This week, we spoke with David J. Krause, co-founder of Alder New York for our Open series; highlighting LGBT+ businesses and founders.
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Tell us a little about your business? What steps led you to where you are now?
Alder New York is a queer and woman-own independent skincare brand that makes products designed to work for all skin types, no matter your age, gender, or ethnicity. Our collection of skincare essentials combines derm-approved actives with plant-powered ingredients to leave skin looking healthy and clear.
My business partner, Nina Zilka, and I started Alder New York because we couldn’t find a genderless line of skincare products that featured clean and vegan ingredients as well as appealed to our minimalist, genderless design sensibilities.
Is community important to you? How has the LGBT+ community impacted your business?
Community is everything. While Alder New York was founded with a personal need in mind, it has been our customers and fans that really keep us going. Hearing that our products make someone feel great and feel seen is what drives us. I credit Alder New York’s success to the LGBTQ+ community and our allies. We designed a line of products with gender inclusivity in mind and have opted out of conventional gendered marketing which has really appealed to the community.
Do you feel that being an LGBT+ founder has had an impact on your journey? What challenges and benefits have you experienced?
As a queer man it can definitely be challenging in the skincare/ beauty space. So much of our industry is seen through a binary lens of male and female. Alder New York is constantly fighting to reshape this idea. It can be really challenging when many retailers still see products as for men or for women.
What are you excited about for the future?
I’m excited for retailers and the industry as a whole to start questioning why we have men’s and women’s sections in stores. It’s a conversation we’re having often with national chain stores to small boutiques and it feels like change is coming.
I’m also really excited for Alder New York to break out into new categories- to bring our clean, vegan, and inclusive ethos to all parts of your life.