This week, Denver will gain a new destination for beauty with the brick-and-mortar launch of natural beauty retailer Aillea.
The store will open Thursday in Denver’s Larimer Square.
Kathryn Murray, Aillea’s founder and owner, launched an online business in January.
Murray, who was vice president of marketing and sales for Vincent Longo Cosmetics for seven years and also worked in public relations for The Patton Group, said that she has always loved the beauty industry, but was moved to open her own boutique focusing on natural beauty products after moving to Colorado from New York and being diagnosed with severe food allergies.
“It led me to understand that what I put on my skin is as important as what I ingest,” said Murray. “Many retailers offer just a smattering of organic beauty options, but they are often hidden among the more visible, yet potentially harmful, products, making finding and identifying them a difficult and time-consuming task. Europe has over a thousand banned chemicals — we have seven.
“Each product Aillea offers is certified free of parabens, sulfates, petrochemicals and endocrine disrupters,” continued Murray. “The product lineup was culled with the goal of working as effectively, and likely even more so, than the well-known mass-produced versions sold by luxury retailers and major department stores throughout the country. Women don’t have to give up performance with the products we’re carrying. In fact, many of them do not look like the stereotypical ‘natural’ lines.”
The 500-square-foot boutique will open with 20 all-natural brands, including RMS, Kjaer Weis, Pure & True, Lily Lolo Cosmetics, Suki Cleansing Lotion, DrJ Organics, Ilia, W3ll People, Indie Lee, Rahua, Josh Rosebrook, Kypris, Suntegrity, AILA, Priti NYC and Lurk. Murray said she is looking to add additional natural brands to her product assortment.
“Like all of our retailers, Aillea brings something very special to the block – their combination of premium luxury beauty products and expert consultative services that aren’t found anywhere else,” said Jeff Hermanson, chief executive officer of Larimer Associates. “Ladies looking to go green will find exclusive and trustworthy beauty lines, hand-selected from a variety of global sources, all in one place.”
Murray’s hope is to eventually open additional locations. “I think this movement is bigger than a single store,” she said, adding that she’s already exploring expansion options with private equity firms. “I want to be the next Sephora,” she said.