Family Run is an original A Plus Lifestyle series: Every month, we profile amazing families who work together in some capacity. From starting businesses, inventing products, collaborating artistically, and beyond, these family members are making positive contributions to the world together, and strengthening their family bonds in the process.
There are countless family-run businesses throughout the world, but few survive even to a second generation. Families who run businesses that do last, however, have a particularly unique story to tell about entwining work and familial love, producing both profit and strengthened bonds.
The family-run business that caught our attention this month was Renpure, the latest endeavor of Redmond Products Inc. You may have heard of the Redmond family as they created Aussie Hair 40 years ago. Renpure, founded in 2008, involves several members of the family, and has a mission to provide people with affordable, ethically sourced, safe hair products. They also aim to be as "natural" as possible, sourcing ingredients from around the world, which they claim, helps support local communities. All this makes Renpure the perfect intersection of two things we love here at A Plus: clean beauty products and family-run businesses.
To help us learn more about the company's background, and what it means to work with family, we spoke with marketing director John Redmond, son of Tom Redmond, president & CEO of Redmond Inc., and Cindy Redmond, co-owner and product development.
Courtesy of Renpure
John first recounted how Renpure began, reminding us of his family's storied past being in business together: His paternal grandparents began Aussie Hair back in the 1970s in their garage, simply as a fun activity for themselves and their children. Having come from such a background, it seemed only natural John's own parents would delve into the same line of work.
"Fast-forward back to 2008 — both my parents are sitting in their green, wallpapered kitchen, which included floral accents, along with insanely outdated, pink-hued ceramic floor tiles, fed up with how the hair care industry was pumping out products containing chemicals you (A) couldn't even pronounce, and (B) would never, ever, EVER consider putting on your head, let alone your child's … Both my parents were very concerned about making sure their kids were living as healthy a life as possible. However, they noticed quality products meant higher costs. To them, they realized that as a family buying safe products for your family would be very expensive, and not every family can afford to drop that kind of money."
So, with the help of John's grandfather, Tom and Cindy created Renpure to put safe and affordable hair care products on the market.
When asked why it was so important to ensure ethically sourced, natural ingredients, John responded, “Because it’s important, and it’s what’s right, period.”
He went on to explain, "In developing countries, there are those who farm. There are those who work much harder and much longer than many I know. Enduring more hardship than many could even image to produce a crop they can sell to support their families … Paying a fair price for ingredients provides those farmers with a living wage that allows them to grow their farms, stimulate their local communities, create and enhance local infrastructure, improve education, and create more jobs."
With this goal of creating safe, ethically sourced, "pure" products whenever possible, Tom and Cindy hit the ground running, eventually involving their kids in developing Renpure. Over the years, as more family members became involved — "Currently there are seven of nine, and soon to be eight of nine involved. Peter the youngest just started college, so we're just waiting on him!" — the company began to transform, though still maintaining its original mission.
Courtesy of Renpure
"... As the years have gone by, and each of their [Tom and Cindy's] kids began working with the brand, we have each brought in a new perspective and new ideas that we have all worked together to implement. This year has been the first where all of the kids have had a say in helping to transform Renpure into a company that we feel reflects our brand appropriately, while communicating effectively to our demographic!"
"Renpure is a family company that has grown with the family. We're all experts in our own field and we all contribute to helping grow the brand."
And while John says it hasn't been a challenge to maintain Renpure as a family-operated business over the years, he notes things aren't "hunky-dory" all the time.
"There are definitely days when you want nothing more than to throw a 16-ounce bottle of Renpure shampoo at your brother, but you learn to work together maturely. You learn to resolve issues appropriately, and the biggest way to avoid conflict is to compromise."
Through such compromise and effective communication, the family has been able to thrive. Having been raised together obviously helps — throughout their lives, they've played together, gone to school together, worked together, etc.
Through it all, they’ve learned, as a family, to speak to each other constructively, maturely, and understandably.
Courtesy of Renpure
"Constructively because it's important to be specific about what it is you disagree about. Maturely because no one wants to be talked down to, and we still need to eat dinner together every Sunday. Understandably because articulating thoughts, comments, and suggestions well will again really help to get the other to understand where it is you're coming from."
Maintaining a healthy family dynamic isn't just for the sake of the Redmonds, however. This dynamic is quintessential to their brand as each family member is involved in every step of the production process. The idea of family is engrained in Renpure's philosophy, and without it, John says Renpure would not be. Though he is also sure to highlight that they are supported by a lean staff of employees, who are essential to the success of the company as well.
Last, but not least, John points out that working with family has made the company what it is today, but it's also made all who work there much closer with each other.
"We're so, so, so lucky to have the opportunity to work together. I see so many friends who don't see their siblings for months on end because they work for a company in another state, or they've grown apart. For us, being able to see each other every day is a blessing. We're literally always together. We're always talking, and we're always bonding, and we're always growing together. There's something super special about working at Renpure."
“Being that it’s a family company, even our employees feel like family. They all know our business, we know all of theirs. Renpure takes the term ‘work family’ to a whole new meaning.”
Courtesy of Renpure
Be sure to check out more stories from the A Plus original series Family Run.