Timeless Beauty: How Lorrie King is Bringing Skin Care Beyond 40
Lorrie King, Co-founder and CEO of Caire Beauty, is revolutionizing beauty products for women over 40.
After her friends began turning to her for beauty advice, Lorrie sprung into action. Utilizing her more than two decades of experience in the beauty industry, she launched Caire Beauty, specifically created for women experiencing dramatically changing skin due to aging and hormone decline.
We asked Lorrie about how the driving forces throughout her journey, including how her upbringing, identity, and past experiences led her to create a purposeful brand.
Q: Tell us the story behind your company’s founding: How and why did you start working on your company? What problem does your business solve?
A: My co-founder Celeste Lee and I have 40 years of combined experience in beauty/consumer packaged goods brands and direct-to-consumer entrepreneurship. Friends would often ask us about what products to use and complain that there was nothing out there that spoke to them directly. Once we noticed this gap in the market, we decided to come together to bring women a brand that empowers and embraces them after the age of 40.
Our mission is to empower women to live life better by providing the best care for ultimate skin health. We named the brand Caire because we wanted to put the “i” in the word care to stand for each woman's individualism. Caire is a brand for women who feel invisible, unheard, and misunderstood as they age—yet who are actually independent, confident, and optimistic about life.
We created Caire with self-care solutions for women over 40, going through major life challenges, including aging and hormone declines that ultimately lead to menopause and can have significant impacts on skin. We believe all women should have the power to change the future of their skin and wellness. However, many don’t know that hormone decline is a major driver of skin aging, which has been completely ignored by legacy brands. It is a $15 billion opportunity for the 40 - 60 age women cohort alone.
Q: Have you ever felt like you are different? If so, how has this contributed to your journey as an entrepreneur?
A: In my life, I have felt different because, well, I am different! I’m half Chinese American and half African American. My Hawaiian-born mother met my New Jersey-raised father at Columbia University in the 1960s. After being disowned, my mother immersed her children in her newfound Black American community in New Jersey, as she believed they would be the most accepting of her biracial children. This was mostly true but, as you might imagine, not always. I experienced extensive bullying as a result. There were still comments around my biracial makeup—what I looked like or didn’t; how smart I was or not; and so on.
Q: In what ways has your upbringing or past experiences contributed to how you operate as an entrepreneur?
A: As the eldest of three, I wanted to be seen as smart, determined and giving. Being an entrepreneur takes fearlessness, determination, and faith. I learned these traits from my PhD father and ukulele-playing mother who came together to break through boundaries of the 1960s.
Q: Did you always know that you wanted to be an entrepreneur?
A: When I was in fourth grade at Nassau School in East Orange, New Jersey, inspiration struck—I sold sandwiches to teachers and my principal. I loved being acknowledged as a young entrepreneur. That school is a cherished story of where the seed of being an entrepreneur was born.
Now that I’ve created my own beauty business, many of those in my life have been cheerleaders, investors, listeners, and so much more. To this day, I still enjoy being seen for creating things that others can enjoy in their daily lives. It’s also not a surprise that I’m in the beauty industry, as I have always thought about what I look like and what beauty looks like.
Q: What’s been the hardest and most rewarding part of your entrepreneurial journey?
A: I have created over 24 brands and 1,000 individual products across five beauty and wellness categories and built over $1.5 billion in sales over my career. Every new brand is an entrepreneurial endeavor, even when you are working within a corporation.
So I’ve had many, but I’ll start with my very thankful time at Coty, which was a place where entrepreneurship was cherished, embraced, and rewarded. I found this pre-IPO environment to be one that stretched and grew me. I then built a startup for an investor incubator called SiO Beauty and once again ignited that entrepreneurial buzz.
Then I decided to create a business from the ground up, as I knew it was time for me to build a multi-million dollar business of my own. Taking that first step and making the decision to begin was the most difficult, but it was also invigorating and life-affirming.
Fundraising is one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. The faith that others have in me and my vision propels me forward, especially during the days of hearing “no” from investors. For every “no” there will be many more who say “yes,” and that is what I focus on.
Q: Have you struggled with self doubt as an entrepreneur? How do you navigate this?
A: Life as an entrepreneur brings on anxiety and stress at a level that most cannot imagine. You suffer from questioning yourself and asking if you are making the right decisions. I use a number of tools to get me through this, including a daily to twice-daily meditation practice. I actually spent 10 days in silent meditation when I started to think through creating Caire Beauty. Those 10 days prepared me to trust myself, to focus, and to understand and appreciate how to quiet the mind. I also have a circle of super sisters who help propel me to success. This support allows me to create with confidence and have less self-doubt knowing that each of them is there to support me and lift me up. For this, I live a life with so much gratitude.
Q: We dare you to brag: What achievements are you most proud of?
A: I’ve worked with Elizabeth Taylor and Halle Berry. Elizabeth showed me how to be humble and to embrace life with grace, beauty, and love. Halle showed me how to laugh, have greater confidence, and stretch my creativity. Working with these women taught me to stand in my power as a biracial woman and a beauty enthusiast. These women have had to break through barriers in a way that many women are still experiencing. They, and many other people in my life, have taught me to believe that anything is possible.
Q: How would you describe the journey you’ve had in a few sentences. And would you do it all over again?
A: Building startups is my personal passion. I start with thinking about what conscious and unconscious hopes and needs are out there—and what that might look like in terms of daily life and what joy this can bring to people. My beloved mother, who our family lost to cancer a few years ago, always knew I’d be an entrepreneur. She would always cheer me on through my journey. Shortly before her diagnosis, she actually asked me about the age spots on her face and how she could get rid of them. Every woman has these questions as they age and what I’m creating with Caire Beauty brings me that purpose. I hope that everyone can experience the joy that I have in life through my business and seeing the happiness from our customers.
The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.