GlowGurl is an international, small business, that creates innovative products for makeup lovers

GlowGurl is an international, small business, that creates innovative products for makeup lovers

GlowGurl is an international, small, woman-owned business that creates clothing and innovative products for makeup lovers, makeup artists, beauty enthusiasts and everyone interested in makeup and beauty. 

GlowGurl was founded in October 2018. The name of the brand is intended to inspire makeup lovers to be the best versions of themselves and glow from within, just as much as they do while wearing their gorgeous, glowing makeup. 

At GlowGurl, we’re inspired by the power of makeup and the joy of feeling and looking beautiful. We encourage unleashing one’s creativity and using beauty products as a form of art and self expression. Our designs are created to spread positivity in the beauty community and help our customers express their love for makeup.

At the beginning of 2020, we launched our most innovative and bestselling product that blends makeup and home décor together, called The Swatch Chart. It is a completely new, original, never before seen product for makeup lovers. What does it do and why is it so popular?

The Swatch Chart will help you visually organize your lipstick collection and choose your lipstick of the day without having to go through drawers full of makeup. This is an original piece of beauty room wall art as well as a useful reminder of all the beautiful lipstick shades you own. It will help you avoid buying doubles, as we all often do, and get more use of the lipsticks that you already own and love.

The canvas is made from a durable cotton blend fabric. It comes in 12”x18”(32 swatch spots), 16”x24” (44 swatch spots), 18”x24” (44 swatch spots), 24”x36” (68 swatch spots) and 30”x40” (120 swatch spots). Whether you have a dozen lipsticks, or a huge collection, there’s a type of Swatch Chart for you! There is a canvas wrap with wooden frames, a metal chart that is reusable, as well as a more affordable, unframed canvas poster.

The Swatch Chart is incredibly easy to use – all you need to do is swatch your lipsticks on the blank lip shaped spots, and write the name of the shade on the lines underneath. The canvas surface is ideal for swatching all types of lipsticks and lip liners. Once you’ve arranged your lipstick shades, you’ll be able to see them clearly and pick your color of the day with ease.

Founder’s Story

GlowGurl’s founder and owner, Ana Arsovska, worked as a beauty content creator for a while, before deciding to dive deeper into the makeup industry and pursue her dreams of taking a part into the process of product development and eventually owning her own small business. She felt the urge to share her graphics and makeup slogans with the world, hoping that it would bring smiles on people’s faces. 

The creation of The Swatch Chart was inspired directly by the founder’s lipstick collection and her need to track her lipsticks, organize her collection and stop buying so many similar shades. She tested out various materials and fabrics, looking for the right surface that would hold different types of lipstick formulas without breaking, bleeding or tearing. She finally settled on a poly cotton blend fabric and thus, The Swatch Chart was born. Fun fact: she used her lips as a reference for the size of the lip shaped swatch spots!

This is essentially how GlowGurl was born, a 26 year old makeup obsessed woman and her team of 3 colleagues, trying to share their fun art and celebrate the makeup community. It has since developed into an international business with over 200 unique products and customers all around the globe.

The challenge the business is facing

Being an international business, there are the obvious obstacles of time, budget and location.

Our product and marketing team is located in Europe, while our products are made in the USA. We’ve never worked with any outside investors nor had received any financial aid; our business finances have always relied solely on our own personal incomes. We started and grew until a certain phase only by bootstrapping, so we would definitely recommend bootstrapping to anyone who considers starting a business. 

There’s the other huge factor that altered the lives of everyone in the world these last couple of years – the pandemic. Just as any other business, GlowGurl suffered from the devastating impact of the Corona virus. We’ve had lots of shipping delays, undelivered and lost orders, and because of this, a lot of unsatisfied customers. We’ve been through all of these issues, yet managed to grow our fan base.

Launching our most important product, The Swatch Chart, at the very beginning of the pandemic was an incredibly risky move. It meant losing the company, or staying afloat. Thankfully, we’re not afraid of taking risks and we went for it, despite all the obstacles. We wouldn’t have it any other way because 3 years later, we’re still alive and kicking!

We are preparing an entry into retail right now, since the benefits of The Swatch Chart are best understood when you can see the product right in front of you, instead of shopping it online.

We are actively looking for retail partners and building the reseller network on retail. For starting out, we are connecting with small shops that are willing to place The Swatch Chart on their shelves and promote it. We would offer very flexible terms, and low MOQs as well. 

Also it would be nice to mention that GlowGurl’s products will be available on Faire.com very soon.

The opportunities the business is facing 

Right now, as the market slowly recovers from the COVID19 pandemic, we are expecting new opportunities to arise on the horizon, most of them undefined and yet more thrilling; since all of us are currently facing times and market conditions that have never been seen before.

As of our long term goals; we’re hoping to expand our business by placing our products into retail stores across the USA, then Canada and hopefully, worldwide. 

Advice to others about business 

Do not be afraid to risk and try out your ideas. Creating and running a business is nothing but learning, going through trial and error as many times as you should until you achieve the goal you are after. If you consider yourself as a person who is motivated by being in the “discovery” phase, facing challenges unknown and unfamiliar to you, learning from mistakes and growing, then starting your own journey in the business world is the best you could do for yourself.

Don’t be discouraged by your lack of budget, your current knowledge, or your current financial situation. You can truly start from zero, only if you’re ready to give 100% of yourself to your dream. Another thing to remember is that everything takes time, so as you develop your products, your services and your business, expect to run into many obstacles, issues, delays and failures that would extend the estimated time frame for your goals. Don’t let this discourage you. Remember that you only fail when you stop trying!

Lower your expectations. This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t go after big goals and chase your biggest, wildest dreams. It means that while doing so, don’t expect it to happen overnight, and don’t expect things to always go your way, even if you work super hard and do your best. In business, just as in life, most things aren’t in our control and major obstacles can appear in any moment. The pandemic is a prime example of that. In short, hope for the best, but expect the worst. This will save you a lot of heartache!

And lastly, don’t ever doubt yourself and your ability to learn and grow. Don’t let people tell you what you can and can’t do. Always believe in yourself and listen to that little voice in your head that doesn’t let you give up. You are capable of doing absolutely anything if put your mind and heart into it!

Anastasia Filipenko is a health and wellness psychologist, dermatolist and a freelance writer. She frequently covers beauty and skincare, food trends and nutrition, health and fitness and relationships. When she's not trying out new skincare products, you'll find her taking a cycling class, doing yoga, reading in the park, or trying a new recipe.

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