5 Must-Know Startup Secrets, According to Glossier's Emily Weiss


Courtesy of SXSW

Ever dreamed of starting your own business? In 2010, Emily Weiss took the plunge and launched Into the Gloss, a beauty website that explores the routines of inspiring women. Six years later, Weiss also runs her own skincare and makeup line, Glossier, and is one of our go-to women for inspiration and career advice. MyDomaine co-founder and CEO Katherine Power recently sat down with Weiss during SXSW to find out her secrets to startup success. Read on for our top five takeaways from Katherine Power's inspiring interview with Emily Weiss, and watch the video for the full discussion.

  1. Involve consumers at every stage. "A lot of companies spend a lot of time in marketing brainstorming ways to make their customer feel involved but it's not really to any end. We don't want to make people feel involved. We want them to be involved," she tells Power, admitting some of Glossier's best ideas have been initiated by social media followers. 
  2. Think beyond sales. According to Weiss, engagement and community are a greater measure of success than traffic or sales figures. 
  3. You don't have to be an expert to start a business. "I went to art school… I didn't go to business school," says Weiss. "I'm certainly not a beauty expert!" Instead, Weiss involved experts and consumers during the entire creation process to ensure her brand was informed and in line with demand.
  4. Clarify your market position. In order to thrive, it's important to be able to identify a market gap and articulate how your business fills that space. For Weiss, Into the Gloss was about "demystifying beauty, making it really fun… and also connecting people," she says.
  5. Focus on building a brand. Weiss believes the key to long-lasting business success is focusing on building a brand that can operate on multiple platforms, be it a website, social media channel, or retail space. "People are consuming their content from different places," she says of her company's evolution. "Build a really strong brand that can operate anywhere and can evolve and transform. A brand that can only live through a dotcom is limiting."

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Have you started your own business? Share your best piece of career advice in the comments below.