Curate Beauty is a community-based wholesale buying platform that brings independent beauty brands and likeminded retailers under one digital roof. The founding team, of beauty and retail experts, provide brands with incredible stockists opportunities and unique partnership, increasing their brand awareness and boosting sales.
Tell us about the journey that led you to launching Curate Beauty…
My co-founder and I both come from complementary backgrounds, I worked as a beauty journalist and fell in love with the surge of independent beauty brands emerging. Margot Vitale, previously was a buyer and merchandiser at Saks Fifth Avenue, in New York so together we saw the hassles that lay with these smaller indie brands being discovered by independent shops, department stores and even beauty salons. We wanted to create a platform and a community that harnessed these brands giving them the opportunity to grow their businesses and successfully increase their sales.
What’s been the biggest challenge you’ve faced in business and how did you overcome it?
We launched in February 2020, just before the pandemic hit in March, in the UK. Navigating a new business is tough alone, but trying to start something and be hit with a global pandemic is unprecedented. We worked tirelessly to prove our concept and worked initially to sign online retailers (while they were the ones who were open) for our brands, we also started building our community with monthly seminars that would help give the small businesses we worked with extra skills and knowledge to grow. It’s been a huge learning curve we know we’ll be on for many years as young entrepreneurs, but if we can get through this, I’ll be so proud of what we’ve achieved!
If you were to describe your business mantra in three words, what would they be?
Curate….. Convenience….. Community
They’re our three pillars that make us unique and stand out amongst other competitor platforms.
What advice would you offer anyone interested in venturing into the world of online buying platforms?
For retailers it really is a breath of fresh air to traditional buying, it takes out a lot of the time, admin and complications needed to traditionally buy. My best advice for retailers is to always communicate with the platform hosts, i.e. ourselves! We have a wealth of beauty knowledge in-house (over 20+ years) and are always up for sharing this when it comes to recommendations.
For brands, it opens them up to a much wider audience enabling them to get their brand seen by so many more prospective buyers. The best advice I’d say to brands is to be flexible, small initial orders can lead to long and fruitful partnerships. Don’t be closed off to opportunities that are slightly out of your comfort zone. Who knows where they could lead.
Curate Beauty Products
Talk us through an average business day in your life…
Every day is different. I spend a lot of my time consulting for our retailers to recommend them unique brands. I oversee all the marketing – from social to newsletters and also manage new starters we just bought on board. I also have been busy planning our upcoming Virtual Tradeshow which is in September. We’ll be using it as an opportunity to bring our platform to life, with trend talks every morning with incredible experts – including The Stack, Stylus, CEW and The Telegraph.
Business can be an upward struggle at times, what do you do to stay positive?
Surrounding myself with positive people is essential. My co-founder and I took part in a business accelerator programme with Huckletree last year and we’ve stayed really close with the other founders. It’s been great to ask them for advice and share contacts while we’re all at a similar stage of our businesses. They’ve been integral to help support us through the lows and be there for the highs.
What is your go-to quote when lacking motivation?
Success doesn’t come overnight. Hard graft reaps rewards – but it’s how hard you graft that will really show how successful you can be.
How much has social media played a role in the success of your brand?
It’s been a great place for us to discover new brands, retailers and to share the stories of those in our community. We’ve started a franchise on Instagram called ‘behind the brand’ where we interview founders about how and why they started their companies – it’s been such a great way for us to share the passion and enthusiasm straight from the founders themselves!
Curate Beauty Products
We understand that you are organising a virtual event in September, can you tell us more about this?
We sure are, it’s been such fun to organise and I can’t wait for it to all come to life. The event is virtual and taking place 14-17th September on a platform called Airfair who specialise in online events. Each morning we’ll have trend talks – as explained above- and the afternoons will be filled with brands pitching their concept and product line up.
We’ve curated these sessions into trending collections so we’ll have brands from Female Founders, brands directed at Gen Z, Philanthropic give back brands and also those with all vegan ingredients.
There’s also the opportunity for attendees (the event is open to retailers, brands, investors, PRs, press and influencers) and exhibitors to meet in 1-2-1 booths too to network.
Are you planning any developments with your platform, will you be introducing anything new in the future?
We hope to have this virtual Tradeshow twice a year – every February and September. We have so many exciting things in the pipeline we can’t wait to launch including building partnerships between our brands, setting up a content creation arm of the business and also discovering ways to improve retailers buying experience online.
Our readers love to travel, what destination is at the top of your bucket list, and which of the brands that you work with would you take on your travels?
The Maldives would be top of my list! We’ve just collaborated with Soneva Spa to bring some of our indie brands to their spa. While planning I’ve been eyeing up the resort and it just looks so idyllic and the perfect place to crash after the last 18 months.
My top travel essentials are:
- Skin Sapiens Hydrate Serum – as flying always dries out my skin
- Leaves & Flowers CBD Cream – which when applied to the bottom of my feet just ensures an incredible nights sleep!
- Saltee SPF 50 – of course!
- Nett Exfoliator – is my go to body exfoliating tool that fits so neatly in my wash bag.
- Jacqueline Organic Lip Balm – an absolute must, I have one practically in every bag or pocket.
- LAID Sleep Mask – it’s made of 100% mulberry silk and is also infused with Hyaluronic acid!