28 minutes | Oct 7, 2021

KNC Beauty’s Kristen Noel Crawley on being a founder: It's ‘not what you see on Instagram’

Kristen Noel Crawley, KNC Beauty founder, knows that it takes more than being a “lover of skincare” to become a successful beauty brand founder.The launch of the Black-owned brand in 2016 was “a natural evolution” for Crawley, who networked her way through the beauty industry, starting as a beauty columnist for Elle magazine, she said on this week's Glossy Beauty Podcast. “I started the brand because I had those dry and crusty lips. Since I launched my brand, I haven't had any problems with my chapped lips,” said Crawley, who had found a solution to her lip dilemma in the form of a lip mask in Japan. “The only thing I didn't like was that there were probably 50 ingredients in this one little sachet.”What started as a means to fill the all-natural lip mask void in America evolved into a line of products including KNC’s retinol-infused star-shaped eye mask and collagen-infused lip scrub and lip balms.Beyond trend spotting, Crawley is adept at tapping into larger social and cultural movements. She launched KNC’s School of Beauty, a mentorship program for Black female beauty founders, in 2020, and a collaboration with streetwear brand Bape in July 2021. “School of Beauty was actually a direct response to the Black Lives Matter movement,” she said. “Black women and women of color contribute so much to the success of the beauty industry and I want to see more female founders in that space.”
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