Behind Her Empire Podcast: Finding Your 'Why' with Karissa Bodnar, Founder of Thrive Causemetics

Yasmin Nouri

Yasmin is the host of the "Behind Her Empire" podcast, focused on highlighting self-made women leaders and entrepreneurs and how they tackle their career, money, family and life.

Each episode covers their unique hero's journey and what it really takes to build an empire with key lessons learned along the way. The goal of the series is to empower you to see what's possible & inspire you to create financial freedom in your own life.

Behind Her Empire Podcast: Finding Your 'Why' with Karissa Bodnar, Founder of Thrive Causemetics
Thrive Causemetics

On this week's episode of "Behind Her Empire," hear from Karissa Bodnar, founder and CEO of Thrive Causemetics, a high-performance vegan, cruelty-free, direct-to-consumer cosmetics brand.


Karissa grew up on a farm in Washington State and has loved creating makeup since she was a young girl. After working as a make-up artist to pay her way through college, she landed a job at Clarisonic and then in L'Oréal's luxury division. Karissa never aspired to start her own business until she lost her dear friend Kristy to cancer. Kristy was just 24 years old.

As Karissa reflected on the generous life Kristy lived, she felt inspired to take action on her passion and create a brand that was truly bigger than beauty. A month later, Thrive Causemetics was born.

Starting out, Karissa self-funded the business, made formulas on her kitchen counter, and fulfilled orders all out of her one-bedroom apartment.

Six years later, Karissa has built a company with philanthropy at its core. Thrive Causemetics has donated over $100 million in funds and products to women's charities since its inception. However, none of this could have been done if it weren't for the success of her products. The company has grown to be a multimillion dollar company and is one of the fastest-growing brands in the industry. ⁠

Karissa has been named to Forbes' "30 Under 30" and its "America's Richest Self-Made Women" lists, as well as Marie Claire's "Most Powerful Women" and Inc.'s "Badass Female Founders" list.

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LA Tech ‘Moves’: Adtech Firm OpenX Lures New SVP, Getlabs and DISQO Tap New VPs

Decerry Donato

Decerry Donato is dot.LA's Editorial Fellow. Prior to that, she was an editorial intern at the company. Decerry received her bachelor's degree in literary journalism from the University of California, Irvine. She continues to write stories to inform the community about issues or events that take place in the L.A. area. On the weekends, she can be found hiking in the Angeles National forest or sifting through racks at your local thrift store.

LA Tech ‘Moves’: Adtech Firm OpenX Lures New SVP, Getlabs and DISQO Tap New VPs
Photo by James Opas | Modified by Joshua Letona

“Moves,” our roundup of job changes in L.A. tech, is presented by Interchange.LA, dot.LA's recruiting and career platform connecting Southern California's most exciting companies with top tech talent. Create a free Interchange.LA profile here—and if you're looking for ways to supercharge your recruiting efforts, find out more about Interchange.LA's white-glove recruiting service by emailing Sharmineh O’Farrill Lewis (sharmineh@dot.la). Please send job changes and personnel moves to moves@dot.la.

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This Week in ‘Raises’: Miracle Miles Lands $100M, Fintech Startup Tapcheck Hauls $20M

Decerry Donato

Decerry Donato is dot.LA's Editorial Fellow. Prior to that, she was an editorial intern at the company. Decerry received her bachelor's degree in literary journalism from the University of California, Irvine. She continues to write stories to inform the community about issues or events that take place in the L.A. area. On the weekends, she can be found hiking in the Angeles National forest or sifting through racks at your local thrift store.

This Week in ‘Raises’: Miracle Miles Lands $100M, Fintech Startup Tapcheck Hauls $20M
Image by Joshua Letona

In this week’s edition of “Raises”: An L.A.-based footwear company closed $100 million to boost its expansion into the global market, while there were Series A raises for local fintech, biotech and space startups.

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