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|Entrepreneur Makes Beauty Mark on Cosmetics Industry|
|Published Thursday, July 13, 2017|
Cosmetics is a multi-billion dollar industry ruled by behemoth companies, but a 22-year-old NH entrepreneur believes she can carve out a niche with an organic and natural line of beauty products. For Krysta Lewis, CEO and founder of Aisling Organic Cosmetics in Manchester, her company is more than a business; it’s a way to educate women about what they apply to their face and body and how that affects their health.
After a health scare drove her to reexamine her own cosmetics, Lewis discovered the toxic ingredients contained in those products were contributing to her ailments.
Lewis had been attending college in Boston when health issues made it difficult to physically attend classes. She transferred to Southern NH University where she was able to take classes online. She suffered from chronic nausea and headaches for years, but, despite visits to several doctors, no one could find the source of her ailments. “It was horrible,” she says.
Determined to find a solution, she finally found it while working for a natural food store in Bedford. “It opened me up to a whole new world of what personal care products could do to your body,” Lewis says. After researching the toxins found in some makeup products and their health effects, Lewis began swapping out her beauty and personal hygiene products for natural products. “I noticed a change almost immediately,” she says. “I started to feel more like myself than I’d felt in awhile.”
Lewis has long been a fan of “high-performance” makeup. So, while she was willing to switch to natural products for her health, she was frustrated by what she found. “It either had great ingredients but came right off my face or worked well but was filled with toxins and chemicals,” she says.
After finishing college a year and half ahead of schedule, Lewis decided if she couldn’t find high-performance organic makeup, she would start a business creating it.
With no chemistry background, Lewis began by researching labs and manufacturers who could help her launch an organic line and, by April 2016, she found a manufacturer in Los Angeles that could meet her standards for organic ingredients. And, with that, she launched her business.
Her products include lip gloss, liquid foundation, concealer, mascara, lipstick, cheek tint, eyeliner and eye shadow. She markets her products as 100 percent natural and infused with certified organic ingredients, cruelty-free, vegan and gluten-free and without parabens, synthetic fragrances, phthalates, heavy metals, mineral oils, talc or GMOs. She recently launched her newest product, a liquid lipstick with a matte finish, which contains calendula and comfrey, herbs she says have soothing qualities.
Aisling is Gaelic for dream or vision, and Lewis says she is realizing her own. In January she was accepted into the business accelerator program at Alpha Loft in Manchester. She also recently signed on with Paul Mitchell of Northern New England in Hooksett, which was scheduled to launch her liquid lipsticks in its salons June 1.
Lewis says her business is profitable, but declined disclosing specific revenue figures. “We’re doing well for the first year. It’s exceeded my expectations,” she says. About 30 percent of sales are generated online and 20 percent from stores. The remaining 50 percent is generated from expos, fairs, farmers markets and other events. This past fall she began selling her products to 10 businesses in NH and Massachusetts, including CM Wellness Massage Center in Bedford, Natural Beauty Therapies in Plaistow, the Institute of Skin Science in Stratham and Just Naturals in Bedford.
The business is a way for her to spread her message about health and beauty products. Lewis seeks speaking engagements to educate women about toxins in cosmetics and she has plans to make educational videos for her website and social media.
“I hope to hire some instrumental people in the next year. I would love a vice president of sales to take a bit of that burden off me and to help with social media,” Lewis says, which would allow her to do more education outreach. “I have a strong passion to educate people and help them head in the best direction of health,” she says.
For more information, visit aislingorganics.com.
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