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Meet Ericka Rodriguez: Beauty Maven behind Vegan Beauty Brand- Axiology

by | May 8, 2019

Founded in November 2014 in Bend, Oregon, Axiology– the vegan beauty brand, has quickly grown to be a deeply beloved and cult beauty favorite lipstick brand. Axiology’s lipsticks are incredibly gorgeous and chic and carry the distinction of being organic and 100% evil free. Their commitment to simple, clean beauty is also revealed in a line up of ten total ingredients. Raise Vegan had the pleasure to chat with Ericka Rodriguez, founder of Axiology, about her inspiration to found Axiology, the brand’s history and Brooklyn roots, the demand for vegan cosmetics and more. Read on lipstick lovers!

Image Credit: Axiology

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Meet Ericka Rodriguez: Beauty Maven behind Vegan Beauty Brand- Axiology

Here are the excerpts from the chat:

I read that Axiology was the 3rd vegan business that you created.  What can you share about perseverance and commitment, especially in this dynamic time of rapidly growing interest in plant-based and vegan products?  

Ericka: I have always been a huge animal lover and when I was eleven years, I was marketed to by the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA). They sent me a package of kid-friendly collateral and it opened my eyes to the horrors of factory farming and animal abuse. I went vegetarian overnight. When I got older and became vegan, it became my absolute passion. My body was pulsating for a way to create a way to combine my ethical belief of veganism with business. I was committed to interweaving both veganism and business because a business has a way of changing the culture. There was no giving up for me, it was just a matter of finding the right business. Axiology is definitely the one I was meant to start. 

Image credits: Raise Vegan
Meet Ericka Rodriguez: Beauty Maven behind Vegan Beauty Brand- Axiology

I love the statement on your site that you started Axiology “to make the cleanest, most ethical lipstick on the planet”.  I’ve bought your lipstick before and not only does it feel good to support a makeup company on the ethical, game-changing frontlines of the industry, but your lipsticks are also gorgeous and of incredible quality!  Can you share anything about the process of innovation that went into developing Axiology products?

Ericka: Axiology started for me as a way to say no to the animal testing and non-vegan ingredients in beauty. I committed to only buying products that were vegan, cruelty-free and natural. At the time, this space was small and there weren’t a lot of options. The products I did try either didn’t offer great performance or their branding wasn’t marketing to me as a 26-year-old living in NYC. So I set out to create a better product. My process of developing Axiology was not glamorous. I started making a lipstick in my tiny Brooklyn kitchen. I bought lots of ingredients and started mixing and melting ingredients that were food-grade, such as avocado oil and coconut oil. I wanted to make a lipstick that had ingredients that were recognizable and felt good on the lips. My goal was to create a product that felt like a lip balm with the look of a lipstick. Two years of formulating later, we launched Axiology. 

Image Credit: Axiology

How is the reception locally in your region for vegan cosmetics/body products?

Ericka: Veganism is growing in Bend. Actually, there is a group of about 20 vegan women that get together every month to talk about all things vegan and support each other. The name of the group is Vegan Ladyboss and they have chapters worldwide, in case anyone is interested. The great thing about Axiology is that not only are we vegan but our products are clean and natural. This makes it so that Axiology can sell in natural shops as people in Bend are very interested in natural products. 

While the market and demand for vegan beauty products is growing, there are still so many companies who are not up to speed about the reality that cosmetics can be produced ethically, without harm to animals and vegan. What do you think needs to happen to further propel the shift towards a more ethical cosmetics market?

Ericka: Customers need to continue to demand this shift to more ethical beauty. The companies will shift when the market calls for it. That’s why social media platforms are so important right now so that customers can educate themselves and voice their concerns. 

Image Credit: Axiology

What are some of your favorite vegan restaurants, cafes, shops in your city & region (or worldwide!)?

Ericka: Anytime I go to Portland (3 hours away) I get to go to all the vegan restaurants and shops. Portland is the big city of Oregon and there are lots of vegans there so I go a little food crazy. I can eat vegan donuts, “cheese-steak” sandwiches, and even vegan corn dogs. YUM! 

What are some of your team members personal favorite Axiology products?

Ericka: Our formulator Chloe always reaches for our lilac purple lipstick, Reflection and our shipping and fulfillment manager, Jessyka, always reaches for Clarity, which is a pinkish red. Our creative director, Kelly, loves our natural shade, Serene. 

Ericka, what are some of your favorite Axiology products?  

Ericka: Some of my favorite Axiology shades are Worth, Clarity, and Strength. They are all in the red family which I love. You can also wear all of these shades day to night. 

Image Credit: Raise Vegan

Have you tried any of their lipsticks? Let us know in the comments below.

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2 Responses to “Meet Ericka Rodriguez: Beauty Maven behind Vegan Beauty Brand- Axiology”

  1. Lucy Post
    May 8th, 2019 @ 8:58 am

    I love Ericka’s story of becoming vegan. It just goes to show how education and compassion can have a positive ripple effect. Best wishes on much continued success!

  2. SwatchedLa
    May 14th, 2019 @ 7:39 pm

    I’ve loved Axiology for years – their ethos, mission and lip products. The ingredients check all the right boxes for me. I am glad their products were carried in Sephora for a time to give the brand more exposure to a mass audience. Keep up the good work, Ericka!

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