If you are as obsessed with beauty as I am then you will already be familiar with Australia's giant online beauty store, Adore Beauty. But do you know the woman behind the business? Kate Morris is a successful Australian business woman, one whom I have always looked up to. Launching Adore Beauty in 1999, things were much different, starting the business in a garage with two beauty brands on board and a small loan from the bank. Fast forward 14 years and you have a beauty empire set in a large warehouse set just outside of Melbourne, Victoria with over 90 beauty brands on board. Then just when you think Kate's impressive portfolio couldn't expand any further, she launched Findation, an resourceful beauty tool to help match your favourite foundation shade and consistency with hundreds of other foundations from other beauty brands. Neat-o! Having won Victoria's 2010 Telstra Business Women's Award, I felt really honoured to have the opportunity to interview Kate for Spoilt...
Adore Beauty started in a garage with a bank loan and just two beauty brands in 1999 - can you believe how much the business has expanded? It’s crazy! But I think I always believed that it would be a success eventually.
How do you decide on which brands to stock? Our customers tell us what brands they want to see – we do regular surveys and also keep note of brand requests via email, Facebook, etc.
Adore Beauty now has a Melbourne based skin centre. Could you tell us a little about that? Adore Beauty has always been about more than just selling products online. What gets us up in the morning is helping Australian women find the most effective solutions to their beauty concerns. Often customers will want the convenience of being able to order online at 10pm, but there will be other times where the best solution is to get some face-to-face advice and treatment.
In a few words, how would you describe the Adore Beauty consumer? Knowledgeable, time-poor, beauty junkie!
They sound like they know what they want! What are your top 3 Adore Beauty picks?
Just three? Yikes! Right now I am really loving my Clarisonic Mia 2, I use it every evening and it has really made a difference to the texture of my skin. I am also really into Lancôme Visionnaire, I am on my third bottle now and still loving it. And as it’s winter, I can’t go past Lanolips Golden Ointment which I use as a lip balm, a cuticle treatment, and also to help soothe my poor chapped nose after having a cold for the last week!
Thanks for sharing. And after the success of Adore Beauty came Findation.com. How did this come to fruition? It came from trying to help Adore Beauty customers find the right shade of foundation. Every single day we had people saying, 'I want to try this new foundation but I don’t know what colour I need'. On-screen swatches are next to useless when you’re talking about 8,000 shades of beige! I thought, wouldn’t it be great if there was a site that would tell you all the shades that were similar to what you were already using? There wasn’t one. So I had to build it!
Having started out with very little and now a successful Australian businesswoman, can you share your tips for success? For me the biggest thing has been persistence, combined with adaptability.You have to stick at it but you also have to know when to change your approach or when to throw the whole plan out the window and start again! But most importantly, don’t give up.