- people on the move
New skin care product launched in Kentwood
Keeki Pure & Simple’s KPS Essentials will double employment at the small company.
It’s not rocket science, but the formula of Renu Face Cream does hint at the high-tech background of the man involved with its development.
Keeki Pure & Simple, a manufacturer and international distributor of vegan beauty products, has moved into a new space at 3759 Broadmoor Ave. SE in Kentwood in anticipation of its new product line launch, KPS Essentials, and growth that is projected to nearly double its staff of seven.
Launched by CEO Natalie Bauss in Comstock Park five years ago, Keeki Pure & Simple specializes in the creation of beauty products for nails, lips, skin and face — products that Bauss’ advertising material says are cruelty-free, gluten-free, soy-free and acetone-free, opting instead for food-grade oils, herbs and natural supplements over the harmful ingredients found in many mass-produced beauty brands.
The company’s new facility, strategically located near the Gerald R. Ford Airport, is three times the size of its previous location in Comstock Park and can accommodate future expansion plans.
Production of KPS Essentials began in August and will expand to include five or six luxury-grade organic products. The company says its premier new product, Renu Face Cream, will reduce the appearance of scars, make hyper-pigmentation spots fade and eliminate acne while bringing volume to skin by boosting collagen production.
Joining Bauss in the business as partner and chief operating officer is Ron Webb, who will lead retail and online introductions to the new line. Webb has spent more than 20 years in the aerospace industry, including as a physicist in rocket development.
The company said its quick transition to a new facility will allow the company to produce large quantities in a short period of time.
“The results we have seen from the KPS Essentials Renu Face Cream are truly astonishing,” said Bauss. “What started out as a wrinkle cream has evolved to heal larger dermatological maladies, including long-term scarring and acne. For us, and most importantly our consumers, the most remarkable feature of KPS Essentials is its ability to improve skin condition organically without harmful chemicals — a true rarity in the beauty industry.”
Although production is limited at this point, the company’s products are available at some Meijer stores, Whole Foods and others, according to Bauss. She said in the news release that Renu is also available from many small franchise retailers and one-of-a-kind boutiques across the world.
Bauss said it was essential for the company to relocate not only closer to the airport but also to home. Her two teenage children recently joined her in assisting with the business venture.
“As consumers become more educated about the effects harsh chemicals and watered-down fillers can have on one’s body, I am proud to own and operate a company that upholds the highest industry standards for beauty and skincare while simultaneously delivering a product that truly works,” said Bauss.
Bauss, a native of Southern California, moved to West Michigan in 2003. Her association with cosmetics began in California when she was a teenager working in cosmetics in a Nordstrom department store. One day there was an earthquake, and the next day she found a bottle of skin clarifying lotion that had fallen to the floor in the stockroom and broken. She said the contents ate through the carpet and the padding below it, which convinced her to look for safer, natural compounds for her own use.
In 2010, Keeki Pure & Simple was launched, named after her teenage daughter Kiana, nicknamed Keeki. Bauss said she started creating skin care and cosmetic products for her daughter “that I knew were safe.”
Webb met Bauss in 2012, after he had come to Grand Rapids to work with GE Aviation on a project for Boeing, where Bauss was employed.
Webb said he began working in aerospace 27 years ago, in development and launching of rockets and spacecraft being designed and built by McDonnell Douglas. That company merged with Boeing in 1997.
About the time he met Bauss, Webb said he had a small company similar to Bauss’ company, so they merged the two and Webb brought some capital into the deal.
Much of Webb’s work today involves creating the chemical compounds for their products. He said Renu Face Cream is formulated with organic elements, including plant-based amino acids to boost the body’s collagen production and botanically infused organic oils. The firm’s proprietary mixture of hyaluronic acids hydrates the skin nine times more effectively than other products, according to the company, and the plant-based molecules “volumnize” the skin. The proprietary blend of essential oils aids in increasing the overall health of the skin.
Webb said the new product enhances intercellular energy development through the introduction of adenosine triphosphate.
Bauss said the products are garnering attention in other parts of the world. Recently, some German chemists came to visit Keeki Pure & Simple because they were so impressed, she said.
The company markets its brands at trade shows and with some advertising in Coco Eco, a Los Angeles magazine that has given the company’s products favorable editorial coverage.
KPS Essentials will be exhibited at the GR VegFest show Sept. 13 at the DeltaPlex in Grand Rapids.
The new facility for production and distribution of KPS Essentials was arranged by Jason Webb, a broker for Colliers International|West Michigan.