Red Aspen, the Boise, Idaho-based beauty and cosmetics startup that offers false eyelashes for women, was center stage at the recent Miss America pageant held September 9 in Atlantic City, New Jersey.
Twenty-six of the pageant contestants took up the company’s offer to try its signature lashes. Seven of the final Top 10 contestants were recipients of Red Aspen’s gifts, including Miss New York Nia Franklin, who was crowned Miss America.
“The Red Aspen team gathered together to watch the competition on Sunday night and we were ecstatic when Nia Franklin won!” said Co-owner Amanda Moore. “Nia was one of the women we had the opportunity to talk with multiple times on Instagram. We were quickly won over by her charm and personality. We loved being tagged in her Instagram stories and following along as she prepared for the competition. Nia’s favorite lashes—and the ones she wore on ABC Sunday night—were the Red Aspen Reese Lashes!”
Red Aspen’s sudden rise can be attributed to the wave of interest among millennial women in wearing false eyelashes—which Pinterest predicted last December would be the top beauty trend of 2018—as well as the growth of women-owned businesses. According to data in American Express’s “2017 State of Women-Owned Businesses Report,” the number of women-owned businesses has increased 114 percent since 1997 and now accounts for 39 percent of all U.S. firms.
Red Aspen does not use traditional at-home product parties to sell its lashes and growing line of cosmetic products. Instead, sales reps produce Facebook Live pop-up parties that include eyelash images and application demonstrations. Brand ambassadors can choose a traditional direct selling model, bringing people on to their sales teams and advancing through the ranks by hitting monthly sales targets, or they can just sell the products, skipping the advancement and targets while earning sales commissions and free product.
“We wanted to take the idea of social sales and ‘millennialize’ it for a younger market,” Moore said.
The aspen in the Red Aspen refers to the Pando, a quaking aspen grove in Utah’s Fishlake National Forest that is thought to be the largest living organism in the world. “They look like they’re growing individually, but they share one root system,” Moore said. “We thought that was a great analogy for how we support each other.”