Holly Eve is dedicated to both healthy and sustainable living. Her all-natural deodorant brand, Madame Lemy, was inspired by a close friend battling breast cancer. She was determined to find chemical-free alternatives to body care. But in a series of unforeseen personal events, she found that the most important thing in her life was to prioritize self-care. In a recent conversation, she talked about the ups and downs and what keeps her going.
What motivated or inspired you to start your own business?
With a decade-long career as a celebrity and TV makeup artist, I saw every diet, skin care, and workout fad, as well as the growing demand for clean products and ingredient transparency in the beauty industry.
My search for an all-natural, high performing deodorant began several years ago when a close friend developed metastatic breast cancer. She attributed the diagnosis to long-term toxic chemical exposure from deodorants and antiperspirants containing aluminum.
After educating myself about the dangerous ingredients present in everyday personal care products and testing dozens of natural brands, I discovered the powerful use of lemons for deodorant. Knowing it was not practical to cut up lemons to deodorize, I found a way to turn them into powder. With the help of an Oxford-trained chemist, and a former VP of R&D for Elizabeth Arden, I perfected the formula that is Madame Lemy today––a highly effective all-natural powder deodorant.
What is one piece of advice you wish you had heard, and listened to - in life or in business?
We are all stronger together
Have you had to overcome any significant barriers in business or in life, and how did you manage to conquer them?
I launched my luxury, sustainable body care brand Madame Lemy in 2018 at the Malibu Farmers Market and on my e-commerce site. Three months later, my then-husband said he wanted a divorce and I spiraled into severe depression. Things got so bad, I temporarily shut off my e-com site to receive care for my mental health.
I moved into a 300 square foot apartment with my rescue dog, Violet. I made it my mission to prove to myself I could thrive on my own. I set up a packing and shipping station for my products and pinned my goals and strategy on a wall of my tiny home and plugged away. It paid off. In April 2019, Urban Outfitters contacted me to carry my products.
Just as my life was looking up, I was hit by a distracted driver in a delivery van while walking Violet. I sustained multiple broken bones, was diagnosed with a traumatic brain injury (Violet survived the accident) and remained in the hospital for almost a month to learn how to walk again. Determined not to lose the Urban Outfitters account, I continued to run my company from my hospital bed.
Moving from a place of hopelessness during my divorce to surviving a near-fatal accident in less than a year put my life into perspective. I reflected on my marriage and was grateful it had ended. Self-care and celebration became my new mantras. As a result, my business grew exponentially and was featured on The Today Show, in Conde Naste and Byrdie.
What is the one word that describes you the best, and why?
Relentless. Regardless of how many times I get knocked down, I always get back up and help others along the way.