Did you ever wonder what it's like to sell on Etsy? Beautylish chats with Emily DeLapp, founder of the uber-intense mineral makeup line, Concrete Minerals. From mixing her signature vibrant pigments to what it's like to compete against the big brands, discover the trials and tribulation of an indie beauty brand.
B: How did you get started with mineral makeup?
"I used to head up the marketing department of a popular natural mineral makeup company. I had a blast—I never realized how much I loved the concept and playfulness of natural mineral makeup. So, I decided to start my own company. A lot of mineral makeup companies are awesome but their pigments lack that level of intensity of high-end brands. My goal with Concrete Minerals is to show girls that you can have vivid, bright pigment without the unnecessary additives and preservatives found in many prestige brands."
B: Where do Etsy sellers like yourself create and mix the makeup?
"I live in a loft, and the entire upper floor is my business and miniature lab. I have 10-12 suppliers for raw materials, but everything from design to manufacturing is done in-house."
B: Why did you decide to sell on Etsy?
"When the company first started in 2009, I'd never even heard of it! I was browsing the web and came across a small mineral makeup company that brought me to Etsy. The big question for business is: how do I find my market? Etsy is a fantastic community of people that appreciate the small-scale, hand crafted aesthetic. It's an indie brand's dream."
B: Do you see a lot of competition from similar brands on Etsy?
"There's a lot of competition, and the indie makeup scene is bigger than you think. Sometimes, there's a bit of animosity and competitive edge, but it's generally a very collaborative and supportive environment to sell in. Even though everyone's got their own business, people are willing to help out—it's a family, and there's room for us all in the end."
B: What's your relationship with the YouTube and Blogger community?
"Amazing—social media is a blessing for our brand. We love the constant feedback and ease of customer communication. We thrive when excited Beauties review products and tell their friends. We love looking at blogs and vlogs, and get so inspired seeing girls use Concrete Minerals to experiment with beauty."
B: You come from a "big brand" in the natural makeup scene, what's it like the be on the other side?
"Honestly, it was such a culture shock when I originally switched, but I can't imagine it any other way. I love not following the rules, I love being able to connect with my customers on a deeper level, and most of all, I love being able to collaborate with other sellers in the hand-crafted community. I'm doing photo shoots with jewelry and fashion designers, not just other makeup companies. It's an incredibly innovative and wonderful group to be a part of."
B: You've got a major Heartsy sale coming up, what's that process been like?
"I am so incredibly excited to be a part of Heartsy, a site featuring daily deals site on handmade items. I'd never heard of it before, but our fans kept telling us to check it out. I submitted my company profile and came up with a business deal I thought appropriate. Then, the Heartsy community voted on which sales they wanted. You need a minimum of six approvals—we got 262! How amazing is that? It's so gratifying to get that kind of instant feedback from Heartsy members that aren't even Concrete Minerals customers yet. I like the idea of the site because it gives indie brands a new way to market themselves and get their brand out there. They support the hand-made community, and that's what I'm all about."