(I just bought Drunk Elephant Sunshine Serum from Sephora!) (What a wonderful golden glow!)
Nontoxic Skincare Startup Drunk Elephant Minted A $25 Million (And Growing) Fortune For Its Founder
A mother of four from Houston, Tiffany Masterson needed to make extra money during the recession. So she started selling a luxury bar of soap from Malaysia in 2009 to sell in the U.S. She soon realized the bar wasn’t good for skin. That led her onto a journey to find better ingredients than used in common beauty products. “Most of the time we have sensitized skin, not sensitive skin,” says Masterson, 48. “We’re not smarter than skin. No one says you have a sensitive liver. You either drink too much or you don’t.”
Founder and Chief Creative Officer of Drunk Elephant, Tiffany Masterson.
With research and help from a chemist, she began developing a small line of nontoxic skincare in 2012, called Drunk Elephant. (She named it that after one of her first products, a hydrating marula oil. When elephants in Africa eat the fruit from marula trees, they get drunk). Unlike some small startups, she had a leg up that first year in the form of a $300,000 investment from her brother-in-law. It two years of testing formulas before the line launched. Her brother also invested an undisclosed amount a year later and became president.
Today, the company sells 12 serums and creams, all formulated without 25 ingredients deemed hazardous, from parabens and synthetic fragrances to BPA and formaldehyde. It is one of the fastest-growing brands at Sephora.
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