Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in skincare but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Mackenzie Jorns, Founder and CEO of Protea, located in Vienna, VA, USA.

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

We support women's confidence by connecting them with licensed and vetted estheticians to feel more confident in their skin.

Tell us about yourself

It all started back in the spring of 2020. The world was in the midst of the beginning of the pandemic, I had just had our first son, and after years and years of giving friends and friends of friends skincare advice, I built a website to conduct virtual skincare routine consultations. My site was simple, but the concept really resonated with people. When I went back to my high-pressure executive day job after maternity leave, I quickly learned I couldn't do both, so I searched for a similar concept to recommend to my clients, and I couldn't find one. Two babies later, my third baby, Protea, launched our virtual consultation platform for licensed estheticians to support clients on my second son's first birthday, March 23, 2023.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

Bootstrapping our business as a founder that isn't from the skincare industry and isn't a career website developer.

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

Accepting that just because you can do something doesn't mean you should.

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

Ask yourself these three questions:

  1. Are you comfortable with living with a high level of risk and uncertainty for a long period of time?
  2. Are you at the point where you don't see any other way other than starting and working on your business?
  3. Are you mentally positioned to put your head down and run without listening to others who yell "stop"?

If you answer no to any of these, you are probably not ready. However, that doesn't mean you won't ever be. You can accomplish a lot when you mix persistence, perseverance, and passion.

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.

Turn your craft into recurring revenue with Subkit. Start your subscription offering in minutes and supercharge it with growth levers. Get early access here.