The 500 billion dollar beauty industry was begging for disruption, as products had been sold the same way for decades. Cue Katia Beauchamp with her revolutionary beauty box subscription idea: Birchbox. This gal was ready to make waves. And she did. The company grew rapidly, hitting its five-year plan in just seven months. Today Birchbox has more than 1 million subscribers, 4 million customers, 800 beauty and grooming brand partners, operations in six countries, and stores in New York City and Paris. Katia walks us through how she did it on this episode of Glambition Radio.
In 2010 when Katia learned that less than 2% of sales in beauty were on the Internet, it took her only 24 hours to see an opportunity and turn it into a business idea. She realized two things right away — people needed to be able to try product easily and they needed an easy way to navigate the vast range of options. Boom. Birchbox was born — a monthly box of beauty products to try and choose from straight to your door.
On this week’s episode of Glambition Radio, Katia tells us how she cold-emailed every CEO in the beauty industry she could think of (and it worked!). I loved learning the specific steps she took to get this thing going.
On the show, we discuss:
* how Katia came up with the “try and buy” model (the amount of product that she included in each box was key to their success— you’ll hear why on the show)
* the first steps she took once she realized she had a real business (this is key)
* how she once cold-emailed Steve Jobs and actually got through (I love this)
* when she first pitched the idea to leaders in the industry they didn’t think it would work
* how 75% of women aren’t obsessed with beauty and that’s why Birchbox actually works (it takes the time, confusion, and frustration out of shopping for beauty products)
* her best marketing methods to spread the word quickly (digital content and social media are key)
* how she handled people copying her idea just 6-months after she started Birchbox (it drove Katia to even further clarify her mission and who she’s here to serve)
* the big changes she made to her business in 2016 — layoffs and cutting costs wherever possible — to become self-sustaining (she made all the right moves here but their “restructuring” was made very public)
On this episode of Glambition Radio, Katia and I also talk about how nobody is ever fully ready to start a business (you just have to go for it and be okay with the unknown), the importance of seeking advice to broaden and deepen your perspective, and we have a laugh about our twins and how we are forever getting over colds (she has 3 ½-year-old twins and a 6-month old baby — whew!).
I know you’ll get a lot out of this episode. So head over to iTunes and listen to this episode of Glambition Radio now (or download for later).
P.S. I would love your review! If you enjoy what I share in this episode, please leave a review and comment on iTunes. I would really appreciate it. Thanks!