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How Emily Weiss Built The Billion Dollar Beauty Brand, Glossier

It all started with Into the Gloss. This online beauty blog made its way through the depths of cosmetic webpages and made itself the topic of conversation. The phenomenon began in 2010 when Emily Weiss, the 33-year-old founder, and CEO, decided to become more than just an intern.

The blog itself is standard, giving advice on makeup routines and keeping readers up to date on the latest fashion and beauty trends, but its popularity can be attributed to its unique perspective. Considering Weiss was and is an advocate for the beauty industry, her followers trust her expertise and know-how.

At a young age, Weiss was given an opportunity to work as an intern for New York’s luxury fashion line, Ralph Lauren. A mutual friend, who worked with the company and employed Weiss as a babysitter, catapulted her career in the industry, promising her to be a huge asset. So, with her small role, she sought after opportunities to move up through the ranks. Dedicated her time to commuting from Connecticut to New York, Weiss gained the respect of Whitney Fairchild, former Vice President of Ralph Lauren, and Amy Astley, former editor of Teen Vogue, promoting her intern title to magazine apprentice.

It wasn’t until 2014 when the online blog became Glossier, a skincare and beauty company made for women by women. Weiss sought out to challenge the boardroom beauty organizers and “industry-based experts telling you, the customer what you should or shouldn’t be using on your face” – in Weiss’ own words. This is why Glossier’s products are not offered in mainstream department stores. The customer deals directly with Glossier, and in return, Glossier sends cute little pink boxes and makeup pouches with purchased products. This specific customer relationship is said to be the foregrounding of the “next era of the beauty industry.” But of course, manufacturing and shipping costs are a force to be reckoned with, so funds needed to be in order, for the company to further reach its 1.9 million followers.

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The startup could barely survive on Weiss’ accounts alone, and Glossier’s popularity was grabbing the attention of investors nationwide. Investors like IVP, Sequoia Capital, and Index Ventures collectively invested over $100 million into the company, pushing its total value to 1.2 billion dollars (as of March). Now Glossier has at least 200 employees and headquarters in Canada, the United Kingdom, Northern Europe, and the United States. The company offers nearly 22 different beauty products, from daily sunscreen to firm form mascara. Its products even venture into full-body skincare, with its “Body Hero” campaign and fragrances, “You Smell Good.” “Body Hero” is Weiss’ recently released body care line that encourages women of all shades to indulge in treating their body as well as their face. The products are meant to create a body routine with two simple products, Body Hero Daily Oil Wash and Body Hero Perfecting Cream.

But “Body Hero” will not be Weiss last venture. Glossier plans create their retail store in the next few years. A face to face connection would only boost its followers, allowing for this new wave in cosmetic sales to cement itself as a true for-the-people beauty company.

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