In her sophomore year, senior Katherine Murr developed the idea of Saint Paige: an e-commerce beauty company primarily focusing on skincare. It wasn’t until her senior year that Katherine was finally able to make her idea into a reality.
“I simply just wanted to start a business as an outlet from sophomore year, which was one of my hardest years in high school,” Katherine said. “From that point until senior year, which was when I actually launched it and you could go online and buy one of the products, I was just developing the idea. It was a long process and it took roughly a year and a half.”
On top of school work and extracurriculars, Katherine managed many different aspects of Saint Paige such as; developing the brand name, meeting with a private label company to formulate the products and working with a design team to create the containers and packaging.
“I’m someone that focuses on the big picture, but also day-to-day if that makes sense,” Katherine said. “In my mind, the goal would be to have this become a really big company, but who knows? I didn’t really expect anything going into it. Every day I said, ‘Okay I just have to get this task done.’ For example, I have to email back that I approve the labeling, set up and take pictures for the e-commerce campaign and contact the foundation we’re collaborating with. Occasionally, I think about the big picture, but I think you have to work on the short-term goals in order to meet a long-term one, and my long-term one is pretty big.”
Saint Paige currently sells three products online and is in the process of getting them sold in stores. All of the products are cruelty, dye, fragrance and paraben free, and a portion of the proceeds donate to the National Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation.
“When it comes to skincare, people are very cautious of what they put on their skin,” Katherine said. “It’s your largest organ, so you really want to be careful what you’re putting on there and what your skin is absorbing. Skincare is difficult because you have to get your audience to accept the product and like it. It has to perform well, so you have to make sure your products are well formulated.”
To get her business more attention, Katherine sent out public relations (PR) packages to multiple people including supermodel and entrepreneur Karlie Kloss and OUAI Haircare owner and celebrity hairstylist Jen Atkin. After receiving the packages, both women promoted the products and brought a lot of people to Katherine’s website.
“The most exciting part of the process has been seeing how well people receive the products,” Katherine said. “I sent off a couple packages to different people in the beauty industry and they all promoted it, which I really appreciated. It’s nice seeing people recognize the hard work I’ve put into Saint Paige and support me.”
Only 16 when she created her company, 17 when she developed it, Katherine wanted to make sure other teenagers struggling with their skin could easily access quality products at an affordable price.
“I think every teenager focuses on their skin and, at one point or another, has had issues with their skin,” Katherine said. “I’m one of many that has had those problems as well, so I wanted to create a company to help with that in a more affordable way. We’re really focused on high-quality products at a reasonable price, so other teenagers can actually buy them and not spend all their money. I’ve always been told I have good skin, sometimes that’s been true and other times it hasn’t, but since creating this business, I’ve just really focused on it and kind of made it my thing.”
Katherine is also in charge of running the Instagram account for Saint Paige. A majority of their sales and audience come from social media, and it’s an important aspect to her business.
“The hardest part has definitely been running social media,” Katherine said. “Every day I have a new direction I want to go in. It can be something as simple as me saying, ‘I want a different color palette to be reflected in the Instagram.’ You can’t just change it. You have to gradually do these things. It’s difficult figuring out what to post because social media is where a lot of our sales come from. I have to figure out what most people seem to like more and what they’re receptive to.”
Coming to the end of her senior year, Katherine will be heading to college soon and plans to bring Saint Paige with her. Creating this business has been a top priority for her, and she hopes to have more time to focus on it after high school.
“I’ve always loved beauty, specifically skincare,” Katherine said. “That’s part of the reason why I started this business in the first place, and it’s something I’m really passionate about. It’s hard to balance school and this, on top of my extracurriculars, but it’s something I really enjoy doing. I’m excited to go to college because I know I’ll have more free time to focus on it. I really see this growing more, and if, for some reason, it’s something where my passion starts to die down, I’d of course love to start something more. I’m 17 and have a great support system so I have a lot of opportunities, which I’m very fortunate to have, to try out different things and find what I really love. Right now, for me, this is it, so I see it going in a really positive direction. Especially as I get older and I’m able to share my experiences positively with Saint Paige.”