Interview with Chase Polan, Founder and CEO of Kypris Beauty
Chase Polan is the Founder and CEO of Kypris Beauty, a beauty brand which specializes in sustainably grown botanicals, and one which has developed a very loyal customer base during its 10 years in business.
Kyrpis is not the first company Polan founded – she ran an educational consultancy for 11 years, launching it when she was just 21 years old, but quite naturally found herself moving into the beauty world as her interests aligned. She worked in fashion as a model during her teenage years and had a passion for beauty, art and aesthetics, while she also studied organic chemistry. The combination of all this prepared her for a role in the beauty industry, as did her desire to create a brand that took sourcing standards from nature.
“Conscious entrepreneurship is the best way to solve problems – you can easily pivot and address issues very directly and you can educate people on the matter and bring them into the fold,” she explains of why she wanted to create a clean beauty brand.
Of course, there have been huge changes in the world of beauty over the past 10 years, and there have been drastic developments over the past 18 months too, which have changed the way consumers think about their beauty routines. This is something that brands have to consider if they want to truly connect with their consumers.
“There is a growing awareness of how people want to spend their time. We lost a year. Time is a currency and people are now thinking more about what they give their time too. The pandemic personally made me really think about how I want to spend my life, what feels worth it and what doesn’t feel worth it. Specifically, with beauty, I think this is moving us away from the 11 steps of Korean skincare – we are seeing people want to simplify everything, they are too lazy to deal with this extensive approach, and I completely sympathize.”
As well as this, consumers are also more aware than ever of the products they are buying into, Polan says. This is where Express Arena brands have the edge over many competitors.
“In the beauty space, consumers want to know that this product works, but they also want a promise of ethics… You have to operate by a higher standard of ethics, and this is what consumers are drawn to.”
In order to connect with customers and let them feel that they can express themselves by buying into this product, brands have had to become more socially conscious, Polan says. However, this is a difficult line to tread, and one that not every brand is doing authentically.
“How we engage in cultural and social movements has become very important,” she says. “You have to be very careful where you align, and some companies have stayed out of certain issues almost completely but have instead been virtue signalling. They may use certain tactics to suggest inclusivity in their marketing, but not have the inventory to really address that market and actually offer that to their customers.”
“Status is definitely changing and the concept of luxury is diffusing.”
However, Polan believes that when buying into luxury beauty specifically, it is also about customers looking after themselves rather than just an outward expression of values.
“There is a very real human need to feel special and to want to feel as if you matter. We also have a communication with ourselves around how we take care of ourselves. If you use a product that makes you feel great, it is a way of conveying to yourself that you matter and that you value yourself. It is a way of validating yourself.”
With Kypris, it is how all of these issues play into one another that appeals to its very loyal customer base. The different strands of the company make up the values of the consumer, who feel they can express themselves by buying into this product. Polan knows that to be true because of how the company has grown in a very organic way.
“The aspects of our brand play into each other and appeal to these consumers – from the sustainability aspect to the science to the therapeutic experience someone gets using the products. With Kypris, we very much serve a specific desire that the customer has. We have not done much marketing at all, we have instead been found by consumers who are specifically looking for what we do.”
Its success clearly lies in consumers seeing themselves in the brand values and being able to express themselves through using the products.