New Clean Beauty Brand Wild Grace Combines Ancient Ayurvedic Principles With Modern Minimalist Design
New beauty brand Wild Grace is bringing ancient Ayurvedic principles into the contemporary clean beauty age with minimalist design, and wild and organic botanicals.
Its nine-item assortment is categorized by the three doshas guiding Ayurvedic practices that are believed to define the human makeup: vata, pitta and kapha. Kapha products are formulated for oily and congested skin, pitta products for sensitive skin, and vata products for dry and mature skin. The assortment contains body oils, perfumes, serums and a facial wand priced from $48 to $55. Mini sizes priced from $10 to $13 are available as well.
Wild Grace’s handcrafted product repertoire is growing soon with a forthcoming tridoshic collection designed to suit all doshas and skin types. It will feature a facial cleansing oil made with a maceration of flowers and carrier oils; a crystal facial mist with black tourmaline, rosehip, grape seed, ginseng and green tea; and a facial elixir serum with an infusion of flowers, hyaluronic acid, CoQ10 and passionfruit oil.
Founder of Montreal-based Wild Grace, Kim Parenteau doesn’t have years of beauty industry experience on her resume. She studied painting and art history, and has pursued a career as a graphic designer, artist and illustrator for the last two decades. Wild Grace blossomed out of her interest in natural skincare, and her schooling in Ayurvedic studies at the Centre Ayurvédique Montréal and organic cosmetic science at Formula Botanica. She was initially introduced to Ayurveda through a yoga training program she completed in 2010. Parenteau has relied on Ayurvedic concepts to understand the foods right for her sensitive digestive system and predominant vata dosha.
As a beauty entrepreneur, Parenteau says it’s important to “try to be authentic in what you’re doing and have a true voice in bringing forth something that really is unique, and something you’re 200% passionate about. If you’re not that passionate about it, it’s going to be very hard.”
“Try to be authentic in what you’re doing and have a true voice in bringing forth something that really is unique, and something you’re 200% passionate about. If you’re not that passionate about it, it’s going to be very hard.”
Wild Grace launched in November of last year as a rebranding of Sequoia Beauty, which began as a perfume line under Sequoia Ayurveda, an Ayurveda consultancy established by Parenteau. In 2016, she received an inheritance following her father’s death and used the money from the inheritance to start the brand that would become Wild Grace. The brand remains self-funded.
“[I wanted] to be self-sufficient in this. It’s kind of nice, energetically-speaking, I feel like [my father is] there supporting me with my business,” says Parenteau. “It’s kind of a healing process.”
For product ideation and development, Parenteau doesn’t set a firm timeline for Wild Grace. “It’s really a mix of knowledge and intuition and experimentation. I think sometimes just the knowledge and just the science can give you a very effective product, for example, but, if it doesn’t actually smell that great, it’s not going to be a good product,” she says. “It really is something that’s variable to each product.”
Parenteau doesn’t expect Wild Grace to break into the black until its second year on the market. She’s hired her business mentor Oyeta Kokoroko of Okoko Cosmétiques to consult for Wild Grace in order to direct the brand toward profitability. Parenteau has also enlisted Lin Chen of marketing and international distribution agency Pink Moon to expand the brand in the United States and Europe. In its home country of Canada, Wild Grace has entered eight retail doors, including Oresta and Bio Terra. It’s available at e-tailers Lilly’s Bathcarry and The Green Jungle Beauty Shop, too.
“It can seem overwhelming when you see all of these brands and [ask yourself], ‘Oh my goodness, how am I going to stand out?’ But, in the end, I think it’s just about being authentic, creating something that’s unique to you and finding your tribe.”
In addition to her objective for Wild Grace to reach more stockists globally, Parenteau hopes the brand’s sales will enable her to quit her part-time gig working in graphic design. A concussion she experienced as Wild Grace got underway set her back both on the graphic design and beauty brand-building fronts, but she’s picking up steam now.
“I am progressively returning to everything, but that’s been the biggest challenge,” she says. “I can’t overdo it basically, and it’s difficult as an entrepreneur because you are thinking about your business almost 24 hours a day. So, it’s about really making careful, conscious choices of where I put my energy.”
Parenteau will certainly need a lot of energy to cut through the noise in a beauty industry that’s increasingly crowded with Ayurveda-inspired brands. She isn’t letting the competition stop Wild Grace. “It can seem overwhelming when you see all of these brands and [ask yourself], ‘Oh my goodness, how am I going to stand out?’ But, in the end, I think it’s just about being authentic, creating something that’s unique to you and finding your tribe, your niche that you’re going to connect with,” says Parenteau. “I think that connection is on many levels. It’s on the level of the product itself, it’s the intention behind the product, it’s energetic, it’s a lot of things.”