When she opened Shen Beauty in the Cobble Hill neighbourhood of Brooklyn in 2010, former stylist and California native Jessica Richards was determined to make the little boutique a destination for exclusively natural and organic products with a luxe feel.
Just five years later, Shen has grown in all directions: Thanks to Richards' killer eye for niche indie brands and Shen's booming e-commerce business, the little boutique that could has reached cult levels of fandom. This summer, the expansion became literal—the brick-and-mortar storefront is currently undergoing a renovation in order to better accommodate its rapidly growing inventory, and to add more in-house beauty treatments.
On her road to success, the founder learned she'd have to take a less-stringent approach to her inventory in order to really cultivate an ideal customer base. While its inventory is no longer 100 per cent organic and plant-based, a mostly natural mindset is still ingrained in Shen's M.O.
"My customer is the kind of person who will buy exclusively organic groceries at Whole Foods, but also won't say no to a GMO latte at Starbucks," Richards half-jokes as an explanation. First and foremost, Shen is the place to go for the thrill of the find: Alongside merch from beloved natural brands like Ilia and RMS Beauty, you'll find up-and-coming labels and products that are bound to become favourites on your vanity.
Needless to say, Richards is like a real-life glossary of the new and now in beauty, all in a sweet, laid-back package—and she's totally game to reveal her vast knowledge. Keep scrolling to see the 10 products she currently can't live without. Take notes!