Meet Hanieh Sigari of Qyral
I always knew I was different from my peers. I immigrated to Verona, NJ, at six years old, and the first friends I made were the senior citizens in my apartment complex. Unlike kids my age, they didn’t care if I had a funny accent or what clothes I wore, and they helped me acclimate to American culture — although Mom had a bit of a shock when she realized the people I invited to my seventh birthday party were old enough to be her parents!
When I was 10, my best friend Madeline died at the age of 86. Then Richard passed away a few months later, followed by Albert, and Milly. It was crushing for a fifth grader to process so much loss, and it galvanized me to find a solution to the problem of aging, so I could keep my remaining friends around for as long as possible.
I understand now how complex that question really is, but the desire has never left me to make growing old easier so we can all live longer, healthier, more meaningful lives.
My efforts started small — I got a job at a nursing home in my sophomore year of high school, and kept it until I left for college. I loved working with the residents, especially the ones in the final stages of dementia. They lived in the moment and might not remember who you were, but they never forgot how you made them feel. I even met my future husband while working there. No, he wasn’t a resident, just a young engineer who believed in my dreams.
At college I pursued my interests by studying Biochemistry and Gerontology, while he studied Business. Between us, we developed the knowledge and skills to take our ambitions to the next level. I founded a home healthcare business that enabled dementia and Alzheimer’s patients to retain their independence, while he entered e-commerce logistics. Both companies thrived — mine enjoyed 600 percent YoY growth and employed hundreds of staff, while his grew to a $20M brand with four international locations.
We had the success we’d always dreamed of, but I wasn’t making the impact I’d envisioned and I started to burn out. My work was important, but by the time I met my patients, their health was already irreversibly declining, and the razor-thin margins insurance allowed meant I couldn’t offer my staff the opportunities they deserved to advance their careers. As time went on, the search for a new way of giving back began to consume me.
I decided to sell the healthcare business in order to focus on my original passions. That’s how Qyral was conceived. It’s the culmination of my life journey and experiences, giving me the opportunity to explore the science behind aging, help others to learn about the biological processes we all go through, and empower others through entrepreneurship. And heck, if the byproduct is healthier, more youthful skin — even better!
While running the previous two businesses, I found it increasingly hard to meet all the demands that were piling up. Depression and anxiety started to affect my relationships with friends and family, and even though I was surrounded by people, I always felt isolated and alone. I knew I needed professional help, and to get back to doing things that brought me purpose and joy. It was clear neither business fulfilled that need, so I sold one, exited the other, and permanently relocated to California on my own.
Shortly after starting my new venture, I discovered I was pregnant. Since my family all reside on the east coast, balancing being a mom alone and starting a new business has been extremely difficult. I wanted to take my time to create a super impactful business, and also made the decision not to raise outside capital. Self-funding, being in stealth mode for 2-3 years, all while raising a child in one of the most expensive cities in the country hasn’t been easy but I have so much conviction in my work that it keeps me going.
I started Qyral because I felt like the beauty industry made claims that gave people unreasonable expectations and only led to disappointment. There’s no such thing as a serum that can “reverse aging overnight” (much as we all might wish there was!). I wanted to create products that were truly effective, which meant they had to be personalized for the individual. We also had to get at the root of aging, which starts at a cellular level with the nutrients we need to nourish our skin. That’s why our proprietary algorithm matches individuals with personalized, clinically formulated, topical products and ingestible supplements that adjust to their lifestyles.
I coupled that goal with my desire to educate others on how to live a healthy balanced lifestyle, and focus on empowerment through entrepreneurship. Qyral is now the first ever personalized social selling brand. Consultants will be given all of the backend support and tools they need, in addition to being taught the skills necessary to create their own income. It’s like owning your own business without the supply chain headaches! My plan is to grow Qyral to be a brand that positively impacts countless lives, whether it’s through our products, education, empowerment, or research, we’re here to disrupt the industry by enabling our users to start a radically new relationship with their skincare products. I’m confident we’ll get there!
Success to me is impact. The number of lives you are able to change for the better. Take my mother, who as a young social worker ran shelters overflowing with women whose lives had been devastated by war. Many struggled to find work, leaving them trapped with no way to support themselves or their children. Mom realized that if she taught the women a skill such as sewing, they could work together and create products that they would sell and make money. Although she didn’t know anything about running a business herself, she trained the women, set up assembly lines, and secured contracts that provided a valuable lifeline toward financial freedom and independence. The impactful work she did for around 300 women, I hope to multiply by thousands.
I also want to have an impact in the field of aging. Educating is one way, research is another, and funding or supporting the research is important.