Birchbox From the Beginning
As Katia Beauchamp and Hayley Barna were in Harvard Business School, they were brainstorming ideas on how to connect beauty shopping to the world of e-commerce. They came up with Birchbox. Birchbox is a monthly subscription service filled with personalized beauty products. They also offer a full video and editorial component.
They connect with the world of e-commerce by selling the full-size products that come as samples in the boxes. Katie and Hayley discover that 50 percent of subscribers buy the full-sized products after receiving samples in the Birchboxes. There is also a rewards program where you can earn points and purchase products with your points.
Step Outside Your Box
Even those these ladies didn’t have much knowledge on beauty products, they still saw a problem. The problem they recognized, an inability to try on makeup if you buy it online, is much like the problem that Zappos.com saw. Zappos recognized that it was very hard and inconvenient to buy shoes online since you couldn’t try them on. So they built a website that is based on great customer service and fast shipping and returns.
Challenges Faced When Starting the Company:
- Raising money
- The business was female-oriented
- Partnering with well-known brands
- Convincing skeptics
- Finding time to hire employees
Since the business has launched, they have moved to 3 other countries and launch a man’s box. The man’s box has been widely successful. After some limited-edition boxes, Birchbox Man became a full time service.
Birchbox has partnerships with some very well-known companies such as:
And many more!
Birchbox has done a great job at making the whole experience so much fun! First, you get to take a little quiz that tells the company a little bit about you and the products that would cater to your specific needs. Once you are a subscriber, you get a little present in the mail every month! Birchbox not only has a great service but they have also made it a great experience.
Katia Beauchamp and Hayley Barna are two very inspiring ladies to me. As a lover of make-up, I have been familiar with their company for a while, but I never knew how they got started. In my opinion, the interesting part is that their company was the first of its kind. Since Birchbox has launched, numerous other subscription box services have emerged. Katia and Hayley are really pioneers in the beauty subscription box industry.
Read more about how they got started here.