Celebrating Bold is a fundamental part of sisterhood, for it acknowledges women from all walks of life that are putting themselves out there, being unapologetically themselves.
It celebrates the challenges, applauds the triumphs, and holds space for the downfalls, and, when you ride these moments, or cheer on from the sidelines it sees women, all together, standing in unison encouraging the journey.
Today, we sit down with gloss etc founders Sarah Tarca and Sherine Youseff to talk about their Bold journey, from the moments they walked away from careers in major magazine publications to the importance of community and leaning into to sharing your mistakes just as much as your wins.
With many inspirational moments and bold moves made along the way, gloss etc founders Sarah and Sherine deliver passion and tenacity in spades, a read that’s guaranteed to inspire it encourages us all to step out of our comforts and make that next bold move.
If I said she sentence; she lived a bold life, what does that mean to you?
SARAH: To me, it’s about living without fear, taking chances, doing the thing (even if it’s scary as hell and there is no safety net), and allowing yourself to live your wildest dreams without waiting for the perfect time or circumstance. Spoiler alert: the perfect time doesn’t exist, so you just have to grab life’s hand and run wild with it. Things not working out (“failure”) is always worse in your head than it is in reality. I always try to remind myself of that.
SHERINE: I think boldness is having the courage to do things your way, despite what you’re seeing on social media or out in the world. It’s blocking out the noise and sticking to your values and listening to your conscience and/or your gut. That’s pretty bold.
Do you see yourself as bold people?
SARAH: Yes! Though at times I’ve given it a different name and thought I was naïve or just a bit crazy. I’ve always liked to take BIG CHANCES on things (moving cities without a job, quitting a career for permanent travel) and it’s always led me to better places.
SHERINE: The creation of gloss etc was a bold move. When we launched in 2021, no one was doing newsletters, Substack was barely a blip in Australia, and there was nothing else like it—there still isn’t. I think trying anything new is a bold move because there’s nothing to measure it against. You’re the one clearing the path and mapping the territory.
Whether or not you see yourself as bold, we certainly do. What does it take to shop up like that?
SARAH: A belief in what you’re doing, and why you’re doing it. Knowing (and trusting) that if you’re putting out something great into the world the rest will follow. Also, an elite-level business partner (oh hey, Sherine!) who complements/tolerates your special brand of crazy and helps to get things done.
SHERINE: Ha! We complement and tolerate each other! But seriously, it’s so vitally important to work with someone who “plugs the gaps” in your own skill set. I know next-to-nothing about tech stuff and social media, but it’s Sarah’s second language, while I thrive on lists and deadlines, and Sarah… does not.
Speaking of bold, what’s the boldest move you have ever made?
SARAH: Leaving my decade-long career in magazines to become a digital nomad with no fixed address for five years. Wild. And so, so rewarding. The growth, personally and professionally, during that time was unlike any other period in my life.
SHERINE: Quitting my job at marie claire. There were so many changes happening in the wider company and the publishing industry in general, and it just didn’t feel right for me anymore, so I left with no next move planned. Not having a plan was very new to me, and very scary at the time, but so fine in hindsight, as things usually are.
As thought leaders in your own right, how do create a story, one that takes people on a journey with you?
Community is everything. We want our community to be part of our story because without it, there is no gloss etc. That community feeling was non-negotiable from the beginning; we wanted to bring to life the WhatsApp groups we have with our friends, the advice we give to our sisters and our mums. It’s honest, it’s non-judgemental, and it’s for everyone. Words may be the thing that threads it all together, but connection and shared experience is what binds us. Our audience knows they can come to us for an honest opinion and advice, and that we won’t recommend anything we don’t personally love ourselves, and that means a lot to us. Also, we’re not asking anything of our readers. They subscribe because they want to be there, and they love beauty. They can read it in their own time, buy something if they want, or just learn something new.
Do you think to live boldly, you should share your mistakes, as much as your wins?
We think sharing mistakes is very humanizing. We’re constantly changing, adapting, learning. Creating something that hasn’t been done in this format before, it’s all new ground—there is no roadmap! So of course, there have been mistakes, which become learnings. Even as beauty editors, we often talk about how our opinions have changed over the years and will admit when we’re wrong. No one is immune to that, and we think there is great power in recognising your mistakes and owning it. It’s what makes us human.
Having the guts to be bold and own your own professional/ personal journeys is something we admire about our ‘bold women’ did you face any setbacks when you started out?
One of our biggest challenges was that we were navigating a new space, so our first year was really all about educating the industry on exactly what we were proposing. A lot of people couldn’t wrap their head around the fact that it was only a newsletter, without an attached website or podcast. So even though it was a familiar format—we’re all subscribed to a couple of newsletters, right? —the idea of a newsletter as a beauty content platform was new.
You both epitomise tenacity, resilience, and boldness – where do you think these attributes stem from?
Most likely the decades of media training! We grew up in an era of “earning your stripes”, but also in a world where those jobs were hard to come by, so you wanted to work hard to keep them. Magazines were very hierarchical, but the upside was you learnt a lot professionally and got to bear witness to some incredible things. It wasn’t The Devil Wears Prada, but it wasn’t not that, either. We learned to work really hard, even when the jobs were menial or dead boring (or unpaid, in some cases), we learned a lot about etiquette (we’re big believers in the power of a handwritten note), respect, and what it takes to be good at your job. But also, no one got a job in magazines if they didn’t have the guts and determination to go out and grab it. There were literally thousands of other people wanting your job, so you had to make sure you were the one the editors noticed.
Lastly, what’s next for you, and all things gloss etc?
As more newsletters launch (thanks, Substack!) and people are consuming more of this kind of content, we are seeing so much growth, and we love that for us. We’re continually pushing ourselves to do more, find better ways of doing it, and expanding/curating our content to cover more topics. We’re always inspired by our audience and responding to their needs and wants, and we hope to continue those conversations in the newsletter and on Instagram.