The Quality Makers: Charlotte Chen Pienaar of Everyday Humans

Welcome to The Quality Makers, an interview series highlighting pioneers in the direct-to-consumer space. Join us as we get an inside look at the world of digital shopping through the eyes of the individuals shaping it…

Do you wear sunscreen everyday? I know I should, but when life gets busy, it’s often an afterthought. Beauty newcomer Everyday Humans is trying to change that with a line of approachable, easy-to-use suncare products that inspire people to “get out, do stuff, and live IRL under the sunshine.” The brand’s simple products carried me through the summer – they’re lightweight, nourishing, and most importantly, full of clean ingredients that you can feel good about putting on your body. My favorites? For your face, don’t miss the signature Resting Beach Face ($24), and for body, Oh My Bod ($18) has you covered. We sat down with founder Charlotte Chen Pienaar to hear more about her journey to suncare.

Thanks for chatting with us! Before we kick off, we want to hear about you. Who are you?

CCP: Hi, my name is Charlotte and I’m the founder of Everyday Humans. Interestingly, my background was in investment banking, until I decided to take the plunge and move away from corporate life at age 27. From there, I joined a start-up, and my non-traditional journey eventually took me from building social communities within an app, creating a magazine, selling digital billboard ad spaces, to working in operations, marketing and distribution for indie fashion and beauty start-ups. 

I got into the sunscreen industry because I used to tan a lot in my teens. Now that I’m in my 30s and seeing the first signs of aging, I wish someone had told me earlier about the importance of taking care of my skin by using the most vital weapon against wrinkles: SPF. The education around preventive care and using sunscreen has exploded in the past few years, but at the same time, young people are concerned about what’s actually in the formula, the related environmental impact and more importantly, authentic representation. 

This ultimately led me to start Everyday Humans — a conscious and inclusive sun-led skincare brand that helps inspire Gen Z and millennials of all skin tones and types to wear SPF everyday. The brand takes inspiration from the creative energy and intersection of street fashion, urban culture, nature conservation and experimental art  – interests and topics that excite, inspire and resonate with myself and many humans in the Zillennial sub-set. 

Everyday Humans makes sunscreen fun, approachable, and dare we say…sexy

I love this, and especially the concept of Zillennials (I hadn’t heard that term before)! One thing about this generation is their sense of community, particularly on the Internet. How would you describe your community? How do you engage with them?

CCP: As a company founded and run by P.O.C., inclusivity is in our DNA. We’re proud to have tapped a community of diverse individuals — many of whom have been left out of the skincare conversation, just like us. We create our products with our community’s needs in mind. For instance, our Rose From Above SPF 35 Mineral Sunscreen features a shade that fits the majority of our customers, specifically tanned people in the middle of the color spectrum. This product was co-created with our beta testers, and this program is one of the notable ways we engage our community. With every release, we want to ensure that we create something that addresses our customers’ needs, so we include them in every step of product development. Of course, it is our goal to offer more products that suit more people in the future. But since we’re a small, growing business, this is something we’re taking one step at a time. 

Another way we engage our community is through our Humans Outside campaign. As an SPF-led brand, one of the biggest challenges is encouraging people to integrate sunscreen into their daily life. Contrary to popular belief, sunscreen is not just for the beach. We’re cultivating a community who sees sunscreen as a tool to empower them to go outside and live their best lives — whether they’re going on roadtrips, playing sports, or even just taking a walk. We do this through fun, educational content and partnering with people who share the same vision as us. 

Everyday Humans’ signature sunscreen serum, “Resting Beach Face”

JS: As you think about the future of Everyday Humans, what are your dreams and goals?

CCP: In 5 years, I want Everyday Humans to be the top-of-mind conscious brand for Zillennials by having a strong and differentiated assortment strategy, a sizable community of loyal customers who believe in our vision and mission, which can allow us to be creative and innovative within our category and beyond. We have an exciting pipeline of sun-led skincare products coming up that we don’t want to unveil too much, but our team is continually innovating in the affordable planet-friendly skincare space – formulating best-in-class formulas that incorporate more sustainably manufactured ingredients and in eco-conscious formats that achieve and exceed our plastic reduction goals. I’m excited to unveil what our team will be launching soon so stay tuned! 

Here at TQE, we focus a lot on DTC brands, and we know this space is important for you, too. What excites you about DTC, and what about this model is advantageous for businesses?

CCP: Through DTC, we’re able to build a closer relationship with our consumers, which helps us create a more convenient and positive customer experience overall. Because we have more autonomy over our marketing strategies and positioning, this also gives us a chance to craft a more distinct brand identity apart from other brands in the marketplace. 

For example, we get to create content that best resonates with our community, and are able to interact with consumers on a more personal level — whether through tailored offers or bespoke recommendations. We want our customers to feel that we understand and can address their needs, in a way that feels human and not excessively sales-y. Plus, the data we derive from DTC allows us to keep customizing the customer experience. 

We’d love to hear more about you. When you’re shopping for products personally, what do you look for in a brand? What does “quality” mean to you?

CCP: For me, quality means creating something for a reason but not rushing to get to the answer, being pensive on why, thoughtful on the solution and building with purpose, care, patience and focus. 
Last but not least, what are each of your five most-used products right now? 

If you put one thing on your body tomorrow, please make it sunscreen (your skin will thank you later). Check out Everyday Humans’ full lineup here.

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