For today’s Q&A with a local business, we hear from New Canaan’s Cathy Kangas, founder of PRAI Beauty, headquartered on Elm Street.
Here’s our exchange:
New Canaanite: PRAI Beauty’s signature product, the “Ageless Throat & Decolletage Creme,” became available at New Canaan Pharmacy this year. What has the response been like here in town?
The response has been wonderful so far. We’re so thrilled to partner with local retailers in New Canaan and introduce our brand of cruelty-free skincare products to our neighbors.
New Canaanite: PRAI Beauty products are never tested on animals—that’s a core part of the company’s mission. Cathy you’re a board member of the Humane Society of the United States and you’re widely known locally as an animal-lover an advocate, both personally and through your “Free the Shelters” initiative, among other efforts. How important is it to those who purchase PRAI Beauty’s products, that cruelty-free piece?
Cathy Kangas: We find that our customers are true animal lovers like us, and they feel good about supporting a brand that supports animals in need. My greatest joy is my five rescue dogs. When I started PRAI, one of my missions was to ensure the business could help support my ongoing dedication to animal welfare. It’s not about handing a donation over to tick a philanthropy box, it’s about genuinely making a difference however big or small.
Where does the name “PRAI Beauty” come from?
Our signature ingredient in all of our products is the prai extract, a ginger like root that has been harvested in the tropical forest of Thailand, and used as a skin treatment, for over 1,000 years. Traditionally reserved for Thai royalty, the prai root was used to reduce stretch marks before and after childbirth. We’ve harnessed this natural ingredient and included it in our all of our formulas.
Your offices are based right on Elm Street, in the heart of the downtown. What is your sense in terms of consumer demand this holiday shopping season, and of the health of our local business community?
After a quieter holiday season last year, there is definitely an exciting new energy in downtown New Canaan. It makes me so happy to see people out and about this year shopping and dining out safely in their favorite restaurants. After the past few months I think we are all savoring these holiday moments and realizing how special they are.
What are your best-sellers right now?
Our Ageless Throat & Decolletage Creme sells one jar every 60 seconds across the globe. It truly is a fan favorite product that people cannot live without!
[Past installments of our Q&A series with local businesses this holiday season can be found here.]