A few weeks ago, Organic Authority published an article, What Real Natural Beauty Brands Want You to Know About Big Beauty. It was a very well-written piece by Liz Thompson, with quotes from some of my dear friends and brand founders in natural beauty. As I read through the article, it caused me to reflect on what Natural Beauty really is, and why we started in the first place. I wanted to spend a few minutes adding my thoughts because I think this is an important conversation to have as the natural beauty industry continues to grow and evolve.
Zoe Organics products became available in May of 2010. I was making products and running the business from my kitchen. I was a young mom with a toddler, preschooler and was pregnant with my third. I believed that natural and organic products could be so much more than what was currently on the market. During the first few years in business, I connected with some of the brand founders that today have thriving businesses. They also started in their kitchens or studios, researching and sourcing the best natural and organic ingredients they could find, making them with utmost care in small batches.
We had a common goal, to educate consumers on the benefits of natural and organic ingredients and provide something different than the conventional products that dominated the market. When we began, green beauty was still very young and good products were hard to find. You could take our products at face value, and when you called the number on the website, you could speak with the brand founder, who was also the formulator (and likely every other role within the company)!
In 2013, our friends La Bella Figura started A Night For Green Beauty, which would, for the subsequent three years, be the leading, highly anticipated green beauty event, bringing together the best premium natural indie brands into an intimate setting. It wasn’t a “show”, but a premiere social gathering, complete with flower crowns, champagne and tables covered with the most beautiful natural and organic products.
We, collectively, evangelized and promoted each other’s brands. We recognized that together we were a force that could bring about change. And indeed it did. Our efforts began to pay off and gain momentum as consumers eagerly made the switch to natural – now that products that were safe, beautiful and performed well were available. And sales picked up.
Fast forward seven years, and the opportunities have multiplied. The challenges have as well. We all agree that without the growth and consumer demand for natural products, we wouldn’t have the opportunities we do today. But we also feel the pressure from brands who have jumped on the bandwagon when it became trendy to do so. Brands that have big budgets and celebrity followings, and are far more motivated by the bottom line than their environmental or social impact.
But despite all the noise that has entered this evolving industry, I believe what set us apart then is what continues to set us apart today: our steadfastness to what we believe in, and the reasons why we started in the first place. As I read all of the quotes from the brand founders in this article, I was encouraged and re-energized. As long as there are brands fierce with purpose and commitment to quality and authenticity, there will be Real Natural Beauty.