We are living in spectacular times with great access to technology while experiencing a huge change in consumer culture. Connecting with nature is essential for our happiness and a few champions have created brands and businesses that shortens that gap between ourselves, our health and the environment. In our efforts to expose you to a green, clean life, we welcome empowering and inspiring founders that have gone above and beyond, with passion and perseverance to create wonderful products (and services) for you while setting fine entrepreneurial examples.
Kendra Butler was a new mom, living a dream life that you saw in the movies- a high flying career at a multinational brand coupled with an exciting life in New York City. With a deep desire to get away from the stress of city life, a day came where she decided to take a hard stop and make a drastic life change for herself and family. ‘I remember the day we made the decision. I was driving, and I heard somebody on the radio say, “sometimes you have to jump off the cliff and build your wings on the way down.” I took that as a signal from the universe.’ Since then, she moved to Jackson Hole, Wyoming a place that ticked all the couple’s boxes- stunning views of iconic mountains, wild nature, free roaming wild animals and crisp fresh air to fill the lungs – the polar opposite of an urban metropolis. Despite family and friends advising against the decision, they went for it. Fueled and inspired by a complete life change and her new home, Alpyn Beauty was born- an award winning beauty brand that’s a favorite amongst celebrities and clean beauty enthusiasts.
If you’re not familiar, Alpyn Beauty is a genius plant based skincare brand that contains wild grown, simple ingredients from nature, mimicking the benefits of retinol. Fast absorbed and mattifying, their creams have shown unmatched results with all the high tech research and testing that went into creating product.
Immensely passionate, full of wisdom, grace and authenticity, we speak to Kendra about the process of moving to a completely new location and starting from scratch- both personally and professionally.
“sometimes you have to jump off the cliff and build your wings on the way down.”
What was the sudden change from city life to the vast nature like?
At first, going from NYC to Jackson Hole felt pretty crazy—we went from one extreme to the other. When we told local people where we came from, you could just see this look of complete surprise on their faces. That said, the transition was fairly seamless. We were 100 percent ready for a big change, and Jackson Hole just felt refreshing and invigorating, in spite of its lack of creature comforts—for one, there isn’t a freeway or even a two-lane highway for that matter! I guess the hardest thing to get used to was the lack of big shopping centers and food delivery services. From a professional standpoint, it’s funny because I was so ready for a break from the corporate “rat race,” but after two to three weeks I started to get antsy! I was surprised how quickly I started to miss the beauty industry, and around that time I started writing a business plan for the Alpyn Beauty stores.
How did this change benefit and empower you?
The change definitely benefitted my creative process right off the bat. I have always been a person who is intellectually stimulated by exercise and by nature. I’ll get my best ideas when hiking in the mountains or running up a trail. There’s something about the combination of getting your heart rate going and that sweet, fresh mountain air. In the mountains, there is this ethereal pink glow that lights up the sky at sunrise and sunset that’s called “alpenglow”—it’s what the skincare line was named after. I found that time of day to be incredibly inspiring, and always tried to get outside when it was happening.
I’ll get my best ideas when hiking in the mountains or running up a trail. There’s something about the combination of getting your heart rate going and that sweet, fresh mountain air.
Finding a new tribe for your family- the process of moving somewhere new and setting up shop from scratch with a baby.
I am a very social person by nature, but moving with a four-month-old was definitely challenging. I was trying to assimilate to life in a strange place while doing something new and terrifying i.e. figuring out how to keep a newborn healthy and alive! I realized quickly that I needed to find a support network.
At first, I would do crazy things such as go up to other mothers with newborns in the grocery stores and introduce myself. Then the more I started talking to others, I found out about the local “mommy and me” groups so we hopped right on the baby circuit. Birds of a feather flock together, and I quickly developed a tight, close knit group of mom friends and started hosting weekly play dates. I also began a Jackson Hole mommies Facebook group and that circle grew and grew. As we were all sitting around talking about our babies, the conversation would always segue to other interests such as beauty and skincare. I had already been mulling over an idea to open local beauty stores, but my conversations with the community just solidified my belief that it was needed!
