When passion fuels product development

July 10, 2023By Inside Beauty Articles, Views

by Megan Moyer, corporate marketing manager, as appeared in Inside Beauty for Drug Store News

Standing out in the beauty category is no easy feat, but the Meraki brand has a clear differentiator: the hair care line is infused with crystals to provide additional benefits to what are already non-toxic and cruelty-free products. Thanks to the background of and research conducted by founder and CEO, Amber Makupson, what started as an idea to amplify their first product, Rose Quartz Multi Purpose Glow Oil, turned into a standard in future product development.Meraki products

Once the oil was developed, Makupson was brainstorming the name of the product and wondered if adding an actual rose quartz inside the package would benefit the product and the customer. “I was blown away! I learned our hair is an extension of our nervous system and the energy from the rose quartz crystal would infuse energy and ancient healing properties into our hair,” Makupson said. From there she decided to intentionally infuse all Meraki products with gemstones. Every product has a crystal inside and Makupson says the crystals are all cleansed and charged as well as ethically sourced.

Makupson started the brand in 2019 and rebranded in 2020 right before the pandemic hit. She said the timing actually paid off as she had a new website and was ready to handle online shopping demand. Additionally, she believes her business benefitted from the greater focus many people had on their health and wellness during the pandemic, as well as the spotlight shone on black-owned brands.

Read more: Taking healing into your own hands

Amber Makupson, founder and CEO of Meraki
Amber Makupson, founder and CEO of Meraki

Meraki items are available direct to consumer and they launched in Anthropologie two years ago. According to the Meraki website, the company philosophy is to never use parabens, sulfates, formaldehydes, phthalates, DEA, petrochemical, by products, artificial dyes or synthetic fragrance. Instead, products are formulated with nutrient-rich Ayurvedic ingredients and vitamins that maintain hydration and strength to enhance the health of hair.

While the company has a presence on all social media platforms, website analytics have motivated them to shift resources to focus on TikTok foremost, then YouTube, Pinterest, and Instagram, in that order. Additionally, they recently joined the Lemon8 app. “We use social media to educate consumers about the ingredients in our products because not everyone is aware of the benefits of crystals,” Makupson states.

The next expansion, Makupson says, is scalp care and hair growth products. “We know healthy hair starts with the scalp so that’s our next area of development.”

Read more: Standing out using social media

Wellness is a passion of Makupson’s and she has chosen the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, a subsidiary of Breast Cancer Prevention Partners, as the primary cause the company supports, in addition to other local community organizations. Makupson is even launching a wellness website this October.

When there is passion behind products, it can translate as a differentiator, as is the case with Meraki. Makupson’s passion for wellness is not only a foundation of the brand, it is leading to other complementary ventures that will expand reach and awareness.