MEET KAREN LAUBSCHER - ALCHEMY BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT FOCUS on REN

Please share a little about yourself and what inspired you to create this brand?

After more than 25 years in the Cosmetic industry, I wanted to spend my time focusing on the things I love doing whilst adding value to peoples’ lives and giving back to the universe. All this is only possible if you can earn a living.

As many new businesses, Alchemy evolved into the business it is today. Our first brand, REN, was a serendipitous opportunity and formed the foundation of the business becoming a Distributor of boutique Beauty brands that all share similar values. 



REN was created in the UK when an idea was sparked to create a skincare brand that offered the best of both worlds – Hi-Tech and Effective products but without using ‘skin-unfriendly’ ingredients. A brand that would boost the skin’s natural ability to Protect, Repair and Renew itself, leaving it Protected, Healthy and Radiant.

We currently have a stable of 7 brands:

REN clean skin care

NAFHA a French organic argan oil skin care brand

LASHEM Lash and Brow enhancing products

Measurable Difference Lash and Brow enhancing product

GEL.D gel nail polish

SAMPAR urban skin care

Radical luxury skin care 




How would you describe your brand in a nutshell?

  • REN Clean Skincare gives you healthier, more beautiful skin that looks younger for longer. REN’s philosophy of Clean Skincare can be summed up in three words: Performance, Purity, Pleasure. Performance
  • REN gives you groundbreaking product formulation, the latest hi-tech actives, rigorous product testing and clinically proven results.
  • Purity
  • REN uses only 100% plant and mineral derived actives and is free from skin-unfriendly synthetic ingredients. 
  • Pleasure
We believe that the texture, fragrance and experience of using REN can make the world a slightly nicer place to be and make us feel slightly nicer being here.

What would you consider to be unique about your brand?

The fact that it is clean skincare. Not organic or natural, but clean which allows the formulas to be as advanced as it could possibly be. REN is skincare as it should be.

How many stores/branches do you have and where are they located?

Since its launch in 2000 REN has become a cult favourite amongst beauty editors and consumers and is now available in department stores, pharmacies and spas in over 50 countries around the world. In South Africa, REN is available in selected Woolworths, Foschini and Edgars stores, nationally and online if you do not have a retail outlet close to you.

What ‘piece of advice’ would you most like to share with people considering a start -up business?

  • It is not easy. The stresses you have left behind the corporate door is replaced with other stresses – but they are in your control.
  • There is no such thing as an easy buck. 
  • Don’t expect to earn any money or make a profit in year 1. If you do, you are lucky.

The challenge as a business is to stay authentic and true to your brand, how do you achieve this?

When a company has multiple brands, it is difficult to remain true to one brand’s ethics. Although you incorporate each brand into the culture of the company, one needs to be very clear about your own company values and what the organization would like to represent and achieve. If you have strong ideology underpinning your business ethics, it is important that you create the wealth to sustain the vision. We would love to uplift our consultants – not only to give them the mandatory brand training, but to give them skills that they can use beyond the scope of the current job.

What do you love most about being an entrepreneur?

The freedom. To work wherever, whenever and to be true to yourself and your vision. 

What has your journey so far taught you {about yourself or in general}? Has it changed your life in any way?
 It is impossible not to change your life. To go from a never at home single mom, 100% dedicated-corporate-writing reports-sitting-in-meetings-all-day executive to a more informal, creative hands on worker is not only humbling but also enlightening. There is so much that I learn daily.

I have learnt that I have a fighting spirit. I also found out that I am an excellent negotiator – something I never thought I was!

How does the future look as far as ‘dreams and visions’ for your brand?

At the moment we are very blessed with the successes we have achieved over the last 18 months. We would like to build on the quality of what we have and focus on growing the business in a contained and sustainable way. Which of course means growing the people with the business.




For more info ...

Online Store/Stockists: www.renskincare.co.za  www.rubybox.co.za

Facebook: REN SouthAfrica

Twitter: @RENskincareSA

Instagram: OFFICIALRENSA



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