With historians tracing makeup and cosmetics back to 4,000 BC and the ancient Egyptians, no one could imagine that in 2021 the industry would be worth billions of dollars. According to Statista, in 2020 the beauty industry was worth $49.2 billion, and while its popularity grew, the reality is that the evolving concept of beauty was not always so inclusive. One brand, We Are Fluide, was created on the basis of supporting the young voices that are defying cultural expectations and gender norms. As Co-Founder Laura Kraber shares, “the genesis of the brand and the company is my personal admiration for the people who are putting their lives on the line to create this societal shift and create a more inclusive world.”
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In 2018, We Are Fluide entered a very competitive space because, as Laura explains, it was about time people of all gender expressions and identities could be part of fashion and beauty campaigns. “For so long, makeup has been perceived as an instrument of an outdated and patriarchal beauty ideal,” Laura explains, adding that this idea of women wearing makeup to improve themselves set a traditionally white, cis female beauty standard. What Laura is creating through We Are Fluide is “the potential for makeup to be empowering for all people, rather than a representation of all the ways you don’t measure up.”
Laura walks us through what it means to have a business in this new normal and empowering the LGBTQIA community as we celebrate PRIDE.
How does We are Fluide impact the LGBTQIA community?
We have donated to a number of LGBTQ+ advocacy and nonprofit organizations since the company’s inception, and giving back is central to our brand mission. Recently, we have been donating a portion of sales from specific campaigns, which allows us to support a variety of initiatives and organizations. Recent donation partners include the Marsha P. Johnson Foundation, For the Gworls, the Black Excellence Collective, and the Black Trans Travel Fund. We have also been proud to support various LGBTQ+ campus organizations around the country through product donations and sponsorship since we launched in 2018.
On your website, you include your team’s pronouns, something we don’t see as often from other brands. Why is that important to you and the brand?
Including pronouns in bios and email signatures helps to avoid misgendering and also tells everyone that you are not going to assume gender. In our community, we don’t make assumptions about gender identity. We Are Fluide wants to create a healthy, safe space for our team, our audience, and our customers, so being clear about our pronouns is a first step.
Based in Brooklyn, NY, how did the past year of lockdown and COVID-19 affect your business?
It’s been a hard year for everyone, and we miss the pop-ups and events we did in 2018 and 2019, which connected us to our community and allowed us to demonstrate our products IRL. That said, as an e-commerce business, we’ve been fortunate to see online sales grow, as more and more customers are purchasing products online. We hope to continue to expand to retailers and to see that channel grow in 2021 and 2022.
Any upcoming launches you’d like to share?
Given mask-wearing, we’ve been focused on eye products, and we are so excited about our new Big Bang Mascara. Based on its popularity, we will be coming out with additional shades soon. We also launch our first 8-pan palette in June, and we’re looking forward to a holiday palette later in the year. We’re also debuting a few new shades of our 7-free polish shades this summer and fall, to keep our nails looking fresh and fun.
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