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How Karissa Bodnar built her business.

BeautyHow Karissa Bodnar built her business.

On a recent Monday, Karissa Bodnar, the founder and chief executive of Thrive, arrived at a launch party for her latest product line. Basic beer and wine are included with cheese, crudités, and basic beer. Over the next three hours, dozens of makeup artists, beauty editors and social media experts would come by. Ms. Bodnar said she didn't care if editors and influential people showed up or not. I had $25,000 to spend and I wasn't going to do a lunch at the Four Seasons or rent a house for the summer so I could take selfies.

The two events cited by Ms. Bodnar were relatively thrifty. In January of last year, 50 influencers and their plus-ones were flown to D.C. for a celebration of the introduction of a foundation made with a multi-tasking superfruit.

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