10 for TEN: Mary Schulman ‘97 & Amy Carr ‘97
10 for TEN: Mary Schulman ‘97 & Amy Carr ‘97
By Ellie Geraghty
Mary Schulman ‘97 and Amy Carr ‘97 believe that the makeup you put on your face should be cruelty free, hypoallergenic and free of harsh chemicals. For them that means top notch, safe ingredients and packaging made from recyclable plastic. Schulman and Carr teamed up in 2018 to launch their company, PYT Beauty, and it is all about Beauty without the BS (Bad Stuff)™. Read on to learn more about PYT Beauty’s journey and the women behind this impressive brand.
What is your Fearless Idea?
MS: To provide clean beauty products at a reasonable price for all who seek it.
AC: At PYT Beauty, we really want to change the makeup of makeup. We want ingredients that are not only good for you but also good for our planet. We want packaging that won't just end up in landfills but rather be recyclable or made from recyclable plastic. We want to move the industry forward.
Describe your startup's mission and why you launched it in 100 words or less.
MS: We created PYT Beauty because we think what you put on your face should be good for your body, and clean makeup that delivers should be the norm. That’s why we tried and tested hundreds of formulas until we found the perfect combination: high-performance makeup made with safe ingredients sold at a fair price. You shouldn’t have to choose between beauty, your body and your bank account.
AC: We launched PYT Beauty to bring clean, high performance makeup to everyone at a price point real people can afford.
How do you define success or determine the impact of your venture?
MS: Success always goes back to the mission of PYT. There have been clean beauty products in the market before, but most either did not work or were very expensive. PYT was created to serve the needs of people looking for clean beauty at a reasonable price. Success is when the mission is lived out through the customer.
AC: Success is not a monetary amount but rather knowing that we are making a change for the better. We want to move the cosmetics industry forward in terms of clean ingredients, clean and sustainable packaging and a clean conscience.
What is the biggest problem or challenge you have had to overcome with your venture?
MS: There was a reason there weren't more products like ours out there-- because it was really challenging to master. The ingredients we use in our products are so expensive, so there was a lot of push & pull in getting the price down for a high quality product.
AC: In cosmetics, it is a really crowded industry and hard to break through, even when you are doing something completely unique and good for our planet. We are making progress and by this time next year, we hope to be THE brand that is leading this mission.
What is the best piece of advice you've received?
MS: I’ve been listening to Bobby Brown’s podcast, Beyond the Beauty, and she recently reminded her fellow entrepreneurs and business owners to try to be in the moment. As I look to balance work, family, a growing company and all of the hats I wear as a mother, wife, and more - I think it’s important to focus on the now, vs. getting to the end. The end isn’t where the bliss is, it’s in the now.
AC: You can do ANYTHING you want but you cannot do EVERYTHING. We have scarce resources in terms of time, money and headspace so we need to really prioritize over and over again.
What is one piece of advice you want to give to fellow Terps about launching a venture?
MS: People think the hardest part of being an entrepreneur is the idea, but the hardest part is executing on the idea. If you have an idea you feel strongly on and you're willing to put the work in, that's where the magic can happen. The idea is really the easiest part.
AC: Create the idea and then spend time really vetting it with lots of people. Take feedback and use it to make your idea even stronger. We have changed from what we originally had in our mind and it is for the better, for sure.
What is one book you're reading or a podcast you're listening to right now?
MS: “Daring Greatly” by Brene Brown and “Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup” by John Carreyrou.
AC: I am always reading a parenting book and a fun one. My fun one is “Where the Crawdads Sing” by Delia Owens. My parenting one is “Voice Lessons for Parents” by Wendy Mogel.
What do you do in your free time?
MS: I enjoy reading and spending time with family - my husband, two daughters (ages 15 and 13) and son (age 8). This summer we’ve done a lot of outdoor activities on the water - socially distanced of course!
AC: I like to run, do yoga and exercise. This summer, I have gotten really into tennis since it is outdoors and socially distanced.
What is your favorite alumni event or experience?
MS: I was able to be a virtual mentor for aspiring Terp entrepreneurs through the Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship. Many of these students already had startups running, which was very impressive.
AC: I do not get to attend many alumni events in California, but I did come back and go to a football game. I cannot wait to do that again when my 3 children are a little older. Such incredible school spirit and energy!
As a student, what was one of your favorite memories or spots on campus?
MS: I think it has to be Santa Fe Cafe!
AC: I loved the main McKeldin Mall. It was so peaceful to sit on the grass surrounded by such beautiful buildings. I come from California and buildings are just not that grand out here.
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