female founder feature: neha govindraj, co-founder + coo of glowbar
it’s an age old dilemma [no pun intended]: what is the secret to looking young forever? i say this with the full backing of my degree from sephora university: SKINCARE!!!! one strong skincare routine a day keeps the wrinkles at bay, and keeps us youthfully glowing with clear, beautiful skin in the meantime. yes, please.
co-founder + coo neha govindraj is making glowbar the new secret weapon for your skincare: a cross between a spa and a dermatologist, they use clinical products and science-proven techniques to keep you glowing….and going. everything is under 30 minutes, meaning you can get in, get out, and get on with your day. read their story below!
first things first – you have a super cool story before glowbar. tell us! how did your previous experience help shape glowbar?
before glowbar, i was at bain & company as a management consultant and loved it! i primarily consulted businesses in retail / consumer in ideating and implementing strategic decisions. my experience at bain gave me perspective on how businesses grow, what problems they face and how to solve them. i also spent some time at glossier working with their executive team on growth strategy. these experiences helped set me up for success with starting glowbar because i felt so ready to build towards a vision and tackle any problems that came our way.
what sets glowbar apart from other facial spas? talk to us about how your differentiators helped you raise money. what questions did investors ask and were there any that surprised you?
glowbar is all about real results and professional skincare, offered in 30 minutes. we’re truly an intersection of a spa and a dermatologist: all the brands we use are clinical / professional grade and we aim to do things in the treatment room that you can’t easily do at home–– that is why we even have you cleanse your face for us (at our gorgeous wash bar)!
during the fundraising process, it was so important for us to stress how our differentiators would translate to the consumer. it wasn’t enough to just state what the differentiators were – that was an interesting learning, and it led us to build a strong strategy on educating our potential customers.
how do your investors come into play in the day to day of the business (for example – are they more focused on growth or are they ‘in the weeds’, helping you guys decide on what products to sell/hiring/marketing strategy, etc?)?
our investors really expand our existing network. they are the best people to go to with any growth-related (or sometimes even, ‘in the weeds’-related) “asks” –– which we often do! they either weigh in themselves, or put us in touch with whoever they think is best suited to answer.
signature question – how did you come up with the name for glowbar?
rachel (my co-founder) actually did in her apartment one day, and it stuck! we love it because the name ‘glowbar’ gets people in the right mindset of what to expect–– a destination that leaves you glowing.
what advice would you give other entrepreneurs looking to open their first retail location? any lessons learned?
ask a lot of questions. and continuously follow up with people. brick and mortar was a new beast to me–– there are so many moving pieces, and a lot of instances where things might slip through the cracks. understanding what those are and being on top of it is tough but important!
you launched just over a month ago. tell us about the experience – the great, the good, the bad, the ugly.
it’s been incredible seeing all the thought and work behind building glowbar starting to come to life. beyond that, watching people experience the brand and build new habits is truly the most rewarding part–– they just get it and it works. the tough part? being consistently on your a-game. we’re open 7 days a week, 11-14 hours a day. that means making changes real-time to continuously optimize for providing the best possible experience for clients and our team, while simultaneously thinking about the future!
since launch, you guys have executed super unique and creative marketing strategies. talk to us about them. what marketing strategy has seen the best roi so far?
thank you! one of our favorite initiatives right now is the “tear one” flyers we have posted throughout the city. we’re continuously replenishing them and people have been loving them! they’re a nod to those babysitter flyers back in the day. and hey, they work. some of them have “lucky you” written on them which let you come in for a treatment on us!
we also have a few ‘face it forward’ cards floating around–– if you land your hands on one, you come in for a treatment on us, and then… ‘face it forward’ (aka pass it to a friend to do the same!)
you co-founded the company with rachel – what were you looking for in a cofounder and talk to us about your strategy for tackling different roles.
i couldn’t love mine and rachel’s relationship more. we are both so different in what energizes us (making it easy for us to tackle different roles), but are so similar in our values and goals. it was clear off the bat when meeting rachel that she was ego-less, sharp, and in this to start a great business that people needed. with that, i quickly knew she was someone i wanted to build with–– i am forever grateful to have taken the leap and now be in a founder relationship centered in confidence and respect. we continuously put our brains together to make sure that glowbar is the best it can be and nothing slips through the cracks.
what’s next for glowbar?!
so much. but first, more locations! 😉
where are you from? south florida
favorite brand other than glowbar: peloton
biggest mistake you see startups making (drawing on mgmt consulting experience): not questioning every, single, part of what exists today.
skincare routine: cleanse, tone, treat, moisturize + spf (am only). morning and night.
self-care activity: dancing in front of my mirror by myself.
female founder you admire and why: kirsten green. what she’s built with forerunner is incredible, in a space where few female founders exist.
favorite place in nyc besides glowbar: my apartment. it sparks so much joy and i love hosting.
words you live by: ask enough of the right questions and you will figure it out.
*all product images, press images, and headshot images are property of neha govindraj and glowbar
**this is not a sponsored post. all obsessions are 100% real
all images are property of respective companies