We caught up with Eveline, the founder of Flying Beautiful, a new ecommerce and content hub for the modern working woman in search of the essential beauty products for travelling with. She's got big ambitions for the business...
1. What's the biggest lesson you've learnt from starting up Flying Beautiful?
I think it's that nothing has to be perfect. It's about letting go and doing it rather than overthinking and stalling. It's easy to get hung up on the details but I've learnt that I need to get on with things and execute.
2. What's the one piece of business advice you wish you'd been given?
I wish someone had told me how difficult marketing is. Reaching out to a target audience is not simple if done well. With my background in finance, I completely underestimated the scale of this task. I am having to learn as I go and seeking advice from great people in the beauty industry.
3. Was there ever a point when you wanted to give up?
I've often had my doubts but never thought that I should give up. I knew the venture would be challenging but I've always been convinced that we're heading in the right direction.
4. What's been the biggest milestone for the business so far?
It's definitely signing our first big name brand to the platform. It felt like a turning point for the business. We've had a great reception from brands. I expected the sign-up to our site to be harder but I'm finding that people love the idea and want to be a part of it, which is awesome.
5. Who is your inspiration?
There are two female founders that I think kick ass in business and have been very key inspirations for me. The first is Natalie Massenet, the founder of Net-a-Porter. I love her story of how she built up the business with such a strong vision. Sophia Amoruso, founder of Nasty Gal, is my other hero. She created a multimillion dollar business that after initial success and multiple financing rounds went bankrupt. I'm impressed by how she handled the aftermath; she stood up and admitted she'd failed and talked about lessons learned. It takes courage and a good attitude to do that. Many founders fail but she was brave enough to be open about it. This attitude has served her well and she's bounced back.
6. What keeps you motivated?
The idea of coming up with an idea that makes the lives of women easier is motivation for me. Women have so many jobs on their hands and if I can help take away just one of those I am happy. The concept of Flying Beautiful came to me when I was doing a lot of travelling with work, with no time to search 10 different shops for all the right products I needed for my trips. I hope to take away this unnecessary burden for busy women.
7. What business or brand do you look up to?
I would say Net-a-Porter. The company has continued to adapt to trends and having started as a pure commerce business, has transformed into a lifestyle platform. I see parallels with Flying Beautiful and have aspirations for it to become not just a shopping platform but a place where people go to consume really interesting lifestyle content.
8. If you weren't doing this, you would be....
I think I'd be building a brand or startup of some sort. I have different kind of business ideas that I think might have legs. I went with Flying Beautiful because it connected with me the most.