Instagram has propelled the beauty industry to heights we’ve never seen before. And with it came new ways of marketing and new concepts of building a brand. And among all these saturation and competition the brand founder, Emily Weiss, can confidently say that Glossier is the “first socially driven beauty brand.”
Glossier’s CEO Emily Weiss founded the company on the belief that women should take control of their beauty. “You look good” is the tagline that Glossier started with, and Weiss says the distinction of saying “you look good” instead of saying “you will look good if [you buy our products]” is extremely important to the integrity of the brand.
Glossier’s product oeuvre follows Emily Weiss’ philosophy and hence it is the customer telling the experts what they want, instead of experts dictating how one's beauty routine should be.
The popularity of the Glossier products is largely credited to the large amount of content generated by the customers of the brand. The aesthetics of the brand especially is lauded for its simplicity and adaptability. The Glossier product designs are minimalistic, leaning towards pastel, and ultimately instagrammable.“Into The Gloss” Blog: How Emily Weiss Juggled her Job and Hobby
Emily Weiss started the blog Into the Gloss in September 2010, at that time she was also interning at Vogue. She maintained her day job at Vogue while contributing her mornings to the blog. She worked from 4 a.m. to 8 a.m. on her blog, right before leaving for work.
Her job at Vogue helped her build connections, and help fuel the interview concept of her blog. Weiss conceptualized the series Top Shelf, where interviewees are interviewed in their bathrooms with their makeup cabinets insight.
By 2012 the site had 200,000 unique visitors, and by 2016 the number was in millions. The huge success of her page helped her get a corporate partnership and finally quit her job. By this time Glossier was already in motion, and Weiss honed her focus on expanding her brand.
“Into the Gloss” is still active today, the staff and the writers are still committed to creating engaging, exciting, and informative content. It is a go-to blog for beauty enthusiasts and a dream feature for beauty wannabes.Timeline of Glossier Product’s Growth:
- Glossier founder Emily Weiss started approaching venture capitalists for funding in 2014.
- She accumulated $2 million with the help of venture capitalist Kristen Green.
- Glossier started with only four products: Balm Dotcom, Priming Moisturizer, Soothing Face Mist, and Perfecting Skin Tint. In October 2014 they were announced on Into the Gloss, and immediately the business took flight.
- Just six weeks after its launch Thrive Capital invested $8.4 million into Glossier.
- In 2018 Emily Weiss announced that Glossier has accumulated $52 million in funding.
- In January 2018 Glossier made headlines when they launched their product with Beyoncé; the star adorned Glossier products at the Grammys red carpet and Twitter exploded.
- This number grew to $100 million in 2019 and eventually rose to $1.2 billion with the help of Sequoia Capital.
- In 2019 new Glossier products were added to their lineup through sub-brands: GlossiWEAR, carrying limited-edition merch representing the brand, and Glossier Play, carrying louder and metallic makeup products.
- Glossier Play was discontinued in 2020, and the products were added to Glossier’s regular lineup.
- Glossier founder Emily Weiss doesn’t have a “rags to riches” story, but she does have a story of consistent philosophy. Glossier products have been consistent in their philosophy of “skin first makeup second”, and in their drive to put customers first and trends second.
- Emily Weiss consistently worked towards her goal. She interned at Ralph Lauren when she was just 15 and worked with W Magazine before joining Vogue. She learned to grasp the beauty world from the inside and ultimately excelled in it. Now, Weiss had a foot in the door of business due to her father’s knowledge of the world and executive position in Pitney Bowes, but her clinging to fashion and beauty was due to her motivation.
- Glossier products are not afraid to stand out. In business standing out can be a gamble, if you stand out too much and too far, no one might pick your product. And if you don’t stand out, no one will recognize your product. Glossier products hit the nail right at the mark. They are clean, minimal, exclusive, and happen to be primed to make a statement.
- Glossier products embrace their aesthetics. The brand has carved out a niche aesthetic for itself and has fully leaned into it. They know their colors, their style, and their font; so much so that their products are recognizable at a glance even among hundreds of other products.
- Glossier remained loyal to its philosophy. Glossier was conceptualized slightly before influencer marketing reached its peak. And with it came highly saturated makeup, with brand new releases every other month. Through all these Glossier products remained true to their utilitarian approach and focused on makeup that could be built up.
- Glossier founder Emily Weiss penetrated the customer base and built the brand from within it. With their favorite blog turning into a customer-oriented brand, the readers felt like they were part of the journey, that their insight and readership shaped the brand. Hence, her readers turned into her customers, these customers grew into creators and they propelled the popularity of the brand.
Every aspiring businessperson knows that it is important to build a business rooted in a solid concept, and the success story of a brand like Glossier puts into perspective exactly how essential it is that one doesn’t let go of original ideas.
The relation between womanhood and beauty has always been complicated, and Glossier has tried to simplify it and put forward ideas and tools of beauty that believe in individuality and creativity. And through it, they have managed to keep the Glossier products individual and creative as well.
At an age where one had to embrace trends to popularize their brand, Glossier founder Emily Weiss stood pioneer to her trend; lo and behold she made it work.