Meet Emily Weiss, the beauty blogger-turned-CEO of Glossier, one of the biggest beauty brands in the world right now. In just a matter of years, she went from being an intern at Condé Nast to running her own multi-billion company which has turned the beauty industry on its head. She’s built an empire based on her passion for makeup and skincare, through her incredible drive and devotion of taking a new approach in an industry where things were getting a little same old, same old.
As well as being a beauty columnist for Teen Vogue, which was already a huge accomplishment in itself, she launched her own blog in 2010, which is still up and running today, Into The Gloss. She assembled her thoughts, expressed her passion for beauty, and like our Rebel Times, she dedicated articles to inspiring women in her field and outside of it too. It’s a valuable message in times like these, where women are making more cultural statements to change stereotypes of women in society through #MeToo to create worldwide awareness of the controversies that still rock us as women in business. As a feminist, Emily realizes it is important to share the love, passion and drive for one’s career and being “bossy” or a “career bitch” isn’t a weakness, but in fact is quite a quality to have. So what if I know what I want? So what if I express it? She managed to tie these parts in perfectly with their skin and makeup routine without appearing fake or unnatural. People can still be interested in working women’s professional lives and appreciate a beauty tip or two.
It was in 2014 that the revelation that is Glossier was born. Why was it such a revelation? Well, we love a beauty tutorial, but I personally felt at that time, as it still is now, that everyone was doing over-dramatic makeup. I love a bright eye, a bold lip, but when everyone gets on the bandwagon, it loses its novelty. What about something more subtle? Something you’d put on to go to the office, something in the summer when you’re facing warmer temperatures, or just because you just don’t feel the full-face look? That’s where Glossier came in. It embraced the natural look, fresh-faced and thick brows, a hint of gloss and you’re good to go! This also helped them to develop a brand that showed diversity and innovation. They went for minimalist packaging and marketing strategies. Sometimes bold packaging doesn’t catch someone’s eye, in fact, the simplicity of an object can make it beautiful, and that’s the trick with Glossier. She first launched a small collection of four products, which blew up – they captured the hearts of beauty connoisseurs and influencers alike. Instead of the typical Urban Decay sponsored tutorials we were used to seeing on You Tube, we were seeing an entirely different approach to makeup and skincare. One that had been neglected by other brands, the message is simple, “Skin first, makeup second”.
As well as having a unique brand message, Emily always says that her aim was to “democratize” the beauty industry – she constantly wants feedback from her customers to improve her brand. Yes, we know plenty in her industry claim to do so, but she actually listens and reads the comments. She is that dedicated that she even answers comments herself, that way, she learns from her “mistakes”, what has worked and what hasn’t, in order to bring bigger and better products in the future. She allows her and her team to be on an equal footing to their customers. She is also a big advocate for women in business and empowering them – in fact her staff at Glossier are female. She means what she says, and she doesn’t mess about. Her first investor is also female, Kirsten Green from all-women firm Forerunner Ventures, something that is very rare on the investment scene.
Not only does she celebrate women in their professional lives but also their own beauty – in 2017, Glossier launched the “Body Hero” campaign featuring plus-sized models and a pregnant athlete just to name a few, to show that all women can use their products. There is no divide, proving furthermore that Weiss truly has democratized the beauty industry.
She is also working to make the brand accessible to everyone – and not just in price point. She has made certain products 100% Vegan and all of them are cruelty-free. The brand is not sold in China, where animal testing is obligatory. And on that front, she’s ahead of many of her competitors.
Who in the beauty industry has inspired you? Was it their journey, their message or their involvement in particular causes that caught your attention? Let us know in the comments, let us inspire one another!