A Dash Of Divine: Ayla Beauty's Dara Kennedy
In a nutshell, Ayla Beauty brings the most effective non-toxic products from across the globe to you, while ALSO doling out expert, customized advice. It's quite a powerful and brilliant combo, actually.
So, we were sincerely super thrilled to be able to recently chat with the woman behind the rapidly rising company, Dara Kennedy.
What initially inspired you to launch Ayla beauty?
I’ve known that I wanted to start a beauty-related business since I was eight years old and tried to make and sell my first skincare product: morning dew, packaged in jam jars that I found in our kitchen. I’ve been a beauty junkie ever since.
Luckily, after I spent some time working as a retail buyer and advertising account manager, I ended up working in marketing and product development for some very successful beauty companies, where I learned a lot; researching and testing every product I came across was actually part of my job and I had the information I needed to understand which products really worked and why.
But over time, I began to think that the world didn’t desperately need that many more products; we really needed a better way to find great products that truly make a difference and are safely formulated — and a shopping experience that would actually make us feel good, too.
So, with Ayla, which means “bearer of light”, I set out to establish a beauty retailer that offers the world’s most effective non-toxic beauty products, sourced by someone who really knows what to look for (me!). And I paired that with a truly caring, knowledgeable team of Customer Guides that’s devoted to finding every customer the perfect product matches, because each customer is beautifully unique and deserves to be treated that way.
The other key piece of what we offer is expert advice from dermatologists, facialists, makeup artists, nutritionists, hairstylists and other stars who share their knowledge to empower our customers with good information!
You clearly have the magic touch when it comes to finding the best beauty buys! How did you develop your "eye" for picking out products?
That’s a good question. I tend to just stumble across a lot of the things that we sell, sometimes while traveling, and seeing new brands in context is especially helpful when I’m bringing a brand to the US for the first time.
I’ve also worked in the beauty industry for a long time—primarily in marketing and product development—so I often hear about products from my friends in that world, too. My experiences both in the industry and as a traveler have helped a lot.
Which up-and-coming products and brands are you most excited about?
• Les Fleurs de Bach elixirs are wonderfully effective, certified organic Bach Flower remedies that have been made by a great little company in France. They’re almost fanatically devoted to making the purest, most effective Bach Flower remedies possible...and we’ve heard incredible success stories from our customers.
• BioRecept is a line of products made in France by a celebrated chemist and pharmacist who has developed products for major global companies for many years. This is her passion project and our customers absolutely love these products. They’re only available at Ayla and in Paris.
• Biocyte is another French brand that specializes in supplements. They make an ingestible form of hyaluronic acid that miraculously seems to work wherever you need it. Our customers have told us that it plumps up pitted acne scars, makes lips look fuller, soothes eczema and smooths wrinkles. It’s amazing! And their newer launch, Activ’ Inpulp, is great for very dry, ruddy, aging skin.
• MyHavtorn is a tiny company in Bollebygd, Sweden, that grows their own sea buckthorn trees and then uses those sea buckthorn berries to make products fresh to order for us. They’re bright orange, which is an indicator of how powerful they are. We’ve actually collaborated with them to bring their sea buckthorn tea to the US—Happy Tea—and I couldn’t be more excited about that. Oh and there’s nothing better for rosacea than their Organic Facial Oil.
Just for fun; are there any current hair or makeup trends that you cannot stand?
The one that was starting to bug me—contouring and heavy, heavy makeup—thankfully seems to be on its way out!
Anything else you'd like to add?
I’m just happy to be doing what I’m doing. I think this is an exciting time in the beauty industry and it’s fun to be a part of it.
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