1. What inspired you to start Rae Cosmetics?
Necessity! Not only is Rae a beautiful line of makeup, gentle enough for even the most sensitive skin, but it is specifically designed to be perspiration resistant. Sweaty girls want to look pretty too, and I was and am a sweaty girl. Not only active in the gym and outdoors but doing it in Texas.
For me, no makeup is not really an option. I like to wear makeup and feel better when I feel I look my best but that was hard to do; I usually ended up looking like a hot mess. Plus, the active lifestyle and culture were changing. Now, going to the gym, to a yoga or pilates class is much more than just working out. Now it is a social experience. You don’t just go quickly and quietly workout alone and leave. You meet friends, then have a coffee or snack, you might even meet a future date and hit happy hour on a patio. You meet more people at the gym than at a nightclub or grocery store. So you want to look your best, everywhere you go, in any weather. Now, with Rae Cosmetics, you can.
2. What’s your favorite thing about being based in the 2nd Street District?
Well, selfishly, my favorite thing is that I live about three blocks from my studio, my office, and the Rae headquarters. So it literally is home. But the real reason is that 2nd Street businesses are like a small family, a group of great, fabulously original boutiques, salons, restaurants, hotels, and people. We all want to provide exceptional service and products, and we want every one of our neighbors to be the most successful we can be. It is our home away from home.
3. Earth Day is coming up, so we'd love to highlight the earth-friendly aspects of your company. Rae Cosmetics is a cruelty-free and environmentally friendly cosmetics company. Can you tell us more about what that means, and how that sets you apart from others in the industry?
Being a cruelty-free line is very important to me; there is no reason to do testing on animals. All safety and regulations testing can be done in some other way. We would never test any of our products on animals or use any manufacturers or suppliers who do. We believe you don’t have to be cruel to get a killer look! I have a bunny of my own and can’t even imagine anyone hurting him. Evan, my rabbit, comes to the Rae Studio with me often. You can sometimes find him hanging out in the front window of the Rae Cosmetics Studio; he likes to people watch in the 2nd Street District, just like everyone else.
My boyfriend, Thomas, and I funded the building of Songoloi Elementary School in Kenya three years ago and just returned last week from our second visit for the opening of the two primary school rooms we funded this year. We took my family, as well, this time: Rae Team Africa. We worked with the Nobelity Project, a charitable organization that builds critically needed educational infrastructure, supports literacy and scholarship, and promotes environmental conservation in East Africa, Latin America, and the US. I am very proud of our relationship with the Nobelity Project and the lessons I have learned about this big world we all share.