Ever since I was little, my favorite color has always been pink. As I’ve grown older, I’m now attracted to a subtler shade of pink compared to the Barbie pink I loved as a child. A pale pink – almost a nude shade – that is sophisticated and not too girly. It’s cool, edgy and, dare I say, powerful. The Glossier pink. I came into college knowing I was a book nerd. It was inevitable that I would declare a major in English where I can read Hemingway and Austen and stay far away from calculus or organic chemistry. Journalism has also been a passion that has stuck with me since high school and I love to tell other people’s stories. I am a writer and I had resigned myself to the fact that I would be a “starving artist” for most of my career, working for either a newspaper or magazine. That was before I learned about Emily Weiss.
I have been obsessed with fashion and beauty since I was three-years-old, so when I heard about this new uber-cool beauty brand, I had to learn more about Glossier. The company and its pre-existing online publication, Into The Gloss, fascinated me because of how it had cultivated a cult-like following and just how beautiful everything seemed in the Glossier world. Who had designed this dream-like company that catered to the needs of customers and celebrated natural beauty?
That would be Emily Weiss – one of Fortune’s 40 Under 40 and the founder and CEO of Glossier. Glossier is only four years old, but is valued at 390 million dollars and is loved by women across the world. And, go figure, Weiss graduated from art school.
When I first heard about Weiss’ story, I was so inspired by her because she showed me that you can be successful if you follow your passion. Sometimes in college I feel as though I am surrounded by people telling me to make the practical decision – find a job that will make me money rather than pursuing a career that I truly care about.
Weiss paints an alternative picture. After leaving NYU with a degree in studio art, she worked as a fashion assistant for various large media publications where she made connections with prominent figures in the fashion and beauty world from Karlie Kloss to Jenna Lyons. These connections inspired her to start an online blog called Into The Gloss as a side project.
Through Into The Gloss, Weiss documented the beauty routines of high-profile models, fashion and beauty editors and other public figures. The secrets of women’s beauty routines were being revealed and the publication started to cultivate a conversation about beauty with its readers. This inspired Weiss to start a beauty company of her own; a company that would develop a relationship with its consumers, become their friend and cater to their needs.
Here is a woman who loves connecting with people and sharing their stories through writing and these passions led Weiss to make her incredibly successful company, Glossier. A journalist/blogger turned entrepreneur, Weiss’s beginnings are something I can relate to and what she has created out of it inspires me. Weiss didn’t start out her career as a businesswoman, she just followed her love of fashion and beauty and the path led her to create a beauty company that helps women love the way they look.
Unlike some of the more traditional beauty companies that put makeup first, Glossier promotes natural beauty, skin first and enhancing what you already like about your face. As someone who can’t bear to have more than a few swipes of foundation on my extremely sensitive skin, Glossier products remind me that I don’t have to give into the trends of extreme contouring. I like my face the way it is and so does Glossier. They even say it in their ad campaigns, “You look good,” giving customers like me confidence instead of insecurity.
Because of Emily Weiss, I’m now excited about the words “conversational commerce” and I actually dream about running my own company in the future. I am no longer chained to the idea that I will be an even poorer version of Carrie Bradshaw living in a closet of an apartment, but with no Manolo Blahniks to console me as I write a column for a newspaper.
Weiss inspires to me to use my passion for writing to create an incredible business like she did. Even though I’ve always hated math, I’m now excited about the idea of crunching numbers if it will help me create something as amazing as Glossier. Weiss encourages me to push myself in my career and never discount the ideas that I have just because I don’t know much about business or entrepreneurship.
So thank you Emily Weiss for being an inspiration to all the young women out there who love the so-called “frivolous” parts of life, whether it’s shoes or shampoo. In a culture dominated by celebrities who will give you products so you can look like them, thank you Emily Weiss for working your way up to build a company that celebrates women looking like themselves. And thank you for giving the consumer the power and helping women to be proud of their beauty routine and the Glossier products in them.
Now the Glossier pink is my favorite shade of pink. It’s the pink that reminds me to dream boldly and maybe wear a little Glossier You perfume while I’m doing it.