Forbes Interview : Small Batch, Big Impact Beauty

Posted by Jeriel & Bobbie on

"How This Farm-Based Beauty Brand is Changing the Game"

Noma Nazish - July 31, 2023

In the fast-paced beauty industry, which often prioritizes profit margins over sustainability, intentional, eco-conscious brands like FableRune stand out as a breath of fresh air.

Read the Full Article Here

What inspired you to start your own beauty brand that especially caters to sensitive skin types and those with skin disorders?? Was there a specific moment or experience that motivated you to create FABLERUNE?

It wasn't my intention to start a "beauty brand"; it grew naturally from the need for safe products I could use during my pregnancy. That became the catalyst for creating an authentic line of products free of contradicting information. At the end of the day, we’re not a beauty brand. Our mentality is to be a wellness resource for our customers. When they reach out for help, we offer skincare support and guide them to other aspects of their overall health, whether that’s sharing a supplement brand we love or our favorite sunscreen.

- Jeriel (founder)

I like to consider myself a recovering skincare my twenties, I was obsessed with trying new products. I was constantly searching for the magic serum or elixir to fix the self-consciousness that came with bad skin. But in all honesty, my skin couldn't handle my habit. The more steps and products I used, the more my skin became irritated, sensitive, and reactive. It took a lot of unlearning and patience, but I finally started to listen to my body and do what worked for my skin and not focus on what was trending or the newest, hyped ingredient. I found that simplifying my routine, being intentional with the ingredients in my skincare, and adjusting my rituals to be more fluid with my body chemistry, created a balance in my skin. This balance eventually led me to a deeper sense of health and happiness. We hear so many stories about people’s struggles with skin issues; we see teenagers with acne and scarring, women who are pregnant or have a new baby and their skin is completely out of balance, and we see women who fear aging because society has taught them that it's undesirable. The incredible amount of trust that they put in us to support them through these changes is why we do what we do.

- Bobbie (co-owner)

What was the process of creating and launching your own skincare line like?

A lot of trial and error. And a lot of crying! The skincare industry has a high barrier to entry and you have to really know what you're doing. You need to know how to address a plethora of skin concerns just to carve out a space for yourself in this heavily impacted field. I knew that if we were coming from a place of service that we could make a change in the industry and set ourselves apart. When we were feeling overwhelmed, it was knowing that we could be the change that this industry needed that kept us grounded.

- Jeriel (founder)

Terrifying, exciting, humbling, gut wrenching, and so incredibly rewarding. It's such a mix of emotions to build something that you believe in, a project that consumes your every thought and all your hard work, in hopes that others will appreciate and trust you to lead them in the right direction. It felt like a giant leap of faith, for us and for our customers. We had been selling bodycare, haircare, bath products, and candles... but moving into skincare is ultra-competitive. We started with ingredients we personally used and loved, that had made noticeable changes in our skin. From there we created a really simple line of products that targeted some of the major skin concerns. A few years later, we were able to reformulate and add some incredibly potent botanicals, and that's when the skincare line really took off. We listened to our intuition, researched the history and science behind the ingredients, and put the customers’ skin health first.

- Bobbie (co-owner)

What does beauty mean to you personally, and how does your skincare line embody that definition?

I have always been attracted to people who own themselves, who lean into the weird parts of their identity and walk with authenticity. That is so beautiful to me. Our brand and our formulas come from a deep well of traditional knowledge and then we back it up with research and testing to confirm that wisdom. I always try to honor that inner voice leading me to combine certain ingredients and then ensure that it's safe and effective for our customer. We are always learning and working towards creating better, more effective products.

- Jeriel (founder) 

Life is so full of hustle, fast paced energy, and the constant pressure to compete. To me, beauty is in the slow moments that I take care of myself, whether that's a detoxifying face mask, a warm cup of rose and hibiscus tea, or even just the act of washing my face when I get home after a long day. Beauty is clean. It's natural, it's ritual and ancestral, and it's adaptable. Our skincare line takes ancient ingredients and combines them with new elements to form a balance between history and science. Bringing things back to a more earth-focused time, trusting the ingredients that have been proven over thousands of years, tapping into beauty secrets from our ancestors and the women who came before us.

- Bobbie (co-owner)

Talk us through the inspiration behind your products?

Learning to heal my own skincare issues has inspired me to share and create our products. I feel a real obligation to share holistic and healing skincare with younger generations. I struggled with cystic acne as a teenager and was told to use accutane and salicylic acid. It provided little-to-no relief and a lot of harmful side effects. Seeing natural ingredients start to heal my scars and relieve my own acne propels me forward and is the source for all of the inspiration behind our products. I really think it's time to take back ownership of the beauty narrative and create a space where we understand that our skin is ever changing and needs to be honored rather than “treated”.

- Jeriel (founder) 

Let’s talk about the star ingredient of FABLERUNE, goat milk. What makes it so effective for skincare?

I struggled for most of my life with cystic acne and highly reactive skin and found relief when I started using goats milk in my skincare routine. Goats milk is loaded with essential nutrients and vitamins like vitamin C, B1, B6, B12, and E all of which support skin health and reduce inflammation. It is also soothing, hydrating and because the pH of goat's milk is so similar to our own skin that it helps support a healthy microbiome. Once I saw the results in my own life, I wanted to share them. It's such a simple ingredient and so often overlooked, but its historical legacy and ancestral knowing, is something I find strength in. I love tapping into that in my daily skincare routine.

- Jeriel (founder) 

How do you balance the desire for natural and organic ingredients with the need for effective skincare solutions?

