Glossier is a very unique cosmetics company; unique because most companies manufacture a product and build a community around it, Glossier has taken the opposite path by building an active community first and then manufacturing a product line around it. The founder Emily Weiss runs her business like an online media company based on authentic content created by real women and not like a cosmetics company. She started out her career as a fashion intern at Teen Vogue she worked as a fashion assistant at W and Vogue where she met many influential women in the field of fashion and retail.
She started her website In to the Gloss to learn and share tips from women she looked up to like Arianna Huffington, J.Crew creative director Jenna Lyons and the top professional makeup artists from around the world. Her website has a feature called The Top Shelf for which she and her team visit and interview women in their homes and try to understand the products they use and why. Into the gloss attracted 1 million visitors per month. The millennials loved the website, Instagram followers grew to 184,000 even before Glossier was launched. The idea behind the community was to build a platform for real women which is also built by real women. The focus on real women was what differentiated Glossier from every other cosmetics company so that women discover and define their own idea of beauty instead of blindly following fashion magazines or cosmetic companies. The brand is targeted towards the busy, always on the go woman who desires to look good but doesn’t have much time to spend in front of the mirror.
The initial products of Glossier were a priming moisturizer, tint, mist and balm, each costing less than $26. She received $10.4 million from venture capitalists in two rounds of funding, the first by Kirsten Green’s Forerunner Ventures and the next by Thrive Capital including Bonobos founder Andy Dunn. Cosmetics are a $250 billion industry worldwide and after considering the huge social media success of the company already was receiving funding wasn’t much of a problem. Glossier is treating each social media platform like an individual store with unique inventories and customer bases instead of just plain and boring news feeds.