october, 2019

17oct6:30 pm9:00 pmBuilding a Beauty Startup


Event Details

Startups in the beauty industry have been crushing e-commerce and direct-to-consumer sales in recent years. Beauty has been one of the most innovative and fastest growing industries in recent years; since 2012, there’s been a 70% growth in the number of venture-funded beauty startups. And a unicorn has even emerged – Glossier, which recently surpassed the $1 billion valuation.

VCs and entrepreneurs are all taking note and looking to build the next beauty startup that will enamor consumers.

However, building a product in the beauty space is challenging. Physical products can be a barrel of complicated logistics around manufacturing, packaging and shelf-life. Regulatory concerns can arise, especially for products in the naturals space. You also need to be intentional about distribution channels, understanding the economic impact and marketing opportunity of purusing d2c vs. online retail vs. brick & mortar retail vs. amazon vs. a combination thereof.

Perhaps most challenging is standing out. Customer acquisition is expensive; the beauty market is exciting, but it’s crowded. So it can be a herculean effort for even the most truly differentiated products to get consumer’s attention.

Join us on October 17th, as we discuss what it takes to launch and grow a beauty startup, some of the opportunities and challenges unique to this industry, and

  • Designing & prototyping products
  • Competing in a crowded space
  • Distributing your product online and retail
  • Marketing and getting early press
  • Fundraising for your beauty product

About the panelists

  • Mariya Nurislamova, Co-founder & CEO of Scentbird – Mariya Nurislamova is a CEO and co-founder of Scentbird – a beauty e-tailer and subscription service that started in 2014 with a focus on fragrance. Scentbird pioneered the concept of fragrance rental by offering its customers a monthly supply of any designer fragrance for $14.95. Additionally, Scentbird currently operates two beauty brands – Deck of Scarlet (makeup) and Confessions of a Rebel (fragrance).
  • Charlotte Cho, Co-founder of Soko Glam, and Founder of Then I Met You – Charlotte Cho is an esthetician, author, co-founder of K-Beauty destination Soko Glam and skincare content site The Klog, and now the founder of Then I Met You, a premium direct-to-consumer skincare line focused on a meaningful experience and quality ingredients. As an expat living in Seoul, she discovered the world of Korean beauty and skincare. After using the products and applying the Korean “skin-first” philosophy, she saw her skin and confidence transform, so in 2012 she made it her mission to share her skincare expertise and a curated selection of Korean beauty products in the US. Despite the many industry doubters that anyone would care about unfamiliar online Korean beauty brands, Charlotte stayed course and co-founded Soko Glam in 2012. As a result of this commitment, K-beauty grew into a $13.1 billion phenomenon that continues to thrive across the globe. Additionally, Cho is the author of The Little Book of Skincare (HarperCollins) and is currently working on her second book, which will focus on the Korean concept of jeong (an inspiration for Then I Met You) and our current need for richer connections in today’s hurried world. In 2019, Charlotte was named Adweek’s Trailblazer of the Year, WWD 40 under 40, and has been featured in media outlets such as Entrepreneur, The New York Times, Allure, Harper’s Bazaar, and Fast Company.
  • Paul Michaux, Co-founder & Vice President of Product at Prose – Paul Michaux is the Co-Founder and Vice President of Product at Prose, the direct-to-consumer beauty brand delivering custom hair care products that are made-to-order and address the specific needs and goals of each individual’s hair and scalp. As Co-Founder and Vice President, Michaux is responsible for leading digital product innovation and expansion. Prior to his role as Co-Founder and VP of Product, Michaux served as Special Projects Manager at L’Oreal in New York City, where he was responsible for leading the implementation of strategic digital marketing projects. Before L’Oreal, he held brand manager positions at companies including, Christian Dior and Procter & Gamble. In 2018, Michaux was recognized as one of the winners of Forbes 30 Under 30 List. He graduated with two Bachelor’s degrees from HEC Paris and University La Sorbonne. Michaux also holds a Master’s Degree from HEC Paris and Telecom ParisTech.
  • Meghan Maupin, Co-founder & CEO of Atolla – Meghan has a graduate degree in Engineering and Management from MIT, and previously worked in design roles at Patagonia, The MIT Design Lab, and Formlabs. With an expertise in integrating new technology into user experience, her work includes designing an AI-powered personal assistant, and launching multiple products for mass customization in 3D printing. Meghan used this experience to launch Atolla in 2019 – a revolutionary customizable skincare company. The Atolla Skin Health System leverages machine learning algorithms and precision skin data (captured through physical skin testing tools) to create personalized and adaptable serums.


(Thursday) 6:30 pm - 9:00 pm EDT


AWS Loft

350 West Broadway