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Body hydrators with a higher purpose? MUTHA founder Hope Smith has created formulas that deliver more than just moisture.


Written By JANNA JOHNSON O’TOOLE


VIOLET GREY profiles female beauty entrepreneurs who are considered industry game changers because of their individual approach to business. Each one entered the conversation in her own manner and maintained a steady, if not unparalleled, trajectory with her indomitable spirit. 

“Put your body on a pedestal and care for you,” declares Hope Smith, founder of natural skin care line Mutha. The former model turned philanthropist, entrepreneur and (fittingly) mother of two has always been unapologetic about her passion for both self-care and stretch marks.

When she became pregnant with her first son five years ago, she sought out every cream imaginable in an attempt to prevent new stretch marks from forming. Unable to find something efficacious and completely natural, she started concocting her own formulation. “My kitchen became a science lab: while getting my esthetician license, I did my 10,000 hours of research on stretch marks, raw ingredients, and formulated batch-by-batch,” she says. “After two pregnancies, I was stretch mark-free and had actually improved the texture of my existing stretch marks. That’s when I started sending my homemade cream to friends and friends of friends by request.”


Supply eventually caught up with demand. She moved to a lab where she continued to meticulously tweak the formula for two years, rejecting texture, thickness, glide, and more. “When it finally replaced every body cream and oil on my vanity, I said ‘This is it!’”

The result is a luxurious butter and dry oil, packed with quality, natural ingredients designed to care for your body in the same way as your face. “We’re on a mission to nurture you. To be your best, you have to take care of yourself first. Yet, a lot of women struggle to find the time and space to give our bodies what they deserve. That’s why Mutha is here,” she says.

And that’s not all: It also serves as a means to support women globally. “A percentage of sales are donated to the International Medical Corps to help women deliver their children safely by educating nurses and midwives in places where maternal mortality rates during childbirth are the highest,” says Smith. Just further proof self-care isn’t selfish.


First thing you do when you wake up?

I mist on Eau Florale by Sisley, a refreshing floral spray I keep by my bed.

Hours of sleep on the regular?

Six.

Time spent on beauty in the a.m.?

In a hurry? Seven minutes. For meetings? 30.

Typical skincare regimen?

Cleanser, essence, serum, SPF, eye cream, and moisturizer.

Hair situation in the a.m.?

Loose high bun.

Your signature beauty look?

Clean skin, heavy lashes. I’m more focused on healthy skin than makeup.

Favorite workout?

Lagree—a high-intensity, low-impact workout.

Go-to breakfast and a.m. beverage?

Two scrambled eggs, avocado with lemon and salt, and two gluten-free blueberry pancakes. Warm water with lemon and an iced black coffee about two hours later.

Foolproof self-care move?

Listening to audiobooks in my infrared sauna and then if my kids still haven’t found me, a bath.

Signature scent?

Maison Francis Kurkdjian Baccarat Rouge 540.

An expensive-but-worth-it product or treatment?

Biologique Recherche anything.

A cheap-but-chic product or treatment?

Ardell individual lashes from any drugstore or Amazon.

Bedside beauty essentials?

Blue light blocking glasses for nighttime screen use, water, and Mutha body butter for my feet and cuticles.

Last thing you do before bed?

Check tomorrow’s calendar, set my alarm, kiss my husband.

Beauty icons?

Sophia Loren.

Best job?

Mother to my boys, Hendrix and Legend, and playing Chief Mutha Officer at my company.

Worst job?

I don't believe there is a reason to be unhappy at work. If you don’t love what you do, change careers.

Best career advice you've ever received?

From my husband: Cherish your ability to create beauty. One day only the impressions of your creations will be left to inspire others, so make those impressions deep and long lasting.

Highest point as an entrepreneur?

Having the products I started in my kitchen be Violet Code Approved of course!

Lowest point as an entrepreneur?

Being fired from my first manufacturing lab. This journey is one of love and it took hundreds of formulations to perfect the butter, because I insisted on creating only the best. We drained a lot of their resources with hundreds of tweaks to the manufacturing process.

Scariest thing you've ever done?

Get pregnant.

Best hidden talent?

I know things will happen before or while they’re happening. They come to me in a thought form.

Backup career?

I’m a licensed esthetician, so I can always fall back on that.

THE BEST IN BEAUTY FROM THOSE WHO KNOW BEST

THANK YOU