Once considered a niche trend, clean beauty has steadily catapulted its way to a global billion-dollar industry. On October 13, CEW will honor eight visionary female founders who have been instrumental in the clean beauty movement through launching brands that cater to consumers’ growing demand for transparency and mindful ingredients. Read below for a sampling of their amazing accomplishments and click here to tune into the virtual event to hear directly from these trailblazing founders. The event is free to CEW members and $125 for nonmembers.
Julian Addo, Founder and CEO, Adwoa Beauty – An immigrant from Liberia, Julian launched Adwoa Beauty, a gender-neutral, clean beauty line, with $80,000 of personal funds when she couldn’t find a financial partner. Adwoa Beauty blends important elements of Julian’s identity—an African-born woman, who moved to the U.S. at two years old and was raised in a modern lifestyle. Formulas in Adwoa Beauty are non-toxic and use concentrated ingredients to deliver results to multi-cultural hair textures.
Karen Behnke, Founder, Juice Beauty – A lifelong environmentalist, Karen developed a keen interest in personal care with her first pregnancy at the age of 40. She was astounded to learn that although the skin can absorb what is placed on it, there were very few available healthy personal care products that worked. Karen subsequently bought the name “Juice Beauty” and launched the company from scratch. Juice Beauty specializes in antioxidant-rich skin care and plant-based makeup. The brand sources its key ingredients from its own sustainable farm located in the heart of Sonoma County, CA.
Melissa Butler, Founder and CEO, The Lip Bar – Without formal training or personal passion for makeup, Melissa began making products in her Brooklyn kitchen after growing frustrated at the media’s representation of beauty. She soon left her job on Wall Street to keep up with the demand. All of her products are vegan, cruelty-free and suited for every skin tone. Despite not winning financial investment from an appearance on Shark Tank, Melissa forged on, eventually garnering the attention of Target. Her brand was a centerpiece of the chain’s expansion into inclusive makeup and is currently sold in 500-plus Target doors and online. Melissa also opened a store in Detroit.
Christine Chang and Sarah Lee, Co-founders and Co-CEOs, Glow Recipe – Christine and Sarah have a combined 20-plus years of experience in global beauty, working in both Korea and the U.S. In 2014, the duo founded Glow Recipe to create a curated destination for natural, harsh-free beauty products and as a platform to introduce the latest skincare innovations from South Korea to the world. Glow Recipe Skincare was born in 2017 and has since landed distribution in Sephora throughout the U.S. and Canada. The brand recently received a minority investment from North Castle Partners to support new product innovation and hires.
April Gargiulo, Founder & CEO, Vintner’s Daughter – April translated her background from fine winemaking to sourcing and formulating skin care in 2013, ultimately creating Vintner’s Daughter. Notably, Vintner’s Daughter is a pioneer in using whole plants in its formulas—without extracts or synthetics. The brand’s two products, Active Botanical Serum and Active Treatment Essence, were developed to work together to address a multitude of skin issues with not only fewer steps but noticeable results. Vintner’s Daughter’s mindful beauty commitment stretches beyond creating products to benefit skin. Social and environmental responsibility are infused into every aspect of the business, from sourcing and packaging to distribution, voluntary certifications, and donating 2 percent of revenue to charities benefiting women, children, and the environment.
Michelle Pfeiffer, Actress and Founder of Henry Rose – Academy Award-nominated actress, producer and founder of Henry Rose, Michelle, launched Henry Rose in 2019 based on the strictest health, safety and environmental standards set forth by two industry leading non-profit organizations: the Environmental Working Group (EWG) and Cradle to Cradle (C2C) Products Innovation Institute. Henry Rose is the first fine fragrance line to receive the distinctions of EWG Verified and Cradle to Cradle Certified. Michelle then decided she needed these organizations throughout the formulation process and she found a partner that fulfilled her needs with IFF. Formulation included limiting the palette of ingredients typically used to create a scent from 3,000 to about 300. The genderless, clean line of personal care products includes fine fragrances, body creams, hand and body lotion, a body bar, hand sanitizer, candles and diffuser oils.
Sasha Plavsic, Founder & CEO, ILIA – Sasha sought out to create a brand with clean ingredients, thoughtful packaging, and pragmatic design. And in May 2011, ILIA launched in a boutique in Vancouver, Canada. Many of ILIA products, including its Super Serum Skin Tint SPF 40 ($48), have become consumer favorites, building traction for the brand. ILIA now generates more than $100 million in annual sales, according to sources. Growth has been supported through Series A funding by Silas Capital in 2018 with a $3 million raise. That was followed by Series B funding a year later by Sandbridge and Silas Capital with a raise of $10 million.