Meet Our Career Pivot of the Year: Janvi Shah, CEO of Hue
It takes guts, a healthy dose of passion and self-assurance to pivot. It’s not always easy to make the active choice to start anew after investing so much time and energy towards a different path. However, the decision to redirect can often result in a rewarding outcome.
Our Entreprenista Pivot of the Year Award goes to Janvi Shah. Janvi started her career well settled into what most would consider a high growth career. She was the Project Manager at Google. But what fires most Entprenistas up is their passion for creating something new and making a difference in their own unique way. This can make it difficult to fit into the constraints of the corporate world. However, the decision to redirect can often result in a rewarding outcome. Like some who start off in the corporate world, Janvi got the entrepreneurial itch. So, she took the leap and started Hue along with her two co-founders Nicole Clay and Sylvan Guo.
For Janvi and her co-founders, beauty is personal. Finding products that honor individual uniqueness can feel like finding a needle in a haystack. This experience is what bonded these co-founders, who have each experienced the challenge of finding beauty products in real life and online. After years of feeling underrepresented in the beauty industry, she and her co-founders decided to take matters into her own hands. These founding ladies came together as three women (Indian American, Chinese American and African American) who all struggled to find beauty products for their unique needs.
So they started Hue, where they are on a mission to help every beauty shopper find the right products for them. They were set up for success with their backgrounds in beauty (L’Oréal USA) and tech (Google, Airbnb) to create a much-needed solution to this problem.
Hue’s technology makes it simple for beauty brands and retailers to embed TikTok-style shoppable videos on e-commerce sites from their diverse community of 2,000+ Hue Twins™ – real people who share the same skin tone, skin type, and preferences – so shoppers can see how products work for people like them. Hue is fundamentally a community-led business. The core of the platform is the Hue Twin™ community of content creators who create short-form video reviews of products and provide their honest opinions to help people like them shop more easily.
Hue is the first platform to blend AI personalization technology and online community by pairing users with similar characteristics, creating a totally new approach of truly personalized community building for brands.
Hue launched in August 2022 with Credo Beauty, the largest clean beauty retailer, Lawless Beauty, a makeup brand retailed at Sephora and Exa Beauty, a clean beauty brand retailed at Ulta and JCPenney.
They grew their Hue Twins creator community from 0 to over 2,000 highly engaged content creators, with over 96% of the creators likely to recommend their program to a friend. They are especially proud to have welcomed creators across all dimensions of diversity, including gender/sexual orientation, age, ethnicity, disabilities, skin tones, skin concerns and more.
As CEO, Janvi’s biggest challenge but also proudest accomplishment was leading their fundraising process to raise over $2 million. This was no easy feat, given the contracting venture environment and the fact that <2% of VC funding goes to all-women founding teams and <0.2% to women of color. Moreover, they’re building a product in an industry (beauty) that is primarily geared toward women, and only 5.7% of VC partners are women.
As a business owner, the moments that make all their hard work so worth it are when they get to connect personally with their community and customers.
We here at Entreprenista are so proud of Janvi and her partners for truly changing the way we shop for beauty products. Today, hundreds of thousands of people are watching Hue’s user-generated video content and gaining the confidence to shop for products that work for them online. Learn more about Janvi and connect with her in our Entreprenista League community of founders!