Prai Beauty Puts Money Behind Its Commitment To Animals With A Leave Program For Employees Adopting Pets
Prai Beauty founder Cathy Kangas has brought her dedication to animals in-house by offering her skincare brand’s employees the ability to take leave when they adopt a pet.
The so-called Prai for Paws pawternity program allows for a fully-paid week off to bond with a dog, cat or other animal, covers adoption fees and provides $100 toward a pet’s first wellness checkup. Prai estimates the program costs $2,000 to $4,400 per employee participating in it and, since its arrival in November, four out of the brand’s 15 employees have done so.
“We want our employees to be part of an environment that values the life of all animals. We view bringing a pet into a new home the same as a human addition to the family,” says Kangas, emphasizing, “Our employees are happier at work and appreciate the time that was given to bond with their new family member.”
Kangas, a member of the board of The Humane Society of The United States, has intertwined animal advocacy with her business for years. Prai’s Free the Shelters campaign to help homeless animals by paying for adoption fees has led to the adoption of 6,000 pets over two years. In 2018, Kangas launched the Cathy Kangas Foundation for Animals to support a variety of animal-related efforts, including equine therapy for veterans, rescue teams saving imperiled animals and the rehabilitation of chimpanzees used in experiments. Prai’s staff are rewarded with compensated hours off for volunteering at the charities backed by the foundation.
Prai’s skincare is certified cruelty-free by Leaping Bunny and PETA. A portion of the sales from its products are directed to animal rights causes. Prai has around 50 products and their average retail price is $50. Its bestseller is Ageless Throat & Decolletage Creme followed closely by 24K Gold Caviar Wrinkle Repair Serum and Platinum Firm & Lift Serum.
“Our employees are happier at work and appreciate the time that was given to bond with their new family member.”
Prai is available at HSN and Marks & Spencer, among several distribution partners in 15 countries worldwide. Kangas says the brand entered Marks & Spencer a year ago and is now the number-one skincare brand in its doors. Prai’s Ageless Throat & Decolletage Crème is the top-selling neck cream on HSN. One Ageless Throat & Decolletage Crème is sold every minute. In 2017, Kangas told New Canaan News that Prai generated $30 million in annual sales.
Kangas has five rescue dogs and, after the adoption of her fifth dog, she came up with the idea for the Prai for Paws pawternity program. She says, “I saw firsthand the amount of care they needed settling into a new home and was grateful I was able to have the opportunity to bond with them before going back to work.”
The Prai for Paws pawternity program is an example of a beauty company going beyond committing a percentage of product sales to giving back and enacting internal policy corresponding to its philosophy. In addition to the pet leave initiative, Prai has a flexible paid maternity leave program permitting parents to specify the length of leave they would like in order to be with their children on their terms.
Although it carries a price, Kangas believes it’s worthwhile for brands to consider paid employee leave for pet adoption. She says, “I think all brands—big and small—should work to enact programs that add value to their employees’ life both at work and at home, too.” And Kangas argues beauty shoppers are interested in brands that don’t only look at the bottom line. “It is a powerful message to send to consumers that their purchase goes farther than the skin care products they are using,” she says. “We know this resonates with our customers, and they feel good about their purchase.”