The entrepreneur mindset doesn’t come easy to all, but for Jacynda Smith it came as naturally as braiding hair. As a little girl in Colorado Springs, CO, Jacynda had a knack for making things beautiful. This quickly turned into her first entrepreneurial business when she started selling bracelets to her friends in fourth grade.
That mindset traveled with her across the world while she was living in Finland, creating a bag company in Toronto, CA, and traveling with her husband who was a professional hockey player, but her current enterprise developed in a little town meant to be a pit stop along the way.
In the heart of the Midwest sits the tiny little river town of Bellevue, IA where Jacynda found the time to mingle her passion for bringing beauty into the everyday lives of women and business. Her experiences in Iowa helped foster the original design for the multi-purpose tool we can’t stop drooling over, the TYME Iron. We had the opportunity to sit down with Jacynda, TYME CEO, to revisit that journey and how it has evolved since 2014.
Q: How did you end up in Bellevue?
J: When Dan (my husband) got injured playing hockey, his career was over. It was also the 2008 housing crisis so he couldn’t find work. My mom said, “Why don’t you go live in Iowa where it will be affordable and you’ll have a sitter for your kids while you go to hair school.” I was like “What are you crazy?” ...and then I moved here. A year later she said: “When are you coming back to Colorado?” ...and I said, “What are you crazy? I’m not leaving here.” In both instances she wasn’t crazy.
Q: You started your journey in the beauty industry as a hairstylist. What influenced you to develop the TYME Iron?
J: The beauty industry - for me - is very complex because I believe that beauty comes from inside. I really feel a beauty journey starts way further back for me. Hair was my first real venture into it, but I appreciate beauty from everywhere and every angle. I feel like I’ve always been an admirer of beauty in all forms, whether it’s houses and confidence in people or a kind smile. I appreciate beauty everywhere. I think my first experience was “How do I help people bring that into their beauty routine?” It was the struggle of watching everybody try to curl or try to recreate. People in the salon would always ask how to look a certain way. So I'm trying to teach them how to do that and they would struggle so hard to get the looks. They were trying to recreate it with a curling iron, but I was curling with a flat iron. They couldn’t get that technique down so I was like there has to be a way to make this easier for them, so I started dabbling in finding out how I could create it. I thought it would be an attachment, but it ended up being a whole iron.
Q: And you had no idea what it would be able to do from there right?
J: I had no idea what it was going to free up for women. When I gave it to Ariya and she was trying it out and she was like, “I can only get it to straighten.” I was like “What are you doing?” and so she showed me and I was like, “AHHHH IT’S A STRAIGHTENER TOO?! THAT’S AMAZING.” I was just trying to help women achieve the styles that I was giving them.
Q: When you were a little girl did you dream of working in the beauty industry?
J: No! I literally thought nothing for myself. I had no big hopes or aspirations or dreams. I literally thought like I was good at nothing. I was like “How do I just get by every day?” and I always felt like I was good at everything but not GREAT at anything, so I didn’t really know how to excel at something and really put an effort forth. I do know that whenever we would braid hair in class or something, it was very easy for me to do. I didn’t connect that something being easy for me wasn’t easy for everyone else. A big part of the journey is trying to figure out how to feel what is easy for yourself. Because when it’s right it's just easy. Or it’s worth trying.
Q: Ranging back across the past century, is there a beauty trend you would want to bring back? Why?
J: I’m obsessed with ‘70s hair! The different things that they would try...it was all over the map! If you had big afro hair, you would rock it and it was amazing, or you would be so proud of that and I love that! If you had really sleek amazing hair, you would rock that. And if you were really into a bouffant kind of look, you could do that. I love that in the ‘70s you were true to you.
Q: What is your advice for people looking to break into the beauty world?
J: Be true to you! It’s very easy to get lost in the beauty industry following trends instead of being true to what you’re about. Find your niche in it. The beauty industry is so big and so vast that you can find your niche somewhere.
Q: Be honest. What’s your favorite TYME product? You can only choose one!
J: The iron. If I couldn’t choose the iron, that’s hard. Upstaged is so versatile, but if I didn’t have the shampoo and conditioner, I wonder what Upstaged would be like. Upstaged is epic, but I couldn’t imagine washing my hair more often. That’s like asking me to choose between my children...sorry, I like them all. Ok...Power Couple! The freedom it provides in your life you can’t even match.
Q: Is there anything new on the horizon for TYME?
J: Our Obsidian Iron! When I first came out with the iron it was like a sea of black irons. Very boring, no fun in the iron world at all and I just wanted to break from that tradition. Now I think so many (brands) have gone so far that most of them don’t look good on your counter. There’s nothing more amazing than a sleek black iron with bling on it. I’m really excited to launch that iron.
Q: What styling product should every woman have in her arsenal?
J: Upstaged because of how versatile it is. It can enhance anyone's natural style.
Q: What else are you excited about right now?
J: With 2020, we’ve had to revisit and clear out all of our closets. I’m really excited to see the other side of people being a renewed sense of themselves. When you are more isolated and you go in and you clean out your closets, whether metaphorically or physically, you come out new. It’s all fresh and new. I’m really excited to see people interact when they can show their smiles again. We get to reconnect in a whole new way after everyone has cleaned out their closets and we get to show up as our newest truest self.
Q: How do you measure success?
J: One moment at a time. I think the best thing that I have found for feeling successful is being present in every moment. Making a certain amount of money is no better than the smile on my kids’ faces. Do you know what I mean? Enjoying every little win along the way and being present for that, not thinking about the future or the past is the most rewarding successful thing I have found in my life. You have to be present to receive the presents.
Q: Who is your biggest influence in the beauty industry? Or just in general? Why?
J: I have an odd person and that’s Gary Vee. He has done so much to help people recognize what's good about themselves that I don’t think anyone in the beauty industry has touched that. That amount of being able to recognize it within yourself and let go of all the social constructs that we normally recognize as beauty and success.
Q: What do you want your legacy to be?
J: That I brought a smile to your face at some point. Whether it’s you recognizing the beauty within yourself because of something or you having a smile because your hair looks good that day. If I brought a smile to your face then I’m happy. That’s enough for me.
Q: If you could share one piece of wisdom with the world, what would it be?
J: Take judgment out. That is one of the most freeing things I have ever done is start freeing myself from judging myself and others. I found that because I was so hard on myself all the time I was harder on others. Once I started being less hard on others, I started being less hard on myself. It's such a catch 22 that I don't think we usually connect. When we’re so judgemental about ourselves it starts reflecting out to the world. You start to just judge everything without realizing it. I appreciate so much in everybody else, but I always was knocking myself, and in turn, that would come out into the world. Alleviating judgment at every turn I can is a big thing. You start thinking, feeling, and doing everything in alignment instead of thinking one and saying another. When you take out the judgment you don’t pull one way or the other you’re just kind of in the middle and it makes life a lot easier!