Essence Iman, founder of The Established, says, “The Established is clean skincare for the minimalist beauty enthusiast,” and here at Poosh we could not be more excited to have her products in our store. No-fuss, clean, vegan, and cruelty-free body and skincare, handmade in small batches.
The line includes an assortment of serum, creams, and afterglow tonic to add to your daily routine. Learn more about The Established and shop the Poosh-approved items at the end.
When and why did you start your company?
“I founded The Established in 2017, but 2020 was really our breakout year. This past year is when we really came alive.
The Established really grew out of a specific need. I was desperate for a solution to my long-standing frustrations with KP (keratosis pilaris, which are those annoying rough bumps behind your arms and legs). It’s something that’s embarrassed me my whole life! I was really insecure about rubbing my legs up against someone in bed or how dotty my legs looked when I went to the beach—it was a real pain point for me.
Body care is such a niche part of the skincare industry, and there was very little focus on products that worked to improve the overall texture and tone of my skin at that time. So I decided to try my hand at making my own products by calculating my own formulas and crafting my own products from scratch. It wasn’t really until I noticed a complete transformation in my skin that I knew I had something. The Established kind of just evolved from there.”
What has your career path been like?
“My career trajectory has never been quite linear, which, in the past, is something I had struggled to find confidence around. I have a background in entertainment and started my professional career in the music industry working at record labels like EMI and Warner. That came to an end, and I fell into the crazy world of NYC real estate until I realized my heart just wasn’t in it, so I walked away. I’ve done everything in between from cocktail waitressing to freelancing, but I always had dreams of entrepreneurship. I don’t have a formal chemistry background nor did I study business, so ending up a beauty entrepreneur was a total surprise since it was so unplanned! But now I wouldn’t dream of working in any other space.”
What’s the core mission of your brand?
“Our core mission is to encourage customers to treat their beauty practice more wholesomely. Our primary focus is body care as skincare coupled with a beauty philosophy rooted in minimalism. We don’t do fluff, and we’re not invested in making products that over-promise or that you have to over-work into your regimen. It’s important for us to approach skincare with a sense of effortlessness and ease. We’re a brand that aspires to fit fluidly into your existing beauty practice.”
What’s your most popular item that you sell and why?
“For sure our hero product the Elixa Bath and Body Serum. I can’t keep it on the shelves! It really has grown a bit of a cult following and has taken on a life of its own. It’s insane! I think it’s really popular due to the market void as there really aren’t many high-performing skin serums we can find specifically targeted toward body care concerns and overall skin health. Its clean, high-botanical nature also makes it very democratic and agreeable with most skin types so really anybody can use it. This is the product customers most often say has eradicated their rough bumps, so I think the results are a huge factor. Also worth mentioning—it’s total bathroom shelf porn if you’re into that minimalist aesthetic, haha.”
What has surprised you the most since starting your company?
“How supportive, open, and positive the online beauty community is! Coming into such a competitive industry as the little guy can initially feel intimidating, but I’ve found such tremendous support through our customer base. People are so willing to make room for you within their beauty practice and document their skin journey with you. I love how invested I feel they are in our brand journey in return.”
What’s a lesson you’ve learned as a founder?
“Really to keep moving (doesn’t matter if it’s baby steps!) and to stay adaptable. As an entrepreneur, your goals can sometimes seem like moving targets, and you have to accept that some things you have in mind for yourself may come in a different form or lead you on a different path than initially expected. I’ve had to allow myself to become more open and fluid in that way.”
What can we expect in the future for The Established?
“My goal is to completely solidify our name in the body skincare space and diversify our line with more innovative body-specific products to bring on once we scale. There are so many that I have in mind! I’d also love to drive more of a focus toward impactful sustainability.”