Former Goldman Sachs VP Trades Wall Street for a Natural Beauty Line
Nancy Twine, former Goldman Sachs VP, decided to take a huge risk as an entrepreneur and leave her high-paying Wall Street to make a name for herself in the natural beauty sector by launching Briogeo Hair Care. We sat down with Nancy to find out more about why she started her business and what advice she has for future entrepreneurs and business owners.
Tell us about you and your background and how that has helped you with your business.
I graduated from the University of Virginia in 2007 and moved to NYC to work in the Commodities Sales Division at Goldman Sachs upon graduation. Though my career at Goldman is drastically different to what I do now as a beauty brand owner, many of the skills I learned in the commodities business has helped fuel my success as an entrepreneur. Things I learned at Goldman like close attention to detail, strategic thinking, relationship building, and strong work ethnic have been applicable to my every day as a business owner.
Why did you start your business?
My brand was inspired by a family tradition of making natural beauty products from scratch at home. My family was making natural products way before the relatively recent growth in demand for natural beauty products. When I graduated from college I noticed the natural products market beginning to build and I knew it wasn't just a trend. I've always had a passion for entrepreneurism. The timing of the natural personal care market growth and my family background made it a very exciting opportunity for me to want to explore.
Where do you see your business in the next 5 years?
The plan is to continue growing the business nationally to build a stronger presence before exploring potential opportunity overseas.
How did you come up with your business name?
The word “Brio” in Italian means “vibrant, colorful, and full of life” which represents our brand from an aesthetic perspective. The word “Geo” is latin for “of earth and nature” which speaks to the natural foundation of our formulas. The two words combined form “Briogeo”
Tell us about your product? What makes it unique?
All of Briogeo products are fortified with natural performance ingredients that are based on a two-pronged approach: immediate benefits (like enhanced volume, frizz control, and hydration) and long term results that promote healthier hair with continued use. We believe natural products are only “worth it” if they perform as well as their synthetic counterparts and we aim to differentiate ourselves amidst the natural hair care space with our high performing formulas.
How is Wall Street like running a business? How's it different?
My Wall Street experience was the epitome of running a business — so there were no differences in that respect. However, running your own business without the support of a larger company can prove to be much more difficult as you are required to wear many different hats and rely on less resources.
What advice or tips would you give to aspiring entrepreneurs and business owners?
Understanding your industry and customers before embarking on your entrepreneurial journey is paramount. Taking the time to really understand your market and forge meaningful industry contacts will help you avoid pitfalls and accomplish a lot more on a faster timeline.