HALO Co-Founder Robin Levine On Being a Businesswoman During a Global Pandemic
In honor of Business Women’s Day, we’re highlighting HALO co-founder and founder of Charlotte’s Book, Robin Levine. Robin began her entrepreneurial path in wellness after leaving a 14-year career in finance at J.P. Morgan in 2013.
Frustrated with the lack of reliable information in the beauty, health and wellness space, Robin launched Charlotte’s Book, a vetting and advice website that connects readers to cosmetic health & wellness services through a premiere expert directory and high-quality content sharing platform. In 2017, she went on to team up with fellow entrepreneur Anshuman Vohra, founder of Bulldog Gin, to start HALO.
“Being able to see what is on the forefront of wellness is incredibly exciting. I don’t regret my time at J.P. Morgan one bit, but the change of scenery from oil wells to the latest supplements is a welcome one.”
We sat down with Robin to chat about her experience as a businesswoman in the time of a global pandemic. Continue reading for the biggest challenges she's faced, advice she would give to aspiring female entrepreneurs, and the two flavors of HALO she's torn between.
What are the biggest business challenges you faced during COVID?
Navigating the move from retail to nearly all digital, for sure. COVID hit just as we were making major strides in our retail distribution. We had just landed in some of the country's most premium grocery stores including Gelson's and Spouts and Equinox in Southern California.
With COVID, people stopped shopping in discovery mode. They wanted to get in and out of the supermarket quick. In the end, we managed our way through, had some really positive wins, and learned to make the business stronger.
Aside from a distribution pivot, we had a lot of team changes and tough decisions. We're a small, tight team that spends lots of time together. But Zoom is our friend now. 🙂
What would your advice be for entrepreneurs who are struggling during the pandemic?
I would say stay flexible, seek out the positives, and look at how you can learn from this shift in consumer buying. There are silver linings even in tough times like these. With HALO, while our retail business slowed, our online business really picked up as people wanted to stock up on a hydration drink that also boosts immunity.
I created HALO to hydrate people in a healthier way. Unbeknownst to me, doctors started recommending us because we're the only electrolyte drink with a natural magnesium source. It’s been really exciting seeing HALO being used in hospitals to hydrate patients and staff.
As a female founder, what's your biggest tip for aspiring female entrepreneurs out there?
Stay true to you but also don't be afraid to pivot. Don’t let your ego or vision stand in the way of what consumers want. It’s advice for all founders.
What’s your morning routine during quarantine?
I start each day with lemon water or a HALO Lemonade (each bottle contains 6% real lemon juice). I always do 15 push-ups, a headstand, and a handstand every morning. That hasn’t changed. I drink a lot more though so I have to drink a lot more HALO 😇. It's magical for hangovers.
What’s your favorite flavor of HALO?
Torn between Pineapple and Black Cherry! I’m a diet Dr. Pepper addict and I made Black Cherry to wean me off that awful habit. I love Pineapple because ours isn't sweet and syrupy. It’s super light. I love Hawaii and I made it to taste like a fresh, juicy pineapple that I would eat after an amazing day of hiking.