It all started on a cozy grey couch on the Upper East Side. I had first met my Co-founder Divya Gugnani, a Harvard Business School grad, at a salon opening a few days earlier. We instantly clicked while talking about my obsession with beauty products and her many entrepreneurial endeavors. Fast forward to me sitting in her living room - we chatted about her experience with startups as well as my modeling career, and our passion for traveling, and beauty - it was clear that we had something- an idea unlike any other- and it was time to get to work. It was then that the dynamic duo was born! But let’s not get ahead of ourselves here! Let’s flash back to the day my career in fashion started.
I was a freshman at UC San Diego pursuing a love of biology when a talent scout suggested I try modeling. Modeling? I never even imagined the possibility. Little did I know, a few months later, I would be standing in front of legendary designer John Galliano and shortly after would be opening his show for Christian Dior in Paris. It was the first time I had ever stepped foot on a runway, I had no idea the snowball effect that first step would create!
The first year of my career was a whirlwind. One of my first jobs was in Cape Town, South Africa and shortly after I traveled to Goa, India for an editorial shoot, where I also celebrated my 20th birthday. I've walked in hundreds of fashion shows, including Valentino, Givenchy and Chanel, among many others. In 2007 I reached a new high in my career as I scored a spot in the Victoria's Secret Fashion show, which I've walked in for 8 years. It was a dream come true. Shortly after, I was chosen to represent the brand as one of their iconic "Angels". See what I mean about the snowball effect!
I've been so fortunate to travel the world and work with the most talented photographers, stylists, and makeup artists in the industry! I was exposed to so much beauty in so many forms and was inspired by all the places I traveled to and the global beauty trends I saw. Divya and I, both being different ethnicities and having different skin tones, wanted Wander Beauty to appeal to women of multiple ethnicities. We cast six models for our website with a wide range of skin tones and backgrounds to create a relatable shopping experience.
After ten years of trying and testing every product under the sun and working with experts in the industry, I have learned that you don’t need a million things in your makeup bag, but need a few great multi-taskers that can help you touch up throughout your busiest days. I’ve absorbed so much knowledge about makeup application and tips and tricks to accentuate your best features and hide flaws, and have channeled all of this into the launch of Wander. This has been an amazing learning experience for me - I feel just as at home walking the runway as I am testing new formulas in the lab and I am so excited to share all that I’ve learned and have been working on with you.
My hope is that Wander Beauty empowers women to feel confident and gorgeous on-the-go with great multi-taskers that last long and travel well. I believe that the products we’ve made will bring back the ease and fun of makeup. That is part of the fun of being a woman! Trust me -playing with color and changing up your look from day to night- its much easier than you think and I’m excited to share all of my beauty secrets with you through Wander Beauty!