Many an indie beauty brand is started on the premise that nothing on the market meets the founder’s need or expectations. But as much as her personal search for safe, effective skin care is part of the Violets are Blue brand story, so too is Cynthia Besteman’s integrity. It’s a quality that permeates her company’s products from sourcing, to formulation, to packaging, and it is apparent too in the brand’s overall aesthetic and social responsibility initiative.
Here, the beauty entrepreneur shares a profile of herself and the brand.
Name: Cynthia Besteman, Founder and CEO
Indie Beauty Company: Violets Are Blue
Launched: November 2013
Headquarters: New York, NY
Cash flow: Sales have tripled each year since launch. And, each year Violets are Blue surpasses the goals I set for the company.
Team work: 2 part-time employees
Distribution: Violets Are Blue is sold globally through the company’s own ecommerce site, Violetsareblueskincare.com and at select retailers including, Anthropologie, Safe & Chic, Beauty Habit, WM Goods, DeCovo SourceOrganics in Canada, and Inuf Skin Care in Hong Kong
Entrepreneurial experience: I’ve always worked for myself, in Real Estate and as an actress on Broadway. Violets are Blue is the first company I have created and run. And it’s my first stint in the beauty and personal care industry.
The business: Violets are Blue products are small batch and carefully formulated, using the finest sourced, all natural ingredients (organic whenever possible). And they are packaged in recyclable and/or recycled material. We believe that keeping it simple is best. Less is more and that skincare should not have to be complicated to show amazing results.
We also donate skincare packages to women on their first day of chemo at Mount Sinai’s Dubin Breast Center in NYC. 10% of every purchase price go towards these donations. So when women purchase something healthy for themselves from Violets are Blue, they are helping other women as well.
The wow-factor: We not only have amazing products for all women but we have a line specifically designed for women undergoing treatment for cancer. Our BeLoved line is an option for those being treated with chemo / radiation or drugs that are affecting their skin.
The customer: All women ages 20-100+ who want to use organic / all natural products and who have great regard for our environment. These women also don’t want to spend an arm and a leg for quality products that work.
Milestone moment: Launching in Anthropologie last November was a HUGE milestone. I am an Anthro shopper and lover and when designing my company I envisioned my products on their shelves. When they reached out with interest I was walking on air for months!!
Advice for fellow indie beauty entrepreneurs: Follow your heart and stay true to your brand philosophy even when the going gets tough. There are so many ways to cut corners and people will tell you to do it for cost savings, but you need to keep the integrity intact and not go for the easy bottom line. Nothing that is worth it comes easy! Roll with the punches and remember, “one day you will laugh about it!”
Just one: Well, if I was on a desert island, I’d definitely want my deodorant!! I use my Violets are Blue All Natural / Non Aluminum Deodorant every day and LOVE the scent.