August 17, 2019
To confirm what many of you have suspected, I am in the process of closing my company Afterglow Cosmetics.
You have been so loyal and supported Afterglow for so many years. I am more grateful for that than you will ever know.
For some of you, Afterglow may have just been another brand in your natural makeup bag (I’m still grateful for that!). For the great majority of you, Afterglow was one of the only brands you can wear comfortably, with confidence and without irritation. I know this because of the countless testimonials and emails we received for the last 15 years.
Since our inventory has declined, I am also getting panicked emails about not being able to wear anything else… and questions about where you should go from here.
Like many entrepreneurs, I was driven to develop Afterglow in 2003 to give myself an option for cleaner, more natural makeup at a time when no options existed. I was in my mid-20s and thought I could do anything… and I did! Little did I know…
Drawing on my background in painting and a love for makeup, I initially started making the products for myself. I soon realized there were many women looking for cleaner, more natural makeup just like I was. I also realized that I couldn’t grow my company and continue to make my products myself. I wanted to share my formulas and ideas with the world and offer women everywhere the relief (and beauty) that I experienced.
I looked for a chemist to make my products for me. I called at least 30 different labs… and was met with complete rejection. They wanted to help me but didn’t want to make clean, natural formulas. Not only that, they told me it was impossible. I argued with everyone as they told me that my formulas couldn’t be done. They said it was impossible to manufacturer effective makeup and honor my “no-no” list of toxic ingredients at the same time.
I kept my vision… and then one day out of the blue a very talented chemist with a sincere love for nature called me asking if I needed help. She had never made products like the ones I was asking her to produce but was up for the challenge and open to the possibility. I am so grateful I met her. Together, with a lot of hard work, we made magic and my dream became a reality.
Afterglow was one of the original signing members of The Breast Cancer Fund’s ‘Campaign for Safe Cosmetics’ and ‘Compact for Safe Cosmetics’. For many years Afterglow sold in salons, spas, boutiques and dermatologists offices across the US and Canada. In 2008, we also launched across France in 28 Marionnaud Perfumeries. We have been featured in countless magazines in the US and internationally and many books over the years, including one called Gorgeously Green, that was recommended by Oprah… We have also been all over social media since the early days when Michelle Phan hit 1 million views as the first makeup guru on YouTube (featuring Afterglow of course).
If anything, starting an international cosmetics brand with (at times) 170+ active products taught me an incredible lesson in persistence, organization, resourcefulness, resilience and the power and privilege of having an incredible support system and team.
I started and have run Afterglow on the principle of transparency. Today as I announce the end, it will be no different.
In complete transparency, here’s what’s going on:
As a small business owner, there are so many hidden factors to keeping a business successful, innovative and growing. Even with the best team, systems and plans, there are certain factors that are out of our control… or that we don’t have the massive resources to overcome. For us, this was our manufacturing situation. Over the past 5 years, our manufacturing situation has changed drastically and no longer supports the vision (or size) of my company. I blogged about the issue a while ago here.
Since writing that blog post, I haven’t found another manufacturing partner that has the certifications, offering, resources, specific knowledge and experience to continue to manufacture my products within the parameters of what my business needs to continue in a sustainable way.
I have considered selling Afterglow and have entertained a few offers that weren’t aligned enough to move forward.
I realize for some people it’s a radical move to close a door on something I’ve had so much investment in for so long. I feel my work here is done. I am delighted that this once “wild” concept of natural cosmetics is now completely mainstream and accepted.
I’m an early disruptor and adaptor of change magic. For me, it’s time to move on to the next disruptive idea. This is just the beginning…in my own personal journey, I’ve spent the last 10 years coaching and in personal development. Now, my heart is being called in a new direction. I’m in that trust right now.
Ah, the agony and the ecstasy! It has been a delight, a challenge, a struggle, a joy, a roller-coaster, a boot-camp and a pure pleasure to be part of this journey with all of you.
I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for being an amazing part of my beautiful story.
From my heart to yours.
XO – Kristin
Founder & CEO
PS: What to expect…
Going-Out-Of-Business Sales: Our available product is *very* rapidly dwindling and will not be restocked. Everything is on sale for 50% off and will go fast. Stock up now.
Suggestions: So many of you have written saying you can only wear Afterglow and have asked for other brand and product suggestions. In the next few weeks, I will be writing a series of blog posts with my suggestions for comparable brands and products that may work for you when Afterglow is no longer available. Please follow us on Facebook and check your email for these blog post announcements!