The lockdown life has done incredible things for business, but the year was not without the dramas for the founder of Go-To Skincare, who the year was not without the drama lifts the lid of the beauty game in our regular portrait- column.
As a beauty editor, Zoe Foster Blake says, « I’ve been through a thousand presentations knowing what shit is and what works. « . Kristoffer Paulsen
Zoe Foster Blake is reluctant to be called an entrepreneur. For them, it conjures up a 1980s surplus, and that’s not their fad. Most people know her as a naughty beauty writer, blogger, Instagram influencer, and author of 10 books. Others would recognize her as the wife of comedian Hamish Blake; In October the couple were hired by Tourism Australia for the « Holiday Here This Year » campaign.
Yet her daily job is to run the beauty brand Go-To Skincare, which first put 40-year-old Foster Blake on the Financial Review’s Young Rich List with an estimated net worth of $ 36 million.
The idea for Go-To came after completing a beauty column for the Mamamia website in 2012, which closed a chapter in over a decade of editing and writing on titles like Cosmopolitan and Harper’s Bazaar. The year before she had published Amazinger Face, a beauty book with tips that she had learned on the go.
Now her mind was filled with what was missing in the overloaded beauty market. She gave ideas to her friend Megan Larsen, who owned a beauty brand called Sodashi. « I kept saying to Megan, why don’t you go and do this product? » Foster Blake says. “She just made it and said to me: You will do it. ”
Go-To is only six years old and now every 1 sells one of his transforming face masks. 5 minutes (almost 750. 000 sold). This calendar year, more than 200. 000 bottles of his Face Hero face oil sold. The brand has created a children’s label (Gro-To) and a men’s range (Bro-To). . The focus is on the airy promise to make products that are clean, uncomplicated and effective.
« Skin care is your trust, » says Foster Blake. « It’s so closely related to your feelings and self-worth. I’ve sat through a thousand presentations [as a beauty editor] knowing what shit is and what works. ”
Foster Blake grew up without television, the youngest of eight children in a mixed family in local NSW. Maybe it was the struggle for attention that inadvertently sparked her urge to do things at a fast pace. She decided to start Go-To in late 2012 during her honeymoon. It would start in 2014, just a month before their first child was born.
Go-To is now in the hot, clean beauty segment. Last year, Shiseido paid $ 845 million for the Drunk Elephant brand, which, according to Forbes, created a $ 120 million payday for founder Tiffany Masterson.
Foster Blake doesn’t care too much about our Young Rich review – in fact, she refused to directly discuss what her business might be worth. But we agree that she could be worth a lot more, at least on paper, if she owns more than 40 percent of Go-To.
She gave up justice right at the beginning and against all advice. “I was very confident that I could develop the products that I wanted. I just didn’t know how to do it in practice, ”she says.
Larsen put Foster Blake in contact with an expert in cosmetic formulations, the New Zealand biochemist Peter Lehrke. She later turned to Stefan Drury, who had designed her website zotheysay. com. She could have hired them as a consultant, but paid them welding capital instead. As a result, Drury and Lehrke each own 14 percent.
« I wanted them to work on it 24/7 to get it started. Giving away justice at this point may seem foolish to some, but I can say that [Go-To] wouldn’t be here without that help. ”
Foster Blake with husband Hamish Blake at a happy moment for the Tourism Australia campaign.
In conversation, it can feel like Foster Blake is wearing her brand like a personal shield. She’s an excellent marketer – she insists on writing copies that get into a customer’s hands (from packaging to gift notes) that are the public face of her products. Yet she suffers from social anxiety.
« Take me on stage and I can give a talk about go-to. Put me in the boardroom where we make multi-million dollar decisions and I’ll be fine. But put me in front of eight girls in the office and I’ll become such an idiot. ”
It is exacerbated by the physical distance. Go-To was founded when Foster Blake was living in Sydney, but she now lives in Melbourne, where husband Hamish must be for his media engagements.
The pandemic has done incredible things to their business. Lockdowns triggered a nationwide serum surge; Between March and July, sales on its website doubled. « Self-care made people feel calm, » says Foster Blake. “They felt like they were taking care of themselves. ”
She admits that she isn’t a fan of five-year goals because conditions are changing too much. Case in point is the United States, where the brand left Sephora stores earlier this year after getting lost on shelves. Instead, Foster Blake opted for a smaller, more targeted influencer strategy that has already increased sales by 571 percent.
There were also dramas. She had to control her own demolition culture experience by killing off a best-selling SPF tinted moisturizer as it was only available in one shade, leading customers to denigrate the brand for its lack of variety. Foster Blake was quick to apologize, tell her clients « never to stop » providing feedback, and go on and on.
« We have a lot to do in the Australian market, » she says. “A rush of products to be launched in the next two years will keep us busy. We work in the USA and we focus on growing all of our products. Maybe that’s too small of a view, but here I am. ”
The December issue of AFR Magazine, including the Young Rich List, will be out on Friday the 27th. November as part of the Australian Financial Review. Follow AFR Mag on Twitter and Instagram.
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