Prai Beauty founder Cathy Kangas feels good on her neck – WWD

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LONDON – Unlike the late Nora Ephron, who wrote a book on wrinkles and all about the grim realities of aging, Cathy Kangas doesn’t feel bad about her neck.

The founder of Prai Beauty also doesn’t want other women to feel bad about their necks. In 1999, therefore, she launched a skin care brand with a focus on people aged 50 and over. She later started targeting the neck and décolleté, which ages faster than a woman’s face due to various factors.

Kangas is evangelical about improving women’s feelings about their necks, noting that for decades the most glamorous covered them in scarves or turtlenecks to hide sagging and wrinkles. Ephron acknowledged all of this shame and embarrassment in his 2006 book, “I Feel Bad About My Neck,” writing, “Our faces are lies and our necks are the truth.”

Lately, Kangas has waged a war against the bothersome effects of menopause – hot flashes, night sweats and saggy skin – with a new line called MenoGlow. And although the company is over two decades old, it is just getting started.

Kangas, who started her career in sales and marketing at Revlon, launched Prai Beauty to respond to what she saw as white space in the market. At the time, she said that “the woman over 50 has been forgotten. She was left behind by the beauty industry and that didn’t make sense to me. I wanted to address her and celebrate her.

From the start, Kangas sent a “pro-aging” message. Rather than trying to demonize aging, she wanted to normalize the conversation around it. It was a bold move because talking about menopause and post-menopause, especially in the beauty industry, was taboo.

Indeed, Kangas started her business just a few years after the then 43-year-old Isabella Rossellini was notoriously removed as the face of Lancôme because she was seen as too old. She would be rehired some 20 years later as an ambassador for the French brand as a very wealthy – and older – demographic began demanding more attention and respect from their brands. beauty.

At first, Kangas sold Prai beauty products through home shopping channels, on the advice of his father, Roy Northway Stephens. The late Northway Stephens had served as Managing Director and Managing Director of Selfridges in London, and then President of the Prestige Division of Revlon in the United States.

“He said ‘Cathy don’t go retail it’s too expensive’ so I took the products on TV and decided to have the conversation with the customer in her own home. “Kangas said in a video interview.

Cathy Kangas, the founder of Prai.
Courtesy

She launched Prai’s Ageless skincare line over ten years ago, and it is in particular the Ageless throat and décolleté cream that has proven successful.

After launching at Marks & Spencer in 2018, the cream became the retailer’s best-selling beauty product and made Prai the number one beauty brand in the store. Neck cream is also a consistent bestseller on HSN in the United States.

The company is based between the United States and the United Kingdom. Kangas lives in the United States and the products are manufactured by Bentley Labs in New Jersey. The UK is Prai’s home market and the brand also sells through Boots, Amazon and Ocado.

Kangas still promotes products on the small screen and is happy to invite guests in the 70s and 80s to show off their plump skin. She promises to transform women, no matter how wrinkled their necks, from “turkeys to swans” within days.

Building on her success at M&S, Prai launched a separate menopause and perimenopause skin care line in collaboration with the store earlier this year. This month, Prai launched another line known as MenoGlow, which targets a similar demographic, and will be sold through shopping channels and on Praibeauty.com.

New products include a Hot Flush Cool Fix Serum and Super Moisturizing Sleep Cream, both priced at 28 pounds, and a Collagen Boosting Cremegel Moisturizer, which costs 25 pounds.

Prai Beauty founder Cathy Kangas is

Prai Beauty’s neck serum.

The launches – and bestsellers – fueled double-digit growth at Prai, which also saw sales skyrocket during the lockdown.

For fiscal 2022, Prai is expected to report $ 22.5 million in net sales based on $ 50 million in retail sales, a 30% increase from the previous year. The UK is the largest market and generates around half of net sales. The plan for the future is to replicate Prai’s British success in the United States and continental Europe.

It is slated to go retail in the United States in the first quarter of 2022, and Kangas said the company is in talks with various outlets.

The goal is to increase overall sales by 60% over the next three years and develop the direct-to-consumer channel. Currently, about 50 percent of sales come from television; 40% of retail sales and 10% of direct-to-consumer sales.

The market is ready. Women are speaking out much more about the challenges of aging, while a plethora of skin care products, supplements, and therapies have been launched in recent years to address menopause in particular.

It becomes a very big deal.

According to a study commissioned by Prai and published in June, the global menopause market was valued at $ 14.7 billion in 2020 and is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 5.7% between 2021 and 2028.

According to the report, which was carried out by Grand View Research, the high prevalence of menopause symptoms and increasing research on the benefits of dietary supplements is expected to drive the market growth.

“Pro-aging” is just one of Prai’s messages. The brand wants to appeal to as many women as possible and the prices are more premium than luxurious. The price of the Ageless, 24K Gold and Platinum collections is between 9 pounds for the throat cream and 45 pounds for the large Platinum Firm & Lift cream.

The brand is also Leaping Bunny certified, which means it is cruelty-free, while a portion of sales are spent on animal welfare projects such as the Free the Shelters campaign, which sponsors adoption fees for rescue animals. Kangas is also a member of the board of directors of the Humane Society in the United States and an ambassador for Nowzad, an animal rescue group based in Kabul, Afghanistan.


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