How to Build a Beauty Brand & Three Success Stories
Beauty, beauty, beauty, beauty rockin’ everywhereeee!
Believe it or not, building your own beauty brand is within reach more than you might think! And you’re probably no stranger to the term “clean beauty” as social media, emails, and ads are constantly poppin’ up on your feed and phone trying to sell you some clean beauty.
Trust… us, too! But still, like so many of you and other clean beauty seeking customers, we read and dig for the best, all-natural, skin and hair care products that won’t hurt or burn us like our ex’s did (yikes!).
If you’re on the fence about getting your own beauty brand started, consider this your nudge to go for it!
We have some hot maker tips to help you get started, but first, there are some reallyyy inspiring and successful beauty brand stories out there that we just have to share with you – there’s so much realness that comes from the founders of these companies so prepare for some major business building inspo!
the story of agent nateur
If you’ve never heard of Agent Nateur, consider this your introduction to a true clean beauty-preneur! At age 23, Jena Covello was diagnosed with endometriosis and adenomyosis, which changed her life in ways she could have never imagined.
She needed to really consider everything she was putting on and in her body, so she began learning more about natural healing remedies and medicine.
As she started becoming familiar with common (unsafe) ingredients in everyday skin care products, she discovered heavy metals to be one of them, which she learned can dramatically impact the endocrine system.
This major finding allowed Jena to make an informed decision to cut aluminum-based deodorant from her own routine and in turn, became the reason for her to create her own formula for what was Agent Nateur’s very first product, the holi(stick) deodorant.
Jena is now achieving major success as a beauty brand entrepreneur and educator with all-natural, luxury skincare products that help others stay safe and healthy in their everyday skincare routines. Wooo! Go Jena!
the story of buttah
Another super inspiring beauty brand story that we’ve come across is from a brand called Buttah, founded in 2018 by Dorion Renaud. As someone who has been in the public eye as a TV host and sitcom star, Dorion never felt like he was able to find skin care products that his melanin-rich skin needed.
That was until he discovered a game-changing ingredient, organic shea, which inspired him to create creams and body butters that are now staples at Buttah.
His search for a product that thoroughly nourishes and nurtures melanin skin became a journey of formulating his own skin care products that actually work.
Now, so many products at Buttah are the solution for many others out there seeking luxurious and affordable skin care recipes that show they can get the job done. As Darion puts it, “Everyone can use a lil’ Buttah – baby!” Ahhh… we love it!
the story of marla rene beauty & co.
A third maker we’ve come across who has turned her life around with a beauty brand is Marla Rene, founder of Marla Rene Beauty & Co. She is on a mission to break barriers in the industry and promotes embracing natural beauty.
Whether you’re dealing with uneven skin tone, acne scarring, or want to slow the visibility of fine lines and wrinkles, Marla’s got you!
She was first pulled into creating all-natural skin care products for women of color after she spent a lot of time as a caretaker for her mother who passed away from cancer.
As she became more conscious about reading the labels on products her mother was using, she started laying the foundation for her very own beauty brand. After extensive research and lots of making, Marla created products for “melanin magic beauties” and hasn’t looked back!
Her love and passion for helping women of color embrace their natural beauty and rebuild their confidence from the inside out is apparent in her brand as she shares photos of real customers who achieve real results. We think it’s fair to call her products confidence in a bottle!
starting a clean beauty brand
These makers are makin’ major beauty brand building moves, and guess what? So can you!
“Okay so what do I need to do to really get started?” is probably a question you’re asking now, so let us get into it!
Decide which products you’re going to make & and tell your story.
First, you’re going to need to choose which products to sell.
You don’t need to create a whole lot of skin care products to start, just a few will do to get you started.
perfect your formulas & your story
Focus on really perfecting your formulas (here are a few recipes already tested & prepped for ya) and developing the story of why you’re doing this.
Your why is going to be critical to your customers as they have a ton of beauty brands to choose from – but they’re not you!
