My name is Kristen Speller and I am the Chief Brand Officer at Doubledown Cosmetics. I am the Co-Founder with my lovely husband, Marvin, as we are a husband-and-wife team in the Conscious + Clean Beauty sector of cosmetics.
I am a 13-year survivor of Domestic Violence and we started Doubledown Cosmetics for two reasons. One, there was a lack of diversity and representation in the Clean Beauty space and secondly, we wanted to develop a brand of cosmetics that would give us the wherewithal to provide something tangible to our Domestic Violence Community without potentially harming our community from potential toxins in traditional makeup. These two very important reasons are our “why” and why we started Doubledown Cosmetics in 2017.
As a survivor, I had to cover up my wounds to keep my very lucrative in Corporate America and this tedious, laborious & egregious situation, allowed me to create something that was bigger than myself and something that could impact our community in a greater way. This led to us starting our Glam UP Program in 2012. We started this program in our home and allowed strangers who were survivors into our home because there was a desperate need in our community. We spread the word through shelters that I knew of and my therapy groups.
Our Glam UP Program allowed us to not only glam up women from the outside, it led to something even greater than this for our community. When I was in therapy, which I went for 3 years, I was hearing from our survivors that they had no help with their legal affairs. They had no money; their husbands were powerful and the judges were not in their favor. I was quite fortunate that I could afford an attorney, the best that money could buy because my mother paid for everything. My mother wanted to protect me at all costs, as I know that I could have never afforded this on my own. I needed to do something quick for these women and it became my call to action. It became our call to action.
I started going with women to court. Not only glamming them up through cosmetics, but I started to help them file their own restraining orders and writing their victim impact statements. Cognitively, many survivors were not able to complete this on their own. They were taxed, scared and fearful of their very own lives. I knew what that was like, as I was them and they were me. Our Glam UP program ultimately became a wellness program. We provided music as I’m a professional musician, wheat free meals (My husband is a health coach) and glam up bags to go home with as I wrote to many companies who donated to this cause.
In 2019, we extended our Glam UP Program to the community and partnered with A Better Living, a homeless transitional housing program for survivors of Domestic Violence and the unhoused men in Los Angeles. My husband then created his own Man UP Program for the men, which led to us starting our non-profit, From Here to There LA.
Doubledown Cosmetics has been a catalyst for us as a mission led brand to start the larger conversation. The larger conversation is a social stigma and many people do not want to recognize marital, spousal or partner abuse, being one that is a community issue. It is not only a community issue, it is OUR issue. It’s everybody’s issue. These are our mothers, wives, daughters, sisters, cousins, women and children. These survivors are the core and pillars of our community. When you make a purchase with Doubledown Cosmetics, a portion of every product purchased goes right back into our community. This is our model. This is our brand. This is who we are. It is in our DNA and we will continue in a post-pandemic world, to bring the Glam UP program for our community back in person.
Until then, we will continue to service our unhoused survivors on the streets of Los Angeles, continue to go to court to support our community and continuing to diversify our efforts and harness legislative efforts in Los Angeles and in California.
Thank you QUILL for having us as a guest on your platform. We are proud to double down and get it done for our community.