Meet the Maker: Kimberly Langston of Best Friend Beauty
Meet the Maker is a new blog series on The Dapple featuring Q&As with small businesses, creatives, and makers who are crafting unique products for dogs and dog lovers. Know someone we should include? Email us at email@example.com.
Today on Meet the Maker, we're chatting with Kimberly Langston of beauty and wellness company, Best Friend Beauty. Kimberly creates organic beauty and personal care products for dogs and their humans. We chatted Fido-friendly ingredients, entrepreneurship, and why pups and people are obsessed with her toothpaste.
What inspired you to start Best Friend Beauty?
I grew frustrated trying to find quality pet-friendly products in the market without additives or toxins that could harm me or my best friend. I did extensive research, and started creating products for myself. Eventually my friends and family wanted what I was making, and I decided that it was time for me to share my creations with everyone.
How do you decide which products to create?
I focus on beauty and wellness products that can be made without adding fillers or synthetic chemicals, and the products I can make safe for pets.
What's your favorite item you sell?
Dog Toothpaste. It smells amazing, and so many people have given feedback that it’s the only way their dogs will let them brush their teeth!
How do you develop the recipes for your products?
I do extensive research, and test them on myself. At any given time, I have a notepad full of essential oil proportions and benefits scribbled out for new product ideas. The one that was most interesting to develop was the anti-aging serum, and while it is expensive for me to create, I'm so proud of how well it works to help keep skin tight and reduce discoloration and puffiness with absolutely no harmful chemicals or additives.
What's the most challenging part of owning a small business?
Making my products accessible to everyone. I use pure essential oils, often extracting them myself, so I spend a lot of time creating each product by hand.
The cost of all those ingredients, my effort, and the finishing touches like packaging all goes into the final product cost. It's tough to balance the trade-off between handmade quality with the cost to consumer. By default, I focus on highest possible quality, and since I really want everyone to be able to experience Best Friend Beauty, I've found some products where I can keep the costs relatively low like my lip balms, and soaps, but still maintain my exceptionally high standards.
Any exciting upcoming plans for Best Friend Beauty?
We just recently launched a custom product design tool that I'm excited about, because it really puts the power in the hands of my customers, and provides a little education on each oil or ingredient’s potential benefits.
What's the most rewarding part of your work?
Receiving customer feedback. I get at least two or three e-mails a day from customers telling me that my facial masks helped resolve their acne, or my body oils or butters helped their cellulite. I channel all of that positive energy back into my products, and I love knowing that I'm making a positive impact on the world in my own small way. 🐾