Beauty Store Business

JUN 2018

Beauty Store Business provides solutions for better retailing! New products, industry news, savvy business moves and important trends affecting both brick-and-mortar and online retailers are included in each issue.

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60 June 2018 | beautystorebusiness.com M ariya Nurislamova is changing the beauty industry. After becoming the CEO and cofounder of the luxury fragrance subscription service Scentbird in 2014, Nurislamova decided that she wanted to do it all over again. Inspired by the beauty tutorials of today's YouTubers, she cofounded Deck of Scarlet in 2016, a makeup subscription service that partners with popular influencers to deliver new, unique, limited-edition palettes (that contain a lip liner, eyeliner and lip, eyeshadow and cheek colors) to consumers every two months. Now Nurislamova finds herself the CEO of two wildly successful startups in the beauty space. Beauty Store Business sat down with the savvy entrepreneur to discuss her career and hard-earned lessons. Beauty Store Business: Tell us about your professional background and how you entered the beauty industry. Mariya Nurislamova: My background is in applied mathematics, computer science and marketing, but my true passion is beauty. Building a major beauty company was basically a childhood dream. After relocating to New York City from Russia, I started Scentbird in 2014. Prior to starting Scentbird, I ran a creative agency and had an event planning business as well. What inspired you to co-create Scentbird? Scentbird is a brainchild of four cofoundersÐtwo men and two women. The original idea came from Sergei Gusev, our COO and head of product development. Rachel [ten Brink] and I were introduced through a friend in the startup community. As a founder with a tech background, meeting people like her with experience at beauty com- panies such as Estée Lauder and L'Oréal was a treat. Rachel and I had coffee and immediately hit it off. A few months later, she joined the team as CMO and cofounder of Scentbird. What was the biggest challenge you faced in getting Scentbird up and running? In the early days of Scentbird, we were intrigued by Warby Parker's try-before-you-buy business model and wanted to apply it to fragrance. So, the idea was that we would send subscribers up to three full bottles of perfume to try at home. Whatever they didn't like, they could send back. Unfortunately, we experienced very high fraud rates. About 30 percent of the packages we shipped to customers didn't come back and, when we charged people, the credit cards were declined. We have been lucky to have amazing mentors advise us. One of them is Michael Seibel, CEO of the Y Combinator accelerator and an investor in Scentbird. We spoke to him when Scentbird wasn't doing so great, and we were thinking of pursuing a completely different segment like cosmetics or skin care. He said that overnight success was a myth and that precisely because we failed a couple of times, he would bet on our team to find the right business model for fragrance discovery. That led to Scentbird becoming what it is today. Mariya Nurislamova The CEO and cofounder of Scentbird and Deck of Scarlet, Mariya Nurislamova, off ers her invaluable insight on what it takes to cra and cultivate a successful business. Executive Q&A Courtesy of Scentbird and Deck of Scarlet

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