Starter Series: Gloss48

Erin Britt reviews & interviews

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The Mamalode Starter Series is an exciting opportunity for us to introduce you to some of the amazing people we get to meet. Starting something takes enormous amounts of work, faith, help and community. Every week we'll share another story of starting. So, community of Mamalode, read up, get inspired and check out these wonder-folk.

Tell us a little bit about your business and how you started it.

Gloss48 is a new beauty shopping site connecting must-have indie brands with beauty junkies. We offer a daily dose of unique, exciting, and hard-to-find products from brands that we personally curate along with fun, helpful tutorials and demos. For the first seven days that brands are on our site, we offer promotional pricing so that our members can try a brand without breaking the bank. We also carry a permanent collection of our favorite products so that our members can continue to build their beauty arsenals.

Laura: We came up with the idea for Gloss48 through our experience at MiniLuxe—a chain of high end nail and waxing salons in the Boston area (they're amazing—in case you are ever in the area!). Jill founded MiniLuxe and I joined her to run the company and help them expand. MiniLuxe carries a fabulous line of beauty products that are not available at Sephora or the department stores and their customers love them.  We got to know a number of these brands and learned that they were having a hard time with distribution and marketing; they were all competing for the same, dwindling spots in Sephora every year. We created Gloss48 to bridge this gap between beauty lovers who are craving newness, authenticity, and fabulous products and brand owners who are struggling to get their product to a larger audience.

What do your kids think about your job?

Laura: Owen is 19 months old, so he things “boat..brown shoe…Elmo…outside…” I had Owen the weekend we put our beta site on hold and was back to fundraising a month later. Life is chaos, but I wouldn’t have it any other way!

Jill: My girls (Sophie, 3 and Eva, 7) are beyond excited at all the fun beauty products that I bring home, and particularly when I VERY occasionally let them sample a cool lipstick for “dress up”. Eva is impatiently waiting (she doesn’t do waiting well) for the day when I let her flyer her entire school with Gloss48 pamphlets. She frequently illustrates montages of Laura and I working together over a tube of lipstick. My son Beckett (9) is most interested in watching me worn on the back end of the website, and loves the idea that his mom is a “CEO” and “Founder”.

Tell us about a total mom + biz fail.

Laura: Thankfully, my mom fails have been fairly small—but probably somewhat related to the business! I used to be a super organized, Type-A personality. If someone asked me to do something, I did it quickly and thoroughly. I am no longer that person because I just don’t have the capacity! I think my brain just doesn’t have enough disk space—or maybe my day doesn’t have enough hours. As a result, I forget things like buying milk and scheduling appointments. I agonized over missing Owen’s 1-year doctor appointment because it was days before we launched Gloss48. I felt better when the doctor offered to call me and perform the exam on speaker…and then I completely missed the call due to work stuff. #MomGuilt

Jill: Having been an entrepreneur since my first child was born, I honestly have lost track of most of the failures which probably means that none of them were as epic as they seemed the moment they happened. I guess the most recent one that sticks out was during our launch period. I was incredibly sleep deprived and working hard to balance back-to-school, a new school for my youngest, a nanny transition, and launching Gloss48. In what I like to call a state of temporary lobotomy, I accidentally set the sale pricing for one of our first major launch events at ½ the price they were supposed to be sold at. I quickly learned that messing with pricing at 11:30pm is probably not something I should be doing!

Our business fails have been fairly small too! I think the biggest fail was underestimating the cost of advertising around the holidays. In case you’re wondering—Gloss48 cannot compete with Sephora and Target for Facebook ads! We will figure out hot to get creative next year and band together with some other start-ups!

Share with us a total win (brag away!)

Laura: We have had a number of fantastic wins this year from completing a round of funding to launching the site. However, I have to say our biggest win is our team. They are incredibly talented, tireless, passionate, and a joy to work with on a daily basis. We would not be Gloss48 without them!

Jill: Raising our first round of financing! It is really hard to put yourself out there every single day for months on end and make a case for why someone should give you a lot of money, particularly without having a site to show them (not to mention the wardrobe requirements!) But we laughed and cried through it, and we did it. And it was worth it, as it got us to where we are now!

What is your relationship with Mamalode?

We were just introduced to Mamalode, but I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship!

About the Author

Erin Britt

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