I don't know that we ever worry about “balancing” natural and organic ingredients.The nature-derived ingredients we source are incredibly effective and they offer your skin so much more than chemical agents. I feel like this is messaging we encounter daily. Our culture has been indoctrinated into thinking we need chemicals to be “beautiful” but oftentimes the chemicals put our skin into a spiral—disrupting our microbiome, our endocrine system, and inevitably, our self esteem.

- Jeriel (founder) 

What role do you see FABLERUNE playing in the larger conversation around sustainability and ethical sourcing in the beauty industry?

As a business, our number one concern is supporting systems that heal. Systems that protect. Regarding sourcing and packaging, we use the less is more mindset. What can we do without? There are environmental implications for everything we use. So we ask ourselves how can we use less? We use natural ingredients derived from renewable resources and use unprocessed raw ingredients that cut down on carbon emissions and are better for the environment and our bodies. We have cut out external packaging for our bottles and offer a refill station at our warehouse. We don't use any plastic in our shipping and are working on compostable refill bags that will be available in the next year.

- Jeriel (founder) 

What do you envision for the future of the beauty industry, and how does FABLERUNE contribute to that vision?

I have already witnessed so much evolution in the beauty industry since we launched our skincare line. Diversity, inclusion, and a more holistic approach to skincare–I don't see these trends slowing down. People are becoming more and more conscious of what they’re exposing their bodies to and that enlightenment is propelling the industry forward. From the conception of our skincare line we sought to include the entire body into our skincare treatments. Knowing that everything is connected, how do we support all of our bodies systems while creating an effective skincare treatment? My question is always “how do we heal?” Then we go forward from there. How do we heal our skin, how do we heal our perception of beauty and belonging? How do we create a space where people feel seen and accepted and their individual skincare needs are being met with compassion? I also see the industry moving away from “perfection” and acknowledging that it doesn't matter how much money you have, or what skincare products or regimens you use. We are flawed and rather than trying to hide those flaws we need to acknowledge they exist and that you are not alone in your blemishes or struggles, there is nothing wrong with you. 

- Jeriel (founder) 

Getting rid of the idea of buying beauty products just to "try them" and then toss them in the garbage if they don't work for you. We're creating a space for our customers to find a more individual and specialized routine to better suit their skin concerns. I'd love to see a more minimalist approach to the skincare industry as a whole. Our goal is always to improve skin health with fewer products but using maximal ingredients and potency. When you buy something from us, it's important to know that we don't have perfect skin, and that we don't expect you to either. We do want to help heal your skin and we do want to be a resource for our customers.

- Bobbie (co-owner)

What, in your opinion, is FABLERUNE’s hero product?

I'm probably a little biased, only because I know how much time and love we poured into formulating it, but our Agave & Golden Algae Vital Cream is everything. It's our hero, our gold-star, and I love her. It took us a little too long to get that one right, there were soooo many test batches and it had to be perfect. Finding the balance between a cream and a gel texture, the light notes of Neroli and Fennel essential oil, and making sure it could perform against any high-end moisturizer on the market. We're incredibly proud of that formula. 

- Bobbie (co-owner)

How do you ensure that your small-batch production process maintains the highest quality standards? What challenges have you faced in scaling your business while maintaining this level of quality?

When we source ingredients, we only stock an amount that can be used in production within a short window since natural ingredients can have a very short shelf life. It's important that our customers are getting the freshest batch possible. We source small, we produce small, and we're constantly finding new resources for high quality ingredients. Everything at FABLERUNE is made in-house from start to finish, which is really rare these days. It's definitely not the "easy" way but it's the right way for us to maintain our standards and quality.

- Bobbie (co-owner)

How do you prioritize sustainability and ethical practices in your brand?

Sustainability is always on my mind, in every aspect of our business. Creating sustainable processes can be challenging in an industry that is the source of so much waste. We approach sustainability in phases. Firstly, we chose glass containers while offering refillable and bulk size amenities for our hotel clients and a refill station here at our warehouse. Next we removed all plastic from our shipping materials and we never include additional exterior packaging like product boxes. Lastly, we're looking into compostable refill pouches within the next year.

The beauty and skincare industry is guilty of generating a massive amount of waste due to returned goods. Even gently used or opened items are not legally allowed to be resold, which means it goes directly into the landfill. Globally, it's estimated that 20-40% of all cosmetic containers are thrown away due to returns. Not to mention, the return shipping and unnecessary carbon emissions. To offset the excessive waste in our industry, we've made the conscious (and controversial) decision that returns are unavailable. In the very rare case that a customer is unhappy with their product, we offer them credit and encourage them to gift their unwanted items to a friend or family member who may enjoy it.

- Bobbie (co-owner)

Did the brand go through a fundraise at any point in time?

I'm really proud to say that we are 100% bootstrapped and self-funded. No judgment towards anyone that has investors, but as a family-run business... that was just never a goal of ours to take on debts and additional opinions. We've taken an attainable approach to growth and let it happen naturally through word-of-mouth. Every dollar we make goes back into making our business and products better for our employees and customers. We're able to donate a substantial amount each year with our Buy.Give.Share program and we stay involved in our local community.

Our Buy.Give.Share. program gives us an opportunity to help others, and provide even a small moment of calm and self love. For every bar of soap purchased, a bar or other product is donated to a women's shelter, crisis center, or environmental cause across the country. The simple act of cleansing your body or hands can have a monumental impact on your mental health during times of uncertainty or traumatic experience. 

- Bobbie (co-owner)

Plans to breakthrough more doors or any other retailers on the horizon?

Our goal right now is to align ourselves with companies who share similar ethics and values. Brands like Credo Beauty, The Detox Market, GOOP, and CAP Beauty...working with them would be a dream.

- Bobbie (co-owner)

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