“What do you think makes your startup so successful?” A question I hear most frequently in interviews featuring top female founders and entrepreneurs. After all, it is a compelling one – it seems that we’re all eager to learn the common traits required to excel in the unforgiving world of entrepreneurship.
For the past few months, I’ve analyzed some of the best female founders within beauty and tech; from their humble beginnings to their tricky transition into the CEO role. I have listened to their interviews and watched them speak on stages; and with each new platform I learned a little bit more about the women behind the most innovative processes.
From Emily Weiss, Founder of the well-known beauty disruptor, Glossier to Nancy Twine, the Founder behind Sephora’s beauty giant, Briogeo, these new age entrepreneurs have stood the test of time; managing to truly stand out in a competitive marketplace that has been historically dominated by men.
So, how did they do it?
After spending more hours than I would like to admit listening to these female trailblazers, I narrowed it down to one main theme: people first product, people first marketing.
Today, I am highlighting some of their best advice around disrupting industry norms, marketing their brand, and inspiring change. Use this as inspiration to challenge your own industry and push your business forward.
“Everything that we’ve chosen to do, it’s because it’s better for [our customer],” says Emily Weiss, Founder and CEO of Glossier.
Emily has frequently attributed Glossier’s success on the digitization and democratization of their beauty and lifestyle brand. No Glossier product is made without soliciting the feedback of the Glossier community, essentially giving a voice to everyone who uses it. As Weiss notes in a recent interview with Harpers Bazaar, “Women are ready for a beauty company that actually listens.”
“We were once called ‘clown makeup’, now we’re growing 300% year-over-year,” says Melissa Butler, Founder and CEO of The Lip Bar.
Melissa’s dramatic increase in sales can be attributed to the moment she notes as becoming her own influencer. With the goal of adding an authentic human touch to her brand, Melissa began to actively showcase who she was behind the scenes. Adding this small human element to the brand bridged the gap between her products and customer, ultimately resulting in increased sales year-over-year.
“From day one, I wanted Briogeo to not be about me. I wanted Briogeo to be about everyone. Briogeo was always meant to be a brand that offered solutions for every hair type, hair texture, hair need, ethnicity, background, and person,” writes Nancy Twine, Founder and CEO of Briogeo.
For what feels like the first time, there is a hair product for all people, hair types, and textures; not catered to one specific demographic that is often limited to a small section in convenient stores. With Briogeo, Twine promotes hair care for all; emphasizing the removal of the six harmful ingredients in her products, what she calls 6-Free: no harsh sulfates, no silicones, no parabens, no phthalates, no DEO, or artificial dyes.