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You’re Never Too Old To Do What You Love: MASAMI

You’re Never Too Old To Do What You Love: MASAMI

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You’re Never Too Old To Do What You Love: MASAMI

MASIMI StartUp101 Story

Even if you have a decades-long career behind you, including a stint as the CEO of a major advertising agency, there’s always time to take on a new challenge and more to learn.

After nearly 30 years working in the advertising industry, Lynn Power decided to take on a new challenge. She’s the co-founder of MASAMI, a premium haircare brand that sells vegan, cruelty-free products.

Lynn Power of MASIMI

“I wasn’t having fun at my job anymore. I got into the business to use creativity as a business tool. I liked the combination of left and right brain thinking, but as you get more senior, your job becomes more about operational crap,” Power said. “HR issues, lawsuits, finance meetings, operational problems, it just wasn’t fun.

“I just had this (feeling)… I’m not getting any younger, if I’m going to do something, and get back to what I love doing, I just have to do it. I could have stayed at my comfortable job, but it had become sort of grueling.”

MASAMI launched in February 2020, just before the onset of the coronavirus pandemic – an unforeseeable hurdle that forced Power and her co-founder, James Hammet, to quickly pivot away from marketing their products to salons and toward an online model.

TravelKit

As the pandemic lockdowns eased and people returned to the salon, she and her partner reintroduced a business-facing aspect to MASAMI, but they still have a consumer focus.

Power’s marketing experience helped her navigate many of the challenges that face young businesses, but there were other ones that she couldn’t have planned for.

“I was diagnosed with a rare, aggressive form of breast cancer in 2021. I needed to reevaluate my priorities and also figure out how to keep the momentum going in the business as a bald haircare founder – chemo caused me to lose my hair for about nine months,” Power said. “I determined I had to deprioritize my other business, and then I launched the Conscious Beauty Collective.”

The collective is a group of over 30 other beauty and wellness brands that help each other grow. Brand partnerships, Power said, are good for business and good for her personally – she likes working with other founders.

“A network can be helpful in so many ways. Whether it’s a group of like-minded founders, like the Conscious Beauty Collective, or a consumer group or a network of mentors, advisors, and partners, you will find yourself leaning on your networks for support, resources, and more,” Power said.

In getting MASAMI off the ground, Power and her partner had a hard time finding funding, so they paid for everything themselves. Despite her extensive experience building brands, in the eyes of financiers, Power’s age was often a detriment to their fledgling business.

“We were on a call with a potential lender who didn’t know I was listening. My husband, who is invested in the company because I’m invested in the company, he says the CEO (me) is very seasoned and has 30 years of experience in the advertising industry,” Power said. “The guy goes, ‘Oh my god, how old is she?’ And when my husband said I was 52, the guy immediately starts saying it’ll never work, that I’m too old, that the company needs a new CEO.”

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Even with her impressive resume, she said lenders assumed she was too old to be familiar with modern marketing methods or to understand the digital marketing space.

Power said all the experience and connections won’t make a difference if an entrepreneur doesn’t take the time to prepare and plan for their business venture. Even with a strong idea, a weak foundation means a company could crash and burn before it gets off the ground.

The first thing anyone considering starting a business should ask themselves is whether the company can actually operate at scale. That is, is the idea sustainable? Does it have a broad appeal, or is it too niche to grow beyond a certain point?

The other piece of advice: do your math, and then do it again.

“Do a detailed budget to really get into the granularity of what you’ll need to not just launch but run a business. And then double it,” Power said. “There are so many surprise expenses along the way that you need to be prepared and have the cash flow. So many businesses fail because of a lack of capital and cash flow.”

Now, four years down the road from their launch, Power said she has no regrets about making the leap to entrepreneurship.

“There are days when I ask what I got myself into, but for the most part, it’s very liberating. I’m in control of my destiny, I’m not tied to an office. I’m spending the summer in France because I can,” Power said. “It’s definitely hard. It’s a grind, and it’s 24/7, and you don’t have a lot of people to help. I used to have a big team, but now I do almost everything myself, but the upside is so much better.”

Power’s journey is proof that even the most experienced person is taking a risk when they bet on themselves. But, she said, the only way to fail is not to try.

With age comes experience—she’s more decisive, better at working with people and identifying their strengths and weaknesses and how they can help the company, and more sure of herself.

“You’re never too old to do what you love,” Power said.

This material is property of StartingYourBusiness.com

Contact Info:

  • Website: https://www.lovemasami.com
  • Instagram: @lovemasamihair
  • TikTok: @lovemasamihair
  • Facebook: @lovemasamihair
  • Pinterest: @lovemasamihair
  • YouTube: @lovemasamihair

Your Turn

Entrepreneurship is not for the faint of heart, and doubters can make you question your idea. If you’ve encountered naysayers on your path to starting a business, how do you filter the good feedback from the bad?

Overcoming doubt was a key part of Lynn’s journey. If you haven’t encountered doubters yet in your startup journey, you likely will. So, how do you plan to channel doubters’ negativity into positive action? Share your ideas in the comments.


Suggest a Story: Have you or someone you know started a business with an inspirational story that should be featured on StartUp101? If so, please let us know here.

You’re Never Too Old To Do What You Love: MASAMI

You’re Never Too Old To Do What You Love: MASAMI

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