Making a career change is never easy. Especially when you already work in a coveted field. But Shelby Wild, founder of the new cool-girl haircare brand Playa, decided to do it anyway. After spending years working in fashion in NYC, the New Orleans native¬†came to Venice Beach to start up on a new venture¬†‚ÄĒ and our¬†tresses are so happy she did.
Playa products focus on¬†helping you get¬†perfectly undone hair that’s at once low-maintenance and also seriously enviable. Between its pretty packaging, awesome Instagram presence, and promise of surfer-girl waves, it’s no wonder that items are constantly selling out.
We asked Wild to share the inspiration behind her switch from fashion to beauty and explain what its like to run a modern brand¬†‚ÄĒ the SoCal way. Read ahead to get a little insight into her unique path to Playa.
Lonny: What was your career journey like before you began Playa?SW:¬†‚Ä®I‚Äôve always loved fashion and beauty, so having the opportunity to work as a stylist with Vogue Italia and also at Intermix in New York was like a dream come true. I spent years working with and learning from some of the best in the business, but with the hours I didn‚Äôt have much time for self care¬†‚ÄĒ especially with my morning hair care routine.
Fashion can be a tough industry, but for me, it really fostered my creativity and challenged me to think beyond what exists and into what could exist. It was that mentality that inspired me to launch Playa.
What inspired you to change directions from fashion to beauty?‚Ä®
SW: Fashion will always have a special place in my heart, so initially making the shift was difficult. ¬†However, I knew if I was questioning my work/life balance, there had to be others in the same boat. I wanted to create something that would deliver transformational results while still simplifying your daily routine.
Fashion at times can be really unattainable to most people. I knew if I was going to change the world of beauty I needed to make it attainable and affordable without sacrificing quality and luxury.
When I first started the journey of making Playa products, I wanted them to be infused with the laid-back California spirit I love so much. I wanted them to be effortless and healthy, but I also wanted them to actually work. After spending years developing this haircare line, and working with incredible partners who helped make every aspect,¬†Playa came to life.¬†
How is Playa different from other haircare brands?‚Ä®
SW: Playa is a botanical-based line of essential hair care products designed to deliver transformational results while simplifying your daily routine. Playa addressed the¬†need for a safe, streamlined high-performance haircare. All products are proudly crafted in California and inspired by the laid-back ethos of my home – Venice Beach.
Our current range currently includes five products for a streamlined every-day routine: Everyday Shampoo, Supernatural Conditioner, Pure Dry Shampoo, Endless Summer Spray, and Ritual Oil. ¬†With key ingredients like coconut water, sugar beet extract, and baobab protein your hair will see results after one use. Playa is never tested on animals and always made with sustainably sourced, organic botanicals and hand-selected, clinically active ingredients.
What’s it like working with an remote team?‚Ä®
SW: Actually, funny you should ask, as we recently opened our first-ever office in Culver City! ¬†It‚Äôs been amazing to finally be in the same place, but I wanted to continue prioritizing work/life balance both for myself, and our amazing team. For instance, everyone works remote on Fridays, and we come in at 10 a.m. during the week. If someone wants to hit a 12 p.m. workout class, that‚Äôs totally fine too; so long as your work is getting done, I want everyone to enjoy their job and not feel like they are having to choose between their personal lives and their career.¬†
How do you hope Playa will grow in years to come?
SW: We have recently rolled out in select Sephora stores nationwide and are available on¬†sephora.com as a part of their Sephora Clean program. As we gear up to launch new products we hope to continue to grow the stigma of clean, effortless haircare.‚Ä®