What It Really Takes To Launch An Instagram Famous Beauty Brand
We get all the deets from the creators of Spectrum Collections
If you're a beauty lover then there's really no place quite like Instagram for picking up tips from cult makeup artists, discovering new products and ogling over the beautiful ways people are using them.
But with the trends that inspire us all moving more and more onto this aspirational online space, what does it really take to launch one of these Instagram famous brands?
We caught up with Sophie, one of the brains behind makeup brush brand of the moment Spectrum Collections, to find out just what it takes to create an Instagram 'It Brand' from scratch.
Hiya Sophie. Over the last year we've seen Spectrum popping up all over the internet, including on some of our fave MUA's Instagrams. Can you tell us a little bit about where it all began?
Spectrum was created quite organically actually, the initial idea came to us from having worked in the fashion industry creating digital content for other brands for quite a few years, so after seeing the success of these brands we decided to create our own.
The brand is owned by two sisters, Sophie and Hannah, and we decided on makeup brushes because we felt there was a niche in the market for a trend driven makeup brush and accessory brand. There seemed to be so much black and brown that we thought we'd go for the opposite with bright colours, and the name came from that concept.
As well as being genuinely good brushes, one of the things everyone loves about your brushes is that they are just so pretty and internet. What were the main influences on the design?
We've always been drawn to colour, and that again was quite an organic process. We're always on social media and a lot of the design influences actually come from Instagram, Pinterest, and the internet in general. We also get ideas from fashion accessories and the catwalks, so it's a great combination of what is popular online with what feel we can take from a fashion trend and apply that to makeup brushes and accessories.
It seems like you've taken a quite untraditional approach to getting the brand out there and it's very much been about DIY-ing it through the internet and word of mouth that's got the brand such a cult status with beauty lovers?
It was a bit of a surprise to us how much the brand has grown online in less than 2 years. Often beauty lovers are drawn in by the colours, then pleasantly surprised by the quality and feel of the brushes, so we think that's the main reason we get so much love.
Also the way the brand has grown has been mainly through the online community with so much positive feedback and great posts. We had no choice but to rely on word of mouth as we didn't have investment or financial resources available for marketing, so the cult status of the brand has developed because it's only been through 'discovering' it online people have realised it exists, then they begin to follow and love the brand.
Your Instagram is a total heaven for beauty lovers. How important has having a strong presence there been for the brand? Do you find your approach to building the business has been much more about building an online presence than maybe other more traditional means?
We would actually call ourselves an 'instabrand' as we feel it's really through customer pics and us sharing the feedback we get that we've built the businesses reputation. We would love to say that Spectrum are 'the worlds most instagrammable make-up brushes', but we don't like to brag.
We might have to agree on that one but it's not just that they look good - the collection is also ethically minded and totally vegan, right?
Yes, so cruelty free and vegan in terms of a makeup brush means that no part of the brush is made with animal products or bi-products, so the hair in our brushes is actually made from a high quality synthetic material. We took time in the research stage to make sure our synthetic hair was great quality, and we can happily say they stand up in quality to brushes which use animal hair.
Do you have any advice for brush care and making them last forever and ever?
We're actually bringing out a vegan brush cleanser in March, which we've tested and it made our brushes good as new, the colour doesn't run so there's no need to fear washing them. Just be gentle with them as they are hand made, and the handles are wood which gives them the weighty feel, so don't let them soak in water, just wash the heads and lay flat to dry and they should live to a good old age.
Is there a particular hero product in the range that sells out again and again?
Everyone loves to contour, so the flat top buffer and flat contour are both best sellers as individuals for face. The eyebrow brushes are always in high demand, and also our tapered blender and tulip eye contour for eyes for blending colour - they're so soft it's hard to go wrong.
Then for sets it's got to be the Glam Clam, we still can't keep up with demand for this product, and we've got a new version planned for Christmas 16 which we are really excited about. Everyone is still loving mermaids so we thought we'd keep the party going.
That sounds exciting - any more hints about your next steps for world domination and what we can expect product-wise in 2016?
We will be bringing lots of new products out in 2016, including the new Glam Clam, brush cleanser, new colours, lots of new bags. We're also hoping for a men's range at some point too, we don't think the guys get enough love in the beauty world so something to help them with their grooming is on the cards. If we continue to bring out gorgeous products which create an online frenzy we'll be happy mermaids.
- By Linds Foley.
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