Create & Cultivate is bringing its female focused networking conference back to Los Angeles for the first time since the global COVID-19 pandemic began over two years ago.
The in-person summit promises to be an immersive day of hands-on workshops, mentorship sessions, panel discussions, and inspiring conversations with the best-in-class entrepreneurs, industry leaders, and change-makers, who are sharing firsthand experience and expertise on what it takes to start and scale a business.
Attendees will have the chance to connect with like-minded women, while also discovering new brands and products from other female founders. Create & Cultivate will also bring back their pitch contest where three small business owners and entrepreneurs will compete for a chance to win a $10,000 grant based on a judging panel of industry leaders and specialists.
This year, attendees will participate in inspiring and uplifting keynote conversations and panels alongside the likes of Co-Founder of Kin Euphorics, Bella Hadid, Founder of Cay Skin, Winnie Harlow and Co-Founder and Co-CEO of Hummingway, Ashley Greene, Founder of Real Beauty, Arielle Vandenberg, CEO & Founder of Live Tinted, Deepica Mutyala, and many more.
Los Angeles caught up with Vandenberg and Mutyala ahead of the event to learn more about what attendees should expect, get excited for, and be prepared to learn.
LAMag: What do you love about Create & Cultivate, and why did you want to participate in this year’s LA conference?
Vandenberg: “Something I love so much about Create & Cultivate is how inspired I am coming out of these events. Hearing other women speak about their businesses in such a real and raw way makes you feel less alone in the ups and downs of building a brand. The conversations at these events breathe life into your ideas and they just inspire you beyond belief! This will be my third time speaking at a Create & Cultivate event and I’m over the moon because I get to talk about building my beauty brand I just launched called Rel Beauty.”
Mutyala: “The Create & Cultivate mission aligns with mine and Live Tinted’s mission, which is to support and inspire POC women as they navigate through their life and careers. I have been very vocal about how hard it can be to be a woman of color trying to change the beauty narrative, and build a company that’s here to celebrate representation, diversity and equality while providing solutions to an underrepresented and underserved community. The reality is that there are still deep racial inequities in the workforce and the venture capital world that disproportionately affect women of color. By partnering with Create & Cultivate, I wanted to remind everyone that investing in women-of-color-owned businesses is profitable and successful. The panel is the most inspiring I have seen in a long time. Each one of these fantastic and inspiring women are key stockholders of the positive change that’s happening across all industries as well as the proof that women-of-color businesses can be successful and are worth investing in.”
LAMag: I personally love how this is an event for women to empower one another. What does that kind of opportunity mean to you?
Vandenberg: “I didn’t grow up with sisters and to be honest I always wanted a sister. This event feels like a bunch of sisters giving each other advice. It’s so special.”
Mutyala: “Women supporting women is extremely important to me, both as a woman myself, and as the founder of a beauty brand. Women in business in general face more obstacles than their male counterparts, and it only makes sense that women help to uplift each other rather than making things harder than they already are. The biggest obstacle I have faced as a business woman is the lack of funding. Women only receive two percent of venture capital funding and that number is even lower for women of color. More specifically, the beauty industry is known to be a difficult industry to be in, whether that is the harsh standards set and lack of inclusivity, or all the competition there is. At Live Tinted, inclusivity and diversity are at the heart of everything and are the drive behind all of our creations. We want every woman of every shade to feel seen and heard by Live Tinted, as it should be universally.”
LAMag: Is it important to you to be surrounded by women, especially here in LA? How has that helped or hindered you?
Vandenberg: “Of course it’s so important to surround yourself with women that genuinely care about you. Women that lift each other up and support each other. Los Angeles can definitely be a competitive place, but I feel so lucky that I have accumulated some of the most loving and supportive friends over the years and I’m so grateful for them.”
Mutyala: “I find the new generation of founders to be really supportive. As a woman of color, I am a strong believer that there is space for more than one of us. I was very lucky at the beginning of my entrepreneurial journey to meet incredibly established women founders who have helped me along the way. People like Bobbie Brown, Jessica Alba, or Vicky Tsai who have been, and continue to be founders I look up to. Not only are they entrepreneurs that inspire me, but I can also rely on them as mentors. Building a company is the most exciting and exhausting thing in the world. It is as rewarding as it is hard. Knowing that you’re doing it with other like-minded women that share similar experiences, and that you can rely on for a pep talk or just venting, makes it easier and less lonely and that feels really nice. Additionally, being able to be here and represent Live Tinted offers me the opportunity to share the message behind the brand and remind women that our products are designed for you as you are now and are created to enhance your already natural beauty. I find it very important to be surrounded by women that encourage creativity and embracing a more inclusive environment through supporting and lifting each other up.”
