In 2015, people thought it would never last. Why would you want to build a business around creating faux freckles? It seemed like a foreign concept then, in the age of full-coverage foundation and laser treatments to remove any sort of skin “imperfection,” but fast forward to 2022, and the hashtag #fauxfreckles has over 215M views and counting on TikTok. Remi was onto something all those years ago—even if she didn’t know it at the time. “Growing up in Seattle, I didn’t have a huge relationship with beauty, but I just really wanted freckles. When you look at my childhood drawings, the sun has freckles, the plants have freckles, so I was just always obsessed.”
Remi knew she wanted to create a cosmetic product to give her the freckles she always dreamed of. “Everyone thought I was crazy,” she recalls. But thankfully, after a meeting with a mentor who had decades of experience in cosmetics manufacturing, Remi decided it was something worth pursuing. “She was really the first person who gave me the confidence [to start Freck],” says Remi. “I never thought in a million years we’d get this big, expand beyond the freckle, be in Sephora. It’s been absolutely crazy.”
If only then-23-year-old Remi knew what was to come. Equipped with the very first ideation of what is now known as FRECK OG a.k.a. the world’s first cosmetic freckle (the original version, called “Freck Yourself,” consisted of adhesive tape, punch holes and pigment—an application process that was quite a bit more complicated), she released the product to the world on Kickstarter—and it completely flopped. Not only did Remi not reach her funding goal, Freck Yourself became the butt of the joke on Jimmy Kimmel. They did a skit about drawing on fake freckles and completely dragged her Kickstarter campaign. “I definitely went into a hole for like 2 months. I didn’t touch the project,” she recalls.
Remi may have “failed” by definition, but she failed forward—and she wouldn’t trade the Kimmel roast for the world. It actually helped the business in the end because it got people talking—and they sure had a lot to say. Another important lesson Remi learned during that critical time? “Watch how people end up using the product because it was a blessing in disguise,” she says. She asked other people to try out the product without giving them any instructions and she noticed they just used a brush to dip into the pigment. “And that is how Freck OG came to be.”
Fast forward to today, and Remi has a lot to brag about. Freck Beauty has a dedicated community of 117K on Instagram alone, they’ve expanded their product offerings to include skincare and makeup and the brand just celebrated its five-year anniversary (it officially launched in 2017). “I remember the day where I was sitting on a plastic table in my house in Echo Park and we got one order in and the website crashed. We’ve come a long way since then.”
Freck Beauty’s latest launch, the LASHROCKET Liner and LASHROCKET Mascara (both with lash-enhancing peptides), is a full circle moment for Remi. Her first beauty memory was going to Sephora with her aunt and trying eyeliner for the first time (Urban Decay’s Perversion Liquid Eyeliner to be exact). “That moment for me was realizing that makeup was not looking like an ad—it was a tool for self-expression,” she says. And that is what Freck is all about: being authentic, playful, creative and unapologetically you.
“I have done almost nothing else for 5 years,” says Remi. “One thing I’m working on personally is boundaries with work. It just seems like a good time to figure out who I am outside of Freck.” And we can’t wait to see what’s next.
Who are you inspired by?
I’m inspired by our Freck community. It sounds cheesy but literally my favorite part of every single day—to this day—is going on Instagram and seeing our tagged photos and seeing how they use products in innovative and unusual ways to create their looks.
And Doja Cat, obviously.
How do you unplug from work?
When the sun is going down, I like to go sit out in my yard and bring my cats on leashes out there. Then, the kids come home and I hang out with them. I also really love to cook too. Cooking is like my meditation.
How many unread emails do you have right now?
What do you look for in an employee?
Attitude. We like to say that Freck Beauty is an attitude. That attitude of self expression, creativity, identity and strength in your look is what I’m looking for because our culture, internally, is super tight.
Best piece of advice?
Never get yourself stuck into a corner. Train your brain to learn how to not take no for an answer. There’s always a back door solution to whatever I’m trying to solve.
Worst piece of advice?
When the brand was really struggling, people would be like, “Just give me the brand.” Suggesting to give up = bad advice.
This content was created as part of a GIVEAWAY campaign with Freck Beauty. You could win $400 worth of Freck Beauty prizes (including the new Lashrocket Liner and Mascara, the Cheekslime Blush, the Freck OG and so much more). Enter to win here.
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