Last year, you all mentioned how you wanted to hear strong, smart business women speak on how they made their business dreams come true. So, we did our homework, finding the CEOs who have not only transformed the way we shop but ones who can teach us all a thing or two about business.
Long before subscription services and retail boxes became a retail trend, one company forged the way, revolutionizing the industry and changing how consumers sample products. This company is Birchbox and we are so lucky to have their fearless leader, Katia Beauchamp, as a keynote at this year's IFB Conference.
Who is Katia Beauchamp?
A native Texan, Katia Beauchamp has a master's degree in Business Administration from Harvard Business School and a bachelor's degree in International Studies & Economics from Vassar College. Katia began her career as an entrepreneur after graduating from Harvard Business School in 2010, where she met Hayley Barna, her Birchbox Co-‐founder. Their connection grew into friendship and the pair’s collaborative idea for Birchbox inspired the company’s debut in September 2010. Prior to founding Birchbox, Katia worked in structured finance and commercial real estate for three years. Katia’s love for all things beauty and style combined with her skills from a deal-‐focused and finance background are instrumental in forming partnerships with brands as well as in growing and scaling the Birchbox business.
I don't think I'm a great entrepreneur. I have a will to survive and hopeless optimism — it's a never-ending sense that things are going to work out. There is no “no” for me. Ever. I don't even hear it. One of the biggest things is that you have to stay a little naive, I think, and believe that you can do anything, that you can change peoples' minds, that you can change behavior.
How did the idea of Birchbox come together?
In previous interviews, Beauchamp has stated that Birchbox came together after she and her co-founder Hayley Barna surveyed the industry and did their homework. Like other business owners, their goal was trying to provide a product that would solve a consumer's need.
“By looking at the market and thinking of what hadn't been discovered yet or served yet, (Hayley & I) were inspired by the idea that every woman would want a best friend who's a beauty editor and is helping them curate the clutter. We came up with this idea of a subscription business where we were leverage brands' samples that they were already creating and getting them in the hands of a more qualified consumer. Creating an efficient marketplace was the vision, but focusing on delight for the customer, as well. So efficiency plus surprise and delight — we were excited by the intersection of both“, Beauchamp says.
Why do you need to hear Katia's keynote address at IFBCON?
Because she is the perfect role model for bloggers who are looking to launch themselves into the professional field. She may not be a blogger but many of her business tactics can (and should) be applied to the blogging world. It's not every day that you find an entrepreneur who is logical, reasonable, driven and inspiring. All in the package. It just doesn't happen. From how she got start to her views on being a successful entrepreneur, Beauchamp is living proof that hard work really does pay off in the end.
To read more about Beauchamp, you should read this Mashable interview. Consider it a preview of what's to come at this year's IFB Conference. Don't forget to get your tickets before they sell-out!