Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in skincare but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Sydney Dake, Founder of Gntl, located in Napa, CA, USA.

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

We make effective, facial-grade skincare for everywhere. Our multi-use formulas nourish all skin head-to-toe while simplifying your routine and minimizing packaging waste.

Tell us about yourself

I've worked in beauty product development and strategy for my entire career. I've developed hundreds of single-purpose formulas and have always longed for effective multi-tasking products that everyone in my household could enjoy. Until now, my husband and I each had our own body wash, face wash, shampoo, shaving gel, and the list goes on... and I would feel guilty about how much plastic waste we were creating just to use nearly identical formulas with different marketing ingredients and fragrances. I created Gntl to be a simplified yet experiential skincare line that our future kids and we could share without sacrificing luxurious scents and textures.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

I am very proud of the creative work that my husband and I collaborated on to bring this brand to life. We've been lucky to partner with some of the most talented creatives in the business to bring this brand to life, and seeing our idea turn into a brand anthem video and full brand expression has been incredibly rewarding and work I'll be proud of forever.

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

That feeling of 'there's always something I could be doing' is constantly looming. It can be hard to relax when it feels like there are 30 things you could be working on to improve the business. That said, it's been a good practice to prioritize rest despite that feeling. I am learning, out of necessity, how important it is to teach your body how to relax and unclench, despite the circumstances.

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

  1. It's not real until it's in a deck. Create a pitch deck, if only for yourself, to work through the idea and watch it come to life! It's incredibly rewarding to see an idea turn into something tangible, and a deck is a great place to start.
  2. Your support system is everything. Share your idea with people who will cheer you on, ask the right questions, and be there for you no matter what. Don't share your dreams with nay-sayers. Anyone who's made it will tell you it's possible; anyone who hasn't will tell you it's not.
  3. Surround yourself with inspiration, and be open to finding it anywhere. The hardware store, a new restaurant, a familiar cafe... Use Pinterest, Millanote, or your notes app to record inspiration and look for patterns and themes as you bring your idea to life.

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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