They’re getting schooled on startups. After killing it in their respective fields—Joan as a CEO and education expert, Chriselle as an influencer and creative director with brands like Dior and Louis Vuitton as fans—the California natives came together to create Bümobrain. A virtual school powered by education experts and parents, the startup is especially geared to help students thrive in a study-from-home setting… which is basically every student right now.

We asked Joan and Chriselle how they’re juggling their different leadership styles, experiences, and ideas to turn their friendship into a force for commercial success.

Bümo courses are technically for kids, but what’s one thing you’ve learned from this startup?
JOAN: I have learned a LOT. Coming from a boutique education company, I had to let go of a lot of mantras and philosophies that defined me… I had to understand how to be adaptable and agile with not only a small team, but a team that literally could not be in the same space! It taught me to be creative and resilient in ways unimaginable.
CHRISELLE: I’ve been in fashion pretty much my whole life, so jumping into a whole new industry, there were a lot of learnings for me. But the [big] thing I’ve learned within these past few years is that you have to be flexible, agile, and willing to pivot. We launched Bümo Virtual School (BVS) in adaptation due to the pandemic. Before then, we did not have any plans on launching a virtual school at all!

What’s your favorite morning brain food? (Yes, coffee counts.)
JOAN: I do drink coffee! In the morning, my breakfasts range from a toasted muffin to even leftover Thai food from the night before. My kids love berries: blackberries, raspberries (raspberry fingers is inevitable), and strawberries.
CHRISELLE: I drink hot lemon water on an empty stomach right when I wake up. It flushes out all the toxins and gets me going for the day. I usually will have my first bite of food at around 10 AM, and it’s usually an avocado toast or a bowl with Greek yogurt, berries, granola, and almond butter.

How do you optimize the beginning of your day to set you up for more success?
JOAN: Organizing my inbox! I get through what I call my “R.O.” (Read Only) emails to clear my inbox, and then snooze emails that are important to times that I can actually respond in a meaningful way.
CHRISELLE: I usually set up all of my calls and meetings first. My creative juices don’t really flow until midday to evening, so I like to stick to more business-focused tasks in the A.M. so I can maximize my creative time during the afternoons.

Can you please tell us your normal skincare routine?
CHRISELLE: I usually use a cold face roller that I’ve put in my fridge to depuff and wake up my skin. Then I’ll go into my serum (my go to is Clé de Peau) and then layer it with a vitamin C serum, moisturizer, and sunscreen! I’m a skincare junkie!
JOAN: I’m the complete antithesis of Chriselle, the skincare maven. I literally—funny enough—don’t have a routine… I’m one of “those” people! I don’t wear much makeup, I wash my face with water, I forget to take off my makeup when going to bed if I do wear makeup… I’ve been using Oil of Olay since I was in middle school and that’s it.

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