I hope you’ve all had a fab weekend. Today we’re kicking off the week with a new Behind the Biz interview. This is my weekly interview series where I discover new businesses, the people behind them and their business journey.
Today I’m chatting with Paula Short and Rachel de Caux, the founders of Beauty Blvd.
Please tell us about your business.
Beauty Blvd is a nichè cosmetic company that was started by us- Paula Short(a hairdresser) and Rachel de Caux (a beautician) who wanted to increase footfall in their salon.
We like to create affordable, multi use cosmetics that do what they say on the tin. Driven by our own love for makeup and feedback from consumers, we set about creating products that you will love!
Where did the inspiration for Beauty Boulevard come from?
We were inspired by Jessie J and her unusual lip decorations. Also Dior had adorned the Lips of their catwalk models with gems and glitter.
We both love glitter, but know that it has a reputation for getting everywhere, so… we set about creating a glitter lipstick that would stay put.
How did you decide upon the name of your business?
We wanted our business to be a destination, a place where people go to get products that deliver what they promise. So naming it Beauty Blvd seemed like the perfect choice.
What did you do before starting Beauty Boulevard
Paula is a hairdresser by trade and Rachel, a beautician. We own a busy hair, beauty & tanning salon in the city of Lincoln. The salon was the place we trialled our very first product- Glitter Lips.
Purely through word of mouth, the first month’s sales were phenomenal. We sold on average, one Glitter Lips per hour.
This not only improved our bottom line, but also increased footfall in the salon and we gained lots of new clients.
Did you always plan to set up your own business?
We already had our hair, beauty & tanning salon – Bennetts, but we never planned, or even dreamed, that Glitter Lips and subsequently Beauty Blvd, would turn into the successful global business it is today. We only produced it to give our salon a point of difference in an already saturated market.
What has been the biggest challenge in running your business so far?
Getting our voice heard.
The cosmetics market is one of the most competitive markets to be in, up there with Fashion. There are hundreds of massive companies with the resources, advertising and marketing budgets to ensure their message gets heard and products get seen. We aren’t those guys, so we have to think of different and use creative ways to get our voice heard. We find being cheeky has got us quite a few big breaks – if you don’t ask, then the answer is always no.
What has been the highlight of your business journey to date?
Oh wow, there has been A LOT!
We have attended V fest in the Louder Lounge, and glittered up many celebrities.
We have been on Dragons Den and ITV’s This Morning. But, we will never be able to match the feeling we got when we received our first retail order. We had been to a meet the buyer day at Liberty and popped in to Topshop on Oxford Street (wearing Glitter Lips of course). The ladies in the BeautyMART dept went crazy when they saw our lips. They took photos and asked questions and by the time we had got on the train to head back to Lincoln, we received an email from Millie Kendall (co-Founder of Ruby & Millie) asking to meet us to show her our products. Within a month we were stocked in BeautyMART within Topshop Oxford Street and sold out in the first weekend and then again the following weekend.
What role does social media play for your business and do you have a favourite social platform?
Social media plays a massive part in our business. We often wonder how we would manage without it. It allows us to target and reach the exact people who are our target market. We can reach bloggers and influencers and spread our brand message.
We get a lot of interaction on Instagram but Facebook is still our favourite platform. The Facebook sponsored advertising has been a great help to our business- allowing us to tailor make our advertising packages.
What advice would you give to aspiring entrepreneur?
Ensure you do your home work and market research, but if you truly believe in yourself and your product, you have to take that leap of faith.
Where do you hope to take your business in the year ahead?
We are currently finalising our new products which will be launched in December and we’re also putting together next years Summer collection.We have opened up some new and very exciting markets and will be working with some very well known names.
We can’t say too much at the minute, but be sure to follow us on social media to keep up to date!
I want to say a big thank you to Rachel and Paula for taking the time to be a part of Behind the Biz. I really enjoyed finding out about their business journey and hope that you did too.
I love that they created Glitter Lips to give their already successful business, Bennetts a new way to stand out. Glitter Lips and Beauty Blvd has gone on to become something much bigger than they ever expected and I think that’s a truly inspiring story. If you’ve got a good idea then go for it! You never know where it might take you.
I can’t wait to hear more about their new products!
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