Meet the Expert: Ken Burkeen

DFW Beauty Guide: Meet the Expert - Ken Burkeen

Name & Professional Title: 

Ken Burkeen, Founder & CEO, Huetiful and Huetiful Salons

Brief background:

  • Graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point with a BA in Engineering and an MBA with concentration in Marketing and eCommerce from the University of Rochester in New York. 
  • Worked in logistics and supply chain management in the US Army for five years. 
  • Brand Management at Procter & Gamble from 2002-2007.
  • Thru 2012, Director of Marketing at UPS for their 10 billion a year Retailer & Consumer Packaged Goods segment before launching Huetiful; working with companies like Gilt Groupe, Amazon, Nordstroms and other leading retailers on how to develop logistics and shipping services that enhance their business performance. 

How did you get started in the beauty/wellness industry?

I started in the beauty/wellness industry in 2002, following completion of my MBA, when I was hired by Procter & Gamble to do brand management in the Global Beauty Care division. They started me in their Feminine Care business so I was really immersed in the needs and wants of women from both a product and emotional standpoint. I did everything from new product development to media planning to selling products into Target and Walmart to national advertising campaign development. 

What inspired you to launch the Huetiful brand?

“Huetiful” is a play on the words “hue” (shades) and “beautiful” and it reinforces our commitment to be solution focused versus race or ethnicity focused. 

My inspiration to launch Huetiful came from my realization that the definition of the word “beautiful” needed to be redefined and it needed to embrace the definition of beauty from a more global and culturally relevant standpoint. What is perceived to be beautiful in Chicago may be different than what is beautiful in Mexico City which also might be different than what is beautiful in Brooklyn or Paris. And yet – a brand should speak to women with textured hair from all of these cities as their needs are more similar than they are different. Huetiful appreciates the beautiful aspects of women with different skin tones, hair textures, or ideas of what beauty means to them. And because we embrace these more global notions of beauty, our product development can be more focused on beauty care challenges for women that may not have had product or service development focused on their needs in the past. 

Huetiful Hair Steamer

Huetiful Hair Steamer

Tell us a little about your first product, the Huetiful hair steamer.

My goal was to introduce women with textured hair to this idea of hydrating your hair and to give them the ability to do this from the comfort of their home or at a salon. 

I believe that great, sustainable businesses need to focus on areas of unmet needs. I listened to women, particularly women with textured hair, talk about their dissatisfaction with both hair care products and hair care services – or lack thereof. I believed that the industry was not sufficiently resolving the biggest issue among women with textured (wavy, curly, or kinky-curly) and that is “dryness”. I had a hypothesis that hair was not dry because it lacked the right conditioner or treatment. Hair, instead, was dry because it lacked hydration. I reasoned that when your body is thirsty you drink water. So, if your hair is dry and thirsty it also needs to drink water. 

Huetiful Salon - Dallas-Ft. Worth

Huetiful Salon - Dallas-Ft. Worth

What made you decide to bring your salon concept to the DFW metroplex?

Because Huetiful has been selling the Huetiful Hair Steamer for five years, we know that we already have brand recognition in the DFW metroplex. In addition, the diverse demographics of the DFW metroplex is a perfect overlap with our ideal customer demographics; a mix of women with wavy, curly, and kinky-curly hair texture. Perhaps the thing that tipped the scale is the weather and climate in the DFW metroplex. It can range from really hot and dry, to humid, to cold in the winter months. Our services, such as the hair care and hydrating steam treatment, are perfect for both the climate and the clients.  

LOCATION: 

Huetiful Salon - Dallas-Ft. Worth

2410 W Abram Street
Arlington, TX 76013

866.708.7015

What are some of your personal beauty/grooming regimens and tips? 

I believe that personal beauty and grooming regiments should be personalized for the individual and I believe that a holistic approach is required to look and feel great. 

1. Starting from the inside out – drink half your weight in fluid ounces of water. If you weigh 140 pounds, you should drink 70 ounces of water. 180 pounds should be 90 ounces or about 3 liters. 

2. Healthy hair begins with a healthy scalp. We often overlook scalp health and focus much more on our feet and face. However, the scalp is where hair grows from. Brush hair frequently to stimulate the scalp and get your natural hair oil down to the ends of each strand. 

3. Even if you’re a do-it-yourself beauty maven, check in with your professional and licensed esthetician or cosmetologist three to four times a year for knowledge on the latest trends and a little bit of pampering. 

What advice would you give to those interested in starting a natural beauty business?

A leading marketing consultant once said, “You Can’t Sell Sameness.”

Right now, there is a lot of sameness in the natural beauty business. Those who are interested in starting a business built to last should really understand what I call the “pain points” or the “unmet needs” within the natural beauty space. Once you’ve identified what those are, create a business that resolves those unmet needs. For me – the unmet need I was solving for was “how do I rid myself of dry hair when I already have 7 different conditioners and treatments under my sink but I still get split ends and breakage?”

What's on the horizon for you? Any exciting projects that you're working on?

I try not to get too far ahead of myself. My focus right now is ensuring that the DFW Metroplex has a great new natural textured hair salon that respects your time by never double booking you, provides exceptional healthy hair services 7 days a week at your convenience, and has you walking out looking and feeling great. 

Any last words for our DFW Beauties?

Coco Chanel once said, “In Order To Be Irreplaceable, One Must Be Unique.”

The entire Huetiful Team looks forward to providing a unique and irreplaceable natural textured hair care salon to the DFW Metroplex.