Earlier this year Glam-it! ventured into the US to talk with Lisa King, the founder and creator of b-glowing, one of my favourite online beauty destinations. I discovered b-glowing.com back when I lived in NYC, and I enjoyed the chance to talk about life behind the scenes at Lisa’s cult-hit beauty destination, how she grew her e-commerce business from scratch, and her future plans for the company.
1. What was the impetus for you to start b-glowing?
It all started with my passion for beauty. I've always been a beauty junkie, and I couldn't find any stores online that were as beautiful as the products they sold. I didn't want to shop catalogue listings, I wanted to shop somewhere that would inspire me. When I couldn't find the place I was looking for, I decided to create it myself.
2. What made you decide to strike out on your own?
I saw the opportunity and I went for it. I craved a unique, personalised shopping experience, something that went beyond sifting through pages of product listings. It’s true that b-glowing is a place to shop, but it's also a place to inspire and empower women, and help them discover their own unique beauty.
3. Starting out and growing a company from zero, what was your biggest challenge?
Starting out, I faced about a million challenges. It was never limited to just one! I built b-glowing from scratch. When I started, I knew absolutely nothing about retail, let alone e-commerce! The only thing I felt confident about was my ability to curate a selection of amazing beauty products. I taught myself the ins-and-outs of digital marketing, and learned everything I could about managing e-commerce, cash-flow, and inventory. Ten years later, I am still facing challenges. Since this industry is constantly evolving, I have to evolve with it. I am always learning new things and educating myself, and I don't see that changing anytime soon.
4. Where do you see b-glowing in another three to five years?
I see us having a flagship brick-and-mortar store, hosting offline events and pop-ups, and participating in community gatherings. I want to create an environment where customers can be hands on, and interact with b-glowing face-to-face.
5. What's a typical day for you?
Since I'm very hands on, I spend a lot of time in meetings, and, if I'm being totally honest here, sitting in front of my computer. But since I strive for total wellness, I try to break up the workday by getting out of the office when I have the chance. I have a few life rituals I perform daily to stay happy, healthy and balanced. Every morning I make myself a cup of English Breakfast tea with milk, and I drive into work listening to books on tape. In the evening, I try and make it to my barre3 class, which helps keep me centred.
6. What do you enjoy doing in your down time? How do you achieve a work life balance?
I'm an introvert by nature, so I enjoy my alone time. Sometimes I unwind by spending some time cozied up in bed, headphones on, looking at my iPhone. I definitely need time to decompress at the end of the workday, and my alone time renews me and keeps me energised. I also love spending quality time with my husband and daughter. In those moments, I can leave work and worries behind, and just laugh and relax with my family.
7. Have you encountered any challenges as a female founder, such as discrimination, or any setbacks that are unique to being a woman?
Honestly, none that I was aware of. That's one of the beautiful things about this industry, it's filled with strong, independent and empowering women!
8. Is there any advice you would give to the next generation of female entrepreneurs entering the business world?
Only become an entrepreneur if you are TRULY passionate about something. Remember: it won't happen overnight. I have been doing this for 11 years, and there's still so much work to be done. If you're going to maintain momentum, you have to be in love with what you're doing. You have to be willing to work at it (for decades, if necessary), and you have to keep telling yourself it's okay to keep going. Only set forth if you're truly confident and willing to take the risk. Honestly, it's going to be scary at times, and you'll have those moments where you'll feel like quitting. Don't do it! Starting a business is a roller coaster of highs and lows, and it never stops. But, I promise you. it's worth it!