Janvi Shah: Inclusivity and accessibility for all beauty consumers | Pro Club Bd

ladder work is a publishing platform for diverse picture books and online curricula with a mission to empower over a million children to become social entrepreneurs. Our latest series features interviews by our interplanetary journalist Spiffy with inspiring social entrepreneurs and entrepreneurship ecosystem builders driving the UN SDGs.

Send here! I’m back with the scoop on planet earth’s entrepreneurial leaders. As the only interplanetary journalist stationed on this blue planet, I am pleased to present this galactic exclusive with Janvi Shah, the co-founder and CEO of Hue. Let’s see what she’s doing to make a positive impact on the world.

Chic: Thanks for joining me Janvi! Tell me, what challenge are you addressing?

Janvi: Glad to be with you, Spiffy! Hue’s mission is to empower every beauty shopper to find the perfect products for their unique complexion (i.e. skin tone, skin type and more).

Chic: Interesting! What made you do it?

Janvi: Well, our founding team (i.e. co-founders Nicole, Sylvan and I) came together as three women of color who were struggling to break into the beauty industry and find makeup products that worked well with our skin tone — despite each of and it was at different points on the color spectrum. And we’re not the only ones: 80% of beauty consumers say this is the biggest problem they face when shopping for beauty products online. The beauty industry has historically struggled with inclusion, offering a limited range of shades (with dark skin tones often excluded) and biases in its in-store shopping experience. Through our technology and solutions, we aim to provide (1) inclusivity and (2) accessibility for all beauty consumers.

Chic: Brilliant! Sounds like you’re saying that you and your team at Hue are working towards a fairer world?

Janvi: Exactly, chic. Hue is the first universal beauty recommendation engine, and our technology integrates directly with brands and retailers’ websites. Through our skin-matching algorithm, buyers are matched to their Hue Twins, who are real people who share the same skin tone, skin type, and preferences. This allows them to get accurate recommendations, as well as see photo and video reviews from real people who look like them. We tested this experience with hundreds of customers and 96% of shoppers felt more confident they found their shade with Hue because they could see themselves represented in the beauty shopping experience.

Chic: Great! Tell me about a recent Hue milestone. What are the implications?

Janvi: We are launching our first partnerships with two beauty brands/retailers on their e-commerce sites this summer. We are very proud of the companies we work with and their commitment to diversity and inclusion. This is our first step in bringing our technology to millions of beauty shoppers worldwide! We’re excited to be working with even more brands and retailers after this initial launch.

Chic: Congratulations on taking this big first step! Please share an experience when you faced failure and didn’t give up. What did you learn from this experience?

Janvi: Sure thing! We founded Hue during our MBA program at Harvard Business School. In 2021 we competed in our school’s New Venture Competition and we made it into the last four but didn’t win. In 2022 we decided to try again for the same competition and again made it into the last four but didn’t win. We’re not the kind of people who give up easily, so we entered the Harvard-wide President’s Innovation Challenge and, to our surprise, won the grand prize of $75,000. This experience has taught us to always have the courage to try again because you can never win if you don’t try!

Chic: Wonderful! Thanks again for speaking to me today Janvi – it was an honor!

Janvi Shah is co-founder and CEO of hue. Previously, she worked at Google as a product manager for Google Photos and Google Search. She received her MBA from Harvard Business School and her BS in Neuroscience from Duke University. She is originally from the Bay Area, CA.(Nominated by Alex Parks of Harvard Innovation Labs. First published on the Ladderworks website on July 26, 2022.)

© 2022 Leiterwerk LLC. Edited by George Romar. Spiffy’s illustration by Shreyas Navare. Visit Spiffy’s Corner to see Ladderworks’ digital curriculum helping K-3 kids advance the UN SDGs here.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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