Krysia Boinis and Kristine Keheley
Previous Angel Spotlights
Co-Founders, Vapour Organic Beauty
Tell us about how Vapour Organic Beauty came to fruition, and how you came up with the name - it is so ethereal and beautiful!
Kristine: Vapour has had a heroine's journey. Krysia and I started out making products for major national natural brands together in 2000. In 2008, we committed to creating our own cosmetics line, on our own terms. The week we initiated was the week my mother died and Krysia got news of her second cancer diagnosis. We realized that the most powerful thing we could do would be to create something beautiful and lasting from our individual places of heartbreak. Vapour, the name, came to me that same week. I was with my youngest nephew who was into skater brands and we were talking about their fantastic naming and logotypes. I wanted our brand to have immediate visual presence and to me the letter V had edge and strength. (My nephew just graduated from business school in 2018, so something powerful took hold in that conversation.)
The word Vapour truly just popped into my head the way inspiration does. Vapour resonated for Krysia and me, each for our own reasons. For both of us it relates to the way we want our products to exist - lightly and sustainably on the earth, bringing etheric light to the skin, and with a connection to that mysterious and poetic process of distilled plant essences.
You both live in New Mexico. Do you gain inspiration from being in such a magical place?
Krysia: Yes, Taos is our muse. Taos empowers us to be unconventional and true to ourselves. It encourages us to listen to our intuition and trust our inner sense of direction. We are out here on the land, in the elements, steeping in the creativity of the Earth and Vapour Beauty is a tangible reflection of this.
Kristine: New Mexico is a profound place. The light and landscape inspire me daily. The sustainable and creative values of the Taos community are powerful reminders of the high bar we set for ourselves and Vapour products. We are deeply in love with the landscape and its high-altitude light that creates our outrageous sunsets. Taos is definitely one of Vapour's Muses.
Thankfully, there are more and more fabulous clean beauty brands making headlines! Why do you think Vapour stands out?
Krysia: Our roots are in designing and manufacturing artisanal quality natural skin care and we’ve been doing this for over 20 years. We are experts in sourcing the highest quality organic ingredients and know how to release their highest potential in our products. We maintain uncompromising integrity and transparency throughout the entire process because we design, manufacture and distribute under one roof in Taos, New Mexico. Vapour is the healthiest makeup available anywhere.
"The important work of Lipstick Angels resonates with me because sharing compassion, beauty, and self-care nourishes the whole person and I believe that is where true healing begins."
What is your creative process when you come up with a new product idea?
Kristine: Inspiration and diligence. I've been an artist since I was a child so at this point in my life I'm an expert at putting myself in the way of inspiration - I've learned how to open to the Universe I guess. The creative process starts with that profound willingness to be the vessel for an idea that wants to land and be made tangible. That inspiration can come from a plant I've fallen in love with, or a skin problem I want to solve, or a vision of lipstick shade. From that seed idea, I research ingredients and start to bring them together. It's honestly an alchemical process, down to the challenges of threshold ratios and tight tolerances on method. To get to a finished, sellable product, there may be one or two iterations, or twenty. Performance and consistency are crucial to producing viable products. I'm relentless in pursuit of beauty and quality.
Vapour is such a generous supporter of Lipstick Angels. Our kits are stocked with these incredible products that our patients love! Can you explain why our organization resonates with you?
Krysia: I received a stage three breast cancer diagnosis when I was in my mid-thirties and now over a decade later I have survived cancer twice. My first response to a cancer was shock; then action. The only thing that made sense to me was to be proactive. I began to think of food and personal care as more than simply nourishment and hygiene. Everything I ingested, put on my skin or came in contact with became ‘medicine’. I sought out treatments, activities, foods and ideas to heal, detoxify and balance my body, mind, emotions and spirit. The important work of Lipstick Angels resonates with me because sharing compassion, beauty, and self-care nourishes the whole person and I believe that is where true healing begins.