Sleep — I read the power of sleep last year and it only reaffirmed my belief in getting adequate sleep. It impacts our memory, our ability to focus, recover and so much more. It’s unfortunate that our society, for so long, has placed such a false tale that operating on less sleep means you have some sort of super power. You can ask us, we are both big nap advocates as well!
As a part of my series about the women in wellness, I had the pleasure of interviewing Dr. Beth Goldstein and Elianna Goldstein.
Dr. Beth Goldstein and Elianna Goldstein are the daughter/mother co-founders of GETMr., a daily, 3-in-1 moisturizer, aftershave and broad spectrum sunscreen, specifically for men. Dr. Goldstein is a distinguished skin cancer surgeon who has founded five skin care practices across North Carolina, and is an author and editor on many topics for UpToDate, the premier physician evidence based online international resource. Elianna Goldstein leads branding and growth for GETMr, holds prior aerospace investment experience and is a Venture for America alumni.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Our readers would love to “get to know you” better. Can you share your “backstory” with us?
Elianna: I guess you could say we’ve known each other for at least 24 years. I grew up in Chapel Hill with two physicians as parents. Growing up, I viewed my parents as equals, two hardworking, compassionate individuals who always sought out ways to help their community and their family whenever possible. I went to school just 10 minutes away at UNC Chapel Hill and when it came time for graduation, we began speaking about a problem Dr. Goldstein had seen for years.
Dr. Goldstein: As a practicing dermatologist for over 30 years, with a focus on skin cancer, I have had countless discussions with my patients about sun protection. I’m passionate about educating patients about the damaging effects of ultraviolet rays on the skin and detecting their skin cancers as early as possible. The overwhelming majority of my female patients were receptive and often were using a daily product, whether it be a moisturizer or makeup, with sun protection over the years. However, the majority of my skin cancer patients are men and the discussion around preventing further damage remains much more difficult. They complain sun protective products for them are oily, sting or burn their eyes, feel too heavy and show up on their faces. While there are more and more products for men, the majority of those contain chemical based sunscreens which often are the cause of burning/irritating eyes. Several of the chemical sunscreens are now controversial because of the potential for systemic absorption of the sunscreen as well as the effects on the environment. Because of these issues, I saw a clear need for a mineral, broad spectrum sunscreen that is incorporated into their daily routine. I encouraged my children to wear SPF from an early age, but it was even difficult with my sons to find a great product they liked to use.
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?
Elianna: I didn’t know what to expect when starting at Boeing HorizonX Ventures. But I quickly learned that I was going to be surrounded by some of the most interesting people I’d ever come across. In my second year with the team, I had the opportunity to plan and execute the first CEO summit for our portfolio, inviting leaders from across the world and across various industries, including spaceship executives to those building startups focused on Augmented and Virtual reality, to gather for a multi-day event in St. Louis. I realized quickly that the CEOs, when all together, were looking for a reset. I realized that no matter your stage of development, there is always time to focus and recenter your business around your fundamental ‘whys’.
Dr. Goldstein: In 1997, I got a call from a dermatologist who was moving to Chapel Hill. She was looking for a practice to join and when we met for the first time, she had a babysitter and two toddlers waiting in the van while we spoke. At that time, I had 3 exam rooms and could not figure out how we’d be able to fit in this one space. After two years of working together, I knew I wanted to own my own building and found a great spot with 2200 square feet. I reached back out to the same woman, asking to grab a quick lunch. I can remember us drinking sweet tea (my favorite) and her answering that yes, she would be very interested in working with me. Twenty years of partnership later, I feel extremely fortunate to have such a warm, kind, brilliant woman who came to our discussions with a focus on fairness and dignity. Together, along with our other partners, we have built one of the larger practices in the Southeast still 100% owned by dermatologists. I have learned through our time together the importance of nurturing, learning from and treasuring your relationships. Find people who treat others with respect, dignity and kindness and hold them close in your life. They make the journey wonderful.
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?
Together: Early on, we made a concerted effort to gather a lot of quantitative data. We wanted to assess numbers at scale. While that was extremely beneficial, we also could have spent more time doing what we are now doing once more. Speaking with men and women about their experiences and skin care journeys. These conversations early on are critical to building not just a product, but a complete solution with language and values that resonate with your target customer.
Also, we’ve recognized the value in clear and concise communication. Without it, you can waste
weeks and months of precious time.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
Elianna: For me, it’s too hard to name one person. I think I could lump the entire Venture for America cohort into one large bucket, because there are dozens of members of the community that have gotten us to where we are today. Whether providing quick feedback or meeting with us every weekend for weeks on end to provide a sounding board, we have been fortunate to receive the support of the broader community.
Dr. G: When I opened my first solo practice in 900 square feet in Chapel Hill, N.C. it was owned by Mel Rashkis, I had no idea about the treasure trove of wisdom and support I would be so fortunate to receive. In the early days, when I asked how patients had heard about my practice, invariably, Mel’s name would come up. They would say, I was playing cards or in a meeting with Mel Rashkis and he said I should come see you. Mel was an avid public servant and philanthropist along with his wife Zora. There’s even an elementary school near my office named in their honor. After I moved from that small first location, Mel and Zora remained in my life. He emulated how to live a full life with meaning.
