If you have heard of Charlotte’s Book, consider yourself ahead of the curve.
If you haven’t, prepare to bookmark it on your iPad.
The beauty and wellness website is now the go-to spot for questions such as where to get your next facial, what unexpected foods are great for cleansing and whether body contouring procedures actually work. But who is Charlotte and how did she end up here?
Meet Robin Shobin, the Wall Street veteran who created Charlotte’s Book after she was inspired by her own lack of knowledge about the overwhelming cosmetic dermatology market. Since starting Charlotte’s Book, Shobin has become a beauty connoisseur – exposing not just the best of the best professionals in New York City, but the cosmetic dermatology treatments everyone will be looking to get next. I was lucky enough to speak to Robin about her experience and loved hearing about how she started her business after a successful 15+ years in finance as a successful investment banker and credit analyst.
What inspired you to start Charlotte’s Book when you already had a successful, well-paying career?
I wanted to create a resource that spoke to busy professional woman who care about looking and feeling their best. There has been so many advancements in the world of cosmetic health and wellness, and quite frankly its just getting very confusing to not only find the right doctor or expert, but to learn about treatments and products. Skincare and anti-aging are the fastest growing segments in beauty, and I wanted to create an easy to use resource for women to educate themselves and find experienced experts. I think many of the best rely on word-of-mouth, but in an increasingly more digital and online environment, people are searching online for reviews and advice. These topics are also still quite personal and sensitive, and to be honest, many woman still lie and fib about work done. It isn’t quite kosher to lean over to you deskmate and say “I am thinking of getting Botox…”
What sets Charlotte’s Book apart from similar services?
I like to say there isn’t anything else out there like us! But I would say what sets us apart are…
1) Our experts have to be invited in to our network. We look at Charlotte’s Code to make sure our recommendations are from a trusted place. It is not about just having the right credentials or an MD in your name or having the right PR firm.
2) We [also] take a 360 approach with our network not only embracing beauty and wellness, but eastern and western approaches. You will find both plastic surgeons to cosmetic acupuncturists to health coaches in our directory. You have to embrace both.
Did you have any doubts about starting your own business? If so, how did you overcome them?
It was a much bigger undertaking than I thought and I had little to no experience in the technology world and the beauty world. I think any entrepreneur has doubts but the thing that keeps me going is the many women that tell me how easy it was to find an acupuncturist or plastic surgeon or learn about Coolsculpting in a trusted way. We are really developing an educated and savvy brand voice that I wish I had when I was searching for information and that is exciting to see.
How do you start your mornings as an entrepreneur?
The first thing I did when I left JPMorgan was get a dog. So I walk him every morning, check emails and then make eggs. I used to get to my desk by 6:30a.m. so now I do enjoy sleeping until 7:30a.m.
Coffee or tea?
Both. I try to drink just one cup of coffee a day. The herbal tea for the rest of the day or hot water and lemon.
What’s next for the company?
We are raising money now to expand our directory to other cities and begin work towards an e-commerce platform.
Exciting! Now what’s the best beauty advice you have ever received or would like to give?
I am full of beauty advice and I feel really passionate about it! Can I give you more than one? Get educated and be aware! Don’t shop by prices when it comes to treatments and procedures. You only have one set of gorgeous skin, so take care of it wisely! Do your homework. The money you might save isn’t worth it. Remember its not just about the right skincare regimen (although clearly that is very important!), but it is also about eating right and about keeping your stress levels down and keeping your overall mind/body healthy. It takes all angles. Take zinc, magnesium, and fish oil everyday.
Any favorite beauty products right now?
I am recently obsessed with Revision IntelliShade, the 1,000 roses oil from Kypris, and even though its not new on the market, Dr. Gross’s alpha beta peel pads are a great go-to.
What advice would you give to young entrepreneurs?
Plan, plan, plan. And don’t get discouraged by your mistakes. It is really easy to do. Know when to pivot and when to stick to your guns. Everyone will always have an opinion and its tricky to figure out which advice to listen to and not listen to. There might not always be one right and wrong… [and] always keep moving forward. When something isn’t working, know when to change the approach.
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(Your body will thank you!)