Smudge Proof Stay-on Makeup and skincare for those who sweat.
Designed for those who enjoy sports & fitness as well as those who suffer sweat stress.
How did it all begin?
I have always done sports. At the time I started HAI I was transitioning from assisting my children with their sports to returning to sports myself. The Brand is my DNA, many brands chose their name, for me it was my children’s names, they are my DNA and have been very much part of the build, testing and helping with the products and the design. I have literally created this brand between school runs. Henry, Ana and Ignacio – HAI, my family. Another proud member of Sports HAI is Gina Ciampa who was the first on board the HAI Family and is the marketing lead. The ingredient philosophy has been to make products using healthy ingredients that I am happy to use on ourselves and our loved ones.
What sets your business apart?
We were the first sports makeup brand on the market. We are focused on solving sweat stress. Not all sweat is enjoyable and we cover that too, hot flushes, hot climates and sticky situations.
What is the concept behind your business or the problem you’re solving?
Everything from running mascara to sweaty pits for women and men on the go.
Where to next/What is your brand vision?
To nail our online experience/offering.
Grace De Alvaro
What do you feel passionate about/what drives you?
Those who cannot represent themselves; Children and Animals.
Share an example of early life that has shaped you?
I grew up in Ireland, mostly outside on a horse. I never minded the weather, which was mostly rainy.
Highlights of your business journey so far?
Creating a new space, “Sports/fitness Makeup” in the beauty arena, winning a couple of business awards as well as a couple of product awards. Best SPF Suncare and Best Luxury Lip balm. Attracting experienced Investors within the beauty category to partner with.
Key lessons you have learned along the way?
Keep going and keep improving your offering. Create a space for those close to you to tell you your shortcomings and listen to what they have to say and act on the advice.
Best piece of advice you have received?
Short product runs to start with. Work with people before committing to further commitments with them.
Advice to an aspiring entrepreneur or woman just starting her career?
Get a mentor and prepare for high risk, if a would-be entrepreneur – I don’t call myself an entrepreneur yet, I think you have to pass some milestones first. Working for yourself is very different so I would offer different advice to a woman starting her career.
What funding route have you chosen for your business and why?
Self & family funded to start, and now partnering with investors who have experience in the skincare/wellness sector. It makes sense to me to have experienced investors in this sector and not just investors.
Some of the challenges you have faced and how you overcame them?
Mostly my challenges were big ones so I had to ignore them and keep going as if they were not there. As a single parent living in a remote place entering a business that is as big as the makeup business is a challenge. I broke it up into smaller pieces and dealt with those and getting those things done.
Why is it important to support women-led business?
Because women are not given the support in mentoring, or financing (As little as 2.2 % of VC money goes to women start-ups) and for women to get through the many hurdles and get a business up and running, I feel they deserve my support.
Grace De Alvaro
My inspiration is...
family and those who are close to me, my team.
My greatest fear is...
being a hang back.
The most courageous thing I’ve ever done is...
represent myself in High court and most recently being represented by Sarah Evans achieving successful outcomes.
chocolate covered raisins, coffee and horses. Horses!
Mantra you live by?
I can and I will, also kick on!
Female role model?
Barrister Sarah Evans. Amazing person and Barrister. Children in the Middle founder.
Women-led brand you love?
Alice Temperley based in Somerset/Dorset.
Top productivity tool?
my three children. Ignacio is a motivator and keeps me up to date with his generation and information on how to be productive, we watch Ali Abdaal and he sets useful podcasts. Henry leads with books to read, Cal Newport - full of great information regarding productivity. Ana is on the pulse of trends and fashion, saving me time by being up-to-date with current fashions and is an excellent critic on style. The kids have a bunch of study and productivity hacks that I get passed.
Sports HAI has created a SPECIAL OFFER exclusively for Women's Chapter Members