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[Follow These Women!] Laura Cline’s Unconventional Career Path from Painter to Leadership at YTTP

24 Mar 2022
Fun fact: Laura Cine was the very first hire at Youth To The People.

Welcome to Follow These Women! the latest series to join To The People’s lineup. In this series, we’ll get quality one-on-one time with the women of Youth To The People and sit down with them to discover their career paths—some are unusual, all are inspiring—their goals, dreams, and values. No matter the stage of your own career, taking a peek into someone else’s path can be a breath of fresh air—it can offer a new perspective, or even help you double down on the things that are important to you. If you’re looking for groundbreaking women, look no further. Follow these women! 

At Youth To The People, nicknames tend to get thrown around with abandon—but sometimes an original is what sticks.

“Most of my colleagues call me ‘Laura Cline,’” says Laura Cline, YTTP’s Senior Director of Product Development + Education, “I’m told it has a nice ring to it.” Also like most of her colleagues, Laura has a penchant for pets. “I absolutely love animals, particularly dogs of all shapes, sizes, and personalities,” says Laura, “My two adopted doggos are great loves in my life. I like to travel to new places, oil paint, and learn something new every day.” It’s a good thing YTTP HQ is dog-friendly. 

At YTTP HQ, Laura’s role is all about product—the favorite formulas we get to apply to our faces twice daily.

“New innovation, product management, product marketing, supporting regulatory, and brand education,” are, according to Laura, her main focuses. Fun fact: Laura was the very first hire made by co-founders Joe Cloyes and Greg Gonzalez at Youth To The People—she just celebrated her five-year anniversary with the company. So how did she get here?

“I’d have to say my career path was influenced before I even knew it,” says Laura. “My parents set the ultimate example of working hard and loving what you do, despite working in a different field. [They] always modeled care for others’ creativity, and remaining curious to learn from everything you do.”

Like many kids growing up, she dreamed of becoming a veterinarian, and in fact, at 14, her first job was at a vet clinic.

“My lifelong dream career had always been to follow in my dad’s footsteps and study to be a veterinarian,” says Laura, but in college, her class schedule allowed her the flexibility to sample other options. As someone who loved playing with color (remember, this one’s a painter, too, and even earned her Bachelor’s of Fine Arts in painting), Laura thought cosmetics could be interesting.

“I decided to try something new, beginning cosmetics my career in 2005 with Clinique,” says Laura. “I applied because I really wanted to work with makeup. I was always learning, and somewhere along the way, I found a love of leading people, science, customer experience, and sales grew into a passion for the skincare industry.”  Always learning, that’s the key, isn’t it?

To those who’d question how she made the leap from painting to skincare, Laura’s diverse experience serves a purpose.

“What’s interesting is that even though I went to school for fine art, specifically painting, I realized at the skill sets I learned—like responsibility, self-accountability, and inventiveness—can apply to any role,” says Laura.

“I felt a bit lost after I graduated college not knowing what I wanted to pursue in my art career,” says Laura. “I would research job openings and find myself in tears not knowing right where I fit in, but I kept true to my work ethic and gave each day my best at the role I had.” 

Confirmation that she’d made the right career switch happened when Laura was honored with a national all-star sales award while working at another cosmetic company.

“I felt appreciated and seen; It opened some doors to meet new people and network,” says Laura. “This award opened the window of curiosity and confidence, pushing me to pursue more opportunities for leadership in cosmetics.”

Over the years, Laura worked with other skincare brands and found herself drawn toward brands that acted responsibly, with sustainability and inclusivity in mind. That led her to Youth To The People in 2017 when she became the first hire made by Joe and Greg. Now, she’s a proud member of the company’s leadership team. 

“I feel like I am seen, respected, and valued as a woman at Youth To The People,” says Laura. “The brand is influenced and inspired by powerhouse women, matriarchs who the men who look up to. Youth To The People‘s culture is like no other I’ve experienced, and my colleague leading it all is an incredible human being, and a woman I admire greatly.” This admiration extends to others on the team, too.

“I admire ethics, curiosity, spirit, open-mindedness, authenticity, and empathy,” continues Laura. “I can name many women in my life who share those characteristics. I deeply admire working mothers. I do not have children of my own and know that the dedication it takes to be successful at work can take so much of what you have to give in a day, and yet these amazing women still give so much to give to their children with love and joy, even on hard days. I have the utmost respect for the mother figures at YTTP, and I’m honored to work with them.” 

When Laura joined the brand, it was to lead sales and education, both for the website (direct to consumer) and brick and mortar—think Sephora. 

“I had the honor of recruiting and leading the field sales and education team for a couple of years while leading brand education and supporting new product development,” says Laura. Her promotion to Senior Director of Product Development + Education took place last year.

As for future goals?

“I feel like the sky's the limit,” says Laura. “At YTTP, I have found a real love for building a brand that genuinely represents values and standards that I share personally. I want to continue to lead product innovation and development, it’s a real passion of mine. Ultimately, I’d love to found a brand of my own and have the honor of building something special alongside creative, curious, and humble humans.” 

When it comes to the meaning of the word “groundbreaking,” which, let’s face it, so many women are, Laura says this:

“To me, groundbreaking means to be bold, unconventional, unafraid to try new things that have never been done before, to have your mind remain curious and open to learning. [To be] groundbreaking is to move forward proudly with a presumably unpopular idea and make something significant.” 

Follow Laura on IG at @lauracline.
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