Local Business Q&A: PRAI Beauty

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.

Did You Hear … ?

An estimated 1,000 New Canaan High School students joined in a nationwide, 17-minute “walkout” Wednesday to rally for what organizers call “federal gun reform legislation” following last month’s mass school shooting in Florida. Principal Bill Egan in a letter addressed to the ‘NCHS Family’ said that “every school district in the area allowed students to have their voice during this time.” His letter continued: “Our students honored the lives of people lost to gun violence and showed solidarity with students in Parkland, Florida. Our students’ efforts focused on their desire to keep schools safe in New Canaan and around the country.”


The 1836-built Greek Revival at 63 Park St.—formerly the home of famed Scribners editor Maxwell Perkins (Hemingway, Wolfe, Fitzgerald)—is back on the market at about $2.9 million. Its owner since 1973 last summer had applied for a variance from the Zoning Board of Appeals in order to gain more flexibility in the stately house’s home-office use, but after two continuances that application did not come before the ZBA again. Instead, the Planning & Zoning Commission in August voted in favor of a Special Permit for the same.

‘Free the Shelters’: New Canaan Woman Steps Up To Pay All Adoption Fees at Stamford Animal Control Shelter through Jan. 14

Cathy Kangas was at a wedding in Palm Beach, Fla. early last month when, after seeing a photo on Facebook, the New Canaan resident had what she calls “a complete meltdown.”

One of her friends had shared a photo of a beagle picked up as a stray at Stamford Animal Control that looked exactly like Ladybug, the little dog Kangas had rescued in 2016. “My god, we love and trust our dog sitter and I thought, how could Ladybug have gotten out?” Kangas recalled. “I quickly called everyone, including [New Canaan Animal Control Officer] Allyson Halm, asking could she have got out and walked to Stamford?”

Her fears soon were calmed, as Ladybug, Kangas’s babysitter assured her, was safe and happy at home. But the image of the roaming dog didn’t leave Kangas, who followed up on returning to New Canaan with Stamford Animal Control.

New Canaan Animal Control Officer Creates ‘Coyote Safety Kits’ for Residents

Since starting as head of the New Canaan Police Department’s Animal Control section nearly two years ago, Officer Allyson Halm has fielded and mapped daily calls of coyote sightings. In one-on-one conversations with concerned New Canaanites and as a panelist in larger events, Halm has preached about learning to co-exist with coyotes. Now, in select cases, she can offer those who deal regularly with coyotes on their properties a set of tools to take with them outside—for example, when letting out a dog in the yard. Underwritten by New Canaan resident and animal welfare advocate Cathy Kangas and her company, PRAI Beauty, the “Coyote Safety Kits” Halm has put together include “hazing” safety guidelines, reusable safety air blaster or air horn, mini-air blasters (for use while running or for kids), bear bell, whistle, reflective tape and “throw can” (a noisemaker that can be used to scare off coyotes from a distance). “They are available now and we are going to utilize them on a case-by-case basis” depending on the frequency of sightings and brazenness of the coyotes involved, Halm told NewCanaanite.com.

Letter: Preserve the Roger Sherman Inn

The recent announcement that the Roger Sherman Inn and restaurant will operate through February and the builder, Andy Glazer, has said that there are no plans to raze the historic building is good news for the resident of New Canaan. However, this still means that after February we will lose the Roger Sherman Inn. Destroying the Roger Sherman Inn would rip out the heart of the town. We must support this iconic landmark. My family and I will continue to patronize the inn during the coming months and I would urge my neighbors to do the same.