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Female Founders: Dr Arleen Lamba of GLO30 On The Five Things You Need To Thrive and Succeed as a Woman Founder

Feb 5, 2023

Magazine cover with pretty lady with dark hair posing

An Interview With Doug Noll

Asa part of our series about “Why We Need More Women Founders”, we had the pleasure of interviewing Dr. Arleen Lamba.

GLO3O founder, Dr. Arleen Lamba has spent the past decade building the GLO30 brand to address the growing demand for routine skincare treatments and filling an unanswered void in the skincare service space. GLO3O has transformed the skincare game- giving rise to a new category of customized routine treatments that is affordable, approachable, and accessible. Dr. Lamba, who owns and operates three highly-profitable, streamlined GLO3O skincare studios in the DC Metro area with a fourth site in development at Amazon Headquarters in Alexandria, VA, has seen firsthand the growing demand from both consumers and investors to bring GLO3O’s highly-coveted skincare studios to markets across the country. Dr. Lamba is now laser focused on bringing GLO3O to the masses via franchising. Her ideal franchisee has prior franchise experience and has a passion for bringing multiple skincare studios to their local market.

Thank you so much for doing this with us! Before we dig in, our readers would like to get to know you a bit more. Can you tell us a bit about your “backstory”? What led you to this particular career path?

GLO30 came about because, in my early 20s, I struggled with my skin and got nowhere when I looked for solutions that would work immediately and in the long term. Whether it was a doctor’s office, a spa, a medical spa, or even a beauty counter, something was lacking, and nothing was working. Either the service didn’t work, was too expensive to keep up, wasn’t focused on my individual needs, the scheduling was not convenient, the treatments were not for my skin type, and most importantly no one was willing to quarterback my skincare journey through personalized attention.

I was tired of feeling like just another customer who they were trying to sell their products toward. As a result, I decided to study the medicine of skincare historically and globally. I aimed to get to the root of what worked, why it worked, and how. I sought to create the model for others like me who wanted affordable, accessible, and approachable skincare solutions, which led to GLO30: Your Perfect Facial. Every 30 Days.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began leading your company?

There have been so many unique moments coupled with a lot of learning & innovation along the way. Out of the challenging days of the pandemic, we came out as a stronger and improved company — with much more grit. As the pandemic struck our world, I was signing two new locations when everything shut down. During that time no stores were open, and no customers were able to come in. Our Members began reaching out to us, they missed the experience they had at GLO30.

This led our services to serve facials to our members’ homes. We created “GLO on the GO,” where we mailed monthly facial kits that changed each month — just like our facial menu did in-store. Our members joined online, then others across the country joined too. Friends and family started to zoom facial dates since they couldn’t do physical spa dates, which was such a special experience. They would get on zoom, and mothers and daughters would do facials together — talk, share, and make memories. It proved that self-care is not a luxury but a necessity. GLO on the GO allowed people to come together even when we were far apart.

From there, Amazon came knocking. They wanted GLO30 in their new Headquarters opening in Arlington, Virginia. That moment was pivotal for many reasons. We are proud to be opening a GLO30 skincare studio in Amazon Headquarters in 2023.

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

There was a time, very early on, when we thought people would want “quick” facial treatments. So we created a facial bar within our store. The facial bar service was focused but short, not in a private room, and fast-tracked. Well, we quickly learned the members did not want a facial bar service — and they were very vocal about it! They communicated to us that they didn’t want less for less. Less service, less time, and less “me” time. We listened and took that notion to heart.

As quick and in a hurry as our world is, GLO30 wasn’t a spot they wanted to be fast or in a hurry. They wanted to protect their time with us. We value their commitment to self-care. So we learned and amplified. All GLO30 services are done in a private room, with full service and a complete experience.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

I could not have done this without the support from our members. They were our first investors. Our loudest cheerleaders. Our great marketers. They were the first to believe in us. They thought of joining a facial care Membership 10 years ago when we opened our very first store, and this was when facials were viewed as a luxury or done only as “needed.” Success is achieved when you have a successful customer who values what you do and how you do it.

