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Trusting the process

With a mantra of “whatever goes on your body should be good enough to go in it,” beauty brand Camille Rose has grown from offering homemade eczema cream to a multi-million-dollar company.

With a mantra of “whatever goes on your body should be good enough to go in it,” the beauty brand Camille Rose has grown from offering homemade eczema cream to a multi-line, multi-million-dollar company.

Camille Rose is predominantly a textured hair care brand but founder and CEO, Janell Stephens sees it as a lifestyle brand. Stephens spoke at Drug Store News’ 2023 Top Women in Health, Wellness & Beauty event in November. She shared her story, relating how it all started in her kitchen as she tried to create a solution for her five young children who were suffering from skin sensitivities such as eczema and dry patches on their skin. After seeing a doctor on television speaking about benefits of natural ingredients Stephens started on a quest to start using all natural products, both food and personal care. She was so serious about it that she studied with a herbalist for a year. “I became a chef for beauty products,” Stephens stated.

Her next venture was a natural diaper rash cream. When she saw next-day results, she wanted to share it with other moms. Stephens looked for a lab to help produce the diaper rash cream and created a website to make it available to others.

[Read more: Community connections have led to long-term success for Palmer’s]

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janelle stephens
Janell Stephens

The brand grew organically through the use of social media as Stephens focused on developing more products to help people. One of those early products was Curl Love Moisture Milk, a conditioner that is still the company’s most popular item today, as well as the Almond Jai Twisting Butter. Today Camille Rose offers hair care, skin care, kids, and bath & body products, as well as items for the home. 

Camille Rose products can be found in multiple retailers, including Target, CVS, Sally Beauty, Target, Ulta, Walmart, Walgreens, and Whole Foods, and is available in the United Kingdom and South Africa. Stephens said a key differentiator for Camille Rose products are the ingredients. Every ingredient is chosen for the benefit they bring, including soothing, hydrating, and conditioning foods such as aloe vera, coconut milk, sweet almond milk, honey, and castor oil. “Our products are gourmet-inspired and use natural ingredients that can be found in kitchens around the world.,” Stephens said. “The ingredients are recognizable and well-known for their benefits and nutritional value.” She continued, “I’ve been nicknamed the “Master Mixtress” because I blend ingredients in interesting ways that artfully create joy.”

Stephens says they are all about connections with their customers whether it is online or at in-store events. “Great products build loyalty. We really believe in our product offerings and take time to engage with our ‘Rosettes’ and ‘Brosettes,’” Stephens commented. “We know our loyalists are as much a part of Camille Rose as our staff is.”

[Read more: A tiny container making a large impact]

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The brand has grown quickly, which Stephens attributes to concerted efforts to raise awareness through in-person events and social media. “We try to let our community know that Camille Rose is a place for them to feel beautiful and appreciated. At Camille Rose their needs come first,” Stephens stated. “Our tagline is ‘The Recipe for Beauty’ and there is so much that goes into that — ingredients, carefully crafted products, and benefits — but also confidence, joy, and love.”  

In 2019, Stephens launched the Janell Ennis Stephens Foundation to support women and families in need. The foundation’s mission is based on positively affecting the lives of families, particularly single mothers who are striving to succeed in business or working hard to provide for their family.

Stephens wrapped up the session at the Drug Store News event advocating, “Trust yourself. If it is truly your passion, trust the process.”

Megan Moyer is HRG’s corporate marketing manager. HRG is in the details of retail, working with product manufacturers, distributors, retailers, technology partners, and other industry organizations to provide data & analysis, shopper experience, brand development, fixture coordination, and retail communications solutions. HRG reviews new health, beauty, and wellness (HBW) items every month and assesses their potential for longevity in the monthly Products to Watch feature in Drug Store News as well as the annual Future 50 list. 

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