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7 Questions with Lauren Rome
7 Questions with Lauren Rome
Name: Lauren Rome
Current title: Founder & CEO
Current organisation: Romer Skincare
A lover of community, the environment, and clean skincare. Born on the East Coast, Lauren spent the last decade in New York City grinding in the tenacious environment of Wall Street. A woman on the go, she tried countless skincare products but nothing seemed to work to combat the stress which led to breakouts, dark circles, and dehydrated skin. Empowered by the idea that she could help people feel their best, she embarked on a mission to create the solution she and others needed. Enter Romer Skincare. Lauren is now living full time in Chicago with her husband, a proud Mom to a golden retriever and her skin has never looked better. She spends less time trying new products and more time on the things that matter. Lauren is continuing to build a community around her brand and helping others discover the joy of healthy, beautiful skin.
1. What have you found most challenging as a leader of a small or medium enterprise?
Success is not built overnight – it takes hard work and a lot of determination. For all the challenging days, there are also plenty of rewarding ones too. Patience is crucial (and incredibly challenging) especially over those first six months. In order to stay level, I often remind myself of my WHY. Why did I want to craft my own skincare line in the first place? Why did I want to share my clean routine with others? That passion drives me to remember that it is about the journey and not just the destination.
2. How did you become a leader of an SME? Can you please briefly tell the story?
Shared above.... to paraphrase:
My skin hit its breaking point so I built Romer to create a simplified skincare regimen that can be used by all genders and skin types. Each product contains only simple ingredients with no harsh chemicals, undergoes animal cruelty-free testing, and is sustainability sourced and packaged. It is my mission to help others discover the joy of healthy, beautiful skin.
3. How do you structure your work days from waking up to going to sleep?
Routine routine routine.
I wake up and start every day washing my face (with Romer of course) and then take our golden retriever Henry for a quick walk around the block. After I get back it's breakfast for Henry and coffee for us! I always go for a savory breakfast and then off to my home office to start the work day. Typically on calls back to back for most of the day although I try to squeeze in an hour workout to break up the day! I work through my To Do lists until our dog gets home from daycare. Then it's a break for cuddles and a bit of fetch and then a few more hours of work. My husband and I have dinner together each night and afterwards, try to find old movies one of us has never seen. Then it's our pre-bedtime routine together - more Romer and off to bed!
4. What's the most recent significant leadership lesson you've learned?
Rejection is healthy. It is through the tough conversations that I have learned the most about how to grow the business. At first the criticism is difficult to hear no matter who it comes from (a customer, a vendor, a mentor, or even my husband), but ultimately those insights and feedback have enabled me to explore new ideas and pivot.
5. What's one book that has had a profound impact on your leadership so far? Can you please briefly tell the story of how that book impacted your leadership?
The Innovator's Dilemma - simply put, if you want to change the world, you can't follow the world's rules! What's worked before needs to be abandoned and sometimes the cost ineffective strategies are the ones worth pursuing. I love the idea that to be disruptive you actually have to be a disruptive leader!
6. How do you build leadership capacity in an SME?
For me, it's all about listening. The more I take a step back to listen, the more capacity I have to become a better leader.
7. What is one meaningful story that comes to mind from your time as a leader of an SME so far?
I've learned a lot from dealing with freelancers in Year 1 and unfortunately I learned the hard way from a brutal partnership. The result, I've now approached selecting my partners much more carefully – I cannot stress the importance of finding partners you can trust. These may not be your best friends, but having strong relationships, both internal and external, is vital! Keep the good ones close by figuring out their motivations – praise, monetary, gifts, etc. And get rid of the bad eggs – a bad relationship has the potential to damage your business as it almost did mine.