BETTY & KO
“Consumers are so alienated from the natural processes of the products they use, so they should learn what to look for and understand the concentration of what's inside the things they buy.”
When Kristie Betty went to see a naturopathic doctor about the inexplicable weight gain, bouts of coldness, and general fatigue she’d been experiencing, she was diagnosed with hypothyroidism, a condition indicating a low level of thyroid hormone production that is usually treated with pills. Kristie, however, had a different idea for treatment. After her doctor recommended her to stop using skincare products containing chemicals, she became frustrated with the fruitless hunt to find anything free of toxic additives -- even from the brands that claimed to be natural or organic. Equipped with an early interest in dermatology (originally a pre-med major in school) and hard-earned knowledge of the cosmetics market (professional make-up artist for celebrities), she threw herself into researching and ordering samples of the most effective ingredients that would both nourish her skin and keep her thyroid glands healthy. What emerged was Betty & Ko, a veritable combination of brains and beauty.
The line has come a long way since its inception -- with an expanding customer base, a rebranding of products, and Kristie working on it full-time -- but the aspects that stay constant are reflective of the Betty & Ko ethos. Until now, business has spread exclusively through word-of-mouth among customers who vouched for the line’s holistic properties. Moreover, it remains a one-woman enterprise, with Kristie directly preparing and blending the ingredients for each product herself rather than compromising the quality by outsourcing to others. “It's like cooking,” she says. “My kitchen looked like a little lab,” she reminisces of the beginning stages of her company.
Though Kristie admits the process is exhausting, she’s convinced of its positive results -- mainly because she’s a living example of them. Her thyroid problems, after making and using her own stuff? Completely gone. “I want to educate women and increase awareness that if they commit to making certain lifestyle changes, they can heal themselves too,” she says. “Consumers are so alienated from the natural processes of the products they use, so they should learn what to look for and understand the concentration of what’s inside the things they buy.” It’s a call to revolutionize the beauty industry and transform the health of its consumers from the inside out. “I just think information is the most powerful tool for any girl.”
copyright Plum Alley 2013