It’s hard to talk about our business without talking about our first date. Notable to also mention, that this was my first date ever with a woman, I was 26, petrified, and had only swiped right to Christina about ten days earlier on Tinder; 2014 Tinder, a time that we heard was better for the platform. We only had one mutual interest, and it was the island of Crete, where we later learned that we actually lived way closer to each other in Crete then we did stateside.
You are probably wondering why a first date could hold so much power to make it to the founder story section. But it was while I got ready for that date with a woman, the seasoned makeup artist that I stared blankly at myself in the mirror not knowing what the hell to do to my face. Having only dated men up until that point, I started to wonder whether or not a woman would find those same attributes attractive. I started to think about the examples of lesbian I had seen in suburban NJ, and realized that I had really only been exposed to short hair and very little makeup. But I loved makeup, so maybe this meant I wasn’t a lesbian? But would she know I was a lesbian if I wore my usual amount of eye shadow, bronzer, and lipstick? Who knew that these products could actually defy a whole identity? And it was in this moment that I realized the power of makeup to be much more than what the world perceives it to be. Later that night, I showed up at a bar in Tribeca with no lipstick on. It didn’t take long for me to tell Christina how I always dreamt of starting my own makeup brand, pretty sure I pitched her that night a very 1.0 version of Fempower. She then told me, you can do better than that. Go deeper, think about how you can help people, and change their lives. And 6 years later, we both decided that we wanted to build that brand we had spoken about thousands of times. That brand that could really help shape people, and help them build self acceptance and love for themselves that it took us so many years to discover ourselves.
Super Greek Orthodox parents are experts at taking you down a shame spiral no amount of product can rescue you from. The truth is, it comes from within and we build Fempower to help people connect with their truths. Almost 8 years after that fateful Tinder date, we are living our truth’s and navigating the world of startup culture, trying to shift culture narratives even in our very existence as two queer partners in business and in life.