Kalumi chats with entrepreneur and founder of Caileur, Mary Ann Taylor. Mary Ann shares advice on starting a successful business as well as her pro tips on how to stay healthy and looking your best when on the road!
Where do you call home? Where did you grow up?
I was born in Chicago, went to high school in Dallas, and then headed west for college in California. In 2012, I moved to New York City after I was hired at a creative agency called Code and Theory, and have lived here ever since. I used to think of myself as a west coast girl at heart, but I have grown to love New York – the energy, and drive of the people that live here have influenced me and my business a lot. New York has definitely become my home.
What inspired you to start your company Caileur?
I was about to leave for the airport one day, and I wanted to pick up a few shampoo and conditioner travel sizes for my trip. I’m usually pressed for time, and pouring my full size products into travel size bottles is the last thing I want to do. AND the absolute last thing I want to do is check a bag at the airport (I can’t deal with waiting at the carousel for my luggage). I ended up going to four different places to try and buy my travel sizes, and couldn’t find any of the brands I wanted. I was living in one of the most convenient cites in the world, yet I couldn't find travel sizes of my preferred brands. There wasn't a company that was offering me the variety of brands I wanted, and I wasn't about to risk getting my products taken at TSA if they weren't the right size. At that moment I knew that I wanted to work in the space, and I wanted to create a site that gave people access to their favorite brands in travel size.
Tell us a little about your company and the gap you are filling?
Caileur is a mission based company, we make packing for travel easier by offering all the fundamentals you need for travel. We alleviate the friction of having to check a bag, or pour products into travel size bottles – and most importantly, we allow you to bring your beauty and grooming regime with you on the go. We carry travel sized hair and skincare products from luxury brands like Oribe, Diptyque, and Marvis. As we’ve grown, it’s been amazing to learn that people aren’t just using our travel sizes for airport travel, they are using them at the gym as well.
Do you have any advice for other women who may be interested in starting a company of their own?
My advice would be to find what you are passionate about, and dedicate your time to that. It’s also important to work in an industry where you are comfortable, because when you are comfortable you can thrive. In short, play to your strengths.
You’re constantly on the go (hence the birth of Caileur!), how do you keep your body feeling and looking it’s best when on the road?
I like to wear comfortable but stylish clothes when I’m flying, it helps me to feel more relaxed. My current go-to outfit for flights is a soft t-shirt, cashmere sweater, and these chic lounge pants made by Morgan Lane. I also like to drink a lot of water, and have a healthy snack on-hand. I keep a few Kalumi bars in my bag, they are a great nutritious alternative to most of the food you usually get on the plane or in the airport.
What does beauty mean to you?
Beauty to me is about healthy hair and skin. When my hair and skin feel nourished, I feel beautiful from the inside out.
Where is your “happy place”?
I love the city but I'm happiest when I'm out in nature. Whether it’s the beaches in California, or just the parks here in New York, I’m the most calm when I’m in nature. My go-to spot in the city is Madison Square Park – it’s such a great little escape from the city plus the art installations in the middle of the park are an added bonus.
Finally, what do you love the most about working for yourself and being your own boss?
The best parts about being my own boss are being able to grow, and getting to know every part of the business. It’s also a major privilege to work with passionate and talented people in the space.
Got some traveling of your own coming up? Click here to stock up on your favorite Kalumi BEAUTYfood so that you can stay glowing on the go!