This March ORLY is celebrating Women’s History Month by featuring twelve women who inspire us.
Each day we’ll be posting a Q&A and a New Woman’s History Month polish trio hand selected by each of our featured women.
The celebration doesn’t stop there - 10% of sales from all Women’s History Month trios will be donated to
Downtown Women's Center.
Trios will only be available through March 31, 2020.
Click here to shop.
Co-Host of Gloss Angeles, Senior Fashion & Beauty Editor at Bustle
Co-Host of Gloss Angeles, Reporter, On-Air Host
How did you know you had the right idea? How much did this idea change from initial concept to launching your brand?
Sara: I don’t know if we ever “knew” we had the right idea, but after years of spending so much time with each other at events and on trips, constantly texting and DMing and emailing about beauty products, we figured maybe other people would care to know what we were doing and talking about. There also weren’t any podcasts hosted by LA beauty editors and we really believed we had a unique perspective to share.
Kirbie: On a personal note, I wanted to start a podcast for a few years but felt creatively stifled. I knew it would be more dynamic if I was able to partner with someone who I trusted but had different life experiences and viewpoints from me. Sara and I were always put together on press trips based on the publications we worked for, and we were texting, emailing and chatting about things we saw happening in the industry nonstop. We were texting for months as a joke, like, “we should start a podcast…” We agree on so much but have very different beauty profiles.
The idea was always to create content that people were entertained and educated by and it evolved from there. I think there is a power in just doing it and not really knowing or planning. We got the equipment with the help of Sara’s husband Matt, he created our theme song, and we paid someone to create a logo. It was very much a “leap and the new will appear” situation.
How do you handle adversity and doubt? What about self-doubt?
S: We‘re new so we definitely question ourselves from time to time, but we help each other figure it out. We are each other’s biggest hype women and supporters.
K: We are new to the podcast game. We are not the first, and we want to give props to the other pods who came before us! But I think a big factor for us is that we didn’t want to over-consume beauty podcasts before making our own. We kind of keep our blinders on in that way. We support other pods but we’re not like, “Oh, TK podcast is doing this, we should do this!” It’s very much focused on what the listeners want to know, who they want to hear from, and what topics they are asking about. I guess the answer is not worrying about everyone else, because that’s where a lot of doubt stems from; comparison breeds doubt. We’ve been lucky because we have had so much support and a great response to what we’re doing.
What has been your biggest set-back or road block and how did you handle that situation?
S: We luckily haven’t had any setbacks yet, but there have definitely been challenges. We work really well together and are natural problem solvers — #capricorns! We definitely could not be doing what we’re doing, however, without the help and support of our friends, listeners, and everyone in the beauty community.
K: Right now our current road-block is time! Gloss Angeles is a passion project, and while we’re making some money from it, it’s not our sole source of income. We’d love to hire someone to handle social and booking for us and to help us promote the podcast altogether, but right now it’s us two. We could do a lot more if we had more time to spare! We take it all in stride and know we’re doing our best.
As a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
S: I wanted to be an MTV VJ or the editor in chief of Cosmogirl! Lol.
K: From 4-15 I wanted to be Julia Roberts. I wanted to move to Hollywood and become a movie star. Then I fell in love with Oprah and my goal was to make people happy and share people’s stories like her. I’d still love to be on TV or in movies though :)
What advice would you give your teenage self?
S: Keep dreaming big, work hard, believe in yourself, and when things don’t work out the way you had hoped, remember it isn’t the end of the world and likely a sign of something better to come.
K: Teenager Kirbie didn’t date a lot, but when she did get into relationships, she was hopelessly devoted. Breakups destroyed me and I harped on them for too long. Like, baby girl, you’re young! You’ve got a cute bod, you’re fun and sweet! Stop moping about your idiot exes. You will literally never think about them again. (No offense if they’re reading this.) And also, your ambition is a good thing. It may not seem like it, but you’ll be thrilled with your decisions in 15 years.
What was your dream job before building your brand?
S: See #4
K: I have many dreams! I want to create and produce television shows, I want to host television shows, and I want to build Gloss Angeles into a podcast giant and into an editorial empire.
What inspired you when you were younger? What inspires or motivates you now?
S: I always admired strong, smart Asian American women who worked in media, and I still do to this day. I hope I can be the same kind of role model for younger Asian American girls — or anyone in general — who want to break into the industry.
K: Britney Spears. Then and now. She is THE REASON.
In all seriousness though, I have always been motivated and inspired by providing for myself and my family, and to help and inspire others. I want to create things that make people happy or touch them, and I want to be able to take care of my entire extended family at some point.
What piece of advice would you give to young women today?
S: I think it’s great to have role models and look up to others, but try not to compare yourself or your journey to theirs. Your story is unique and special for a reason!
K: Just because you’re green or new doesn’t mean you don’t have something meaningful to say, or that the work you do isn’t meaningful. Speak up, voice your opinions at work. Don’t say not to opportunities just because they don’t fit into your plan or don’t look exactly how you envisioned them — you don’t know where they may lead to. If you hate your job, use it to your advantage — take the paycheck to build up your side hustle so you can eventually leave. And focus on what you really want! I think we can overwhelm ourselves with everything we want or aspire to do. Oprah started as a television host. She then was able to act, created her magazine, and eventually launched her own network. She didn’t do it all at once. Get really good at your craft and more opportunities will come to you. Also, getting older rules. 20s are a hellscape, 30s are awesome.
Sara Tan + Kirbie Johnson Bundle
- First Kiss
- Snow Worries
- Life's A Beach
All shades are Leaping Bunny Certified Cruelty-Free, Vegan, and Free From Harmful Chemicals.
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