The beauty industry has a long way to go when it comes to inclusivity and sustainability, but one brand that’s been making waves from day one is ANOVÉ. Founded by Evonna Kuehner, ANOVÉ is all you need for great skin. Offering luxury skincare powered by mother nature, the brand combines Kuehner’s passion for product development and innovative ingredients in high-quality products.
Not only does ANOVÉ eliminate the use of phthalates, parabens and sulfates, but they also ensure that their products work on all skin tones, types and concerns. From cleansers and serums to oils and toners, ANOVÉ has it all.
We had the chance to speak with Kuehner about the importance of inclusivity and sustainability in the industry, along with ANOVÉ’s own dedication to producing plant-based products for all.
The Tease: How did you get started in the beauty industry and what inspired you to launch ANOVÉ?
Evonna Kuehner: While my journey to beauty is not linear, I believe it has come together as it was meant to be. My academic background was spent taking a lot of product design classes that set the foundation for my interest in product design and development. In my career, I have worked in the process improvement and program management fields. Within that industry, I have worked at a few large companies and also spent time on the consulting side of things, so I do consider myself a process expert.
ANOVÉ is the perfect pairing of my academic background, career experience and life passion. As far as how I got started in this industry — that’s pure passion. Many years back, I started with formulating one specific product for just myself and close friends and family. From there, my love of skincare rapidly developed. I started taking classes to expand my knowledge and expertise within the field. I began meeting with industry experts for their insight and advice and ultimately ended up launching ANOVÉ.
What are the biggest challenges you have experienced within the beauty industry and how have you overcome them?
EK: Being new to the beauty industry, I didn’t know what to expect. I put my focus on what I wanted to accomplish with ANOVÉ. One of the biggest challenges I have faced was standing out in a space where consumers have endless options to choose from. I hadn’t thought much about how competitive this space was prior to launching; my focus was just on developing effective product formulations. I became obsessed with making sure I nailed the formula. So much so, that I didn’t put enough budget into marketing. However, I recognized this was a problem very early on and started attending different events (conferences, expos, conventions, even the Farmer’s Market) to really grow my brand beyond the product itself. Thankfully, I learned my lesson and have funds dedicated to more efficient ways of marketing and spread the word about ANOVÉ.
As a 100% plant-based and non-toxic company, why is it so important for ANOVÉ to remain a sustainable beauty brand?
EK: It’s all about what you value. As a founder, I value not only transparency but consistency. I want ANOVÉ to stay true to everything we set out to offer when we come to market. And at the end of the day, I want to feel good about what we’re putting out into the world. That means prioritizing using plant-based ingredients and not using anything that could cause any potential harm. I would always recommend for our customers to patch-test the product on their skin, (even if it is a plant-based formula) as an individual might have a potential allergy to some of the ingredients.
ANOVÉ prides itself on putting inclusivity first. Why is it so important to you that the brand provides for underrepresented skin tones and types?
EK: Inclusivity and representation in this space is long overdue. We all have things that make us unique, and I feel that one of the best things we can do in life is honor and celebrate that uniqueness. Consumers of all skin tones and types should be able to do this with luxurious products that allow them a moment to really indulge in prioritizing their self-care.
Can you share some words of wisdom with other business owners looking to prioritize inclusivity and sustainability?
EK: My words of wisdom are mostly for business owners who have more recently decided to prioritize inclusivity and sustainability: Make sure you put in the time and thought of really assessing why these values matter to you and the ways you can truly make an impact in this industry. It’s fairly obvious when a brand has not really devoted time into their efforts or when the marketing is performative rather than authentic. Being both inclusive and sustainable needs to live at the core of your brand and extend into every element of the business.
What’s next for you and ANOVÉ?
EK: ANOVÉ will always be a luxurious, conscious beauty company. However, I want to expand this to a full-body experience. Next up will be introducing a line of body products that keep you glowing the same way our current lineup keeps your face glowing and feeling refreshed.