Kiran – Interview
What was your experience like working and living with Horst, from Aveda to I-N?
To be honest, working with your partner can be really exciting and also incredibly challenging. Aveda was a personification of Horst in many ways, driven by personal interest.
Living and working were the same thing, two sides of the same coin. When you own your own business, you are deeply immersed—living and breathing the business 24/7. That may sound daunting, but when your business aligns with your personal interests, it can great! We shared goals and shared a sense of purpose. For every day that was hard, there was another that was amazing—and working on something together creates a new level of connection. It was an adventure, for sure.
Since you and Nicole have taken the reins at I-N, what has changed—particularly with the brand’s re-imagining? And what elements do you envision will never change from the original vision?
Our core pillars are the same, and we’ve streamlined a broad vision into a stronger, clearer, more consistent brand. At the beginning, we were strictly committed to organic formulations, but Nicole and I have since cast a wider net to embrace modern, innovative science that supports our values while adhering to our mission of transparency. We prioritize performance as well as the customer’s sensorial experience with each product. It’s about staying true to who we are while looking to the future.
I-N has been around long before “clean beauty” became popular on the cosmetics market. How has this shift in the collective consciousness impacted how and what you do?
It’s reinforced what we do and provided a sense of “proof of concept.”Things we were doing in the past that were considered “outlier” are now mainstream. We have been committed to these ideals for such a long time, it’s great that people are coming to be on the same page. The time has finally come.
What do you think people need to know about “clean,” “green,” (etc.)beauty—and what makes I-N different?
These are all really important buzzwords and are a way of signaling intentions, but they need definition so we all understand what we are talking about. It is a pretty simple equation. People want to know that their products work and that brands are making good on our promises. Everyone wants to feel good about their choices. If you don’t define these terms, or you’re not clear about what they mean, you can easily be discredited. We clearly define what common and not-so common terms mean to us, so there is no confusion. When someone buys “green” beauty, they have invested in a belief—and if they come to find out things are not true, that is damaging to the industry. We are always mindful of being respectful of our clients. Transparency and honesty are key.
What do you love most about your role as co-owner of I-N—what aspects of the business do you most like to focus your time and energy on?
How about all of it? So many aspects of the beauty industry are really exciting. These are products that I use personally, so being engaged from start to finish and seeing beautiful results is so rewarding. Seductive ingredients that are thoughtfully curated, ethically produced—isn’t that a meaningful way to be in business and create a career? I think it’s inspiring to work with creative talents who create designs that reflect elegance, and with talented people who bring to life our vision. There is so much beauty around us and being able to see it, capture it but also preserve it is special. And honestly, what a joy to be able to work with Nicole!
SCIENCE IS VITAL TO YOUR PRODUCTS. WHAT IS THE SOURCE OF YOUR PLANT TECHNOLOGY? DO YOU HAVE IN-HOUSE SCIENTISTS WORKING WITH YOU? AND HOW DO YOU ARRIVE UPON THE BALANCE BETWEEN SCIENCE AND THE WISDOM OF THE NATURAL WORLD?
We’ve been in this business a long time and have cultivated deep relationships with experts in variety plant based disciplines including ethnobotanists, food scientists, nutritionists, and aroma therapists, as well as masters in plant-based cosmetics R&D from around the world. All are incredible resources that complement our internal staff. Together, we seek out the most advanced, effective plant-based ingredients for our products. We look to the wisdom and wildness of the natural world as inspiration and the power of 21st century technology equally in our product development process.
A major priority of I-N is to use sustainable, recyclable packaging and your dedication to many different sustainability/ethical production efforts. Can you please share some perspective on this impetus to go above and beyond with sustainability efforts? What are the challenges of making beauty products as sustainable, recyclable and environmentally friendly as possible—and why do you think more beauty brands aren’t doing the same?
The selection process when choosing packaging components is complex, we consider impact to human health, damage to ecosystems and damage to resource availability among other things. This process is complicated and the answers are not always obvious. While we have a lot of experience in this category, we knew there were experts that could help us get to the next level. We decided to lean in on the information that experts could provide us.We partnered to create a tool to help us analyze our choices and make sure they align with our pillars. The beauty industry has been getting a pass and we don’t want to passively benefit from that. If not “US” then who?
WHAT ARE THE THREE MOST IMPORTANT THINGS WE CAN DO TO TAKE CARE OF OUR BODIES AND OUR SKIN?
One of the best things you can do for your skin is to protect it every day from UV radiation with an effective sunscreen. It’s nothing new, but sun exposure prematurely ages skin breaking down collagen and can also cause skin cancer.Hands down, staying out of the sun is the greatest skin care practice.Secondly, it’s never too early to start thinking about using anti-aging products—whether it’s plant stem cells and bioactives, glycols or natural retinols. Taking a preventative approach to your skin care routine will yield better results in the long term. Don’t wait until fine lines start to appear!And lastly, whenever possible, try to keep stress at a minimum. Stress and anxiety wreak havoc on the mind and body on a cellular level, deteriorating your whole system, so relax and go easy on yourself.
We’re starting to think about I-N as a lifestyle brand. We are only beginning to spread our wings—who knows what the future holds? We’ll continue to pursue innovation, research and development to further our mission and continue to follow our mission. I-N has always been about evolution and always looking for the next best thing. We look forward to expanding our community and connecting further, to find out how to best continue on this journey together.