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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Genies Wants To Help Creators Build ‘Avatar Ecosystems’

Christian Hetrick

Christian Hetrick is dot.LA's Entertainment Tech Reporter. He was formerly a business reporter for the Philadelphia Inquirer and reported on New Jersey politics for the Observer and the Press of Atlantic City.

Genies Wants To Help Creators Build ‘Avatar Ecosystems’

When avatar startup Genies raised $150 million in April, the company released an unusual message to the public: “Farewell.”

The Marina del Rey-based unicorn, which makes cartoon-like avatars for celebrities and aims to “build an avatar for every single person on Earth,” didn’t go under. Rather, Genies announced it would stay quiet for a while to focus on building avatar-creation products.

Genies representatives told dot.LA that the firm is now seeking more creators to try its creation tools for 3D avatars, digital fashion items and virtual experiences. On Thursday, the startup launched a three-week program called DIY Collective, which will mentor and financially support up-and-coming creatives.

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Here's What To Expect At LA Tech Week

Christian Hetrick

Christian Hetrick is dot.LA's Entertainment Tech Reporter. He was formerly a business reporter for the Philadelphia Inquirer and reported on New Jersey politics for the Observer and the Press of Atlantic City.

Here's What To Expect At LA Tech Week

LA Tech Week—a weeklong showcase of the region’s growing startup ecosystem—is coming this August.

The seven-day series of events, from Aug. 15 through Aug. 21, is a chance for the Los Angeles startup community to network, share insights and pitch themselves to investors. It comes a year after hundreds of people gathered for a similar event that allowed the L.A. tech community—often in the shadow of Silicon Valley—to flex its muscles.

From fireside chats with prominent founders to a panel on aerospace, here are some highlights from the roughly 30 events happening during LA Tech Week, including one hosted by dot.LA.

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