A lover of delicate lace and high necklines a la the Victorian era, Madeline Alcott often looks to the past for style inspiration. But when it comes to her business, she’s all about the future. She launched Petit Vour, her luxe cruelty-free subscription beauty box, in 2013, and she has big plans in the works.
In addition to growing her team and enhancing the Petit Vour website, Madeline is working on some exciting collaborations. “We’re partnering with Thoughtfully Magazine for our July beauty box, and I couldn’t be more thrilled,” the Dallas-based co-founder said. “When I first [saw] Issue 1, I literally read cover to cover. It is the essence of Petit Vour, through and through. I believe in authentic kindness and any business that shares that belief is a friend of mine.”
Kindness is at the heart of Petit Vour, which puts only vegan beauty products in its boxes, but cruelty-free isn’t enough: an element of luxury also has to be present for an item to make the cut. “Clean ingredients are a major plus and the product needs to deliver,” Madeline added. “And if the packaging makes me ooh and ahh, then I’m like, ‘put it in a box, STAT.’” The result is a an impeccable mix of brands like Aromi, French Girl Organics, and FLO + THEO “We have a message, a feeling, to convey and we need to showcase that emotion stylistically."
We chatted with Madeline about how she makes that happen -- both for the business and personally. Keep reading to find out why she’s so passionate about Petit Vour, who inspires her, and how she crafts her signature look.
I was definitely influenced by my older brother, who introduced cruelty-free to me. I won’t vouch for his vegan cooking skills, but his healthy lifestyle and philosophical approach to life [influenced me]. That in combination with Philosophy 101 and living in Austin, TX -- it was only a matter of time.
The big idea:
As an avid vegan shopper (and former Sephora junkie), it became wildly apparent that the beauty world was lacking a beautiful place for women to discover the best ethical products. With the subscription box model in full swing, it seemed like the perfect time to launch into our endeavor and develop an audience.
Aesthetic + Performance + (here’s my personal addition) Ethics.
Biggest professional challenge:
Growing the business without an investor or trust fund.
Favorite beauty product:
Toughest question ever! I suppose Beauty Elixir 1 by Kypris, because it makes me feel like a goddess. Makeup is pointless without radiance underneath.
Romantic, ethereal, and a bit vintage -- lots of creams, whites and lace in the closet.
Most beloved outfit:
I have this cream colored long-sleeve [shirt] that looks like it was plucked right out of the Victorian era. It’s lace all over with an amazingly high neckline and crisscross ties that run down the forearms. I love to pair it with my amber corduroy skirt and thigh high knit socks.
Blue (vegan) suede booties by Good Guys Don’t Wear Leather, Maiden Dress in carondelet and Tammy Top in natural by The Reformation, Plush Legging Jeans by Rag & Bone, Le Classic V Neck Tee by FRAME, and a bustier bikini by Mara Hoffman.
Favorite fashion trends:
High necklines, colored (vegan) suede, one-shoulder cuts, floral prints, and sheer [fabrics].
Most stylish person on the planet:
Can my person be Free People? Okay, actual person… Sienna Miller, because she never bores me. She can rock edgy, boho, classy feminine, or avant-garde. I just love her versatility.
Best fashion moment in a film:
Penelope Cruz in Vicky Christina Barcelona. She oozes with femininity and is such a free spirit.
Common style pitfall for women:
Wearing the wrong fit/size is the ultimate mistake. It’s so easy to google the best pant/skirt/dress styles for your shape. It’s just as easy to buy a size that fits comfortably. Buying anything that you have to really squeeze into won’t do you any favors, so ignore “your size” and just go with what makes you look effortless.
Best tip for transitioning to a cruelty-free beauty routine:
Start with the top-rated cruelty-free products before you experiment with new brands (it’s the safest way to be sure you’ll like the performance). If you want to sample a plethora of products at a fraction of the cost, subscribe to Petit Vour!