WOMEN'S HISTORY MONTH Q+A: SARAH BIGGERS-STEWART, FOUNDER & CEO
Women's History Month is all about celebrating badass women worldwide. The ones who break boundaries. The ones who make change. The ones who refuse to take no for an answer. We're so proud that our Founder and CEO, Sarah Biggers-Stewart, is one of those women.
Keep reading for our interview with this transparent beauty pioneer, mental health and social justice advocate, and new mama.
How would you describe yourself in three words?
Open, ambitious, idealistic
Women's History Month also happens to be CLOVE + HALLOW's birthday month! What are you most proud of in regards to C+H?
Oh, that’s a tough one. There are so many things to be proud of! I’m probably most proud of my team. But I’m also really proud of how we handled the pandemic: we managed to pivot by focusing a bit more on in-house skincare production which resulted in our bestselling product of all time—The Everything Oil—and shielded against layoffs and furloughs.
What do you think makes someone a badass?
Self-awareness. True self-awareness means knowing who you are and who you are not; it also means you see your strengths, flaws, and weaknesses for what they are. When you have true self-awareness, you know what you want to change—and what you are actually capable of changing—and you let go of anything outside of those parameters. You sink into a delicious sense of comfortability, confidence, and ease. That sweet spot is pure badassery.
What would you say are the best parts about being an entrepreneur? Anything about it that's not always so great?
There are so many aspects of entrepreneurship that I enjoy. I love the mental stimulation that comes with entrepreneurship and the never-ending slew of challenges that must be faced head on. I love bringing together an awesome team of people to help build out a vision. And I really, REALLY love the way hard-earned lessons seep over into my personal life, and vice-versa. It’s like a 2-for-1! But of course, things aren’t always rainbows and sunshine. I very rarely get to truly disconnect from work. The pressure and pace can be overwhelming and even isolating at times. And as a major “people person,” it can be challenging to remain objective in terms of business decisions if they might negatively impact people. So there are definitely challenges, but I wouldn’t choose any other path!
You're also a new mom! Has that impacted your admiration for women?
Oh yes, tenfold. The mental, emotional, and physical shifts that occur during pregnancy and postpartum are incredible—in both good and bad ways. Balancing all of it requires a whole new level of communication, time management, and compartmentalization.
Who are some of the other woman entrepreneurs you respect most in the beauty industry?
Bobbi Brown is an absolute legend that I respect so much for a) navigating this crazy industry, b) building something that resonated so deeply with her clients, and c) exiting the business when she stopped enjoying it. Katie Jane Hughes is a makeup-artist-turned-influencer that I am obsessed with. She has the most unique and creative style and her rise to influencer fame breathed fresh playfulness into our industry.
Who are some other women who inspire you most? This can be in your own life or a celebrity or public figure.
Dolly Parton comes to mind. Not only is she a musical legend, but she has emerged as one of the greatest philanthropists of our time. I am inspired by the way she uses her platform and wealth to educate and give back. And of course my own mother. I’ve always admired her tenacity, vulnerability, and selflessness, but now that I am a mother myself, I see all of those qualities and more in a new light.
If you could have dinner with any badass woman in history, who would you choose and why?
Simone Segouin. She was this incredible young French woman who fought in the Resistance. She transported important messages, blew up bridges that served as supply lines, and even captured 25 Nazis in her village. Being Jewish, I find her story inspiring and also fascinating. She was only 18!