So write down a blurb of what makes your story and brand different from the rest. Just like the makers we mentioned earlier, the products you choose to sell are personal, so don’t be afraid to embrace and promote that.
build the foundation of your beauty business
Just like your makeup routine, apply the foundation(s). You’re going to need a website if you plan on selling your products online – we have a great video featuring our very own Charlotte where she discusses the differences between Shopify, Woocommerce, and Wix.
And as you’re working on perfecting your formula(s) or think you got that nailed down, you may want to look into manufacturing options in labs for mass production, or consider your operations at home – here’s how to prep your workspace before you start making to ensure ultimate cleanliness!
There are plenty of labs you can outsource to manufacture your products, but if you’re just starting out, ensuring your workspace is sterile and stocked with necessary maker tools and a protective apron to keep your clothes clean is key.
set your beauty business up legally
Activate your business & get the insurance you need. Oooof! Business stuff… it can be rough, we know.
Butttt, we have the lowdown on doin’ biz the legal way and some tips on insurance (highlyyy recommended!) so you can cut through the noise and focus on building your brand.
Here’s a sweet vid on how to legally set up your own business as an LLC or C Corp (and what the difference is). Aaand anotha one! Let’s talk biz insurance (hot tip: watch until the end for some insurance website recs).
As always, we got you!
create your branding & packaging
Time to play! Create your branding & establish packaging. This is the fun part... deciding on your color scheme, packaging, logo, even your company name can fall under this step.
This is where you get to let your creativity run wild and dream up what your brand looks like. How does the packaging of your products look and feel? What do you want your labels to say? How are you going to appeal to your customers visually?
Take some time to put together a mood board on Pinterest for some inspo and if you’re feelin’ super hands on, head on over to Canva and bring out your inner designer as you play with colors and fonts galore!
Of course, working with a professional graphic designer will help bring your label and branding visions to life more efficiently, but having laid some groundwork for them on your own is necessary so they can see what kind of vibes and style you’re shooting for.
Need some packaging inspo? Browse makesy’s gorgeous packaging options (fyi, they’re perfect for your luxury beauty brand!).
take it to market
Take it to the ‘gram & market market market!
Phewww! Okay… so… after you’ve been spending some time building your beauty brand, it’s time to show that baby off!
Create an Instagram account that is for your beauty brand and your beauty brand only.
If you have your own personal account, create a separate one to focus on posting content solely related to your brand.
Building a social media presence can take some time, so don’t get discouraged if it’s just your mom and your dog’s account following you for a while.
As long as you’re consistently posting and sharing content people can relate to, you’ll be just fine. Make sure your pics are of quality, though!
Can’t have your content looking like a toddler got a hold of your phone and snapped some accidental selfies (although, we love a good phone-stealing photo moment from the babes!).
Here are some tips on nailing the perfect shot. We’ve noticed the most engaging type of content comes from photos that are behind the scenes, about you as a creator, and of products themselves.
So don't be afraid to get creative and engage your audience with fun, unique shots that speak to you and your brand. Check makesy’s ‘gram for some inspiration!
put yourself out there with potential buyers
After your product becomes a hit with some initial customers and you’ve gained some traction, consider approaching stockists at stores you’d love to see your product in.
Just because you’re a small business doesn’t mean your product isn’t worth being sold on big shelves. Stores are always searching for new brands to offer their customers, and if your brand speaks to them because your story is unique, your packaging is on point, and your formula works, well.
You may just have the recipe they’re looking for! How does the saying go? You never know until you try…
network & find your beauty brand buildin’ peeps
Okay, last one! Once you’ve hit some major beauty building milestones, or even as you’re just starting out, you’re going to want to connect with others trying to do the same kind of work you’re doing – it’s one of the best ways to learn as you go.
Our facebook group for makers making body care is a great community to be part of as you can ask questions and get feedback from other makers who have been exactly where you are in the process. Snaps for a supportive community!
Well… that was a long one! But we hope there are some useful tips in here that you can take with you as you create your own beauty brand.
Although there is a lot to consider, launching a successful beauty biz is something that you are more than capable of and we’re here to help you make that happen.
Stick around for some more hot beauty blogs and brand building inspo pieces like how to boost your brand esteem. We got ya, maker!