According to this EY report, only about 20 percent of funded companies have women founders. This reflects great historical progress, but it also shows that more work still has to be done to empower women to create companies. In your opinion and experience, what is currently holding back women from founding companies?

I am a Women’s Studies Major, and this background was only more helpful when I started a business because I knew going in that the playing field is neither fair nor equal. When women lead companies, do we pay attention? Do we give it the same amount of attention as we do when our male counterparts do? Let’s go a step further; when women of color create companies, why does it take so much more to get “noticed?” So much more to take them seriously? This is a deep dive into historical and cultural history. It’s complex and complicated. Women founders don’t always have a “connected” network in the industry — so for them to get noticed — it takes A LOT more time, A LOT more effort, and A LOT more of everything she’s got. While male counterparts have a friend of a friend, who knows a friend, who has a friend, who is connected to X. So when the introductions get made — they already “know” you. Trust is built easier. So many women with strong, executed ideas and companies don’t get to the point of success due to many of these obstacles. As we see more women in vital leadership, this notion will begin to change.

Can you help articulate a few things that can be done as individuals, as a society, or by the government, to help overcome those obstacles?

Though we can’t untangle all the obstacles in one sitting, we can do our part. We need to pay attention, take action and repeat. The rule for me is if someone is doing something I like: I share it loudly, clap loudly, and speak to everyone about it. My job is to support women and men — humans — who are living their passions by spreading the word and opening my wallet by purchasing from their businesses, sending others their way, and sharing with others what they are doing.

Can you share a few reasons why more women should become founders?

Whether many women realize it or not, they are already doing it. Women are true entrepreneurs and natural founders — they are constantly innovating, problem-solving, and as obstacles come in their way — they reroute and refocus — interestingly, they do this daily on multiple levels without rewards or even a pat on the back. Ask any mom who has to register her kids for summer camp — and you will find a fierce, focused, and goal-oriented warrior. She is the founder of her family. If she chooses, she can also be the founder of any business if and when the time is right.

What are the “myths” that you would like to dispel about being a founder? Can you explain what you mean?

That as a founder, I am my own boss. I have many bosses: my amazing team, hardworking employees, and all GLO30 Members — I work for them every day.

Another myth is that as a founder, I create my own schedule. My schedule is based on the needs. New things come up daily, weekly, and monthly. I have to be flexible with my time. Though protecting time is essential, as a founder, I create blocks in my schedule, allowing me to fit in various needs.

Is everyone cut out to be a founder? In your opinion, which specific traits increase the likelihood that a person will be a successful founder and what type of person should perhaps seek a “regular job” as an employee? Can you explain what you mean?

When you are a founder, you don’t aim to be good at something or even great at something; you aspire to become an expert in the field. And to become that expert, that “thing” will have to become a piece of you. GLO30 is part of me — it is not a job, not a career, not a dream in the sky — it is an essential part of me. Where people see problems, founders see solutions. Where people see roadblocks, founders see opportunities. When people ask “why,” founders ask, “why not?” When people say, “I don’t know,” founders say, “I can find out.” Where ordinary people stop, passionately crazy founders keep going.

What are your “5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Started” and why? (Please share a story or example for each.)

1 . Spend more time learning from your perceived failures than celebrating your perceived successes.

Things you failed at or didn’t work out as planned are precisely where you need to pay attention. What could you have done better if a customer didn’t like something? How can you improve their experience? How can you implement this? Win an award. It’s great to be recognized and appreciated. Enjoy this moment. It’s a moment; remember to move forward.

2 . It’s going to be more challenging than you thought.

Before I started GLO30, my husband looked at me and said, “are you sure you want to start a business? It’s going to be harder than you think.” I looked at him as a naive and passionate founder-to-be and said, “I am sure.” 10 plus years later, is it hard? No, it’s harder. It will transform you, teach you, humble you, and you will come back asking for more, please.

