When Lesley Thornton set out to found Klur, she wanted to create something that she had never seen before. The standards that she expected just didn’t exist in other businesses. Fed up with not feeling represented in her industry, she created a passion-driven skincare line with a purpose. Lesley’s goal with Klur is to carve a space for people of color in the clean beauty industry and show that the community has value.

Question Highlights:

  • What drove you to start Klur?
  • What’s the meaning behind the name?
  • What have you learned from bootstrapping without startup support?
  • What products were you focused on in the beginning?
  • How do your customers find what’s right for them?
  • What’s your go-to skincare routine?
  • What are some time-saving hacks that make you feel more productive?
  • How does your team collaboration work?
  • What’s on the horizon for you?

“Don’t waste time. It’s the only thing you cannot get back.”

-Lesley Thornton


  • Starting with a vision
  • Bootstrapping a business
  • Building a network early
  • Making face-to-face connections
  • The power of saying “no”
  • Delegating your weaknesses


Helaine Knapp

Founder & CEO of CityRow Go. After spending years climbing the corporate ladder, Helaine Knapp left the world of publishing for tech start-up life. Group fitness was her outlet while working hard and taking on the hustle and bustle of New York City. However, months of spin and boot camp classes left her with a lower back injury, and she began searching for a workout that was low impact, but super effective. After a friend suggested rowing, Helaine initially rejected it as something “my dad did in college,” but following a few workouts on a sexy machine, and pairing it with total body sculpting moves, her mind was changed and the concept for CITYROW was born. With a mission of delivering a smart, fun, effective workout to all fitness levels, under Knapp’s leadership, CityRow has grown from one studio in New York City to a national, omnichannel fitness brand with 12 open studios and 65 franchises sold nationwide along with a top-ranked, on-demand, global program featuring at-home rowers and a fast-growing digital subscription business. Knapp has yet to row on the water and has been featured as a business leader and a wellness expert on TODAY, Women’s Health, ABC, Harper’s Bazaar, Shape, Well + Good, Vogue, Yahoo! Finance, and PEOPLE, among many others.


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