Cre­at­ing a new blue­print for brands by build­ing a fol­low­ing—and then launch­ing a prod­uct


IT WOULD PAIN THE EX­EC­U­TIVES at Estée Lauder and L’Oréal—hav­ing poured hundreds of mil­lions of dol­lars into celebrity ad cam­paigns—to learn how ef­fort­lessly Emily Weiss gets Mil­len­ni­als ex­cited about one of her com­pany’s new prod­ucts. With names like Wow­der (face pow­der) and Cloud Paint (blush), “now girls are Googling our trade­marks” try­ing to sleuth what Glossier’s next re­lease might be, ex­plains Weiss, the founder and CEO of the break­out beauty up­start that ex­pe­ri­enced 600 per­cent year-overyear growth from 2015 to 2016. An ef­fort­less aes­thetic is ini­tially what at­tracted such a de­vout fol­low­ing to Into the Gloss, the for­mer Vogue as­sis­tant’s blog, where she spilled se­crets like how to get dewy skin. Then in 2014, Weiss sur­prised her read­ers by launch­ing a beauty brand, which is driven by an en­vi­able fan­dom ma­chine: Ev­ery time New York City–based Glossier un­veils a prod­uct, a bri­gade of devo­tees flood so­cial me­dia with a col­lec­tive gush. Weiss is chan­nel­ing that pas­sion into a new “rep­re­sen­ta­tive pro­gram” of some 500 Glossier en­thu­si­asts who earn a com­mis­sion for the prod­ucts they sell. Says Weiss of her am­bi­tions: “The goal is to be­come the Nike of beauty.”

Pho­to­graph by MERED­ITH JENKS

MAKEUP MESSIAH Emily Weiss raised $34.4 mil­lion in fund­ing af­ter con­vert­ing her beauty blog fol­low­ing into a cos­met­ics and skin care jug­ger­naut.

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