3. Success won’t mean the same thing to you at different stages of your life.

Check in with yourself. What does your version of success look like to you? Refrain from assuming your answer will be the same. Be honest with yourself. Does it mean more time for yourself? More time building a family? More time building stores? More time building a team? Check in. The answers will change. Give yourself permission to change with them.

4 . There is no such thing as balance.

I am a mom of 3 kids. I do not have a balance. I do not aim for balance. I aim to be grateful for today. I aim to find joy throughout my day. I aim to find peace in the crazy that can fill my life. I aim to accept myself as I am.

5 . Every time you say yes to something, you’re saying no to something else.

Yes, to a weekend meeting, no to your son’s soccer game. Yes, to a work get-together, no to date night with your husband. Yes, to an important phone call at dinner time, no to having dinner with your family. You only have so much time, and so much of you what you choose matters. Choose your “yes” wisely. Choose your “no’s” quickly.

How have you used your success to make the world a better place?

As a physician and human being, my goal was to bring change to this industry by stabilizing the lives of the wonderful people who work in it…. many of them women. This is why all my full-time employees have fully paid health insurance and a 401K. They spend hours caring for so many, and it’s time to take care of them too. Providing fully paid health insurance & benefits is not an industry standard. We wanted and did change this narrative. In our next chapter, we are working on offering our employees access to mental health services.

If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good for the greatest number of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger.

Mental health should become a required curriculum in lower school, middle school, and high school. Just like kids have to learn history, physical education, and math, I want to see mental health be taught from grade school and up. Our mind is a muscle — we ask this amazing muscle to store so much information inside it — yet don’t spend time tuning up the actual muscle so it can hold the weight.

We are very blessed that some very prominent names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this if we tag them.

Oprah Winfrey. When I was a little girl, I would rush home to watch her show. I watched it for one reason — her. She taught this little brown girl confidence. She taught me to dream big and then dream even bigger. Then work even harder for those dreams. Dreams only work if you do.

Oprah represented hope to me. And when you’re on this journey of life, personal or professional, you need hope. It will light your dark days and comfort you during rough patches. It will also keep you grounded and resilient on your journey, so your vision is clear. Though I have never met Oprah, I recently heard her speak in Annapolis, Maryland. She spoke with power, empathy, and hope. Oprah, if you’re reading this, tea time?

Thank you for these fantastic insights. We greatly appreciate the time you spent on this.

About the Interviewer: Douglas E. Noll, JD, MA was born nearly blind, crippled with club feet, partially deaf, and left-handed. He overcame all of these obstacles to become a successful civil trial lawyer. In 2000, he abandoned his law practice to become a peacemaker. His calling is to serve humanity, and he executes his calling at many levels. He is an award-winning author, teacher, and trainer. He is a highly experienced mediator. Doug’s work carries him from international work to helping people resolve deep interpersonal and ideological conflicts. Doug teaches his innovative de-escalation skill that calms any angry person in 90 seconds or less. With Laurel Kaufer, Doug founded Prison of Peace in 2009. The Prison of Peace project trains life and long terms incarcerated people to be powerful peacemakers and mediators. He has been deeply moved by inmates who have learned and applied deep, empathic listening skills, leadership skills, and problem-solving skills to reduce violence in their prison communities. Their dedication to learning, improving, and serving their communities motivates him to expand the principles of Prison of Peace so that every human wanting to learn the skills of peace may do so. Doug’s awards include California Lawyer Magazine Lawyer of the Year, Best Lawyers in America Lawyer of the Year, Purpose Prize Fellow, International Academy of Mediators Syd Leezak Award of Excellence, National Academy of Distinguished Neutrals Neutral of the Year. His four books have won a number of awards and commendations. Doug’s podcast, Listen With Leaders, is now accepting guests. Click on this link to learn more and apply.

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