Women in Wellness: Meet Jennifer McKay Newton the Founder and CEO of DefineMe

DefineMe believes in empowerment through their scented products - their goal is to help you become your best self—so it’s only fitting that they also choose product ingredients with your well-being, as well as Mother Nature's, in mind.

Since the brand’s inception in 2015, they have been creating divine smelling scents that are all natural, cruelty free, sustainable, and recyclable! 

They also donate $1 of every DefineMe purchase to "She’s The First" - a foundation fighting gender inequality by supporting girls in low-income countries to be the first in their family to graduate from high school.

In celebration of Women's History Month and International Women's Day, we sat down with DefineMe Founder and CEO Jennifer McKay Newton to discuss all things DefineMe, Women in Wellness and what it is like to be a female entrepreneur. 

Question: Why did you decide to found this company?

Answer: I had an albeit unique combination of qualities including a background in interior and industrial design, a deep desire to create products that make a positive impact in people’s lives, an entrepreneurial spirit, and a nose for scent. Also overcoming my own life's struggles as inspiration, I developed DefineMe in an effort to help others discover their own value and strengths. I was amazed to discover there is an actual science behind it. Studies have shown a connection between scent and emotion, and I wanted to use the power of fragrance to evoke a positive, empowering response. When someone applies a DefineMe fragrance, the goal is for the scent to make them feel good, remarkable—and worthy of love, respect, and success.

I work to mindfully and thoughtfully formulate each DefineMe scent and product, using clean, natural, organic, vegan, cruelty-free ingredients combined to induce positive emotions like self-love, creativity, gratitude, mindfulness, wanderlust, free-spiritedness and strength. I think of the scents as wearable doses of olfactory magic, bringing your inner goddess to life. This transformative power of DefineMe fragrances is also why I chose to adorn each bottle with beautiful, graphically designed butterflies; the ultimate symbol of metamorphosis.

Q: Who do you look up to and why?

A: II look up to so many people, the ones who aren’t driven by just money or fame but are working in ways to help move humanity forward, even in small ways. Someone like Malala Yousafzai, the young Pakistani activist for female education and the youngest Nobel Prize laureate. I think she’s pretty incredible.

Q: What do you wish someone would have told you when you first started out?

A: I wish someone would have said, "be patient”, good things take time. We're self funded so we weren't able to afford a massive and expensive marketing campaign when we launched, like many of our competitors that are VC backed. We've been growing more organically and slowly, which has created a better community in the end, which I'm incredibly grateful for.

Q: What has been the best advice (business or personal) you have received and what advice would you give to a female entrepreneur who is just starting out?

A: The best advice I’ve received is “what you water will grow”. If you give something love, attention, care and make it a priority, it will grow.  

The best advice I have for a female entrepreneur just starting out is to “think big, not small” because if you think big, you will create something big, if you think small (out of fear), you will create small. You will have to put everything you have in to this and it should be big in order to make it worth it. 

Q:  How do you stay motivated in a male-dominated space?

A: I see myself as an equal. If they don’t see me as an equal, that’s their problem. I have experienced blatant sexism plenty of times, I think “thank you” you just fueled me more.

Q: What is your favorite thing about being a female entrepreneur?

A: Everything. I believe because I’m a woman in a woman centered industry “the beauty industry”, that I have a super power, because I know how women think and feel first hand. I also want to be an example for other women of all ages wanting to get out there and bring something amazing in to the world. 

Q: What is your favorite quote?

A: "Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

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