Los Angeles, California
My Purpose is Theory's content series spotlighting creative individuals across the world and what purpose means to them and their work. For this installment, we meet LA-based Neada is Founder and CEO of LESSE, an organic skincare line formulated and packaged with sustainability in mind. As a former beauty writer, Neada’s goal is to bring inclusivity and integrity into the industry. Here, she shares her purpose.
Q: How does the idea of purpose connect to what you do and create?
A: I believe purpose is essential to creativity and innovation. There are a myriad of values that drive us as a company and myself as a founder—but it all comes down to this singular idea of developing essentials that serve a clear purpose for skin and do so with uncompromising ingredients.
This focus on what is essential and efficacious is driven by our desire to reduce the number of skin care products one needs, for the benefit of both their skin and our planet. These formulas are non-binary and support diverse skin concerns including issues like hyperpigmentation which I struggled with for years—and which has been historically underserved by the natural beauty space. It's incredibly important to myself and everyone on the team that we provide real, effective solutions for all.
Q: What gets you out of bed in the morning?
A: A hope that we might, in some small way, make someone feel seen.
Q: Walk us through your creative process.
A: When I’m starting to think through a new product idea, I focus on a singular question: Is this essential? Sometimes I ruminate on this thought for a year or more, while I begin a deep dive into ingredient and formula innovation research. If it remains clear that this is a product that will serve a purpose and provide benefits for our community, then I put together a formulation brief to share with our chemist.
This includes the botanicals I want to use, the texture, the viscosity, that it remains safe throughout pregnancy and chronic illness, and so on. She takes that brief and begins to blend those ingredients to meet our criteria, and to ensure stability. I will receive a first sample, send back my notes, and she will revise the formula. This happens sometimes 30 or 40 times before the formula is perfect and yields the efficacy I’m after. It’s a process that is creative and scientific, which I truly love.
“I'm a minimalist beyond just skin care; so I'm very intentional with what I bring into my wardrobe—classic, versatile pieces in thoughtful silhouettes and high quality fabrics."
Q: How do you stay energized/intentional when you hit a roadblock?
A: I always come back to our values and purpose as a company—I reflect back on why I started this company and our highs and lows over the past four years. That always reinvigorates me to push forward, even in the difficult moments.
Q: When it comes to personal style, how does purpose fit in?
A: I find the perfect balance in equal parts form and function, so I gravitate towards pieces that work well for travel, work and weekends. I'm a minimalist beyond just skin care; so I'm very intentional with what I bring into my wardrobe—classic, versatile pieces in thoughtful silhouettes and high quality fabrics.