Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in beauty and cosmetics but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Richard Kostick, Founder and CEO of 100% PURE, located in San Jose, CA, USA.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

We are 100% PURE, a company that produces all-natural, cruelty-free skincare and cosmetic products. Our customers are individuals who value and prioritize natural and healthy ingredients, cruelty-free products, and environmentally sustainable practices. We strive to educate and raise awareness about the importance of using pure and healthy products, and we believe in promoting compassion and kindness toward all living beings.

Tell us about yourself

I first got started in the beauty and personal care industry when I co-founded a shampoo line for teenagers while studying computer science at UC Berkeley. However, it was the loss of several family members to cancer that truly motivated me to question the ingredients in my products and search for natural and safe formulas. At the time, the clean beauty movement was non-existent, and most people didn't realize the harm that some products could cause to their bodies. This led me to co-found 100% PURE with my business partners Susie and James Wang in 2004. Today, we offer over 500 products across skincare, makeup, haircare, and body care.

What motivates me each day to do what I do is the desire to create products that our customers can trust and that align with our mission of providing healthy, high-quality, and cruelty-free beauty products. It's also incredibly rewarding to see the positive impact that our products have on people's lives, especially those who have struggled with skin sensitivities or health concerns related to their personal care products.

Do you have daily rituals for work / wellness / fitness / mindfulness?

Morning Rituals for Mindfulness and Enhanced Creativity: My day commences with an invigorating blend of gratitude and silence, deeply influenced by both Stoic and mindfulness practices. The first 30 minutes upon waking are sacred, dedicated to fostering a serene yet alert state that propels me through the day. I start by embracing a moment of gratitude, reflecting on the Stoic memento mori—the contemplation of life's impermanence. This not only grounds me but also magnifies my appreciation for the unfolding day.

Following this reflective pause, I transition into a 10-minute meditation, incorporating deep, diaphragmatic breathing inspired by Wim Hof. This not only centers my mind but also saturates my body with oxygen, invigorating my physical and mental state.

The remainder of this half-hour is spent in complete silence, a practice that sharpens my focus and amplifies creativity. During this time, I abstain from digital distractions, allowing my thoughts to flow freely. This silent interval is not merely an absence of noise but a deliberate space for creativity to flourish, unencumbered by the day's demands or external inputs.

This combined ritual of reflection, breathing, and silence sets a tranquil yet dynamically creative tone for my day. It's a time when my mind is most receptive to innovative ideas and solutions—a practice that has become a cornerstone of my daily routine, enhancing my mindfulness, wellness, and overall productivity.

Fitness and Physical Well-being: Following meditation, I dedicate at least 30 minutes to physical exercise. This varies from high-intensity interval training (HIIT) to yoga, depending on the day. Twice a week, I incorporate cold showers post-exercise to enhance circulation and resilience, a nod to Wim Hof's method. This physical routine not only bolsters my physical health but also sharpens my mental clarity, as underscored by neuroscientist Andrew Huberman's research on the brain-body connection.

Workday Rituals for Productivity and Focus: As I transition to work mode, I set clear, achievable goals for the day, employing the Stoic principle of focusing on what is within my control. I break my work into focused intervals, typically 90 minutes of concentrated effort followed by a short break, a rhythm that maximizes productivity while preventing burnout.

Evening Wind-down for Reflection and Recovery: My evenings are reserved for reflection and connection. I journal to capture insights and progress, an exercise in Stoic reflection that Marcus Aurelius might have practiced. I also ensure quality time with family, grounding myself in the importance of personal connections. Before bed, I engage in a mindfulness exercise, focusing on breath and body sensations, to ensure restorative sleep.

Continuous Learning: Integral to my daily life is the commitment to learning, whether it's reading about the latest advancements in neuroscience, exploring Stoic texts, or listening to podcasts on wellness and personal development. This habit of continual growth and curiosity fuels both my personal and professional endeavors.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

As a business owner, I would say that my biggest accomplishment is the success of 100% PURE. From humble beginnings, helping start a shampoo line for teenagers, to a thriving business with over 500 health and wellness products, I am proud of what my team and I have achieved. However, what makes this accomplishment truly meaningful to me is that we have been able to do it all while staying true to our core values of using only natural, safe, and cruelty-free ingredients in our products. Knowing that we are making a positive impact on people's health and well-being motivates me every day to continue working hard and pushing the boundaries of what is possible in the beauty industry.

What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?

As a business owner, one of the hardest things I face is the constant need to make tough decisions that could potentially impact the success of my company. There are times when I have to make difficult choices, such as cutting costs or letting go of employees, that can be emotionally challenging. It's also a constant battle to balance my time between managing the day-to-day operations of the business and focusing on long-term strategic planning. Additionally, navigating the ever-changing business landscape and keeping up with emerging technologies and trends can be daunting. However, I know that with perseverance, adaptability, and a willingness to take risks, I can overcome these challenges and continue to grow my business.

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

Sure, here are three tips that I would recommend for anyone looking to start, run, and grow a business today:

  1. Focus on solving a problem or filling a need: Your business should be centered around addressing a particular problem or need in the market. Identify a gap or opportunity in your industry and design your business around fulfilling that need. This will help ensure that there is a demand for your product or service and give you a competitive advantage.
  2. Build a strong team: Surround yourself with a team of talented individuals who share your vision and can help bring it to life. This includes finding people with complementary skills who can handle various aspects of the business, from operations to marketing to finance. Having a strong team will not only make the workload more manageable but also bring fresh perspectives and ideas to the table.
  3. Stay adaptable and open to change: The business world is constantly evolving, and it's important to be able to pivot and adapt to changes in the market or industry. Be open to feedback and continuously gather data to make informed decisions. This includes being willing to try new things and taking calculated risks in order to grow and expand your business.

Where can people find you and your business?


If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.

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