Karissa Bodnar: Thriving as an Entrepreneur with Purpose

Karissa Bodnar Entrepreneur with Purpose

Karissa Bodnar
Thriving as an Entrepreneur with Purpose

Karissa Bodnar launched Thrive Causemetics, a vegan direct-to-consumer cosmetics brand in 2015 with the mission of “Bigger than Beauty.” She began her career as a makeup artist and product developer/cosmetic chemist prior to starting Thrive Causemetics and now Bigger Than Beauty Skincare. Thrive Causemetics® and Bigger Than Beauty® Skincare exist to empower their customers, employees, and Giving Partners to live their most confident life. Thrive Causemetics has donated over $135 million in products and funds to over 500 nonprofit Giving Partners around the world. Their Giving Partners help communities enduring battles with cancer, emerging from homelessness, surviving domestic abuse, fighting for racial and social justice, pursuing education, supporting LGBTQ+ causes, uplifting underserved marginalized youth, and assisting veterans. Acknowledging her amazing work and success, Karissa has been named in Forbes’ 30 Under 30, Forbes’ America’s Richest Self-Made Women, Marie Claire’s Most Powerful Women, and Inc.’s Badass Female Founders list.

We absolutely loved having Karissa live in studio for this podcast! We are utterly inspired by how and why Karissa started this brand and what she’s accomplished and continues to do with the Thrive and their 500+ giving partners. Thrive is self-funded and has grown into one of the most impactful philanthropic organizations around. If you are an entrepreneur, this episode is a must listen.

For more info check out Thrive Causemetics, and follow Karissa and Thrive on Instagram.

Points of interest in the episode: 

04:40  Kelly is a plus 1 in this convo
05:10  The Hip Spinup
05:55  Karissa is in town running a half marathon, benefiting American Cancer Society – She PR’d it; Brad Stulberg
08:23  Many endurance athletes peak later
09:29  Kelly is great at giving people hope and permission
09:50  Part of the Thrive Causemetics business model is donating back to diverse communities
10:30  Karissa donates each mile to one of their giving partners; Thrive has grown to supporting 500+ giving partners
11:55  Karissa’s background, getting into beauty, becoming an entrepreneur and starting Thrive Causemetics
15:15  Karissa wasn’t a great student but got a job doing product development for Clarasonic
16:25  Carol Hamilton at L’Oreal mentored Karissa
18:25  The origin of Thrive Causemetics is a story of friendship
21:48  Karissa set out to create a cosmetics company that was clean and could be worn people that are immunocompromised; Bulletproof
23:57  Thrive was (is!) self-funded
24:35  The first product was false lashes that could be worn by people that had lashes or not
26:53  Clean products
34:33  Quality at scale
37:04  Game changing eyeliner; Infinity Waterproof Eyeliner
39:50  After years of struggling, a Thrive ad goes viral
42:50  The company went from $100/day to $100K/day in a week – she sold out, then switched it all to pre-order which racked 40k+ pre-orders
45:00  Scaling the business; Nicki Minaj
46:40  The challenges of being an entrepreneur are resilience builders
49:14  Learning brand and community building skills
50:25  Karissa is so uncool (her words) that she went to Vegas serve the homeless community without knowing it was Super Bowl weekend
51:50  “I’m only allergic to 2 things, vancomycin and bullshit”
52:29  Thrive has grown into a GIGANTIC company
54:35  “Do it with purpose or don’t do it at all”
56:35  Making movement and wellness a priority as a very busy entrepreneur and badass CEO; Practice of Groundedness, by Brad Stulberg
60:22  Daily movement is a non-negotiable
63:18  What would you ask your younger self?
64:07  What Karissa is most proud of
64:50  What useless superpower would you have?; Delve Deck
66:35  Karissa’s socials


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