How She Got There: Joi Ruud, Co-Founder & Executive Director of Amala Beauty

Name: Joi Ruud
Age: 37
Job Title and Description: Co-Founder and Executive Director of Amala Beauty
College Name/Major: Undergraduate: The College of New Jersey/Business Administration; Graduate: Northwestern University/Integrated Marketing (June 2018)
Website: shopamala.com
Instagram Handle: @amalabeauty

What does your current job entail? Is there such a thing as a typical day?

JR: Amala Beauty creates and distributes high-end natural skincare. So my current job includes a wide variety of different and interesting responsibilities! My background is in marketing, and this is the area where I have the sharpest focus and spend the majority of my time. I head up the marketing team and we are responsible for ideating new products, developing global pricing and distribution strategies and managing brand communications.

What is the best part of your job?

JR: The best part of my job is seeing a product come to life and getting feedback about it from our customers as well as influencers and journalists. 

What was your first entry-level job in your field and how did you get it?

JR: I started out as a summer intern after my freshman year in college at a large beauty company. They invited me back every summer and when I graduated, they offered me a full-time position. Internships are great – even the unpaid ones. It's one of the best possible networking opportunities and learning experiences you can have early in your career. 

What words of wisdom do you find most valuable?

JR: I remember hearing the quote, "Work like you don’t need the money” as a young businesswoman, but I didn’t understand how to get to that mindset. Over the years, I’ve figured out that when you do what you’re truly passionate about, the fulfillment you get from your work does make it much less about the money and more about dedicating time to doing what you love.

What is one mistake you made along the way and what did you learn from it?

JR: One mistake I made as a younger businesswoman was continuously interviewing for jobs at companies that weren’t the right fit for me. I learned that just because you have the right skill set for a job doesn’t mean the overall job is right for you. It’s important to realize that in an interview, you’re interviewing the company as much as they’re interviewing you. Checking to see if the company culture and senior management style are aligned with what you seek is just as important as the company checking if you can deliver the skills they need. 

What has been the most surreal moment of your career thus far?

JR: The most surreal moment of my career thus far was a press trip that I led in Zurich, Switzerland. It was at an amazing 5-star resort where Amala products are sold in the incredible spa. We invited several top notch journalists on the trip and at the end, they all told me it was the best press trip they had ever been on. As the head of marketing for a small, niche brand in an industry filled with huge companies with big budgets, this was utterly surreal and a moment of tremendous pride. 

What do you look for when considering hiring someone?

JR: First and foremost, I look for someone that I think will fit in on our team and complement our skills and working styles. Then I look for someone that I think either has the skills I am looking for and/or will be a fast, open, proactive learner. 

What advice would you give to a 20-something with similar aspirations?

JR: Get comfortable with working really, really hard and stepping outside your comfort zone. When it comes to negotiating your salary, be assertive, direct and smart: carve out the unique value that you add to the company and use this as a lever to ask for what you deserve. But most importantly, figure out how you best balance work with your personal life and self-care, and commit to it. 

What's the one thing that's stood out to you the most in a resume?

JR: I really like when people find creative ways to talk about not only what they did, but the outcomes they achieved. Sometimes this can be quantified as sales lift or an increase in profitability. But in any case, I look for people who are results-oriented, who focus on the “why” behind their work, and the goals and objectives they’re working towards for their own development as well as that of their team and company. 

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