Spotlight: Beauty Brand Goes Back to Basics withSimplicity

Ethical Beauty Products withSimplicity Turns to Nationwide Operation

The beauty industry has gone through some major changes over the past several years. As a result, consumers are becoming increasingly conscious about the ingredients and methods that go into creating their favorite products. So there’s an increased demand for natural, organic, cruelty-free cosmetics and skin care items, and ethical beauty products.

This is one need that withSimplicity is well equipped to fill. Although it started as a passion project, the owner and women-led team have since turned it into a much larger operation. In addition, they’ve taken a lot of risks and made some interesting decisions along the way. Read more about the company and the initial idea behind it in this week’s Small Business Spotlight.

What the Business Does

Offers ethical beauty products.

Director of Marketing Mary McMahan told Small Business Trends, “We manufacture and sell organic, natural, non-toxic, cruelty-free skincare, cosmetics, and body care products.”

Business Niche

Crafting products in-house by an all-woman team.

McMahan says, “Our customers love the fact that they know who is making their product and exactly where it’s coming from.”

Ethical Beauty Products withSimplicity Turns to Nationwide Operation

How the Business Got Started

To provide family-safe solutions.

The company’s owner, Irina Dovganetskiy, started the company as a young mom because she wanted more products that were safe to use around her kids.

McMahan explains, “She began the business as a hobby by making a few products in her kitchen. Now it is located in a storefront and ships nationally.”

Biggest Win

Opening a storefront in 2018.

McMahan says, “At first we brought our businesses to our city’s downtown district in an airstream. Expanding to a larger space allowed us to share our production facility with our customers and our ability to stock more product.”

Biggest Risk

Taking on extra retail costs.

McMahan adds, “We did take a big risk moving into a brick & mortar store front, since it was a huge financially investment. If sales didn’t perform well, we would have lost it, and we most likely would have gone out of business. End result? We are looking now into expanding our retail location because we’ve outgrown it!”

Lesson Learned

Don’t be afraid to take risks.

McMahan says, “If we didn’t go through some hardship along the way, we wouldn’t be where we are now. We’ve learned that the benefits of taking (smart) risks outweigh the fear of failure.”

Ethical Beauty Products withSimplicity Turns to Nationwide Operation

How They’d Spend an Extra $100,000


McMahan explains, “Out of all business expenses, I feel like Marketing is one that small businesses tend to not allocate enough funds to because you don’t immediately see your ROI. However, we do put priority on Marketing at withSimplicity and would love to expand our department, especially since we’re competing in the overly-saturated beauty industry.”

Favorite Social Media Strategy

Sharing animals.

McMahan says, “Our owner, Irina, owns a large piece of property that she’s turned into a mini-homestead. So our Instagram stories feature her various animals – peacocks, guineas, cats, bunnies, etc.”

Fun Fact:

The team is multilingual.

The withSimplicity team consists of seven women. Of those women, they speak seven different languages!

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Find out more about the Small Biz Spotlight program

Images: withSimplicity; Top Image: Mary McMahan (Marketing Director), Svetlana Khilkovich (Soap Maker), Jenna Burchnall (Shipping Manager), Sarah Unger (Beauty Associate), Irina Dovganetskiy (Owner), Christy Faillace (Beauty Associate), Lindsay Minnick (Production Manager), Claire Wilkins (Beauty Associate)

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Annie Pilon Annie Pilon is a Senior Staff Writer for Small Business Trends and has been a member of the team for 12 years. Annie covers feature stories, community news and in-depth, expert-based guides. She has a bachelor’s degree from Columbia College Chicago in Journalism and Marketing Communications.