Glossier turns into a billion dollar Unicorn

Glossier founder and CEO Emily Weiss

Glossier, the American online beauty retailer that started life as a beauty blog in 2010, has transformed into a ‘unicorn’ valued at US$1.2 billion,  according to The Wall Street Journal.

The company’s official admission to the exclusive unicorn club, which includes around 300 other “privately held startup companies valued at US$1 billion or more”, follows its recent raising of US$100,000 in funding and the launch of its second brand, Glossier Play.

Emily Weiss, the 34-year-old founder and CEO of  Glossier, said its latest funding round (led by Sequoia Capital), will help “build the future beauty company in collaboration with its customers”.

“We are building an entirely new kind of beauty company: one that owns the distribution channel and makes customers our stakeholders,” she said.
“Thanks to this direct relationship with our customers, we have access to endless inspiration for new products, experiences, and ways of building an enduring business – all while staying true to our core belief that beauty should be a celebration of individuality and personal choice.”

Weiss founded her Into The Gloss website while working as a fashion assistant at Vogue in 2010, and then launched her Glossier makeup and skincare company four years later based on what her readers wanted with just four products (a soothing Face Mist, a priming Moisturiser, a lip salve and a ‘perfecting skin tint’ foundation) .

Last year the company, which has two brick-and-mortar stores (in New York and LA) and sells online in the US, Canada, the UK, Ireland, France, Denmark and Sweden, reported more than  US$100 million in revenue.

Weiss says she launched the brand, famous for its ‘natural beauty’ looks as she wanted to “make beauty as much of an element of personal style as fashion”.

“As I interviewed hundreds of women, I became more and more aware of how flawed the traditional beauty paradigm is,” she said.

“It has historically been an industry based on experts telling you, the customer, what you should or shouldn’t be using on your face.

She said the site was “a people-powered beauty ecosystem.”

“Glossier was founded on the fact that beauty isn’t made in a boardroom—it happens when the individual is celebrated. Personal choice is the most important decision a brand can never make.

Indeed the company’s aim is to “allow women to look like the best version of themselves, not an aspirational version of someone else”.

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