customer feedback and are always listening! One customer at a time helps me keep going in the right direction.

I am also grateful to have been working alongside my husband for 20 years, we help each other get to where we need to be daily.

Let’s now shift to the main part of our discussion. The beauty industry today has access to technology that was inconceivable only a short time ago. Can you tell us about the “cutting edge” (pardon the pun) technologies that you are working with or introducing? How do you think that will help people?

Our cutting-edge technology is happening mainly in the lab. Working with two time-honored ingredients, honey, and propolis and being able to preserve the natural properties of each ingredient to their maximum — this is where we are utilizing technology. Delivering results with our clean beauty promise is another way we use technology as well.

Keeping “Black Mirror” and the “Law of Unintended Consequences” in mind, can you see any potential drawbacks about this technology that people should think more deeply about?

I think that one place that will have a potential drawback is the way brands collaborate with influencers. Our tagline is “Real-Life, Real Skincare.” It is extremely challenging to stay real and at the same time deliver an impactful message to the mass. The problem is that consumers are often get lost between reality and life (as it seems) on Instagram. As an example, virtual 3D influencers are a creative way to exercise social (you can’t appreciate the creative side of it ), but it’s not reality and the potential drawback is when people can’t separate facts from entertainment.

Can you share 3 things that most excite you about the “beauty-tech” industry?

  • Personalization — Being able to deliver personalization by product innovation.
  • We are working hard to create products that self-adjust to ever-changing skin conditions. In other words, if you buy the same product as your friend, it will work different on you compared to them
  • Technology creating new opportunities that every brand can utilize. Such as AI, which analyzes big data of skin conditions driven by geographical conditions, environment, environmental effects, can definitely see how technology creates new unconventional retail channels that will present brands with new opportunities.

Can you share 3 things that most concern you about the industry? If you had the ability to implement 3 ways to reform or improve the industry, what would you suggest?

  • More reality! fewer filters.
  • More regularity over trendy claims and what is considered good/bad ingredients.
  • More giveback as an industry. We are fortunate in our industry and need to share.

Since you’re a beauty expert, can you share 5 ideas that anyone can use “to feel beautiful”? (Please share an example for each.

  • Sleep eat and drink water — A cliché, but as many cliché’s — this is so true. This is the basis of healthy skin
  • Positivity — Thinking positive will actually make you look better:)
  • Be real, and there will be no stress in being something you’re not.
  • Be kind — kind is beautiful and always trending

If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

Every business, regardless of size and industry, should be committed to at least one social cause in any way they can. Whether it’s donating a percentage of sales in products or services, adding a logo next on websites, etc. we can make a huge difference.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? And can you share how it is relevant to you in your life?

My Dad once told me “In some business decisions, you will need to choose if you sleep well or eat well, choose to sleep well.”

Share your comments below. Please read our commenting guidelines before posting. If you have a concern about a comment, report it here.

You might also like...


Female Innovator Driving The Natural Beauty Movement

by Amber Mark

Natural, Sustainable, and Recyclable

by Victoria Kennedy
Katerina Sukhenko Marketing Expert

How To Avoid Burnout & Thrive In Marketing with Katerina Sukhenko & Kage Spatz

by Kage Spatz
We use cookies on our site to give you the best experience possible. By continuing to browse the site, you agree to this use. For more information on how we use cookies, see our Privacy Policy.