Last year, I had the opportunity to meet Tara Nader and Hasti Nazemzadeh of Longeva Skincare, while hosting Cocktails & Couture in Silicon Valley. The women were lovely, engaging and a true joy to speak with during the fun and energetic event. Their story is incredible and this has been one of my favorite interviews and responses to date. Tara is open and unfiltered, real and genuine, and most of all, she's "just herself" and she owns it.
Tara, a former Silicon Valley engineer turned beauty entrepreneur, created Longeva's signature Omni Facial Moisturizer while she was recovering from breast cancer in 2006. "Wanting to heal her skin, parched and burned from months of radiation and chemotherapy, she developed a botanical, chemical-free moisturizer so rich in nutrients and vitamins that it quickly revitalized her damaged skin." Through a desire to help others, Tara created Longeva Skincare in an effort to share her toxin free, all plant-based skin care product with the world. She also donates 5% of all proceeds of the product to fight cancer.
I was thrilled to have Tara answer some of my questions and it's with great honor that I, today, announce a partnership with this incredible company, as their Brand Ambassador. We have a few fun things coming up for you, but first and most importantly, I want to introduce you to Tara - a true inspiration, kind soul and amazing woman.
Hilary: Describe yourself in three words:
Tara: Fearless-My mantra has always been to bulldoze through life! I see life as full of opportunity rather than obstacles. Have I stumbled here and there? Sure, who doesn’t? But if I succumb to fear, my spirit would crumble-and I simply can’t have that.
Animated-This might seem like an odd way to describe oneself, but I truly am an artist at heart. I am a very theatrical person, having sang and performed on stages since childhood, (my father owned a theater in Iran). Since my career path has been so analytical and I have played the “CEO” role, I find that my animated personality comes out often!
Transparent-If there is one thing I take pride in, it is that what you see is what you get. I wear my heart on my sleeve-in business, my personal life, and friendships. This is how I sleep well at night!
Hilary: Tell us a little bit about why you started Longeva:
Tara: The catalyst for the development of the serum was my need for a natural healing potion for my burnt skin from cancer radiation treatment. Hospitals were providing me with healing creams full of parabens, natural oils individually were simply not potent enough, and I became hypersensitive to the chemicals and additives in our everyday products-from my moisturizer to my toothpaste. What really committed me to the path of launching Longeva as a full-fledged brand and company was learning that there was nothing like it on the market. Once I was out of the woods after treatment, I felt it in my bones-breast cancer had given me the gift of a new purpose. Longeva really started itself it seems like … those who tried it wanted more, this need had to be filled in the market, and it gave me a vehicle to make an impact and take advantage of my second lease in life. (This is Hilary chiming in -- as a huge fan, I can attest to this. I emailed Hasti within days of using the product with the highest levels of praise. My skin has never felt or looked better. Ever.)
Hilary: Who can use this product and what makes your product different than others on the market?
Tara: Perhaps one of my greatest marketing challenges has been answering this question! If I am being quite honest, our product line is fantastic for men and women of all ages-even babies! Having so diligently and meticulously developed our ingredient deck, I can say such a bold statement with confidence. Everyone should take advantage of a chemical-free brightening toothpaste, for example. How many of us were addicted to harmful whitening strips?! Men love our Omni Moisturizer for aftershave and sunblock, women love it as their toner, moisturizer, primer…the list goes on. I did not expect this when I first developed the products, but I certainly welcome the notion of so many benefiting from an honest to goodness product line. In terms of our brightening toothpaste, Longismile, there is virtually no comparison in terms of an effective whitening formula that is 100% natural, does not cause sensitivity, and has powerful antimicrobial agents. The signature product, Omni Moisturizer, has 50 oils and vitamins in each bottle. There is no other skincare product in the market that is so potent at that price point, while encompassing so many indications. Women especially, crowd their bathroom counters with so many beauty products-why not simplify things and have so many of your skincare needs met in one bottle?
Hilary: A tough, but essential question for entrepreneurs -- how do you find work/life balance?
I think a crucial part of my ability to keep this balance is my habits. Establishing habits eliminates taking the time to make choices everyday that not only take time, but add stress. What do I mean by that? So, I wake up every morning at 6:30 am and head straight to my workout. I don’t check my e-mails or phone until I have finished an hour of cycling. This clears my head, starts my day on the right food, and makes me feel in control of my day. I proceed through the day as efficiently as I can-meetings back to back, accomplish work during any rare idle time, and end my day at the same time as much as possible. Then, I habitually take the time to cook with my husband. Since we both work efficiently throughout the day, we feel like we have earned this time to ourselves…exploring new vegan recipes and creating my own has been such a joy. I often love to enjoy a glass of wine with dinner and catch a TED talk or watch something silly and light before bed. This regimen has worked for me for years!
What's your definition of Genuine Joy?
I love this question, Hilary. It really made me dig deep. It is easy to define things here and there that makes us happy-people, moments, etc. But genuine joy feels like it is an all-encompassing euphoria. I think for me it is this feeling of having survived something so challenging, never having questioned life or my purpose, and as a result being able to be secure enough to give unconditional love. Finding the gift in every challenge is a tried and true practice that has gotten me to where I am. I find that many who struggle to give love, do not love themselves. For me, given my life’s journey, I am not hard on myself but rather take pride in myself. This has led to me loving my husband, my children, and all those that come in my life fearlessly and passionately. I even say this for those I have not met. Longeva has brought miraculous people into my life, and given me this chance to connect with more people than I could have ever imagined. This connection and pure sense of love brings me genuine joy-and I expect nothing in return!