Idaho’s Red Aspen looks to rip up ‘beauty playbook’ with new model

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Idaho’s collection of startups and growing businesses came together for the Idaho Tech Council’s annual Capital Connect event in Boise Wednesday.

The event led with a presentation from three growing, women-led startups which call Idaho home.

Formed in 2017 by three Boise women, Red Aspen now offers more than 150 beauty products in a social selling environment. The founders, Jesse McKinney, Genie Reese and Amanda Moore touted the company’s fast growth.

“We are on a mission with our independent brand ambassadors to stand up, stand out and stand together with passion and purpose,” McKinney told the Capital Connect Crowd.

Revenue for the company zoomed from January to April – increasing 63% according to Moore. They launched 38 new products just since the beginning of the year. The company moved from a small Boise office to a larger Meridian facility McKinney said it is already growing out of.

Red Aspen looks to change the rules

Reese talked about the traditional approach in the cosmetics industry – what she called the ‘beauty playbook.’

“The beauty industry today follows a set of rules,” she said. “The beauty playbooks says the definition of beauty comes in one shape and one size. We are ripping up the beauty playbook and giving our customers a voice through beauty.”

She said Red Aspen’s model is different. Instead of focusing on the relationship between maker and retailer, the company centers in on its bond with customers.

“We have a Facebook group with over 2500 brand ambassadors where they give us ideas and feedback daily,” Reese said. “They help not just with idea, but with colors so it’s meaningful to them. We also understand our customer. We launch innovative products that not only meet her needs, but exceed them.”

The company recently launched a line of what it calls nail dashes. Instead of spending hours in nail salons and big dollars on dips and acrylic nails, the dashes can be applied in minutes. During the presentation, Moore applied both a set of lashes and nail dashes in just about three minutes.

“There is a democratization going in in beauty right under our noses – or lashes,” Reese said to laughs from the crowd.

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