Emily Weiss, the 30-year-old founder and CEO of Glossier has quite the success story. Though she claims she's just a consumer of beauty and not an expert, Weiss has developed a unique community after the launch of her blog Into The Gloss, which gave wings to a much-beloved beauty line, and a cult-like following among readers and celebrities alike. With Phase II of Glossier launching today (March 14), we share some of the empowering insights from her SXSW session, "Self Sells: How Glossier is Delivering Beauty IRL."
Emily Weiss speaking at South by Southwest during the session, "Self Sells: How Glossier Is Delivering Beauty IRL" in Austin.
1. Creating Room for Dialogue is Essential
Weiss mentioned that one of the main reasons she launched Glossier was to help women take control of their beauty routine. Instead of being told what your skin type is, and the products you'd need by a salesperson or a brand, she wanted to create a space for women to offer their honest inputs about their beauty needs.
2. Success Doesn't Happen Overnight
After an internship at Teen Vogue and stints as a fashion assistant at W and Vogue, Weiss started Into The Gloss in her apartment by buying a camera and learning how to take pictures. With no formal business experience (she revealed "I suck at math" to much laughter), she hustled to raise venture capital money and made the connections necessary to create her beauty products.
3. Take Chances on People
Weiss hired her former assistant (who is now her product development coordinator) after being approached by her on the subway. She mentioned that Glossier has had great success by working hard to hire people who have the right attitude, and show that they're willing to get their hands dirty—even if that means they have less experiences than other candidates.
4. Work with Social Media Best Suited for Your Brand
Instead of trying to promote a brand on every platform, Weiss advises investing on what works for you and your company. For Glossier, this is certainly their Instagram, in which Weiss revealed that she scrolls through and likes every tagged picture, every single day. She also mentioned being inspired by people who uses Instagram as a selling platform, citing antique rug seller @francesloom as an example.
5. Authenticity is Key
Weiss noted that in the '40s and '50s, brands like Estée Lauder created idealized images of the perfect woman, while ironically, they never even used their real names. "Today, women don't want to be someone else," she observed, "they want to be a better version of themselves."
6. Supporting One Another is Beneficial for Everyone
When an audience member shyly mentioned working for "a brand called Cetaphil," Weiss stopped her and said, "A brand called Cetaphil? Yes, we're all familiar! Congratulations!" And when asked about other women-run brands, Weiss responded (which was met with thunderous applause), "I want them all to be successful, because that helps all of us."