Starting a Natural Beauty Company - What it took.
When I unlock the door to our brick and mortar store every morning in Durham, I am reminded that I am on a mission. Back in 2010 - Ready for change I needed a way to manifest what I wanted to see take place in the beauty industry. What was already taking place in the green beauty industry was encouraging, and motivation to get going.
As I first dreamed up Be Pure Beauty in 2014 I knew that I wanted a place where I would shop and feel inspired. When I started Lovely By April as a professional makeup artist then switched to green products, I felt a lack of options in my local area as well as finding a trusted source online with several clean brands to choose from. When I shop, I want to enjoy the process as well as authenticity in the products I purchase. I was dreaming of a place that offered ingredient transparency and professional quality products. Not green washed or offering fantastical promises on erasing my aging, or just plain deceptive marketing. I also wanted a place that felt clean, beautiful, uncluttered, and light, where women could revisit their natural beauty and begin to enjoy makeup.
From a website concept we started on WIX.com in the fall of 2014 where I had built my previous makeup artist website, it has been a long journey from that to our current web-site and our brick and mortar store in Durham North Carolina.
I started with "The Google" Typed in ...natural makeup... of course lots of options pop up, so I get to go through each one and start reading ingredients as well as cross referencing through EWG. UGH! This is going to take FOREVER said my brain. On an trip to see my best friend, someone mentioned Think Dirty. Now thats a name that sticks! I researched it, downloaded it and started scanning away. So these new makeup brands were much faster to weed through now, as well as some products that needed to stay at the warehouse in my book. Then...EUREKA...the light bulb moment, how can I make shopping for natural beauty easier...put ratings next to our products to save hours of time for our serious green beauty customers. Great light bulb moment, but the reality took a hundred more emails and some capital aka "$$$" to make it happen. I have ideas for the future of our ratings on the site, but right now we must say "Thank you" to Think Dirty for being on top of things!
We switched hosting platforms in August to Weebly.com after many hours of debate and trying out WIX as an commerce platform that was crossing over well. Many conversations of "hey honey, could you install..."and late nights figuring out the web of the web, we were getting somewhere. However as the months went on, I felt like we were missing out on a huge opportunity in our area. We started short one day pop ups which we learned quickly are an enormous amount of work. After five Pop Ups hours of driving around and looking at vacant storefronts took place. 100 more emails about what we wanted to do with the space and if they would be willing to... until one said yes to our longer term pop up idea. Finally in March we launched brick and mortar for 6 months. Hours of painting over bright orange, gathering recycled fixtures, and one long day at IKEA for lighting we had done it!
We have a beautiful store, a great community of supporters, and products we love, but there is another part of this journey that must be mentioned because without it, this vision would have remained in a dream.
To rewind a little, before the hours at the mac book, phone calls, and running around, there was a foundation of deep and centered prayer, personally and as a couple. Not only my own petitions, hopes and dreams, but a community gathered with us praying over our family, our business opportunities, and that God make our path clear. Without that foundation of faith and prayer, community support from our friends, Church of the Holy Trinity Chatham where there is some deep love and light and our dear families, this dream and hard work would have been in vain.
Together we sought to fill a need in our own lives as well as others searching for clean cosmetics, and truth in beauty. We have been handed the opportunity to begin to build a blaze of positive change, and we are extremely grateful. We are humbled to share in this journey with every single customer, and every person who feels cared for when visiting our store. Part of the vision has been realized, just like the journey of faith we live out daily by choosing things that bring us light and life and fulfilling the plan God made for us. But there is still plenty of work to be done, people to reach, and sharing of the new vision for beauty, and the healthy impact it can make on our bodies and our planet.