“How do we make it delightful for women — who aren’t obsessed with beauty — to find [and try out] the best products?”
This is the question that Katia Beauchamp and Hayley Barna tried to answer when they were brainstorming business ideas back in 2010.
Beauchamp and Barna didn’t want to spend so much money trying all sorts of makeup sets and skincare bottles only to find that it doesn’t fit their skin or lifestyle.
So they came up with an idea: Subscription-based, personalized samples.
Instead of buying a full set of beauty products, a customer will fill out a personalized form and they’ll receive a box of product samples that matches their preferences. That way, customers can try various products for a subscription fee of only $10.
That business is called Birchbox — one of the first companies to start a subscription-based service in the beauty product industry. At the time, subscribers paid a $10 subscription fee and got a box of 4 to 5 samples of beauty products.