A Brand 9 Years in the Making
trèStiQue wasn’t born nine months from conception, it was nine years in the making. Co-Founder and CEO, Jenn Kapahi had the idea to create a high quality and thoroughly modern makeup collection. “I never wavered on the concept (8 is the luckiest number in Chinese culture), I knew what I wanted, but I also knew I needed the experience and the relationships to make it happen,” she says.
Jenn is the daughter of a farmer. She grew up working in the fields and at the retail stands, her side hustle was waitressing, babysitting, starting a piano school and working for the local veterinarian. During the summers, Jenn worked as a makeup artist at Sak’s Fifth Avenue in Southampton—it was one of her 500 jobs, she jokes. It was there that the concept percolated. “I had a window into real women and what they wanted. Looking back, this really influenced the format of treStique: the sticks, the tools, the bag…the routine.”
After studying art in college and a year at Bloomingdale’s, Jenn was eager to tap into her creative side. She started working for the world’s most luxurious makeup manufacturer, developing and marketing products for brands including Anastasia, Estee Lauder, L’Oreal, MAC, Troy Surrat etc. Four years later, she was offered brand experience at Revlon, managing global product development for cosmetics, skincare and hair. She introduced some of its most successful franchises including Just Bitten lip stain, ColorStay trend nail collections and Colorsilk hair color.
By the end of 2014, she was ready. There was nothing out there for her, just the idea of putting on makeup was messy and exhausting. She reconnected with co-founder Jack Bensason and launched the brand 6 months later in June 2015.
Jack grew up in the cosmetics business, worked almost 10 years at intercos learning every angle of supply chain and development and was also ready to make his mark—literally…with a crayon. For him, it was about packaging, convenience and sublime performance. After a few coffee shop meetings and some serious brainstorming, they realized that Jenn’s “Essential 8” and Jack’s jumbo twist crayon was trèStiQue.
With passion and purpose, they created a line of smart makeup crayons with built-in tools that fit in the palm of your hands. The “Essential 8” is the first customized beauty routine that travels with you anytime and anywhere. And thanks to the partners 25 + years of combined experience, the quality is exquisite, the packaging is clever and it’s made in Italy, by the manufacturer that brought them together.
Today, Jenn has two young children and Jack has three. “Amid building a career, traveling and starting a family, my beauty routine just couldn’t keep up – my makeup bag was messy, heavy to carry and full of complicated products that didn’t perform the way I wanted them to. I knew we needed to re-evaluate the way we use, carry and apply makeup.”
And they did it! treStiQue—which is customized to your face —really is the modern-day beauty routine soaring into the 2020’s.