Kate Assaraf, Founder and CEO of NOAP

She launched a sustainable beauty brand during a pandemic, and doesn't stop there when it comes to adrenaline-pumping adventure.

Kate is the voice behind the amazing new beauty brand NOAP, which--if you can believe it--just launched during the pandemic. If you follow NOAP on Instagram, you'll know that she has an incredibly fun, yet no BS, Energizer Bunny vibe and as you'll see below, she brings that to everything she does. We're absolutely delighted to share more of her story.

Tell us a little bit about your background - what were you up to before you created NOAP?

Before NOAP I was building brands freelance while raising my 2 little boys--one of the most recent & favorite brands I worked on was Natural Rapport, a premium pet company that I truly believed in. 

And before kids I lived & worked in LA, London, Paris, NYC fully taking advantage of the freedom of my 20s, knowing that one day I wanted to return to NJ and start a family of my own one day. It was realizing that the world will not be a nice place for my kids if we don’t cure our plastic dependence that inspired NOAP.

We know you were inspired to create NOAP out of your own desire for salon-quality hair care without the plastic (and we couldn’t be happier that you did!). Tell us a little about what that process has been like for you.

Hindsight often sugarcoats the process, but my goal is to keep it real. The process of starting a brand from scratch is not fun. The glamour quickly wears off when you have to start writing checks and realize you may or may not come up with a product that people love or not knowing if your trademark will pass while you’re building the assets. Throw a pandemic in the mix that cancels your launch and it becomes exponentially brutal.

My end goal seems like great hair--but really what I want to prove is that it is easier to get someone to care about plastic if you stop bombarding them with alarmism and give them something really great instead.

We heard you recount a quote from your mom in another interview: “if you have the choice, always go swimming” We absolutely adore that sentiment, and it is so inline with what we’re all about at Team Compell’d. What are some ways you’re “choosing to swim” lately?

I’m so touched that you chose that line. My mom was completely against the ‘toe test” and she was all about diving in. For me, these words of wisdom are unpacked in everything I do. Most recently, I learned to skateboard when my son showed interest in it--and even though I felt both stupid and scared, it is worth it. The thing about skateboarding is that there isn’t a halfway point, once you’re on, you’re committed. 

"My mom was completely against the ‘toe test” and she was all about diving in. For me, these words of wisdom are unpacked in everything I do."

How do you typically find new experiences, and how has that search for new experiences changed during Covid?

Most of my time is pretty routine because I work crazy long hours hoping that people love NOAP’s messaging, but during this pandemic I have been trail running with a small group and every day feels like an adventure. We usually run between 5-10 miles a day and we never know which path we will take, what wildlife we will see, or who will roll their ankle or fall on their face. I know that sounds weird for leisure, but that feeling of being lost in the woods with my heart beating and the light through the trees is my favorite thing ever. 

What are some of your other favorite easy ways to reduce plastic (aside from using NOAP products, of course)?

I used to be a ziplock queen--so much so that it makes me cringe when I think about it… so my all time favorite plastic reducing products are Stasher Bags which are silicone ziplocks but so much better. They are THE BEST. I cook and they literally do everything because they are freezable, oven safe, boilable, and can marinade my Persian food. I recently switched my whole family over to Bite toothpaste tabs and can’t believe I didn’t do it sooner! Also charcoal floss from Terra & Company--they’re a small sister owned company and they’ve totally changed the floss game for me.

Thank you x 1000, Kate! Your Favorite Parks in Paris (and why!) list is curing our wanderlust at the moment.

October 14, 2020

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