Leslie Osborne is Co-founder of Sweat Cosmetics, the first cosmetic and sun care line designed by athletes for active women.
Sweat Cosmetics is high performance makeup designed to protect & enhance beauty while enduring a woman's on-the-go life. Developed, test and proven by professional and Olympic female athletes, Sweat believes in empowering active women to embrace their beauty, and encourage every woman to find their sweat.
Before becoming an entrepreneur Leslie was a sponsored professional athlete for 10 years, as well as model, trainer, spokeswoman, even meeting her four other co-founders on the soccer field.
As Chief Communications Officer, she aims to solidify Sweat Cosmetics as the preferred cosmetic brand for professional female athletes and other influential women.
You can find Sweat Cosmetics at Sephora Anthropologie, Revolve, and many fitness studios and dermatologist offices across the country.
They’ve gone on to raise over 250K via a very successful crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo.
WHAT KIND OF PROBLEM IS SWEAT COSMETICS SOLVING?
We are the first cosmetic and sun care line designed by athletes for active women. We wanted to create products that would protect your skin from the sun BUT also provide coverage in addition to feeling good, looking good, while still being able to play well.
WHAT DID THOSE FIRST STEPS LOOK/FEEL LIKE? (FOR EXAMPLE: THE FIRST 6 MONTHS)
Crazy. We have 5 founders and the idea started 10 years ago when two of our founders were playing soccer in college. It wasn't until we all started playing professionally together where we actually took the idea and decided to start the company (which took 3 years). The first six months after launch were actually easier than the 3 years it took for us building up to launch since at that time we actually had a product:) We went through 7 rounds of testing with friends and family and that actually took a year and half! Our first fundraising round was with our friends and family when we didn't even have a product yet. One of my founders actually used her house as our headquarters (office and fulfillment center). Since we were all former professional athletes turned first time entrepreneurs, we had to use our mentors and advisors a lot pre, and post launch as a company.
WHAT HAS BEEN THE BIGGEST CONTRIBUTION TO THE SUCCESS YOU'VE HAD THUS FAR?
Two things, first, we are all former athletes and we have achieved success at the highest level possible. We are determined, motivated, hard working, goal orientated, and work very well together since we were former teammates, those skill traits have helped us get to where we are at. Second, I would say our support system- from our investors to advisors and mentors. We wouldn't be where we are without them. I will finish and say, we are also our own target market so that has helped us find success in the market.
DO YOU HAVE A FAVORITE FAILURE? WHAT LESSONS DID YOU LEARN?
Ha! Oh my gosh, there have been so many! How about when we had to push back launch 3 times because of delays with manufacturers (ugh)! OR signing our first contract with Sephora and not really sure what we were doing and agreed to things we probably shouldn't have. A few takeaways are *have a strong advisory/board of directors so you can lean on them for their expertise *ask more questions and use your leverage *being okay with having to constantly pivot.
HOW DO YOU DEFINE LEADERSHIP? OR, WHAT DOES BEING A LEADER MEAN TO YOU?
A leader is someone who brings out the best and strengths in their team. Someone who sets the example and tone ALL the time. The best leaders in my life have been trustworthy, passionate, hardworking, respectful and positive.
DO YOU HAVE A MENTOR? HOW DID YOU GO ABOUT ACQUIRING ONE?
Yes! I have a few. The first one is my dad- he will always be my mentor. I look up to him in so many ways especially now being an entrepreneur since he was so successful as one. I am so lucky to have such an amazing dad. Second, Julie Foudy- she is one of the best women's soccer players and I was lucky enough to play with her on the US Women's National Soccer Team. She was so encouraging, positive, hardworking, selfless and overall rockstar, I learned so much from her on and off the field. The third mentor is one of my professional soccer team's owners I met in Boston. He is actually a venture capitalist and has had such an impact on my life. He has taught me so many life skills that I have carried over into the startup world.
WHAT SHOULD WOMEN BE DOING MORE OF TO FOSTER LEADERSHIP SKILLS?
Seeking more role models/mentors out...Also, get comfortable with being uncomfortable.
WHAT DO YOU DO WHEN YOU'RE FEELING "OVERWHELMED"?
I go for a run or go exercise, that always helps. :)
WHAT IS ONE QUOTE YOU LIVE YOUR LIFE BY?
“I have so many, I can't pick. Good things happen to good people."
WHAT ARE YOU READING RIGHT NOW?
Ha, I wish I had to time to read a book. I actually need to make the time. I'm balancing being part of a start up while having two babies under the age of 21 months so it's a little crazy.
IF YOU HAD ONE TIP OR LIFE ADVICE, OR MANTRA TO SHARE, WHAT WOULD IT BE?
Have a great support system and lean on them. When people offer their help, take them up on it. Also, stay positive and continue to work hard. Good things will come...
ANY THING ELSE YOU'D LIKE TO INCLUDE?
Thanks for having me! Love being part of this community and can't wait to hear from more amazing women! :)