In 1983, Karen Behnke couldn't get a business bank loan unless she was married. (She wasn't.) Today, her non-toxic skincare brand—one of the OGs of clean beauty—has a makeup partnership with Gwyneth Paltrow under its belt and is sold in stores across the country.
In 2005, the beauty innovator upended traditional cosmetic development to launch one of the original clean beauty brands. Here, she opens up about her strategic focus on quality products over profit margins, why she's never taken on an investor, and the importance of building customer loyalty during a crisis.
In the midst of strategizing how to keep their businesses profitable, female founders are embracing a more relaxed version of their typical beauty routine. Some are relishing the freedom that comes with graying roots and bare nails, while others are testing out innovative home solutions.