Beauty Store Business

DEC 2018

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52 December 2018 | beautystorebusiness.com hen Tiila Abbitt learned that a third o landill waste comes rom personal care products, she knew she had to do something about it. Ater spending years working in product development or Sephora, Abbitt discovered the ins and outs to ormulating products and packaging out o sustainable, clean ingredi- ents and materials. The result o the ruits o her labor is Aether Beauty. Though conventional beauty brands use mirrors and magnets in their packaging, consumers don't realize that the process to mine magnets takes a huge toll on the environment. Not to mention, many bottled products are made rom a mix o plastics, metals and screws that aren't easily recyclable. Abbitt has gone to great lengths to lower her carbon ootprint. Aether Beauty delivers clean, gorgeous, high-quality mineral pigments without compro- mising Mother Earth. Plus, each eyeshadow palette comes with a tarot card or a un, ethereal twist. Tell us about your proessional background and how you entered the beauty industry? Tiila Abbitt: I came out to San Francisco about 15 years ago to get my MFA in ashion design. I worked in the ashion industry or a little over ive years prior to transitioning to beauty. I took a job at Sephora as the head o their private label brand, Sephora Collection, or all o their accessories: makeup brushes, cosmetic bags, eyelashes, lash curlers, sharpeners–every tool o the trade you could think o. Then I was thrown into ormulation and packaging development or makeup collaborations–brands that we partnered with outside o beauty to create limited-edition collections. It started with Pantone and their Color o the Year and grew rom that into me taking on the actual role as senior product development director o makeup collaborations. I ended up being at Sephora in both o these roles or a little over seven years beore I let to launch Aether Beauty. How did working at Sephora help prepare you or your current role? I like to say I received my second master's degree at Sephora. Ater being at Sephora or only two months, I was put on the Pantone development team, learning rom three o the very best senior executive people at Sephora– everything rom product conception to packaging to ormula testing and execution. We launched the collaboration in record time: six months. Ater that, I became in charge o all o our makeup collaborations and developed all dierent types o collaborations, which included Karen Walker, Alexis Bittar, Mara Homan, Moschino, Pinrose, Museum o Ice Cream and Sephora Pro. When was Aether Beauty ounded and what inspired you to start your own company? I launched Aether Beauty on the summer solstice, June 21, 2018. I started to research the natural and clean space in the color category and noticed that there weren't many choices as ar as color range, storytelling and eicacy. I'm a Sephora girl and like color! I wanted to have the same options in the clean space. I actually never thought I would launch my own brand; I kept thinking it was so obvious, the hole in the space, that others were going to quickly swoop in and do it. But then, I was in these natural brand meetings at Sephora and brands were presenting their newness and it was just so boring to me. I was telling brands how to ix their ormulas … It then just hit me in a meeting that brands aren't doing what I wanted to buy. That's when the idea sparked or me to do it mysel. Many o these clean and natural brands are created by ounders who do not come rom the beauty space. Many people tend to have a skin allergy or get pregnant, start researching about ingredients and start peeling away the onion, so to speak. They learn how dirty the industry is and set out to create their own brands, which is great, but they just don't come with tenure o experience in actual product development. We had a very strict list at Sephora o ingredients we could not ormulate with, so I became very amiliar with learning how to swap out ingredients or others and truly pushing payo and eicacy. When did your passion or clean and organic beauty start? I have always had a passion or the organic and natural space. I became a vegetarian at 14 and always lived an organic liestyle. I became head o R&D on the sustainability team at Sephora because o my personal passion or sustainability. I helped not just the private label brand but many other divisions at Sephora make more sustainable choices or the entire retailer. Tiila Abbitt Tiila Abbitt merged an eco-conscious, philanthropic mission with her love o natural ingredients to create clean beauty brand Aether Beauty. Executive Q&A Courtesy of Aether Beauty The new Crystal Grid Palette

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