We’ve all heard the saying, “beautiful inside and out.” Well, Pearl Butter is all about this concept, in the form of colorful, edible spreads designed to fuel and beautify the body! Inspired by her own skin and health challenges, Pearl Butter co-founder Kati Holland has made it her mission to help others nourish their skin from the inside out. We recently caught up with Kati to learn more about how she launched the brand, and created her dream job in the process.
WHAT WERE YOU DOING 5-10 YEARS AGO, BEFORE PEARL BUTTER?
KH: Ten years ago, I was in middle school, obsessed with musical theater and glitter eyeliner! My childhood was A+, minus my skin. I had always struggled with acne, and I tried every cream/wash/prescription in the book. So when it was time to go off to college, my dermatologist suggested I go on birth control. Within months, I suffered from a severe lymphatic reaction to the pill, and I had to take a leave of absence from school. The next year was absolute hell: I was in an out of hospitals, doctor’s offices, and various treatment centers. It wasn’t until I turned to eastern medicine that I finally found relief. And yes, clear, skin.
IS PEARL BUTTER YOUR DREAM JOB?
KH: Yes! If I can save someone from going through the same pain I went through, I will have succeeded beyond my wildest dreams. Plus, I get to work with the kindest, most empowering human beings alive (shoutout to Adeline from @vibrantandpure and Katie from @twist_of_lemons just to name a few!).
WHEN DID YOU HAVE YOUR “AH HA” MOMENT OF PEARL BUTTER?
KH: It’s ironic because even though the butters are so colorful, my “ah ha” moment actually stems from some really dark times. That pill I took—rooted in my desire for clear skin—changed my life forever. The fact that I wanted clear skin so badly meant that I gave up part of my lymphatic system, and I almost gave up my ability to have kids. I also gave up my college years—those late night parties, chats in the library, studying abroad carefree—those are things I’ll never get back. But what I gained was a deep understanding of the human body and its resilience, a new toolbox of natural, non-pharmaceutical ways to improve skin (and then also mood and brain and energy) that I can access anytime, and a determination to help others, so no one has to go through the hell that I went through. So out of my pain emerged my “aha moment,” and Pearl Butter was born.
HOW DID YOU COME UP WITH THIS BUSINESS CONCEPT AND DID YOU HAVE EXPERIENCE IN IT PRIOR?
KH: Adaptogens might sound like some trendy buzzword, but they’ve actually been around for centuries, and they really do work. However, I was so sick and bored of scooping adaptogens into my smoothies in brown powdered form. At the same time, I was also adding healthy fats, like coconut butter, to these morning concoctions. Suddenly a lightbulb went off: Why not combine the two into a delicious and colorful butter that’s just as fun to eat as it is to play with? By the time I’m old and grey (hopefully sooner!), I pray I’ve helped create a space within the wellness community that’s inclusive and fun. Life’s too short not to have fun (and play with your food!).
HOW DID YOU FUND PEARL BUTTER?
KH: Savings and a small family and friends round.
NAME 3 OF THE SCARIEST MOMENTS YOU HAD WHEN DOING THIS?
KH: First, forgoing a steady paycheck and not having a college degree to fall back on. Second, taking my first press photos. It sounds silly now, but at the time, I was wondering, “Do I look healthy/fit/fun enough?” But then I reminded myself that being healthy isn’t about a number on a scale—it’s about loving yourself. You can eat all the kale in the world and run 10 miles a day, but if you don’t love yourself, what’s the point? And third, showing my dad the first version of the website. He’s my best friend, so I always want him to be proud.
WHAT IS YOUR PIECE OF ADVICE TO ANYONE WHO WANTS TO STOP WHAT THEY’RE DOING AND CREATE THEIR DREAM JOB?
KH: Find your North Star, and don’t lose sight of it.