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

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