Over the summer, Birchbox co-founders Katia Beauchamp and Hayley Barna were reminiscing about their college years… about how the month of August was filled with excitement and anticipation for the start of a new school year. Being out of school for several years, the girls were looking for a way to bring back that same thrill. What better way than partnering with a sophisticated, stylish college brand? (wink, wink)
That’s right ladies… Dormify has teamed up with coveted beauty subscription business, Birchbox.
This month’s Birchbox has a Beauty School theme (we promise, no pop quizzes!) — perfect timing for our partnership! The Birchbox team has also curated a selection of back to school essentials for everyone in the Dormify community. There’s everything from magnetic nail polish to a shiny lip glaze that will last you well into finals season. And better yet, they are offering free shipping on birchbox.com EXCLUSIVE to Dormify email subscribers.
While working with the Birchbox team over the past couple months, I have gotten the chance to see how hands-on Katia and Hayley are with their business. One evening, Katia, Nicole (my partner-in-crime) and I chatted over hummus and pita at Katia’s favorite restaurant Barbounia about what it takes to be a young, dynamic and successful entrepreneur… who also get’s to be surrounded by beauty products everyday!
Stephanie Hayman: Your beauty motto is “I’ll try anything twice.” What is your motto or piece of advice for entrepreneurs?
Katia Beauchamp: Don’t stress about having all of the answers – work on having great questions.
Stephanie: Choosing a name is usually where people get stuck when launching a business or idea. How did you come up with Birchbox?
Katia: We wanted a name that would allow us to grow. Our vision was to create a discovery commerce business. So we wanted a name that was gender neutral, high-end sounding, and had beautiful imagery. We landed on birch trees- it met all of our criteria.
Stephanie: You have probably met a ton of influential people who you pitched the idea of Birchbox to before getting it off the ground. What was your “elevator pitch.” Why is having an elevator pitch important?
Katia: It’s incredibly important to be able to sum up your idea in just a few sentences. We were always respectful of the fact that the people we were meeting with, including the heads of major beauty brands, were very busy and so we quickly learned the importance of refining a complex business concept into a short and effective pitch.
Stephanie: Your best friend from Harvard Business School is your business partner. What is the biggest challenge and biggest perk of working with your BFF?
Katia: Yes, it’s my second marriage and it’s awesome! We face the same core challenge that every close relationship has – communication. It is so important that we make the time and make sure that we are communicating effectively.
Stephanie: What are some good ways to gain business experience throughout high school and college?
Katia: Internships! Take them, do anything and everything. Be eager, develop relationships with your managers and stay in touch with them after.
Stephanie: Why is Birchbox perfect for a college gal?
Katia: With your busy schedule, who has time to find the latest products? We make the discovery process easy and fun. Plus, you can do it with your friends and share, swap, play!
Stephanie: We have all heard the term “beauty sleep”. The Birchbox team probably uses this term a lot. From Dormify’s perspective, “beauty sleep” means that the place you sleep in should be beautiful. Describe the décor in your NYC apt?
Katia: I love our apartment – small and with a great mix of modern and classic. We have dark grey walls, a giant white couch, dark “brack” furniture (brownish black) with major splashes of patterns and color. I have an addiction to linens but not enough space to collect a proper wardrobe. Someday!
Stephanie: What is your Dormify “must -have “product?
Katia: Adore this collection!