Volt Café: How would you describe Kjaer Weis to someone who’d never heard of you?
Kirsten Kjaer Weis: A modern take on what I believe is the future of make up. A brand where there is equal emphasis on high quality natural ingredients, performance and design. No compromise anywhere in the mix.
VC: What is your work ethic?
KKW: I think I have stamina and keep going until I can feel it’s ‘in the box’! I rely a lot on my gut. Knowing is feeling.
VC: Describe who you think your core customer is?
KKW: Our customers are both health conscious women, to whom it is important that the skin stays as free as possible of synthetics, and also women who like the product for the performance and design and for them the organic part is an extra bonus.
VC: What is your ultimate goal with Kjaer Weis?
KKW: My desire is to have an organic make-up line that will cover a woman’s need completely and that it is available globally.
VC: Do you have a Kjaer Weis muse?
KKW: Probably Sofia Coppola. She has a quiet, yet powerful beauty and presence, plus I find her movies to speak miles of emotion between the lines and through her visuals and aesthetics.
VC: How interested do you feel the typical British woman is in organic beauty care?
KKW: I think she is probably similar to the Scandinavian woman, who I have a better knowledge about. Most will see it as an extra bonus added on to a great product, one that ultimately performs and makes her feel beautiful. Make-up is the last one to catch on if you will, after organic food and skin care, however education and exposure lines up hand in hand. Once more and more customers realize that harm free make-up is available with no compromises attached to it, I truly believe it’s going to be the norm or demand if you will. One more thing to check off your list of things to worry about.
VC: The large non-organic brands have such a stranglehold on the market still, thanks in part to their enormous advertising budgets. What do you do to draw people’s attention to you as a brand?
KKW: We work with PR and Social Media plus I’m a firm believer that if you have a great product, one that fits a huge gap in the market, plus stay focused on your vision (women deserve an alternative), then it’s possible to go more “grass roots” and build it step by step.
VC: How do you keep your enthusiasm high?
KKW: Creating is my passion and seeing ideas turning into tangible results that really work and make customers happy is pretty rewarding. Make up is supposed to be beautifying not questionable; that vision also keeps the morale high on days when things go wrong, but the desire to create and having ideas and wanting to see them manifest keeps me pretty enthusiastic!
VC: Have the discoveries you have made regarding chemicals in beauty products spilled over into your private life? Meaning, do you also try to eat an organic diet, wear organic clothing, avoid MDF furniture and so on? As we’ve found, once we started looking into all of this, it was like opening Pandora’s box as you then realise cheap mass produced clothing use really harmful dyes, not to mention the human cost. As humans we tend to close our eyes to all this as we sit with our Apple devices wearing Topshop mass produced fashion!
KKW: I think being conscious about it is the first step, awareness is key. I try my best in every day to make healthy choices, buying organic produce as much as possible, minimize waste etc. However it is like you say, a Pandora’s box, – it can become a full time job. My choices are far from perfection but a growing awareness that daily influences my choices.
VC: Where do you go to for inspiration? Or is there a book/art work/artist or creative who has really ignited a spark in you?
KKW: Art, books, movies, design, nature, it comes from so many places and if I feel I’m low on ideas, it is essential to have a day of nothing but that.
I love the textures in Jenny Saville’s paintings, Marlene Dumas and her watercolours. Poetic images like Cathrine Raben Davidsen.
VC: Which other organic brands (if any) do you admire/recommend?
KKW: I’m always trying out products, right now I’m really loving May Lindstrom’s products. They work and have a true authentic, high quality feel to them.
VC: What’s up next for Kjaer Weis?
KKW: Launching our foundation shortly. We call it “The Second Skin” as that is how it looks and feels and it comes in five shades for now. I’m very exited about that to say the least, I feel it will make Kjaer Weis come full circle, despite the fact more products are in the pipeline as well, however foundation is a fundamental piece to any make-up line.