Your view: the power of living close to ‘nature’
Living in a place like Jackson Hole is like nothing I’ve ever experienced before. You’re subjected to the most incredible experiences on a regular basis—I would be leaving the grocery store, and the Grand Tetons would come into view and my eyes would start to well up. If there happened to be a herd of buffalo crossing the street, forget it! I was at a point in my life where the nature felt nourishing, like food for my soul. Moving here healed me in so many regards, spiritually and physically. My body was stressed out and tired, and slowly after time, I could feel all of that stress and anxiety just start to dissipate. Before long, I was happier than I’d ever been and full of energy. Nature is a regulator for all of us I think, which is why people take vacations in the mountains or at the beach. I think it’s something we’re all drawn to.
Setting up shop must have been tough- how long did it take you to understand your target market and create a following?
Actually, setting up the stores was one of the more seamless challenges along this entire journey. I think the best advice I took was “just start doing it.” Essentially, if you have an idea, put pen to paper and get moving! I just focused on one thing, took one day at a time, and just slowly but surely started chipping away. I drafted a business plan, found a location, hired a designer, and by that time everything just started happening and speeding up. When it came time to curate the selection, I knew what I liked and also knew most of the brand contacts from my past life as a beauty executive, so that process felt very organic. It also gave me an opportunity to re-connect with old friends in the business and find a way to work together again, which felt like a full-circle moment!
Business Tips: Is having a network important for your business? Tips and wisdom for success.
I cannot begin to stress the importance of networking. It is EVERYTHING in the beauty business, and other professions as well I would imagine. Here are my personal five tips & tricks for success:
- Network as much as possible. Never forget a name or a face. If you meet somebody at an event, send a follow up email and cement that relationship. File them away in your mental rolodex. Chances are, you will need reach out to them one day, or you’ll cross paths again and there will be an opportunity to collaborate.
- Never burn a bridge. The beauty industry is very small. Maintain a high work ethic and uphold your personal standards of professionalism at all times.
- Be appreciative and say thank you. If somebody does something nice for you, let them know how appreciative you are. Put it on your “to-do” list to return the favor and reciprocate.
- Surround yourself with talented people. There is so much talent in this industry, it blows my mind. You need to have the ability to recognize good talent and foster and nurture those relationships as you work together to build a brand.
- Know your limitations. As much as we want to believe we can, nobody can do it all. This applies to both motherhood and entrepreneurship. Although we all believe nobody can do it like we can (and that may be true in some cases), it is imperative to learn how to “let go of the reins” and let others take the lead, even when you are nervous to relinquish control.
Daily Mantra for success?
Funny enough, my toddler’s favorite book is “the little engine that could” I think I have read that book to him 100 times. I think we could all learn something from that little blue engine. If you believe you can do it, you can. The moment self-doubt sets in, the difficult becomes the impossible. I have always done my best to push those thoughts out of my mind the moment they try to creep in, and they definitely do!
If you believe you can do it, you can. The moment self-doubt sets in, the difficult becomes the impossible.
At what point did you stop and think- ‘I finally made it’…?
I still haven’t gotten to that point, and I’m not sure I ever will! I’m constantly striving to be better, to evolve and grow, and luckily I’ve chosen an industry that is constantly challenging me to get better.
Beauty Guru Question : Your beauty routine
How long do you have? Seriously though, I think I have over 200 products in my bathroom right now. I try everything. I am always online reading reviews and researching what people are talking about. I think over the years my husband has become accustomed to that fact that one drawer in the bathroom is his, and the other dozen or so are always mine. But he doesn’t mind, because I think I’ve turned him into a product junkie too by now. It’s just seeped in via osmosis, and I’m happy to share!
In addition to using Alpyn products multiple times daily, these are my go to beauty picks: For Hair, I use Innersence Shampoo, Lips Ilia Lipstick and Mascara By Lily Lolo.
A quote close to your heart?
Ahhh, there are so many! I love a quote that I recently read on my friend’s (Lisa Marie Ringus) Instagram and it’s extremely relevant to my life right now. “You don’t build a business. You build up people and then people build the business.” It really resonated with me because in my mind, success is truly dependent on the talent of those that surround you. I think this is true in both my personal and professional life. It’s all about your support network.
Shop Alpyn Beauty
Or find out more about all of Kendra’s dreamy Alpyn products on their website.