Meet Miss Larroudé, Feven and Helena Yohannes
|With a beauty philosophy deeply rooted in their own journey as political refugees from Eritrea, twin sisters Feven & Helena Yohannes created 2.4.1. Cosmetics as a way of enhancing a woman’s natural beauty…never concealing it. Their effortless, clean beauty essentials deliver transformative products in gorgeous, inclusive shades that instill confidence and empower women everywhere—including Oprah, who included the line in her list of Favorite Things, not once but twice.
Feven & Helena Yohannes
@thereal_feven & @thereal_helena @241cosmetics
Where do you live?
Los Angeles, CA
What are your job titles?
Co-CEOs of 2.4.1 Cosmetics
Favorite Larroude shoes for winter?
Feven: The PomPom Suede flats literally make me happy! They’re elegant and playful all at the same time. But what I love most about these flats are how comfortable they are! Because when I’m comfortable — I’m confident.
Helena: We live in LA, for us winter is anything below 65 degrees! So, the Lee Flat in Black Velvet is my favorite. It’s festive and fun! The right about comfort and I love crystal bow details.
What excites you about winter?
Feven: When November 1st hits “it’s timmmeeeee” (in my best Mariah Carey voice) to put up my Christmas tree. For me it’s therapeutic – twinkling lights remind me of how much joy there is in this world.
Helena: I think what I love most about winter is the holiday cheer and decorating my Christmas tree. I love coming up with a holiday color theme and dropping off gifts for family and friends.
Favorite restaurant/dish in your city?
Feven: I actually love to cook and host at home. But recently we celebrated a friend's birthday at Citrin Restaurant in Santa Monica and I was blown away with the culinary experience. The nonalcoholic beverages were amazing and the food delicious and beautifully plated.
IG Account(s) you follow for Inspo:
Feven: Though I am a beauty brand founder, I tend to follow more interior design IG pages – I really love interior design, so I follow pages like @brigetteromanek, @kellywearsler, @ninatakesh and recently, @sophiepatterson. Also, female-led businesses which I appreciate.
Helena: @brigetteromanek is my favorite interior design so I go to her page for inspiration. @JackieAina has a page called @lavishlyjackie that literally inspires me and makes me happy! I also get inspiration from my favorite authors @Fran_Hauser, who wrote the book, “The Myth of the Nice Girl” and @AdamGrant, who wrote “The Originals” and “Think Again.” Both ig accounts are a great source of thought provoking inspiration.
What inspires the two of you?
Feven: We were born in a refugee camp in Sudan but we are originally from Eritrea. I’ve always been inspired by my country and my family. I feel an innate responsibility to shed light on those we left behind.
Helena: My mom and dad inspire me the most. They are the most kind and hardworking people I know. I am so grateful they gave me a front row seat to their highs and lows. Being a refugee from a tiny country in East Africa called, Eritrea also inspires me to do more and give more.
How did you get your start?
Feven: Well that's an interesting question and very layered but with respect to the beauty industry – back in the day when blogging was a big deal – we launched a website called: FEVENANDHELENA.COM. It was there where we shared our love for: “food fashion, decor & more.” Essentially a lifestyle brand. As our following grew larger – the question that was most asked was: “can you give us a makeup tutorial on how you apply you eyeliner.” LIFE! Eyeliner has always been our thing – so it made sense that the most popular blog post focused on our love of makeup and beauty. A few years later: 2.4.1 Cosmetics was born.
Helena: Feven and I have always loved beauty! When we were little, we did mini makeovers for people in our neighborhood and we would even put makeup on our dolls. As we got older, we launched a blog called Feven & Helena aka The Twinship. There we shared our favorite things, beauty tips and life lessons. We noticed a lot of interest from readers asking about our eyeliner. So from there took a closer look at the beauty industry and decided we want to be the brand we didn’t see.
What does a typical day at work look like for the both of you?
Feven: Being a businesswoman is gratifying but definitely not glamorous, HA! And the truth is – we are self-funded so we wear many hats.
Helena: No day is really typical, but most days consist of emails, meetings, zoom conference calls, inventory updates and walks in between. We like to take walks during breaks to clear our mind and to discuss ideas! It helps us think too.
What are some of the biggest challenges you face in your industry?
Feven: Well, 0.3% of venture capital goes to women of color. When we initially launched we thought we had to have funding – so convincing someone that we are “worthy” was a bit draining. After hearing a few “no’s” we realized that the rejection was redirection. Though we look forward to scaling our company – we are grateful for the “no’s” because it leads to some amazing opportunities!
Helena: I think scaling is a huge obstacle we are learning more about. We are self-funded which is good, but daunting at the same time. Learning how to grow and reaching more customers is perhaps the biggest hurdle.
What is one of your biggest successes so far?
Feven: That’s a no brainer! Ms. Oprah! Making Oprah’s favorite things not once BUT twice was and is a dream come true. Outside of our mother & father – Queen Oprah has been a huge motivating factor for 2.4.1 Cosmetics. In fact our brand “voice” is inspired by her book: WHAT I KNOW FOR SURE. So many invaluable lessons that have carried us through the 2.4.1 journey. The biggest lesson: FAITH.
Helena: Being selected at Oprah Favorite Things twice is truly a blessing. Getting to meet her and see her applying our glosses on felt like a dream come true. Sometimes I watch our surprise reaction to Oprah on the tough days. A reminder of our journey and path.
Where do you see yourselves in 5 years?
Feven: I believe in the power of manifesting – words are magic. That’s why there’s a mantra behind every single product. So in 5 years: I will be a mother, we will launch 2.4.1 Cosmetics globally, we will publish a book and launch a charity focused on the importance of education in Eritrea.
Helena: I see us growing 2.4.1 Cosmetics, doing more speaking engagements, publishing books and growing a family. Grateful for each year of growth.
What’s your go-to Spotify Playlist?
Feven: I don’t have Spotify, ha! But my recent Tidal playlist is a mix: Beyonce, Masego, Burnaboy, Tems, H.E.R. SZA.
Helena: Anything with Tems, Burna Boy, Beyonce, Taylor Swift and I am really loving Jon Batiste.
What is your fashion uniform?
Feven: Our brand is: DARE TO BE CLASSIC – that also applies to my closet: black or white button down, blue skinny jeans and a chic pair of Larroudé flats ;)
Helena: We have a beauty uniform paired with our fashion uniform. These days its a jeans and a white or baby blue button down paired with my new favorite Lee flats!