Starting a company from scratch in a fiercely competitive industry may not seem like an expected or safe mid-career pivot, but that is exactly what Kari Gran and Lisa Strain, did.
Due to a health issue that Kari developed she began formulating products that fit her skincare needs. Lisa had the idea to turn Kari's products into a business that would meet women's needs in a clean beauty industry. Kari Gran Skincare was born! Lets get to know them a better with a few questions about their journey.
Q: What is one product in your line that you absolutely cannot live without and why?
That would have to be our Lip Whip. It has a cult-like following and is handmade and hand-poured in small batches, and contains a soothing combination of organic oils, organic beeswax and natural vitamin E. It is also handy in the purse, in the car, on the night stand and beyond. It fully passes the overnight challenge, no dry lips when you wake up.
Q: What has been the most challenging part of your journey creating this brand?
Lisa and I both have had long careers as independent contractors, so we’re used to running a business, wearing lots of hats and having to think really quickly on our feet and be master problem solvers so we were up for the challenge. Speaking from my side of the room, the actual manufacturing process has had a steeper learning curve than I expected. As we started doing more, those 5 gallon pails of organic plant oils got a little heavier! We are a bit unusual given we are the producers of our product, we don’t outsource. So, when I need more, I don’t pick up the phone and place and order-I head back to the “lab” and get moving.
Q: Any new products coming in the near future that you can share with us?
Yes! We are collaborating with Jolene Hart,whose work we have long admired, to work with Kari creating our holiday color Lip Whip. Stay tuned……
Q: What sets you apart from your competitors?
The Kari Gran line is a unique regimen designed to enhance the skin’s natural beauty and encourage a holistic path to healthy, radiant skin. It is made of all-natural plant and essential oils that gently nourish the skin. Kari Gran products are not miracle creams, snake oil, or technologically advanced serums. They are gentle, timeless and natural. They work flawlessly for any age and skin type—they are truly “the little black dress” of eco-skin care. We recently read a review that said our line was “small but mighty” a great compliment. Good skin care doesn’t have to be complicated.
Q: What is the most valuable piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
That it’s okay to say no. In late 2014, we signed a deal with a home shopping network, went through contract negotiations and, ultimately, decided that the company didn’t understand our brand philosophy and had to forgo the opportunity for a large number of sales and brand exposure. In the end, we knew it was okay to say “no” and stay true to our brand for the right opportunity.
This article is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Please consult your physician for specific medical advice regarding products available at safeandchic.com.