Kendra Kolb Butler, a veteran beauty exec, founded Alpyn Beauty after she left New York City for the (literally) greener pastures of Jackson Hole, Wyoming; the clean skincare brand uses the area’s wildflowers and plants as key ingredients in its effective, wildcrafted formulas. What drove you to start your own brand?I’ve always worked for entrepreneurs, but I’d never been one. I opened two beauty stores in Jackson Hole because I’m a beauty junkie, and I didn’t have any place to get my fix in my new town. But working in them, I quickly became aware of the impact that the harsh mountain environment had on my clients’ (and my own) skin. These active, outdoorsy women were spending tons of money on pricey moisturizers and still couldn’t find anything that really delivered.
I live in a natural wonderland that is wildly abundant in flowers and plant life, so much so that I still have to pinch myself every time I look out the window. It’s so breathtaking that it almost looks fake. So I realized: Those plants were thriving! They’d figured out a way to adapt to the elements, and I needed to follow their lead. A local farmer showed me how to wildcraft sustainably, to really harness that power of nature. And when I saw the results of putting those plants in skincare, I was almost forced to launch! It was too good not to share.
“I live in a natural wonderland that is wildly abundant in flowers and plant life, so much so that I still pinch myself every time I look out the window. One day I realized: Those plants were thriving! They’d figured out a way to adapt to the elements, and I needed to follow their lead.”
What’s your favorite product in the line?I love all my babies the same, but the Bearberry & Vitamin C Glow Serum has a special place in my heart. It really works, plus it’s pink and sparkly! I can see it on the skin of my clients when I run into them at a yoga class or in the grocery store. I know exactly who’s wearing it—their skin has this ethereal glow. I got the idea for it when I was looking at the glistening sunlit ice crystals on the surface of the snow. It made everything look so smooth and even. I wanted to bottle that phenomenon, and I think we got pretty close!
What are your morning and evening routines?The first thing I do when I wake up is kiss my children (who almost always end up in my bed somehow). The very last thing I do before going to sleep is an eight-product nighttime skincare regimen, of course.What would people be surprised to learn about you?I have this weird and strange ability to remember lyrics from ’90s rap songs. My husband is always shocked that I can remember a song’s words from beginning to end (even one from 20 years ago), yet I forget the details of our conversations all the time.What advice would you give to someone thinking about starting their own business?Never give up if you believe in what you are doing. Let the no’s give you grit and build you up, not knock you down. And don’t listen to what other people are telling you to do. Follow your heart and your gut.
There are so many conflicting ideas about what constitutes “clean beauty” these days. How do you define it?To me, it means sourcing ingredients that I know and understand the origins of, and being transparent with the customer in regard to what they are and do for skin.What made you decide to launch a line that specifically fell under the Conscious Beauty umbrella?It was a non-negotiable for me. I have always been conscious (no pun intended) about what I was putting on my face. Then there was also the fact that I was pregnant and breastfeeding during the initial formulation process for the line, so I wasn’t even allowed to use ingredients like retinol. I had to find powerful alternatives quickly!What do you say to people who are clean-curious, but worried about tradeoffs they’ll have to make when they switch from conventional products?You might be very surprised at the results. I know I was!