If you’ve ever felt personally victimized by the weight of your handbag, you’re not alone. As women, we’re expected to carry a lot on our shoulders—both figuratively and literally—but Leila Kashani, founder of Alleyoop, wants to lighten your load. The brand launched in August with a singular mission: to save you the time and space every modern woman could use more of. Whether that’s with Pen Pal, a multitasking click pen with a brown eyeliner/brow filler, a black liner, a highlighter, and a pink lip crayon, or Smooth Operator, a body lotion leveled up with stubble-inhibiting properties to extend your shave.
We sat down with Kashani to discuss her less is more approach, what she carries in her purse, and her busy startup life. Oh, and we also got a sneak preview of some of the brand’s forthcoming launches, too. Honestly, we can’t wait to see what she thinks of next.
Why did you launch Alleyoop?
I created Alleyoop because while I was busy growing my career, I felt overwhelmed by the pressure to keep up with today’s expectations of beauty and body care. I wanted to create a brand that finally kept up with our generation of modern women. We have less time and more to do than ever before, so Alleyoop is on a mission to create overachieving products for overachieving women.
Why do women need Alleyoop?
We need to get back to focusing on what matters most to us in our lives, like our families, our futures, our experiences, etc. We’re here to give you the time and space back to do so. Every industry has helped us move faster. We have Uber for transportation and Instacart for shopping. The beauty industry has been slowing — and weighing — us down. I want Alleyoop to help put a stop to that.
What inspires product development?
We’re focused on solving problems, regardless of category. We’re not going to introduce new items just because they’re easy to make. She comes first. We create for her. We’re flipping the rules of product development on its head.
What’s the one Alleyoop product everyone will love?
It really just depends on your lifestyle. It’s hard for me to answer since my whole brand was built off of allowing you to get what you need and nothing more. If you workout and don’t always have time for a shower, Bottoms Up (body cleansing cloths) are great. If your makeup bag travels with you, Multi-Tasker, a 4-in-1 brush, is amazing to lighten your load. So it really just depends.
What is Alleyoop’s bestseller so far?
What’s one product that you think should be a bestseller?
Slow Your Roll Deodorant and Multi-Tasker. I carry the Multi-Tasker around whenever I want a fuller makeup look but still need to do my makeup in the car and don’t want to lug a whole bag around. For the deodorant, it’s starting to grow through word of mouth. People who already use natural deodorants are trying it out and saying it really works for them, so I think we’ll see this product become a bestseller soon.
What’s your best Alleyoop hack/tip?
Mosquitos love me. When I feel a bite, I know they’ll be back for more, so I’ll rub the deo on whatever area is exposed. It repels them thanks to the tea tree oil in it. Mosquitoes hate tea tree!
What do you do to unwind after a busy day of startup life?
If I’m home early enough, I go for a walk with my 1-year-old. Later in the evening, if I still have the energy I’ll write her an email about my day or what she’s been doing recently so she can read them when she’s older. Before I close my eyes to sleep, I always end each evening with nighttime meditation and writing in my gratitude journal. If I skip a night, I find myself overthinking and tossing and turning for half the night.
What’s your work mantra?
Find the fun in as many things as you can, be kind, and push boundaries (in fun, in kindness, in innovation, and in hard work).
What does self-care mean to you?
Spending time on things that feed my soul. For me, that’s time with friends and family, concerts, giving back, and meditation.
What do you always carry in your bag?
Gross! I just looked in my bag and it really needs a spring cleaning! Here is a list of what I found…
This product means makeup in five minutes. Honestly, it has given me back so much time and really lightened the weight I carry around with me. I fill my brows, line my lips, and even do my winged eyeliner all with this one product. I never leave the house without it. Even when I have more time, it’s still my go-to touch-up tool.
I tend to put on makeup on-the-go or in a rush, and Tip Off helps me fix smudges or clean up my zigzag attempts at winged liner.
I always have these with me because I can sit at Drybar or anywhere really, and be on a conference call while still doing something else.
I love Cora tampons because they are super compact, they are organic, and they give back products to girls in need.
These don’t leave creases in my hair, so I can pull my hair up and get comfortable without ruining it if I want to let it back down later.
I don’t know why but I have a pair of my 1-year-old’s socks.
A fake cockroach…
I’m cracking myself up with this! I’m a prankster, what can I say? You never know when you’ll need to prank someone!
A pair of hoop earrings
Hoops come in handy a lot. I always carry a pair with me because I can dress up any look (including sweat pants) if my plans change. They allow me to go with the flow more often.