All lipstick, no pigs

Barbara Rinehart

Photo By Larry Dalton

Barbara Rinehart wasn’t a Southern California girl at heart. So she and her husband, both originally from the East Coast, leapt at the chance to move up from Long Beach to Sacramento eight years ago. Now the couple lives in Land Park, and her husband works for the Sacramento Kings, and she cares for their two young daughters. Last year, Rinehart began working as an independent consultant for Arbonne, a Swiss company that sells certified-vegan beauty products, which are botanically based and don’t contain animal products, chemical byproducts or mineral oil. The products are formulated without artificial dyes or chemical fragrances, and they abide by the European Union’s stringent directive regulating potential cancer-causing chemicals in consumer products.

You had a life-altering experience at an annual Arbonne convention, right?

Up until that time, I didn’t have a real need for the business financially; it was more like a hobby. I went to the convention and felt like my world was turned upside down. It gave me this entire crystallization in my head of how you need to go home and do what you can to change the world in whatever way you can. They had one speaker; he was a blind man who had hiked Mount Etna. He had this nothing-can-keep-you-down attitude. When a blind man can do these things and have such motivation and love for life, you go “Wow, I can do a lot if he can do that.” I came back with great ideas of how I could use my business in a charitable way.

Why did you start selling beauty products?

I was at a crossroads in my life, deciding whether to give up interior-design school and stay home with my kids. I knew I was never going back into the corporate work environment, and I had just spent the summer with [my youngest daughter], which was pulling my heartstrings in the other direction. Then I was given an Arbonne sample, invited to a presentation and it seemed like a perfect fit.

What were you doing before interior-design school?

I graduated from Syracuse University with a degree in accounting, so I was a certified public accountant. I worked for PricewaterhouseCoopers for 13 years. For two years, I took a leave of absence to teach seventh-grade math with the Teach for America program.

Do you enjoy your work?

The more I learn about the products and the more I become familiar with the direction of the company, their style of leadership and care for people—that environment embodies so much what I’m looking for if I’m associated with a company.

What are some charitable activities you’ve done?

I did a clothing drive for [Women Escaping a Violent Environment]. I did a donation drive for the Sacramento SPCA.

How does that work?

If someone is having an Arbonne party for me, I will do it in conjunction with charities. I print off a list of needs from the organizations’ Web sites and ask people to bring these items and then they can purchase products at a discount. I did a yard sale for St. John’s [Shelter Program for Women and Children]. People were literally bringing over couches, tables, chairs. It was like a Ross department store in my front yard, which I’m sure my neighbors loved. I used the proceeds to buy lots of shampoos, conditioners and moisturizers to donate to the shelter.

Tell me more about the cancer-patient program you’re starting.

The program will provide a seminar for cancer patients about the changes they go through during treatment—changes to their hair and skin—then a makeover presentation, and each person goes home with their own customized color palette of makeup.

Is there a history of cancer in your family? Why does this concern you?

Not in my family but my husband’s family. My mother-in-law died when my daughter was 6 weeks old. Her sister died eight months later, and another one of her sisters died this past [summer]. That’s three out of five siblings. The fourth one has breast cancer. Every single one of my husband’s siblings has had some form of cancer. My father-in-law has had lung cancer. I think there’s something in the water in Philadelphia and New Jersey. It’s crazy.

Do you worry about your daughters?

I worry to death about my kids because I look at them and see “Daddy” written all over them.

How does what you’re doing now give you satisfaction?

The satisfaction comes out of how I’m able to help others. I’m trying to take [this business] to a different level. There [are] a lot of people who just grasp onto one thing and think it’s going to be their only thing. I find that by living with an attitude of abundance, it expands your horizons.