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Do Good, Look Great: Chatting with Flynn&King Co-Founder Corina McDonnell

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We love a brand with a mission: Flynn&King not only has a mission with integrity, but they are doing the work that comes along with it. At Flynn&King, "do good, look great" is their mantra and as they work with organizations like the Coalition for the Homeless , Center Against Domestic Violence and I Am Driftwood they are not only creating organic, inclusive skincare for all, but they are also giving back to the community, one amazing skincare product at a time.

I met co-founder, Summer Dinh Manske while browsing all the wonderful women owned brands at the We Are Women Owned Pop Up we were also vendors at a few months back. I picked up their Lunar 13 Oil (which I am utterly obsessed with, by the way) and I have had my own personal love affair with the brand ever since. I love that they are also women owned and Brooklyn-based and align with our own mission to give back to the community. Read on for an interview with their co-founder, Corina McDonnell, as she talks skincare, what it’s like to start a brand, and giving back to your community.

Q: So first off, your mission is awesome! We love the phrase "do good, look great." Can you tell us how the brand started and was there a moment that made you say, "ok let’s start a brand?"
Thank you. Our brand came together very organically, pun intended! My business partner Summer and I were working together at a Williamsburg salon focusing on natural products and just weren’t finding the products we wanted to stock in the apothecary. We were disheartened by some of the brands that were claiming to be "natural," but upon close inspection of the ingredients, we realized they weren’t! We started a weekly meetup where we would make natural and organic products, take classes on soap making, do research and learn everything we could about making our own functional and truly natural products. It was fun and informative! Once we passed out our products as gifts, we realized that we really had something. We saw our own skin and our friend’s improving and we kept creating products, based on what we needed and found the most difficult to find in stores and that’s how Flynn&King was born! 
 
Q: We know first-hand running a small business requires wearing multiple hats, but how would you describe a typical day for you?
Summer and I do mostly everything on our own. We formulate, produce, and ship all products. Summer is our creative director who is responsible for our beautiful esthetic, both in packaging design and social media and website design. I handle the marketing, wholesale, and customer service aspects. We’re a really good team and lucky to have found one another! Every day is a little different, but a lot of time for me is spent in the studio, by the computer, or at the post office.
 
Q: What inspires you daily as a small business owner?
We’re inspired to not only create beautiful products, but also educate our clients on the ingredients and why we choose the organic, natural, and sustainable ingredients that create our line. Your skin is the largest organ of your body and so important to treat it well and protect it against harmful toxins and carcinogens. 

 
Q: What is your favorite thing about owning your own brand? Alternatively, what do you find the most challenging?
My personal favorite thing is receiving feedback from our clients. The before and after pictures really get me going! Just seeing that all our hard work is actually making a difference in people’s skin and self-esteem is rewarding. The most challenging thing is most definitely time management. There never seem to be enough hours in the day. 
 
Q: We love your Do-Good Collaborations! We are big believers in giving back at Social Sunday. We totally need to collab! Can you tell us how these collaborations started and how our readers can get involved?
Thanks for all the good working that you’re doing at Social Sunday too! We knew that we wanted a way to give back from the very beginning. Summer’s brother-in-law runs an amazing organization called I’m From Driftwood, which is an LGBTQ story archive that helps connect people that may not have the support they need in coming out. It’s very inspiring. We actually have a special bar of soap named Driftwood, that donates a portion of proceeds to IFDW and we have ongoing event donations with them throughout the year as well. We also donate product and soaps to the Coalition for the Homeless and the Center Against Domestic Violence, as well as others. Any type of donation helps with these organizations whether it’s time, money, food or even just sharing their information for others to donate. They are grossly underfunded and could use any and all help.

Q: Personally, I am obsessed with your Lunar 13 restorative oil. What is your current favorite Flynn&King product and what is your development process for new products?
Thanks so much! The Lunar is amazing and for sure, in my top 3, but the Revive Oil-Based Cleanser  is my #1 can’t-live-without product. I had struggled for years to find a cleanser that didn’t strip my skin and leave it dry and flaky or cause irritation. My skin is super sensitive, especially to artificial fragrances or sulfates. I love oil cleansing but it is very time consuming to perform it properly, so we created a cleanser that is oil-based but has a gentle soap added to rinse cleanly. It’s amazing as a makeup remover too. I’ve since tried other cleansers and my skin freaks out until I go back to Revive. I cannot say enough good things about it and if you check out the reviews online, many clients agree! 
 Q: What’s next on the horizon for Flynn&King and where would you like to see the brand in 5 years’ time?
We have some new great products in the works. Stay tuned! In the next few weeks, we will have some new goodies, including a collection of lightweight All-Over lotions. 
 
Q: Any advice for women who dream of starting their own companies?
Stock up on sleep now! And don’t be afraid to reach out to others who you look up to in your industry. Most are more than happy to help.

If you'd like to get involved with any of the causes mentioned, you can do so here:
Social Sunday Club readers can also use the discount code SOCIALSUNDAYBLOG for 15% off their first order!

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