On Tuesday, cult beauty brand Glossier announced that it has raised $100 million in Series D funding. The round, led by Sequoia Capital, puts the cosmetics company’s valuation at $1.2 billion, the Wall Street Journal reports.
Not bad for a five-year-old start-up that was born from a beauty blog.
“Baby me in 2014 wasn’t sure if we could afford the next hire, didn’t know if anyone would like her idea for a beauty company … and hardly knew a venture capitalist from a bank teller,” Glossier founder Emily Weiss, 33, wrote in an Instagram post Tuesday. “Emily in 2019 has been through hell and high water to build an incredible company with incredible people … and [has] been among a very small minority of women raising this kind of money at these kinds of prices, to build the things they believe in.”
From blog to beauty brand
For Weiss, the journey started in 2010, when she launched her blog, Into The Gloss, while working as a fashion assistant at Vogue. Weiss had risen through the ranks of the fashion industry, beginning her career at just 15 years old as an intern at Ralph Lauren (a gig she snagged thanks to the neighbor she babysat for).
“I proved myself to be very valuable,” Weiss, 33, told The Cut about her time as an intern. “You have to be so many things. You have to be a sponge, you have to be respectful, you have to roll up your sleeves. I really earned my right to be there. I was just like, ‘Put me to work. I love work!’”
From there, Weiss worked a string of assistant jobs at Conde Nast and even briefly starred as Lauren Conrad’s professional frenemy on the MTV reality series “The Hills” while interning at Teen Vogue. Working in the glamorous world of style, Weiss caught the beauty bug and launched her blog, which gave readers a glimpse into the enviable beauty regimes of fashion’s elite.
Weiss’s blog eventually served as a springboard for Glossier, her unicorn makeup and skincare company. She planned to launch the business with just four products and — according to The Cut — needed $1 million to do so. Out of the 12 venture capital firms she visited, Weiss was reportedly turned down by 11.
“I had no idea what I was doing,” Weiss told The Cut. “I was 28 years old. I didn’t have an M.B.A. I went to art school.”
She finally scored an investment from venture capitalist Kirsten Green and in 2014 began building the business. Weiss did things a little differently, putting an emphasis on millennial-friendly marketing and social media.
“I wrote out, ‘Here are all the things we need to launch: Website. Chemist. Office space.’ And then I just checked them off, one by one,” Weiss told The Cut about building the business. “Put all the balls in the air. Got pregnant with Glossier. Incubated. Gave birth to four beautiful products.” Glossier’s Soothing Face Mist, Priming Moisturizer, Balm Dotcom salve and Perfecting Skin Tint foundation.Becoming a unicorn
Weiss herself has become somewhat of a fixture in the beauty and female entrepreneurship space. Her Instagram boasts 450,000 followers, who regularly comment, like and gush over the founder’s photos, ranging from snaps of her cozying up to model Karlie Kloss and to shots of Glossier’s Milky Oil makeup remover bottles.