Xenia St. Charles
Founder of BRASH | Established: 2019
Website: sobrash.com | Social: @sobrash // facebook.com/sobrash
The Lab at ICA Alumni (2021)
BRASH is a natural, cruelty-free, affordable skincare line that makes its customers “look, feel and smell as fly as they are!”
Why did you decide to start BRASH? I was a motivated millennial plagued by dry elbows and eczema that seemed to be irritated by every lotion, body butter, and soap that didn't smell like a medicinal nightmare. This led to a determination to eliminate the look and smell of social exile… so I embarked on a journey to create the perfect texture and scent of whipped Shea goodness. The rest is history…
What’s your best piece of advice for other entrepreneurs?
Start now. You will figure the rest out as you go. But you are leaving money on the table if you’re waiting for the perfect time. Nobody ever feels 100% ready; you’re as ready as anyone else!
What is the most surprising thing you’ve learned about yourself as an entrepreneur?
I show up authentically and I’m a people person, so oftentimes, people perceive that as having all the answers. I was surprised by how many people in my cohort reached out to me for help or feedback on things I am still figuring out myself. But that heightened my sense of responsibility and made me want to figure things out so I can have the answer for others as well. It’s a challenging but good feeling!
What’s the most important thing you learned at The Lab that you’ve implemented with BRASH?
Roadmapping! It’s a resource I didn’t really utilize before, but it has helped significantly with developing detailed, long-term plans. Now I roadmap more specific aspects of the business and it’s really helping me feel more confident and optimistic about what can feel like a never-ending list of things to address.
The idea for BRASH came from a really personal place for you. How do you envision your business contributing to a more equitable small business ecosystem in the Bay Area?
I am born and bred here, and I have a deep sense of pride in living here and owning a business here. It feels good to contribute something positive to my community. BRASH’s long-term vision is to grow into a company that provides jobs in the Bay Area community. We’re also committed to being a more sustainable business by producing natural, cruelty-free products.