Fireside Chat With Our Founder & CEO

Meet Darya Hope Pishevar, Founder and CEO of her namesake brand. A Swedish, Persian, and American entrepreneur and environmentalist, Darya isn’t just here to build a beauty brand. She’s here to advance the science and technology behind product formulation, challenge the standards of performance and efficacy, and create a better future for our planet. We sat down together to chat about her excitement for the launch and her passion for finding purpose in all that she does.

What inspired you to start a beauty line?

I've always had a passion for skincare and technology. I grew up in Silicon Valley—my parents actually wanted to be scientists when they went to Berkeley, then my mom became a dentist, and my dad went into tech. When I met our formulator and he explained stem cell technology and what it can do for your skin, a light bulb went off. I realized I had something here, something that's not out in the market. We were able to make this serum that can stimulate your growth factors and slow down your aging process over time. It's really fascinating.

As a young woman with beautiful skin, what’s your take on aging?
Our tagline is to future-proof your skin. We want to teach Gen Z and millennials that if you start taking care of your skin now, at a younger age, it will be so beneficial when you're older. We're also trying to break the barrier and encourage men to start taking care of their skin, as well.

Your launch lineup includes three cleansers in addition to the Youth Elixir Stem Cell Serum. Why three?
We’re launching the triple cleanse system, which is like an at-home facial kit. I know from personal experience that when you find a cleanser that you like, you can get stuck and feel scared to move on because you'll break out. I wanted to make a kit with cleansers that all go hand-in-hand so you can decide what your skin needs each day. If you feel you're dehydrated, you use the oil cleanser. Or you use the gel cleanser in the morning because it has coffee in it and wakes your skin up. You can be in control to experiment and see what your skin needs.

And how do you personally use the cleansing system?

I like to do the oil cleanser first, then the gel cleanser, and I use the face polish every other day or so. The oil cleanser has this amazing silky feeling that melts your makeup immediately. The gel cleanser goes onto your skin very easily and leaves a cooling sensation that I love. I don’t like a hard exfoliator; we use volcanic pumice in the face polish, which isn’t abrasive at all. You can use it daily.

Have you noticed any results from using the whole line?

My skin has gotten tighter, more lifted, and brighter. It gives me a constant glow.

How do you see Darya Hope evolving in the short term?
I'm launching three more products by the end of this year.

Sustainability is a priority for the brand—how did that inform your ingredient selection process?
The ingredients are from the earth, sustainably sourced, and we take everything in small batches, which is really important to me. We don't want to overly produce. Everything is sustainably made. In Farsi, “Darya Hope” means “Sea of Hope,” so there’s an oceanic aspect to it and sea minerals in it.

Speaking of the ocean, can you tell us about your partnership with SeaLegacy?
A dollar from every Darya Hope product sold will go to SeaLegacy. Cristina and Paul (the founders) are starting a Good Ocean foundation, which is a community of companies with like-minded sustainability interests. There are a lot of things coming with them—talks and events that we’re planning together. I'm very excited to raise awareness about what's happening in our oceans. I think I have an opportunity to make this more than just a beauty brand. I want to bring people together and build a community that can actively make an impact. Maybe we can even do some trips where we help restore coral reefs. I definitely see it going in that direction.

When did your interest in philanthropy begin?
When I was 13 years old, I was a part of Girl Up's Teen Advisory Board. We traveled to different places in the US and presented about creating change to advance global gender equality. That sparked my need to give back from a very young age. After that, I went to the Malala Fund. I was just an intern, but I learned so much from her. I watched her win a Nobel Peace Prize and it was one of the most incredible moments in my life. Her activism also sparked something in me.

But it was really when the fires happened in Bolivia and Brazil back in 2019—I wanted to help in any way that I could. I flew down with my dear friend Nick, who runs Oxygen Seven. We planned this trip in 24 hours. We were there for a week going to different villages that were impacted. They didn't have firefighters; it was all volunteers and people whose houses were burning down. They were putting it fires out with buckets and they didn't have proper masks or footwear. It was horrible. We donated the proper equipment and were able to raise $50,000 and distribute that to all of the villages. Anytime I see that I can make a difference, I want to be a part of it.

Looking ahead five or ten years, what do you envision for your company?
It's crazy to think about, but I want to bring the tech world and the beauty world together in some way. I want to build devices that are sustainably made. I think in the first three years, it will be just the products, building reputation, giving back, and then moving into spas with very techie feels and futuristic vibes.

What’s the biggest challenge you’ve had to overcome?
I think my biggest challenge, actually, has been myself. I felt a lot of anxiety as I started building my company. I got a lot more confident as I built my team—I have the best help in the entire world. I'm the type of person who can't overthink something. I have to just do it, and then I'm like, "Okay, I got this." But overcoming that and believing in myself a little more, for sure, was the hardest part.

Also, I'm a very private person. I don't want to put myself all out there, because once you do that, you can't go back. I don't really ever see myself being the face of this company, plastered on a billboard. I just want to make an amazing product that really works and builds confidence and builds a community that gives back. I am so grateful for everything that I've learned and I'm grateful for this adventure that I'm about to go on.

More to enjoy