LAMag: How do you showcase that within your own business?
Vandenberg: “To be honest my whole brand whether that be me personally, or my company, is to be yourself. Be kind to people. Have fun. Don’t care what others think about you. Be genuine. I know this sounds cliché but, dance like no one‘s watching, and I hope that comes across when you meet me in person, watch me on Instagram or use my products.”
Mutyala: “It is very important to me to ensure that my brand is more than just a brand. My vision for Live Tinted since the beginning was to provide a platform for people that usually feel underrepresented and/or unseen. We are here to amplify their voices, and give them the representation, love and attention that they deserve. I did not see anyone that looked like me in the media growing up and that made me feel like I did not belong or that I was not pretty or worthy. It made me feel a certain kind of way about some of my features and my skin tone. I do not wish this on anyone, and that’s why representation, and diversity is so deeply rooted in Live Tinted DNA, as well as celebrating all hues, especially the tinted ones by reminding them that their skin tone is a representation of their culture and, as such, they should wear it proudly. The way this comes to life is through strategic partnerships such as the Live Tinted x Barbie collaboration. Our sole mission as a brand at Live Tinted is to dismantle colorism in the beauty industry and to emphasize that representation matters. To be able to show young, tinted girls everywhere that there is a place for them in this world through such an iconic and prominent figure such as Barbie is something I know younger Deepica would be extremely proud of.”
LAMag: Congratulations on your new brand. What did you learn about defining, marking and scaling your business? What do you hope to teach the women attending your panel?
Vandenberg: “Thank you so much. Well let me tell you right now, I am learning something new every day. I will never stop learning when it comes to this brand. I think something I really had to learn is patience. The most important thing to me is providing a product that I can confidently stand behind. From the ingredients to the texture, feel, packaging, scent and brand voice. It all takes patience. I hope to teach women that nothing ever goes as perfectly planned, and that’s okay! Instagram makes everything look so easy, but behind the scenes it is a nonstop machine and if you love what you do, it’s the best machine on earth.”
LAMag: What do you hope to teach women attending your panel about building brands that matter?
Mutyala: “Listening to your audience is key. Some of our best selling and most popular products are here today because of feedback we gathered from our community members. We have always asked our “TintFam” provocative questions; learning, sharing, and questionable cultural beauty standards, beauty industry inequities, and beauty concerns that relate to minorities that are not being addressed. These questions and conversations have led to the making of products that they actually want.”
LAMag: How were you able to create & cultivate the career of your dreams?
Vandenberg: “I’ve been able to create and cultivate the career of my dreams by finding what really brings me joy on a regular basis and shifting focus to that. I’ve had so many ideas over the years and none of them came to fruition because — maybe just wrong place, wrong time — But now that I am working on building Rel Beauty, I understand why those other ideas never came about. This is my pride and joy, my baby! I’m obsessed.”
Mutyala: “My career has come from me taking the plunge and just starting somewhere. I had started filming makeup tutorials for Birchbox when I thought of the idea to start my own channel, which I finally did. The second episode I filmed where I showed how to cover dark under eye circles with red lipstick went viral with over 9 million views and the Live Tinted community was born. We started as an online community on Instagram at first and built a safe space for people to discuss their identities and culture. From the feedback and conversation we had there, specifically around dark circles and hyperpigmentation, our first product Huestick was created. It has been hard work, but our community feedback has been invaluable to us in the creation and growth of our business that has led to the career of my dreams.”
LAMag: Last, what are you most looking forward to learning at this year’s conference and why?
Vandenberg: “At this year‘s conference I’m looking forward to getting insight and learning more about building the perfect team. I’m sharing the stage with some inspiring women and I can’t wait to hear how they built their teams.”
Mutyala: “I am mostly looking forward to catching up with an amazing group of women that have all managed to create a business with influence while building a brand that matters. These kinds of conversations around shared experiences, challenges and wins is what energizes me and keeps me going.”
Tickets are available for purchase here.