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Women In Wellness: Staci Barrett and Angela Dunning of LĀ SOL Collective On The Five Lifestyle Tweaks That Will Help Support People’s Journey Towards Better Wellbeing

An Interview With Candice Georgiadis

As a part of my series about women in wellness, I had the pleasure of interviewing Staci Barrett and Angela Dunning of LĀ SOL Collective.

LĀ SOL Collective is a Newport Beach, CA-based dermatologist-approved sun-care brand, started by two lifelong friends, Staci Barrett and Angela Dunning. After 25+ years in their respective fields, they started talking about how fun it would be to create their own business together and found a gap in the suncare market for a truly clean mineral sunscreen that applies clear. The main drawback of zinc oxide sunscreens has been the chalky texture and leaving a heavy white cast on the skin whereas LĀ SOL’s CLEAR sunscreen works on all skin tones with SPF30, UVB/UVA protection and goes on like a smooth cream for easy application, leaving your skin feeling natural, not greasy.

Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Our readers would love to “get to know you” better. Can you share your “backstory” with us?

After attending middle and high school in Los Alamitos, CA, and UCSB together, we spent 25+ years in marketing (Staci) and the beauty industry (Angela). Our families love adventuring and traveling the globe together. With our newest endeavor, LĀ SOL Collective, promises to deliver suncare products with proven results and feel-good vibes for the whole family.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started your career? What were the main lessons or takeaways from that story?

There is no “I” in the team, and seeing others succeed feels good. Angela and I have managed teams in our executive roles and loved helping others in their career development to accomplish their goals. It’s important to note that Angela and I rely on each other. We know we can’t run a business alone and are extremely lucky to have each other as friends and teammates.

It has been said that our mistakes can be our greatest teachers. Can you share a story about a mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

It’s essential to treat your vendors as partners. You can only run a business properly with a solid relationship with your vendors. We waited a few months too long to get our first order placed for product and packaging, thinking if we ordered and paid in October 2021 (6 months lead time), we would have product by March 2022. It didn’t arrive until late May (took 8 months), so we lost the valuable sales window for summer 2022. There’s been so much volatility with supply chain issues lately, and you should prepare for the unexpected.

Let’s jump to our main focus. When it comes to health and wellness, how is the work you are doing helping to make a bigger impact in the world?

There is a lot of misinformation about sunscreen. Our sunscreen is formulated with only non-nano zinc oxide and excludes the toxic sunscreen ingredients that mass brands are still using. It’s important to wear sunscreen daily to avoid harmful UVA/UVB rays that cause skin cancer and to use a reef-safe sunscreen, like LĀ SOL to help save our oceans and dying reefs. We are doing our best to educate our customers that not every sunscreen is good for them or mother earth and that sunscreens with zinc oxide are the best.

Can you share your top five “lifestyle tweaks” that you believe will help support people’s journey towards better wellbeing? Please give an example or story for each.

  • Angela and I work from home, and it’s hard to squeeze in time to exercise especially running a business and having active kids. Angela tries to go on walks every day to get her 10K steps in. I have a set schedule in my calendar for my workout days.
  • Drinking fluids — lots and lots of water. When you get busy, you forget to stay hydrated and may reach for a cup of coffee in the afternoon to recharge. It’s better to drink water for hydration, which helps you stay awake and refreshed.
  • Angela and I try to keep our skincare regime which includes wearing sunscreen at all times, even driving… Wearing sunscreen on your hands is a good idea — exposure to UVA/UVB rays through car windows happens.
  • Eating more fruits and vegetables — We encourage our households to grab an apple or carrot sticks instead of going to the cupboard for crackers and granola bars.
  • Be informed. Read the ingredients in what you eat and put on your body.

If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of wellness to the most amount of people, what would that be?

I have a friend that started a Mom’s Day off and actually got November 12th to be a National Holiday. It is such a good idea to remind parents to take time for themselves — a little self-care goes a long way for overall wellness (health and mental well-being)

What are your “5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Started” and why?

  1. How all-consuming starting a business can be
  2. How much time it takes to make engaging content
  3. The high cost of joining events to meet product buyers
  4. Take a TIK TOK class
  5. Take a Shopify class

Sustainability, veganism, mental health, and environmental changes are big topics at the moment. Which one of these causes is dearest to you, and why?

These are all very important causes at the moment, but I’ll start with mental health. As busy parents (moms), we feel like there is so much more to think about during this time, especially after the pandemic. People need to tap into their empathy, pay attention to their friends and family and reach out to talk. Life can get so busy but it’s important to take the time out of your busy day to listen to what others are saying or not saying.

What is the best way for our readers to further follow your work online?

Follow our Instagram @lasolcollective

Thank you for these fantastic insights! We wish you continued success and good health.

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Candice Georgiadis

Candice Georgiadis is an active mother of three as well as a designer, founder, social media expert, and philanthropist.