Friday, September 25, 2015


Sophisticated Rebel has always been more than a cool lipstick… SO MUCH MORE!

We believe that every business should have 3 elements to be considered successful.  

1. A company should provide an excellent product or service.
2. A company should make A LOT of money (if not, it should be a non-profit).
3. A company should use its success to improve the community around them (whether locally or globally). 
It should use its social leverage (social media reach and voice) to bring awareness, educate, encourage, promote & praise those that are already doing the things to create change.  It should ALSO use its success to financially support organizations that are in the trenches daily doing the work to make the world a better place.  Companies like Tom's Shoes and  Warby Parker are great examples of companies that are already doing this.

The third element is why we created "Rebel with a Cause", a non-profit fund that grants money to charities that embody the sophisticated rebel spirit.   A portion of our profits go into the fund and that money is then granted to charities through an application process.
The charities might be organizations that are providing scholarships for girls who want to study engineering, protecting women in countries where their safety is threatened daily,  a group that promotes positive body images, anti bullying, etc…  The example I often use is Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani girl who was shot for trying to get an education and is now helping other girls get educated.

RWAC has been a part of Sophisticated Rebel since its inception.  We wanted a business that would provide a vehicle that could do big things to help women.  Lipstick seems like such a perfect fit… it is the cornerstone of what women wear to feel feminine.

There are a lot of women that would love to be able to help women and girls that are less fortunate, but they often don’t have the time or financial means to do so.
Now millions of women can help others around the world by simply buying a lipstick (and a pretty darn cool one too).

I invite women everywhere to join our tribe, buy some lipstick and be part of a movement that is changing the world!!
~ Kasten

How a Chinese Tennis Star took on the Communist Chinese Government... and WON

Li Na – Tennis Phenom, took on the Chinese Government and WON!  She became the 2nd highest paid female athlete in the WORLD.  Her rebellion, determination and talent changed the rules for athletes throughout China… thousands of girls in China strive to be just like her.   She is brave, determined, smart and beautiful and we are proud to showcase her as a Sophisticated Rebel.
Here is a recent interview with Li Na on 60 mins… it’s 12 mins long and worth every second.
Li Na, Sophisticated Rebel thanks you!

How Custom Engraving Comforted a Grieving Widow

One of our first customers and biggest supporters is a wonderful lady named Lauralee Finke (she also happens to be my cousin-in-law).  Earlier this year, her ailing father's health took a turn for the worse and it was evident he only had a few days to live.  Lauralee rushed to the hospital in Nevada to be by his side with the rest of her family.
At one point Lauralee took out her Forever Blade and began to apply her lipstick... her stepmom quickly asked, "what is that?" Lauralee explained that it was a Stainless steel, refillable lipstick applicator that Andreas's (her late husband) cousin (me) invented.  She explained that it was flat so it fit in her pocket and that she had the company engrave her name on the side.  Her stepmom loved it and commented that she wanted to order one for herself.  Lauralee figured she would be too busy dealing with the loss of her husband to order a blade and had planned to order it for her as a Birthday gift.
Well within a few weeks we (Sophisticated Rebel) got an order from the stepmom (Michelle).  I didn't know anything about what had happened in the hospital, so I reached out to Lauralee and told her that her stepmom had just ordered a Forever Blade.  I mentioned that Michelle didn't order any engraving and asked if there was a special nickname her dad had for Michelle that I could engrave on it for her.  Lauralee told me how her Dad would always greet Michelle by saying, "Helllllooooooo Baaaaaaabbbbby"... so that was what I engraved on her applicator!  Before shipping the order, I wrote Michelle a not explaining how I knew what to engrave and that I hoped that every time she applied her lipstick, that she thought about her late husband (John) giving her a kiss.
I later heard that when Michelle received her order, she was speechless over the engraving and note.  Although she said it made her cry every time she looked at it, she assured me they were tears of joy and that it made her feel as though her husband was right there with her every time she put on her lipstick. She is THRILLED that it is refillable because she takes it with her every where she goes and says she will cherish it until the day she meets the lover of her life in Heaven!  

