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Founder of Thrive Causemetics, Karissa Bodnar!

Do you know what’s in your beauty products? Do you know if they are sustainable, vegan, or even safe to put on your skin?! We didn’t either a while back until beauty brands like Thrive Causemetics put clean beauty on the map. Introducing the founder and CEO of Thrive Causemetics, Karissa Bodnar! One reason we were so thrilled Karissa agreed to let us interview her is because she didn’t build a beauty empire in a day. She started from the ground up (which Lindsay and frankly, lot of people can relate to).

Karissa started her career off as a makeup artist and it was then she realized there was something missing in the beauty industry. It wasn’t that there wasn’t enough beauty brands out there on the market, because there was and is but it was that she didn’t know what she was putting on her clients skin or her own for that matter but more so, how it was made, the production development process – you name it, she thought about it.

Once Karissa realized there was a gap in the market and that she wanted better beauty products not only for her clients but for herself, she knew she had to take matters into her own hands (like all entrepreneurs do!)

From starting her business in her apartment into building a clean, sustainable beauty empire with Thrive Causemetics, you can definitely learn a thing or two from her…

“I started Thrive Causemetics out of my one bedroom apartment. I created products, fulfilled orders, promoted the brand – all from that apartment. Now, we have an incredible team…”


Lindsay Albanese: What is one interesting thing that people may not know about your career?

Karissa Bodnar: I actually began my career as a makeup artist and also worked in product development prior to starting Thrive Causemetics.


Lindsay Albanese: During your professional journey, what is one mistake you made that you learned the most from?

Karissa Bodnar: In the beginning, I was, for the most part, doing it all. I started Thrive Causemetics out of my one bedroom apartment. I created products, fulfilled orders, promoted the brand – all from that apartment. Now, we have an incredible team — product developers, marketers, customer experience experts — and it’s truly incredible to see how the company has grown beyond my wildest dreams.


Lindsay Albanese: What are you most proud of at this moment?

Karissa Bodnar: I am most proud of our community at Thrive Causemetics. Our community means everything to us and we wouldn’t be here without them, and everything we do is to support them in return. Our “Bigger Than Beauty” mission enables us to donate to help communities thrive with every single Thrive Causemetics purchase. We are constantly engaging with our online and social communities, whether it’s about getting honest feedback on a new launch, asking for recommendations for inspiring women we can use as Namesakes for new products, or as simple as what kinds of products they would like to see us make, we always go to our community first. We also love including members of our communities in our social media and marketing campaigns whenever possible.


Lindsay Albanese: One thing you wish people would stop doing in business?

Karissa Bodnar: I think it’s a shame that so many brands are only focused on the money and growing as big as possible as quickly as possible. I started Thrive Causemetics with the mission and purpose of giving back and sharing the wealth; it’s never been just about Thrive Cauemetics and our income. I love that we can continue to do more as the business grows. Since 2015, we’ve donated over $125 million in funds and products to organizations in all 50 states, as well as internationally. In 2022 alone, we have given more than $25 million in products and funds. We’ve expanded our causes and given to nearly 600 organizations and counting. Our mission at Thrive Causemetics is to be Bigger Than Beauty™, and everything we do revolves around that mission.


Lindsay Albanese: Your go-to beverage after a long week (specifics please!)

Karissa Bodnar: To be honest I am not much of a drinker but I LOVE a good snack. In fact, on my Instagram I have a whole section dedicated to PSAs: Public Snack Announcements, where I share my favorite healthy snacks with my community. My favorite new discovery and indulgence is Dream Pops, 100% plant based birthday cake flavored ice cream bites covered in chocolate.

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