Interview with Birchbox Co-Founder Katia Beauchamp

Changing the way we perceive beauty goods and fetching the mail comes Birchbox: A biz delivering designer beauty product samples on a monthly basis to both women and men. Recently in Miami for a visit, we chat up Birchbox Co-Founder Katia Beauchamp on her sweet subscriber success.

How did you drum up the idea of Birchbox? I was in business school and came up with Birchbox with my closest friend and now partner, Hayley. We saw an opportunity to create a new way to discover and shop for beauty online, and were inspired by her real life experience of having a best friend who was a beauty editor. We recognized that every woman dreamed of having the beauty editor best friend.

Why the name, “Birchbox”? We didn’t want to limit the name of the company to beauty because we knew that there were lots of products that lend themselves to the “try-learn-buy” protocol. We also wanted a name that was easy to spell, easy to say, and gender neutral. We agreed that trees are both beautiful and gender-neutral, and we thought Birchbox had great alliteration — it fit all of our criteria.

What are your personal favorite beauty brands? I try and love so many different brands and products, but here are my current go-tos for great skin (and a 10-minute get-ready time in the morning) include Dr. Brandt Light Years Away Brightening Eye Cream, Caudalie Premier Cru Crème, Jouer Luminizing Moisture Tint,
 Benefit Fine One One, Eyeko Skinny Liquid Liner and IT Cosmetics Brow Power Universal Brow Pencil.

What is the one item in your beauty arsenal you cannot live without? Definitely my Shu Uemura Art of Hair Volume Maker! 

Which item is the most innovative product you’ve seen to date? There have been so many! One that has recently caught my eye is Benefit’s new brush-on fiber gel. We’ve been on the full brows bandwagon for years now, but Benefit’s brush-on fiber gel makes filling in and shaping easier than ever. The formula latches on to hair and skin to build natural-looking color, and the micro-brush applicator allows for precise targeting. The result? Polished brows in 30 seconds.

From GlossyBox to Olive Box, you incarnated a monthly delivery subscription trend! To what quality do you attribute this feat? I think that other companies latched onto the subscription aspect of our business model because of how easily other industries could adapt to it. While subscription is an important part of our business, we are a discovery retail company. We provide consumers with the best way to discover new products through sampling, editorial content and our online shop.  

Work aside, what are your hobbies? One of my favorite activities is cooking. I also really enjoy dancing; I danced more often years ago but still try to make the time for the occasional hip-hop class.

What do you love most about Miami? The beaches. Out of all of the beaches on the East Coast, the beaches in Miami are my absolute favorite.