Custom engraving does more than make each Forever Blade personal and unique... it has the power to keep the memory of a loved one alive, to help a sweetie express how much they fell about their significant other, or to have a motivational or inspirational message close by as a reminder...  It has the power to do any or all of things every time someone applies their lipstick!!

What would you have engraved on your Forever Blade?? 
Log onto the site to see some examples of what our customers have had us engrave on their Forever Blades:

When I learned to become a Sophisticated Rebel

It was the summer of 1989, I was about to enter my junior year of high school in Portland Or. and I was dreading it!  I was so bored of high school… I had gotten good grades, but I hated being there and all I wanted to do was surf (yes, surf)… I spent my days that summer plotting my rebellion.
Once I felt I had a good plan, I went to my parents (both of whom immigrated to the US from Germany) and told them I was done with school and that I was planning to move to Southern California so I could surf every day.  When my father asked how I had planned to make a living and support myself, I was able to quickly answer (due to what I thought was great planning), “I am going to have a bbq and bento stand and sell lunch at the beach!”  Almost in unison my parents replied with a resounding, “We immigrated to this country to you could have a better life… you WILL finish high school and you WILLfinish college!!”
There is absolutely nothing good that comes from arguing with German parents, so I went back to plotting other alternatives for getting out of school (two other very German traits are stubbornness and rebelliousness – and I have both).   I realized that if I wanted to accomplish my goal, I had to find a smart, productive, positive way to rebel… a “sophisticated” way.
I ended up doubling up on classes (going in early, staying late, etc) and testing out of other classes.  Half way through my junior year I had enough credits to graduate AND I had a 4.0 grade point average.  There wasn’t much my parents could say against that.  I got what I wanted – out of high school – and they got what they wanted, graduate with honors.  It was that experience that sparked the Sophisticated Rebel in me and I’ve been breaking rules and doing things my own way ever since!

I LOVE Lipstick!

Hi, I’m Kasten and first welcome to Sophisticated Rebels.   Let me get this out of the way now…
I love lipstick.  I do.  I’ve been a fanatical collector since I can remember.  Back then I was windsurfing for a living, the sun, wind and waves would reek havoc on my skin, especially my lips.   I looked for products that could heal my lips instead of turning them into prunes but I could only afford cheap brands sold in drugstores, and so the hunt continued.   On my birthday my friend gave me a Tom Ford lipstick and I cherished that square monster.  I call it that because it wouldn’t fit into any clutch I owned but the lipstick inside – OMG – it was worth all the hassle lugging it around.  When it ran out, I wanted another one – my lips wanted one even worse – and that’s when I found out it was a whopping fifty two bucks!  For lipstick??  That’s when I started researching how lipstick is made because I figured if I couldn’t afford the best, maybe I could gather the right ingredients and whip up some for myself.  I mean I’m pretty good in the kitchen when I actually cook.  I found out two things really quick – it’s not as easy as making walnut brownies but it’s also not as expensive as I imagined.  Sure, the ingredients in a Tom Ford or a Dior are some the highest quality on the planet but even still, they only account for a small fraction of that heart stopping price.  What I’d really be paying for if I wanted more of that  To-Die-Forlipstick, is the NAME of course – but also that damn inconvenient square monster with the pretty gold foil.  So I started creating my own top tier formulas and yet I still had this nagging question that became an obsession –  How can a girl have the very best lipstick without paying for awesome packaging that ends up in a landfill anyway?  
You know how they say if you visualize something long enough things will align to make them happen?
I met Frank, my future partner, at a convention for Entrepreneurs.  He had this crazy concept of a Swiss Army Knife for women and had no idea then how tough that would be to pull off.  His only real experience with makeup was carrying around his wife’s products in his pockets because she didn’t want to carry a bag when they were out. Then he showed me some of the art he had done on what the “blades” might look like and it hit me like a BRICK – like when peanut butter smashed into chocolate and Buttercup’s were born!  This was the answer I was looking for – the perfect applicator for my dreampremium lipstick. We partnered up and formed Sophisticated Rebel and our history is still being written.  Log onto our and see what we’ve come up with!
My take from all this is to never quit on a goal, a vision or a grand concept even when you don’t possess all the skills to make it happen.  If you align yourself for success, you’ll be keenly aware when opportunity walks right into your life.
Thanks for listening!