Lauren Parisier and Kelli Kenny are on a mission. For more than 15 years, the two female entrepreneurs have been laser-focused on creating the safest and most effective skincare products for moms-to-be in the U.S. Now, they are bringing that vision to Chinese mothers.
Pitch Fest winner Basq is a New York-based maternity skincare brand that is poised to find a natural audience in China. Parisier and Kenny founded Basq with the belief that expecting mothers around the world are more attuned than ever to what’s in the products they use. Just like their American peers, Chinese expecting mothers want a skincare brand and products they can trust.
“We’re so excited to bring Chinese consumers a brand they will love through a platform as powerful as 11.11,” says Parisier. “We’ve built our brand awareness over 15 years in the U.S. and we’re confident that we’re now ready to launch in China with the right mix of products and ingredients. As a small business, Pitch Fest gives us a unique opportunity to gain great exposure in a very large market. Chinese women have tremendous skincare IQs and care about beauty and results—those are the core principles of our line and we know our products will resonate in the market.”
Kenny and Parisier originally met while working in marketing analysis at one of the big four accounting firms, but they both knew they wanted to undertake an entrepreneurial endeavor at some point. When Kenny went on to work in financial services and Parisier took a role in product development at Unilever, the two remained in contact.
About 15 years ago, they were both expecting at the same time and found that they were struggling to find safe, effective skincare products that met their unique needs during pregnancy. So, they decided to create a better maternity skincare experience themselves. In the years since they launched Basq, the founders have expanded their business from the US into Panama, Mexico, Ireland and the U.K.
Kenny and Parisier have built their brand through word-of-mouth over the years and take great pride in the fact that Basq has grown on the strength of recommendations from celebrities, influencers, stylists and thousands of everyday women. “We believe that if people get to know us, they’ll see we are the #1 brand with countless celebrity and social media endorsements,” says Parisier.
Basq’s formulations are built on the simple premise that pregnancy skincare products must work to build collagen to strengthen skin while it’s stretching. The brand’s cruelty-free, plant-based moisturizers are clinically proven to improve skin elasticity and contain ingredients that nourish skin and relieve tightness and itchiness.
Basq also relies on “aromacology,” or the science of how scent affects mood. It offers each of its products in three main scent profiles—lavender to support sleep, citrus to boost energy, and eucalyptus to help with exhalation—as well as in a fragrance-free version for those who prefer no aroma. Kenny and Parisier know that the right aromas can provide a sense of calm and joy and their products are designed to be the favorite part of pregnant women’s daily care routines.
“We built our products with aromas that help with sleep, anxiety and tension and, these days, moms-to-be are definitely looking for a feel-good moment when they can enjoy a few minutes of self-care,” says Parisier. “Pregnancy is an unbelievable time, and we want to give everyone five minutes to just breathe out and appreciate it.”