Liv Estrella Yang is the founder and CEO of Faceted Beauty™. Liv graduated from UW-Madison in 2015 with a Sociology major and the Gender and Women’s Studies certificate. Read Liv’s reflections below on the role of gender studies in shaping her professional path.
How does GWS matter in the day-to-day of your professional life?
At Faceted Beauty™ we envision an inclusive world where people’s multifacetedness is embraced and celebrated. Beauty goes beyond a one-size-fits-all view. Beauty transcends one gender identity, one body type, one ethnicity, one age group, and one pronoun. Our custom-fit, reusable gel press-on nail art is handcrafted with those values at its core. GWS enabled me to learn different frameworks such as intersectionality that continue to challenge how I see and receive the world. In turn GWS provided me with the tools to challenge how the world sees and receives people, especially in the beauty industry.
Do you have advice for students who share your interests and want to pursue a similar career path?
First and foremost, learn to be kinder to yourself as you embark on your professional journey. When you give yourself permission to explore what business you would like to start, which company to join, or which role you would like to invest in, magical things happen. You develop more confidence, an infectious energy that only attracts more opportunities for you and your business. Be the first to say yes to yourself. Additionally, do not underestimate the power of community.
When you look back, what undergraduate experiences were most helpful?
There were so many experiences on and off campus that shaped my undergraduate experience: studying abroad, attending student-led events, signing up for extracurricular activities, joining community protests, nightlife, even joining peer study groups. There is nothing like exploring the world and creating your own world alongside literally thousands of peers. However, what was most helpful to me throughout college was carving out 1:1 time with my advisors and professors at least once during the semester. Whether it was asking a follow-up question to a problem or checking in on my progress, leveraging office hours strengthened my self-confidence simply knowing I had people invested in my success on and off campus.
What do wish you could tell your undergraduate self?
I would tell my undergraduate self to trust in her gut (or what I like to call my Divine Compass). Believe and protect your dream with everything you’ve got because it is priceless. No need to know everything or every detail of how it is going to happen. How you get there may change but keep pushing forward toward your vision. Lastly, asking for help is never a weakness but rather a sign of strength.