Who said slow and steady wins the race? This is not the case for Sinead Norenius of Beautisol. Beautisol is a skincare company created in 2009 by the same skin fanatic who started the successful blog SelfTanningQueen.com. She explains how the blog was a way for her to directly communicate with consumers and because of this communication the idea for Beautisol was birthed.
Sinead has many years of experience in the skincare industry and is a licensed esthetician, but felt there was a big lack of premium sun care products. “There were no real skincare products with a personality, and no real brand that mentored people. I knew I could start a beauty care line that addressed certain needs, but also where I could provide education to the consumer.”
We all know the beauty industry and its skincare products are plentiful. We are a vain society always looking to the next best quick fix. Sinead, however brings something new to the table. Not only is she an exuberant, passionate and very open businesswoman, but her products actually work and speaks wonders for themselves. She has two business partners, one of whom started out as an investor, but so believed in the company and it’s products that he is now a founder and partner.
“We always knew we wanted to go into the TV shopping industry because I’m so entrenched in social media and I wanted to educate the consumer and communicate directly. This was a natural fit. So, we felt we’d just start the process because we heard it would take years to get picked up by a major home shopping network.” What she envisioned to be a long and tedious process seemed to happen over night for Beautisol. The company got picked up by one of the biggest home shopping networks and is set to launch in April 2011 with a self tanning-line that has an industry breakthrough – fragrance technology entitled Smell Right. “Our Smell Right technology basically eliminates the yucky processing odor usually found in self-tanners and will reduce the smell about 80%. We have also released a ton of tutorials for every product no matter how remedial it may seem.” Sinead goes on to say how comprehensive the tutorials are and how they help with every product Beautisol offers, from self-tanners to their anti-aging eye creams.
While the company’s success has been rapid, the product development was not. Sinead explains the very important process, “We worked with approximately 4 – 5 labs and we’ve used many manufacturers. I will work with a lead scientist and explain to them what I want the product to do and what it needs to achieve, even what ingredients I do and don’t want – at some point they tell me if my ideas are even possible and what can or can’t work. I have a great relationship with my one lead scientist and it’s all about us working together.” A lot of times beauty brands miss listening to constructive critiques, they just want to put out this product they think works verses listening to their clients and consumers. We can all be assured that Sinead and her team at Beautisol relies mainly on consumers and clients for feedback to make a better more effective product.
The road to success is paved with many learning experiences and Sinead pointed out a few things she had to do in order to make her company a reality. “I found people I could work with and most importantly were smarter than me. This idea might be a little hard on the ego, but you don’t know everything so finding the right type of partners is important. I was very lucky to team with someone with a very strong online marketing background. My other partner has a very strong finance background. We have set up a good team and just go with it.”
When times get tough Sinead and her team continue to push forward, “Go out and continue to do it every single day, just go day by day even though sometimes you just really want to give up. Look at it like you only have today and just figure out what you have to do to get through it. I’ve surrounded my self with a few mentoring women whom I can pick up the phone to and they will help me out. They make me feel like I’m not crazy and I can do this!” Letting go of the fear of not always having a guarantee was another huge hurdle for Sinead, “I was afraid of not getting that pay check, but at the same time knew I had to take the risk because it just felt right in my gut. Like such an intuitive feeling.”
Sinead also has a strong grasp on the business end of her company. “We have three founders and a volunteer program for people who want to come and learn a new skill with us. They work with the company and help on various projects. We assist in the growth of their resume and make contacts in the area they want to succeed in. There are many people very hungry to learn and because of the volunteer program many have gone on to gain really great positions due to the hands on experience and a great reference in my partners and I.”
Another strategic business move Sinead and her partners took was looking for investors that fit. The first investor they found was such a great fit he became a partner. Now, they are going through the second round of funding and looking for investors. “You never know who you are going to meet, so you just have to be passionate about your company, talk about it and people will show their interest. This second round we are raising about $500 to a Million. We’ve got some commitments from friends and family, which are considered ‘angel’ funding. We then will meet with larger ‘angels’ or essentially capitalists who we go and tell our story too. It’s essential to get the right investors. Money is money, but having a strategic partner who can add to your company or open doors is more important to us.”
We greatly appreciate Sinead’s honest and open approach to her company. Her experience and lessons will hopefully inspire many more daring female entrepreneurs. She always encourages people to just get out there and start with baby steps – meaning even if you’re working a full time job, start the research and plan ahead. You cannot do it in your cubical; you have to get out there!
Written by: Bridgette