We are headed to the land of kiwis today to chat with Jaimee Lupton, founder of haircare brand MONDAY, which aims to make luxury haircare more affordable and inclusive. Read on to learn how Jaimee keeps centered during the growth of her startup!
What does a typical day for you look like? If there is such a thing as a “typical” day?
There really is not a typical day for me – running a business means you need to be super flexible and jump on the thing that most needs your attention at any given time. Plus, I work really closely and collaboratively with my team, so our days are quite enmeshed. Despite all advice to the contrary, I check my emails first thing when I wake up. It’s not very Zen, but it does help me get a hold on anything that’s come in overnight.
We’re currently launching into several new markets, so the difference in time zones means things are coming in at all hours. Once I’ve actioned those and checked the team WeChat, I’ll shower and do my routine. The thing about using quality shampoo and conditioner like MONDAY is it helps eliminate the need for a bunch of styling products: I use our SMOOTH Shampoo and MOISTURE Conditioner then blow dry my hair, and I’m good to go.
I’ll listen to a podcast on the drive to work, something like How I Built This to get me in the zone, and then it’s into meetings and Zooms with my team, our team in Sydney and LA, and external partners. When I get home, I’ll walk my dog Frankie, then my partner Nick and I (who is my co-founder on MONDAY) will debrief on the day and talk wins and improvements. Typically, there’s a fair bit of shop talk and more emails/Zoom calls until late. Such a huge growth period for MONDAY hasn’t meant a great deal of sleep, but the energy and excitement really fuel me.
What are some of your favorite rituals or routines you do throughout the day to help ground you?
Because my days are so unpredictable and running a business is so all-consuming, I don’t have so many routines that are set in stone, but whenever I feel like I need a break from work talk I’ll make a personal call to get my mind out of things. I work with my partner and one of my best friends, so it’s important to set boundaries from time to time, like having work-free conversations. I’ll also set a fake meeting for a couple of hours a week to go do something for myself, like have lunch with a friend or have a facial.
What inspired you to create MONDAY Haircare?
Essentially it was my own expensive beauty habit – I was paying extortionate amounts for salon products and when I went to look at alternatives, I realized there weren’t any super premium, modern formulations available in a supermarket setting. What’s more, many of those brands didn’t meet the benchmarks of leaving out SLS and parabens, or being cruelty-free, vegan, and a sustainably minded brand that cared about recyclability as well as the aesthetic of their packaging.
There just wasn’t anything that felt really beautiful and premium. I had worked in publicity for high-end brands such as Range Rover and Hermes, and am a beauty junkie myself, so I knew what it meant for a brand to look and feel luxurious. I wanted to create that, just without the unnecessary price tag. Exclusivity has long been a buzzword in beauty, but by definition that means someone is always excluded. So, I set out to create a more inclusive beauty brand.
What is a beauty product or routine you’ve recently adapted and have been liking?
I recently bought an LED light therapy set-up, which I’ve been bringing into the office for my team to use – mostly to appease my guilt over cost-per-use! I really do notice the difference in my skin after using it. The glow is real.
What about your surroundings helps you make the most of your weeks?
Firstly, I have to say we’ve been very lucky that New Zealand has been relatively free of Covid, so we’ve been able to go about life pretty much as normal. As a company, we still have flexible working arrangements and I spend a bit of time working from my apartment which we recently renovated. It’s a safe, comfortable space where I feel really productive. It’s also decorated in a lot of our MONDAY tones, which certainly helps get me in the zone!