I’d also say that our time in Chapel Hill has served us immensely. We have friends and colleagues who have been cheering us on over the last year. And we’d be crazy if we didn’t highlight Adam, Jared, Michael and Nat. Our ‘Fam Bam’ group message is a highlight throughout all of the ups and downs.
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?
Elianna Goldstein: It’s true, while there are ample products that are targeted toward my wants and needs (tinted, light fragrance, creamy) there are few targeted toward my brothers. If you type in ‘skin care advertisement’ into google your first image page is flooded with women. It just means there is a need and an opportunity to provide a product that speaks to many men.
Dr. Goldstein: Skin Cancer is the only preventable cancer that continues to rise each year, with over 5 million cases diagnosed annually in the U.S. alone. The rates of skin cancer among men are 3x higher than women and unfortunately, continue to worsen every year. Men actually have poorer outcomes with skin disease than women given the same cancer lesion. I am passionate about giving patients tools to help them live healthier lives, especially with regard to skin health. Diminishing those barriers, meeting men where they are, making a product they find not just acceptable, but enjoy using every day is our goal. Daily use of a broad spectrum lotion SPF 30 can reduce the risk of skin cancer by 40%. We want to replace perhaps moisturizer, aftershave and other daily products with one that will help achieve those goals more effortlessly.
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.
- Sleep — I read the power of sleep last year and it only reaffirmed my belief in getting adequate sleep. It impacts our memory, our ability to focus, recover and so much more. It’s unfortunate that our society, for so long, has placed such a false tale that operating on less sleep means you have some sort of super power. You can ask us, we are both big nap advocates as well!
- Gratitude — We constantly remind ourselves of how grateful we are to work alongside one another, to have work we are passionate about and confident in, and for encouraging family and mentors.
- Moments of Spontaneity — Elianna took the Yale Course on Happiness, where the concept of spurring new conversations with strangers can actually increase happiness. While happiness might not be our end goal, it is certainly a core value of ours to engage with people who are different and diverse from us to broaden our horizons; whether it be a quick distanced hello to a person in a checkout line or signing up for lunch club to meet people across the country
- Movement — We are both yogis through and through. Elianna brough Dr. G to her first yoga class 6 years ago and ever since it’s been an integral part of their friendship and relationship. There’s even a video of their joint practice (somewhere on the interwebs ☺)
- Presence — There are SO many distractions, and we are far from perfect. However, taking a moment to pause, realize what you want to get done and what you need to get done is important
If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of wellness to the most amount of people, what would that be?
Together: In addition to helping more men wear SPF daily, we’d love to see a movement where men can feel good and excited to take care of the skin they’re in. There is so much pressure to act or look a certain way, when in reality, we want to empower men to feel great about taking the small, but needed steps to live longer, healthier lives.
What are your “5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Started” and why?
- We were told this, but it still rings true. Don’t take a leap before you have to. It’s okay to work on something as a side hustle, so long as it’s bringing you more joy than stress. Now more than ever, we live in a gig economy that should support multiple interests, talents and pursuits
- Branding is so essential in our business. While we continue to feel confident about the brand we are developing, we could have fleshed out specific elements. The conversations about what you would say, or would not say in your brand voice matters, and it has ripple effects across the business.
- MVP stands for Minimum Viable Product — which you often think of as a product that has a lot of patches. In reality, an MVP is a stable ‘product / test’ where you are just creating a good solution, but testing one to two very specific assumptions. It’s not patchwork for 100 tests, but a thoughtful development for 1–2 assumptions
- Mini-strategies. You’re not in the game of running one long business strategy, you’re in the game of testing and iterating and testing once more. Similar to the above note, but it applies to advertising and product development, marketing and much more.
- Get from outside of your own ‘bubble’ as early and as much as possible. But then be decisive with your decisions.
Sustainability, veganism, mental health and environmental changes are big topics at the moment. Which one of these causes is dearest to you, and why?
Our business touches many of these important elements, as our product is vegan and we use as much sustainable packaging as possible. That being said, like many people, we each have struggled with our own mental health.
That’s why the tools we highlighted above are so important. Doing the small things, each and every day, that help you stay healthy and well.
A recent report called ‘MENtion It’ examines how COVID-19 has affected men’s outlook on health and how they are coping with all of the changes. Approximately 77% of the men in the survey stated their stress levels had increased as a result of COVID; “Nearly half (45 percent) of men say their emotional/mental health has worsened during the pandemic.” Having honest conversations about how we are feeling and checking in with others is important. A note or a funny meme can actually go a really long way. We’re quickly arriving upon Movemeber (in November) and hope that we can help spread positive messages around discussions of mental health balanced with physical wellbeing throughout November and the rest of the year as well.
What is the best way our readers can follow you on social media?
Sign up to be the first to know when we launch at email www.getmr.com and follow us on Instagram — https://www.instagram.com/get.mr/ — where we share more wellness and skincare related tips as well to get the most out of your day, Every Damn Day.
Thank you for these fantastic insights!