Karissa Bodnar

Ali on the Run Show Episode 560: Karissa Bodnar, Founder & CEO of Thrive Causemetics

“I struggle every day. I am just committed to not letting those little moments take me out of the game.”

As the founder and CEO of Thrive Causemetics, Karissa Bodnar has been included on Forbes‘s 30 Under 30 list, was named as one of Marie Claire‘s Most Powerful Women, and she was on Inc.’s Badass Female Founders list. But what matters most to Karissa, she swears, isn’t the accolades: It’s the people. In this conversation, we get to know the woman behind one of the most game-changing brands in the beauty industry — a woman who, naturally, happens to be a runner. (We recorded this conversation just a few days before Karissa ran the Rock N Roll Seattle Half Marathon!)

Karissa talks about how running makes her a better leader and business owner. She talks about the days when she would sit at her kitchen table, mixing formulas and dreaming of working her way up the beauty brand ladder. She talks about launching Thrive Causemetics in the wake of losing her best friend to cancer. And she talks about giving back. (For every product sold, Thrive donates products and funds to organizations and causes that support and empower women.) Plus: imposter syndrome in running and in business, what keeps Karissa up at night, and what it means to be “bigger than beauty.”


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What you’ll get on this episode:

  • How Karissa was feeling the week of her half marathon (5:00)
  • Why Karissa wanted to run a half marathon this year (9:30)
  • What young Karissa was like (18:00)
  • Why Karissa names her products after women who inspire her (23:50)
  • How Karissa found her purpose (25:50)
  • How — and why — Karissa started her own company, and how it grew from mixing formulas at her kitchen table to a multimillion-dollar company (30:10)
  • What keeps Karissa up at night (40:00)
  • Karissa’s “wear sunscreen” PSA (44:15)
  • When Karissa works out, and what her half-marathon training has been like (46:30)
  • Karissa’s race-day playlist (52:00)
  • What makes it onto Karissa’s highlight reel (57:35)
  • On learning how to be a CEO (1:00:00)

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about ali

I’m the creator of the Ali on the Run blog and the host of the Ali on the Run Show podcast. I’m also a freelance writer and editor, a race announcer, a runner and marathoner, a mom, and a huge fan of Peanut M&Ms, Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again (way better than the first one!), and reliving my glory days as a competition dancer in the early 2000s. I’m really happy you’re here.
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