Indie Beauty Profile
Ashley Prange, Au Naturale Cosmetics
Color cosmetics that are truly natural and truly effective are hard to come by. But color cosmetics are booming in the age of Instagram and the natural beauty movement shows no sign of slowing down. A few bold founders are leveraging this confluence of market trends to the maximum advantage and, in doing so, are leading the way toward what they confidently believe will be the future of cosmetics. Au Naturale is one of these brands.
Here, the beauty entrepreneur behind Au Naturale shares a profile of herself and the brand.
Name: Ashley Prange, CEO
Indie Beauty Company: Au Naturale Cosmetics
Launched: October 2011
Headquarters: Green Bay, Wisconsin
Cash flow: We’ve managed to double in size each year since our inception.
Team work: 8 full-time employees and an additional 10-15 part-time employees, depending on projects and the time of year
Distribution: Globally through our own ecommerce site AuNaturaleCosmetics.com, via Amazon, and at select retailers across the world.
Years in beauty: 6
Years at Au Naturale Cosmetics: 6 amazing years
Entrepreneurial experience: Prior to starting Au Naturale Cosmetics I worked as an analyst for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission in D.C. Au Naturale is my first company.
The business: Au Naturale Cosmetics represents both a brand and a cause. We are a full line of color cosmetics that are 100% vegan, sustainable, cruelty-free, synthetic free, and made in our own lab in Wisconsin. We are also responsible for starting the #CleanBeautyRevolution, as our objective from the beginning has been to change the cosmetic industry by offering the cleanest products on the market and by improving the legislation that regulates all cosmetic products.
The wow-factor: We are unique in that we are truly the cleanest brand on the market. We own our own lab where we are able to uphold the unrivaled ingredient standards that our line represents—and that is unheard of in the beauty industry.
The customer: Our target consumer cares about what they’re putting on their skin, so they’re passionate about having healthy products. That said, our customer is also not looking to compromise the color and performance of her makeup entirely. They demand honesty, integrity and quality all in one.
Milestone moment: In April 2017, we launched a “rebrand” that introduced a whole new look and feel for the company. With this rebrand came a new logo, website, packaging (components and external) and a few fresh product collections. Our team spent the year prior conceptualizing and executing all of this, and I truly believe it took Au Naturale to a whole new level, opening many doors I’ve always hoped we would eventually open. I couldn’t be prouder of them!
Advice for fellow indie beauty entrepreneurs: Have multiple points of difference to make an impact and connect with your consumer on a values level. Because millennials are now top in the market place, [you] need to connect with that buyer. And never give up!
Just one: Asked about her go-to product, Prange says, I absolutely could not live without my su/Stain lip stain in On Pointe. Whether I’m rocking a naked or finished face, it adds the perfect pop of subtle color to bring my look to life!