Alpyn Beauty founder and CEO Kendra Kolb Butler had plans to leave the beauty industry in 2015. She moved from New York City to Jackson Hole, Wyoming, following long-term stints in marketing and public relations at Dr. Dennis Gross and Clarins. But, after living in her new hometown for a week, she "missed talking to women about their skin and their problems," she said on this week's episode of the Glossy Beauty Podcast.
Kolb Butler quickly set up a beauty shop, Alpyn Beauty Bar, to cater to locals' skin-care needs, but customers kept coming in saying they needed different solutions for dryness and hyperpigementation caused by the Jackson Hole climate. "I started to notice a trend that they would come back in with the product they purchased, and they would say, 'What else do you have in the store? This isn't working,'" she said. "I didn't really know what to do. I was selling the best brands in skin care and the best cosmetic lines, and I didn't have anything else to offer. I was sitting in my backyard one summer, and I was looking at the National Forest. I'm pondering, 'I'm going to go out of business in these stores,' and as I'm thinking about this, I'm looking at the plants that are growing in the wild. They are so plump, juicy, hydrated and full of nutrients. And I'm thinking, 'What is growing here?'"
Those wildcrafted plants sparked the idea for Kolb Butler's skin-care brand Alpyn Beauty, one of the fastest-growing new beauty brands. Sales of the 2-year-old company, which is sold at Sephora, QVC and Credo, have grown 115% in the last year. And though plenty of private equity and VC firms have taken notice of the company, Kolb Butler is taking her time, in order to strive for long-term, global growth.