Alima Pure grows in U.S., overseas

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Kate O'Brien, founder and CEO of Alima Pure
Photo courtesy Alima Pure

Kate O'Brien, founder and CEO of Alima Pure, set out to form a company that was "militaristically sustainable."  Click on the image for a look at Alima products. 

Alima Cosmetics Inc. intends to take the phrase "natural beauty" beyond euphemism and turn it into a growing brand.

When Kate O’Brien’s teenaged daughter started getting interested in makeup in 2004, she noticed that there was a relatively underserved market for cosmetics made with natural, sustainable ingredients.

This realization served as the impetus for O’Brien to found the Alima Pure brand, a line of mineral makeup sustainably packaged and produced.

“I was interested in seeing if we could just start a company that was almost militaristically sustainable from day one,” said O’Brien. “It worked.”

Today, Alima Pure is hitting new growth milestones and is starting to attract the attention of the mainstream beauty industry.

Starting as a tiny enterprise based in O’Brien’s attic, Alima Pure’s production operation moved into a repurposed mom-and-pop grocery store in southeast Milwaukie, with their business offices in a house next door, in 2007.

This month, Alima Pure Luminous Shimmer Eyeshadow was chosen by ELLE Magazine for a Green Star Beauty award, given to products that are “powered by botanical active ingredients and…free of chemicals. Bonus points go to companies that have a proven commitment to sustainability.”

On Google Trends, Oregon is one of the top regions in the United States for searches for natural cosmetics, so it's no surprise that Alima Pure enjoys what O'Brien calls “a great supportive following” in its own back yard.

“There’s so much energy for this kind of business,” said O'Brien.

Alima Pure is available in 10 spas and retail stores in Oregon.

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