If you haven’t heard, we recently launched the Cocokind Impact Foundation as part of our mission to empower women through our business. We’re providing financial grants between $2,500-$10,000 to female founders in the health, wellness, and sustainability industries. In addition to the financial grant, we’re also providing our grantees with mentors – all leaders in the wellness industry. As part of our efforts to further empower the cocokind community, we’re also excited to launch our I Am: video series.
The I Am: series is all about featuring leaders. They are people who empower us, inspire us, and help us further our work to become even more of who we are. We’re featuring not only how they practice self care, but also how they empower themselves on a day to day basis. Our first feature is on Julie Nguyen, one of my close friends and the Co-Founder and CEO of Methodology.
Q: So Julie, what is Methodology?
A: Methodology is a meal-prep service focused on food for wellness. We make and deliver food directly to our clients. Our typical client is someone who is very knowledgeable about nutrition and wellness, and is looking for really high-quality ingredients that will help them feel healthier every day.
Q: Could you tell us a little bit about the start of of your wellness journey?
A: I was really, really sick in my twenties. I was obese and I was on tons of prescription drugs for acne, anxiety, insomnia. In addition to getting panic attacks and depressed, I had eczema all over my face and my elbows. I was just a really sick person at a very young age! I was really disappointed with where I was in life, because when I was a kid I imagined being this confident woman who would go out and feel like she could do anything. That just wasn’t the way I felt in my body.
As a result, I spent a lot of time doing research on diet, reading every book I could get my hands on, and experimenting for years to figure out how to heal myself of all these ailments. It was a long journey, but over time I learned exactly which foods were causing these health problems. Basically, I learned how to eat properly.
Q: From personal experience, how is your diet related to your skin?
A: I have found that food affects my skin more than pretty much almost anything that I do. I’ve noticed that unless I couple (skincare) with a very clean diet, I’m going to get acne. Something that I really want to stress is that I used to be pretty good about (my diet), 80% of the time, and noticed I wasn’t clearing up. It wasn’t until I became really anal about it and became that freak out at dinner with friends that was like, “No, put the cheese on the side,” that I really started to get to this 95 to 98% clarity.
Q: Can you tell me who introduced you to skincare?
A: I was first introduced to skincare by my esthetician. I learned from her that acne is something that actually needs to be treated holistically. Before that, I would just go to Sephora and buy whatever was most expensive in the acne section, and nothing ever worked for me.
Q: What’s your morning skincare routine like?
A: I use a charcoal cleanser. Then, I have these little soft cotton towels (I have probably 30-50 of them in my drawer), and I use a fresh clean one every time I wash my face. At night, they really help get all of the makeup and residue off my face.
Then, always, I love using the cocokind Rosewater Toner. I spray it on my face, I spray it on any part of my body that’s exposed to the elements that day. It could be my legs, my hands, because I’ve found that it keeps it really moisturized throughout the day. After that I put on a sunblock, which I use religiously… less because I’m worried about skin damage but more because it helps my makeup stick on better and look better, so I guess it’s more vanity… but it’s good for me!
Q: What’s the one skincare or beauty product you couldn’t live without?
A: This is going to sound like a bad answer as a founder, but it’s honestly Methodology. If my diet weren’t on point, I would not look or feel healthy, and that would affect my skin, it would affect my weight, it would affect every aspect of my health.
Q: What challenges have you faced as a female founder?
A: I’ve actually had a lot of amazing connections because I’m a woman. I found that in the Bay Area, there are so many women who are willing to step up and help you in any way they can, just because you’re also a female founder. Maybe it’s because there’s so few of us, that when we meet each other we feel like we’re meeting this very rare and endangered species! We need to stick together. I hope to see more women starting businesses.
Q: To you, what does it mean to be an empowered woman?
A: To me, being an empowered woman is just really being kind to yourself and being able to talk to yourself in the same way you’d talk to anyone else. I learned pretty late in life that the voice inside my head was a voice that I would never use to anyone, not even my worst enemies. When I started speaking to myself the way I might speak to a mentee, I felt completely different and empowered as a person.
Q: What is your hope for your company, Methodology?
A: I felt compelled once I reached my thirties to step back and ask myself, “I’ve learned a lot in the last ten years. Is there something I can do to help other people who are suffering, and don’t have this knowledge?” I created Methodology with the intention of not just educating people, but having it be a truly sensual and experiential type of learning. The hope is that anyone, no matter how busy they are, can come to Methodology, eat foods that will heal their bodies, and along the way learn how to achieve their full potential. You can’t live your dream life unless you feel really confident and strong in your own body.