Beauty Store Business

DEC 2018

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beautystorebusiness.com | December 2018 53 How long did it take to develop your irst product, and what was the ormula- tion process like? When I started to ideate the brand, it all lowed out o me—the concept, the name, the look and eel, everything that I thought a sustainable beauty brand should be. I had not had any kind o creative low like that in years. I kept thinking, "I must be missing something." It was too easy. But then I learned to just trust the energy and low and let it hap- pen. Things o course evolved along the way, but it came to a place where I am happy to grow this and take it to the next level. Formulation to me is the easy part; it's what I know. I have already developed two-plus years o product ready to go. I just need the inancial means in order to launch them. Right now I'm 100-percent sel-unded and the only employee, so I have to launch one product at a time. Tell us about the Rose Quartz Crystal Gemstone Palette's recyclable packaging. One thing I thought the beauty space could do better is packaging. The EPA just stated that one third o the landill waste is rom personal care products. Hair care, skin care–these categories are easier to make recyclable because you can easily use glass or easier-to-recycle, thinner plastics. It's makeup componentry that is incredibly diicult. I did a ton o research, visited local recycling plants and spoke to experts in this space to truly understand what was possible. It was mind-blowing. I knew it was bad, but I had no idea how bad it truly was. My irst product, the Rose Quartz Crystal Gemstone Palette, is made o Forest Stewardship Council-certiied paper and printed with water-based soy ink, so the actual palette can more easily be recycled back into the system. Even the type o ink you use can render paper not recyclable. The pans are made rom recycled aluminum and can easily be popped out and recycled separately. There is no mirror or magnets, which I speak to on the inside o the palette. There is instead an elastic band to keep the palette shut, which you can cut o at the end and reuse as a hair tie. I just couldn't create another brand that ended up in an end cycle. I have two kids mysel, and given the current envi- ronmental state o our planet, I really wanted to look at every aspect o the business and make sure [my products were] 100-percent recyclable. There are brands in makeup that have some recyclable aspects o their packaging. Many oundations use glass bottles, but then the pumps themselves are a mix o all dierent materials, so it ends up in a landill. For many o the products that I have created, the ormula and shades are done, but it's the packaging that is holding the development up because there just isn't a sustainable option yet. But, I'm working on it every day. What sets Aether Beauty's ingredients apart rom conventional beauty brands? Everything I develop is vegan, cruelty-ree and clean. That means I ban over 1,300 ingredients and nothing is derived rom an animal or insect. I actually have a page on my website dedicated to ingredients and why I ban the use o certain ones. On top o that, I source sustainable ingredients– organic and air trade but also socially responsible and sustainable. For example, 25 percent o the world's production o mica is unortunately coming rom child labor mines, which a lot o people aren't aware o. So, i I cannot vet the origin o a particular mica, I will use synthetic mica instead. It's actually more expensive since it's made in a lab, but it's cleaner than natural mica and also clear, so you get crisper shades. On top o that, the or- mula is either made in the U.S. or Europe. I absolutely will not ever ormulate a product in China. Where do you see your company in 10 years? I'm currently working on making Aether Beauty a B Corp, as I truly want to be a sustainable company and brand through and through. One other aspect o the business is I donate 1 percent o sales to certain charities. Each product has a dierent charity linked to it. For example, or the Rose Quartz Palette, rose quartz is a water element, so I decide to partner with The Water Project, which provides clean water to communities in Arica. So, I would love to see the philanthropic piece grow and morph in some way. I see an entire range o color cosmetics and lots o innovation in both ormula and packaging coming to ruition. I'd really like to see the entire industry shit to where there's no such thing as "clean beauty," but rather all beauty is clean and sae or all. What products are currently in the works? I'm about to launch my second palette in mid-December, the Crystal Grid Palette. It's a palette o all metallic shades perect or New Year's Eve or night looks. For 2019, I'm working on other palette concepts as well as some innovative liquid ormulas. Tell us the meaning behind the brand's name. The word "aether" is a really old word. The Greeks considered it the air that the gods breathed, and Aristotle considered it the ith element to earth, air, ire and water. It's this medieval concept o the cosmos. What has been your biggest career high and biggest low, and what did you learn? The biggest career high or me was when I started at Sephora. I was only there seven months and I received their Employee o the Year Award or merchandis- ing. It was pretty unexpected, considering there were over 1,000 employees at the corporate oice, but it showed me that people were watching and supporting what I was doing or Sephora Collection and Collaborations. The biggest low was when I worked in the ashion industry. I worked or a very small company that used to produce the clothing in a actory in San Francisco or over 18 years. One day, the owner decided to transition everything over to China and just closed her doors upon her workers. That was a hard day. The other piece o the puzzle was, I then had to travel to China once every two months or two years to work with the new actories. And we were small potatoes, so I was going to actories in the middle o China and seeing things that I wish could be unseen as ar as saety, cleanliness and the overall way that people were orced to work and live. It was eye-opening and heartbreaking, but made me want to do better or the uture and or whatever I would decide to do later in lie. What tips can you oer other entrepreneurs in the beauty industry? Learn, learn, learn as much as you can beore you start anything! The best thing I did was work or Sephora. I learned every- thing I could rom some o the smartest women I have ever encountered. And, ail. You won't ever learn anything unless you ail and try new things. You won't innovate or create anything new unless you think out o the box. Failing orces you to think out o the box. And please do what you can in terms o sustainable packaging. The world needs you to. ■ GET CONNECTED! @aetherbeautyco aetherbeautyco.com The Rose Quartz Crystal Gemstone Palette is made with rose quartz powder, which helps reduce the appearance of fi ne lines and wrinkles while illuminating the skin.

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