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Ashley Graham on investing in sustainable beauty brand Fig.1 Beauty

April 30, 2022, 1:00 PM UTC

Ashley Graham is a model, designer, author, and body activist who has worked in numerous areas across the fashion industry including editorial, catalog, runway, commercial, television, and film. She has also received accolades for her activism around body positivity, especially, including being named Glamour’s “Woman of the Year” in 2016 and to Time’s “100 Most Influential People in the World” in 2017.

And earlier this month, she announced that she has joined skin care brand Fig.1 as an investor and partner. Fig. 1 touts to offer higher-quality, clinically-proven formulas—with all products priced at $40 and under—as well as free access to licensed estheticians. Working directly with the executive team in product and brand development meetings, Graham was among the first to receive lab samples of the products to test out before the company launched.

Graham recently shared more with Fortune about her decision to invest in the company.

A longtime advocate for affordable products, Ashley Graham underscores not everyone has access to luxury skin care products or top dermatologists.
Michele Crowe—CBS/Getty Images
  • Startup: Fig.1 Beauty
  • Location: New York, N.Y.
  • Year Founded: 2021
  • Valuation: $36 million
  • Investment Level: Seed
  • Number of employees: 11 to 20
  • Other major investors: 8VC, Gaingels, Alpha Edison, Claire Holt, Phoebe Tonkin, Mila Kunis, Jed Stiller and Jon McPheters (Stadium Goods), Carter Reum

Why she invested, in her own words

After my son Isaac was born, I struggled with postpartum rosacea on top of the other acne concerns I had been facing. As a skincare junkie already, all I was looking for were a few new products that were simple and effective. A friend introduced me to investor Kimmy Scotti, who was working on a new skincare brand rooted in expertise and authenticity, and she introduced me to her cofounders, dermatologist Dr. Courtney Rubin and chemist Lizzy Trelstad, who sent me early lab samples to test out. I’ve tried every skincare product under the sun, and the quick and efficient results I saw from the clinically effective formulas blew me away.

Immediately, I knew I needed to be involved. My approach to business is to only take on projects that I believe in, and invest in products that really work. I didn’t want to start my own line, and Fig.1 was looking for more than a celebrity endorsement, so I made an investment and joined as a partner.

What really struck me was how perfectly the brand ethos aligned with my values. First, what you see is what you get. That’s the case with me, and that’s what drew me to Kimmy and this brand. The formulas are made with active ingredients that are clinically proven, without any filler or fluff.

Second, I’ve always been about accessibility and inclusivity. Skin health shouldn’t be a privilege. Fig.1 provides free access to skincare consultations from best-in-class licensed skin health experts, and with an under $42 price point, the high-quality products are affordable.

Third, Fig.1 is committed to refillable and recyclable packaging for each product. Fig.1 is so dedicated to reusability that the team’s estheticians focus on recommending a routine that maintains the products you already use and love, thereby reducing waste.

Lastly, as a busy mom of three, each under three years old, time is precious. I don’t always have the time to go through a full regimen. The chemist and dermatologists behind Fig.1 designed the products so you can follow a full step-by-step routine, or combine them and apply the products to your skin at once, which is such a time saver. We call it “home compounding.”

Together with Fig.1, I hope to continue to inspire women to feel their best by bringing realness into their daily lives. Real products that are clinically tested to drive real results. I strive to highlight the importance of investing in the products and people you believe in because you vote with every dollar you spend.

This is an installment of Why I Invested, a series featuring famous investors from all different backgrounds and industries, revealing what inspired them to invest their own money in a new business.