Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in skincare but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Allison Callaway, Founder of Activist Skincare, located in Torrance, CA, USA.

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

Activist Skincare makes super-effective, refillable, and sustainable products with premium active ingredients to address common skin concerns like hyperpigmentation, sun damage, blemishes, acne, fine lines, and more.

All Activist Skincare products are refillable. Refill pouches are easy to use at home, and they reduce CO2 emissions by 99% and plastic waste by 75% compared to recycled glass containers.

A woman-owned small business and member of 1% For the Planet, Activist has donated up to 5% of annual revenue in years past to causes that support our planet, including Earthjustice, Rainforest Trust, and more.

Tell us about yourself

I have had a lifelong passion for protecting animals and the planet starting from when I was just a few years old. I also had acne as a teen, which really impacted my life. When I was in my late 20s, re-evaluating my career path and trying to find a way forward that was in line with my values, I went back to these two formative aspects of my youth and realized that creating a pro-environmental skincare brand was the perfect synthesis of two passions.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

Moving forward with the idea of refillable skincare when no one else was doing it. The idea was swimming around in my mind for a while, and for quite some time, I assumed that if it was such a good idea, other brands would already be doing it. I was afraid that was some hidden issue I wasn't considering. But finally, I took the chance and moved forward. There were some kinks to work out, but our customers love our low-waste, at-home refills that are available for all seven of our products!

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

Being the chief decision-maker can be difficult. There are a lot of decisions to make on a daily basis, and it takes a lot of mental energy to analyze the various paths available to you and make the best decision.

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

  1. Determine if entrepreneurship is right for you. It's an unconventional career choice that has the potential to be very rewarding but is also very taxing on your personal life.
  2. Choose an area that you're passionate about. You have to be the chief evangelist of your brand, so be sure you really believe in what your company will stand for.
  3. Launch a minimally viable product (MVP) rather than spending too many resources getting everything perfect.

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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