(So) (Co) Sit Down with Bari Strohmenger

When I was working at Avon years back, there was no desk for me in the area where the rest of the PR department was so I was placed at a desk a little bit off the beaten path. Lucky for me, being off the beaten path allowed me to sit next to the amazing Bari Strohmenger. She was the best person possible to work next to - had an incredible work ethic and yet also knew when to sprinkle in laughter, fun and chatter. 

I couldn't be more proud of the fact that she has followed her dreams into the world of product development at a brand focused on providing the best products for us curly-haired girls. 


READ ON TO LEARN MORE ABOUT bari strohmenger.

How do you spend your days?

Most of my days are spent doing Product Development for DevaCurl. I’m usually testing products, discovering new and interesting ingredients and packaging, collaborating with stylists, facilitating focus groups, meeting with fragrance houses, talking to curly, super curly and wavy girls EVERYWHERE (I have been known to initiate a subway convo or two), about who they are and how they feel about themselves and their hair lives. Through observing and learning about the curly world, I work with our R&D team to develop product formulas that supports and celebrates the beauty of naturally curly and wavy hair. It’s a mouthful, and sometimes hectic, but it’s so much fun.

What are three things you are grateful for?

My health - I don’t ever take it for granted

My family - the best husband, sister and parents in the world who always have my back

My sense of humor - specifically my ability to turn anything into a funny song (it’s genetic)

Explain your lifestyle in 5 words or less.

Busy, eclectic, young at heart

If you were to attend a potluck dinner, what would you bring?

Pesto pasta with sun-dried tomatoes, pine nuts, and parmesan cheese. Can be served hot, room temp, or cold so perfect for home gatherings or picnics. A crowd pleaser since 2007.

If you could gift everyone you meet with one book, what would it be and why?

I don't really have one specific book I’d tell everyone to read, but I do think everyone should read (at least) one autobiography by someone they find interesting or admire. Whether it's Tina Fey, Questlove, or Hillary Clinton, you’ll get to know them on a deeper level by reading about how they became who they are today. It’s refreshing to know that your heroes are human too.

What is the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning?

Hit the snooze button.  

If you could change one thing in your daily routine, what would it be? What would it take for you to make that change?

It would be to take a solid break in the day.  Maybe 30 minutes to take some time for me, instead of plowing through the day and feeling tired when I get home.  It would take a lot of discipline for me to get outside, not look at emails on my phone and just disconnect for those few minutes to let my brain recharge.  I think I’m really going to have to start doing this because it sounds pretty amazing.  And 30 minutes is nothing in the course of a whole day. I will start today!

What does being healthy mean to you?

Feeling well rested and at home with myself, physically and emotionally.

Have you ever been faced with health concerns that pushed you to change your lifestyle? Explain.

No, I have not, but I have close family and friends that been faced with health concerns. Their experiences taught me to always listen to my body.  If something feels off, don’t ignore it. Record what’s wrong and feel comfortable asking questions to doctors and specialists about anything and everything – instead of googling it.  

What song can immediately change your mood in the best way possible?

Our House by Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young.  When I hear it I picture my parents as twentysomethings moving into their first apartment together and creating a home.  It just makes me feel happy and grateful for them (and their good taste in music). I know, I’m a cheeseball.

What is one piece of advice someone has given you that shifted your way of thinking?

“Always keep your wits about you” – My Grandpa Seymour

I never forget it if I’m in a new situation. Or a crowded subway.

What article of clothing/outfit do you feel most empowered wearing?

Sunglasses for sure.  There is nothing like a killer pair of shades. And if I’m wearing them, it will usually mean I’m out and about on a beautiful sunny day.  And what’s better than that?

Complete this sentence: “In order to be happy, I need to….”

Create experiences for others and experience the world for myself.

What do you have going on in your life that you’d like to share with the (So)(Co) Community?

Exciting things for DevaCurl coming in 2016!

Bari Strohmenger leads Product Development at DevaCurl, doing the dream job she’s wanted since high school, to “invent new beauty products” before she knew it was actually a career.  Prior to working at DevaCurl, Bari worked at Avon Products, Inc. for 8 years in several roles which gave her a wide range of experience and perspective within Sales, Merchandising, and Marketing for Color Cosmetics and Fragrance.  In her free time, Bari is a frequent Broadway theater-goer, traveler, Disney enthusiast, and prides herself on always knowing how to fashion the perfect bite.  

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