Jennifer Cheng is marketing her beauty tech product and makeup kit to millennials
Glam-it! by JennClamCo is an international brand which is marketing to millennials with its beauty tech and fashion products.
Created by the serial entrepreneur and CEO, Jennifer Cheng and her Hong Kong-based venture strives to empower young women via an array eco-friendly beauty products, pretty accessories and stylish sunglasses.
Glam-it!’s core offering however is the makeup kit, GlamPact.
The GlamPact is the first light up compact with a rechargeable LED mirror that’s refillable and customizable.
And just as The GlamPact may suit young women and city girls who want to apply their makeup on-the-go, it also affords them the chance to create personalized compacts.
Jennifer has global experience in management, investment, startups, startup exits and E-Commerce and is a sought-after business speaker and startup advisor.
We are marketing to a smart female audience who know exactly what good value is
Here she tells Nativa World about her beauty tech product and explains how she’s marketing to millennials….
Jennifer, why did Glam-it! and The GlamPact come to life?
Glam-it! by JennGlamCo is a tech, beauty and fashion brand for young women and The GlamPact is our main product. As the IPhone of all makeup, young women can select eco-friendly cosmetics that suit them and have them in one place to use anytime and anywhere. My goal is to get the GlamPact into every young woman’s hand and to make them feel happy and beautiful.
The idea came to me when I was fumbling with my makeup traveling back to the office from a TV shoot. I noticed a young girl on the subway in New York City struggling to put on her makeup. The GlamPact is a beauty solution for young women like her to look their very best on-the-go.
Our customers build and customize their own GlamPacts so that it contains all their favorite colors and tools
What’s the mission?
I’ve always noticed from working as a model, actress and even as a businesswoman that when people first meet me they tend to judge me by my looks. Sometimes they don’t take me seriously because of my looks. Of course appearance matters, but I wanted to create something for young women so that they can take on (and take care of) the world, to feel better about themselves and to be ready for anything and everything.
No two GlamPacts are alike and are as individualized as the young women who customize them. Our customers build and customize their own GlamPacts so that theirs contains all their favorite colors and tools which helps them stay true to themselves and realize their own beauty. In short our message is to #beyou.
Our mission is to empower young women throughout the world by saving them time and helping them feel beautiful from the inside out.
How do you define beauty?
Beauty is a feeling from within. In essence, a true sense of beauty is knowing who you really are. Makeup only enhances your natural beauty and how you wish to present yourself. You have the freedom to look however you want to look for any occasion.
I think you need to think globally from the get-go, and as you go along adapt your marketing strategy to each country
Which beauty products used in a GlamPact?
There’s no brand that gets everything right in their cosmetic ranges. Different brands are famous and renowned for different cult products. In the beginning I visited different brand counters, explored bestsellers and colors and swatched them. I perused blogs, media, social media, visited different stores and spoke to makeup artists to find out which beauty products were best sellers. Then I connected with the leading laboratories in Korea and asked them to make the colors for me. Overall we try to make all of our products neutral so they work on everyone and are as universal as possible. They’re for the most part sheer and buildable. We also use re-cyclable plastic for the refills in the palettes, and our cosmetics are all cruelty-free, vegan and paraben-free.
How long was the production to shelf process?
It took around three months. We started with “clicks to bricks” going for our own proprietary e-commerce first with Glamit.com. I then took the GlamPact to the Harvey Nichols headquarters in Hong Kong and showed it their team of beauty buyers. They really liked it and helped us to exclusively launch in their store, and they gave us our very own makeup counter and table. Right after that we launched our flagship retail showroom which serves as both our offices and store.
We have built strong relationships with the media including many bloggers and influencers who believe in Glam-it!
Via one of our business partners Blinq and my longtime friend and business partner Alexis Wong, we brought the GlamPact to the US and China including kiosks in the San Francisco BART metro system as well as selected kiosks in Shanghai. GlamPacts are now available in 59 countries through our online retail partnerships. To solve any problem as an entrepreneur I think you need to think globally from the get-go, and as you go along adapt your marketing strategy to each country and channel.
Glam-it! girls stay true to themselves, and together with the brands we work with are a part of the Glam-it! Universe
How have you been marketing your beauty tech product?
This process has been great because we work with a wide network and we have built strong relationships with the media including many bloggers and influencers who believe in Glam-it!. They know how convenient this tool and makeup kit is for young women. We also have a good price point because customers are getting eleven products for 80 USD and they can mix and match cosmetics and beauty products that they like.
We are also marketing to millennials who know exactly what good value is. They vote with their wallets, and prefer to feel engaged with brands and be a part of a change-making community. Glam-it! girls stay true to themselves, and together with the brands we work with are all a part of the Glam-it! universe
Otherwise, my background is in E-Commerce and its now about being Omni-retail – which means being everywhere your customers are. This ties into Omni-marketing and communications, which means listening to to your customers and their market and having a real dialogue to engender trust and a real relationship.
From the very beginning, the Glam-it! Team and I embraced social media as well as building out our network of partnerships so that we could reach as many of our target audience of millennials as possible with our message. My career has been with major players and startups in the technology, E-Commerce, mobile, and social media space.
What are your future plans?
We just launched a miniature eye liner and a mascara that fit into the GlamPact.
We’re looking forward to a fragrance launch benefiting an amazing cause and charity, with one of my good friends Cecilia Chan. We also have more retail partnerships coming up and further brands who want to collaborate with us on Glam-it! and GlamPact add-ons, refills, and minis. I have also been approached for strategic partnerships including acquisition, investments, and mergers, but before that day comes, I want to make the Glam-it! brand even stronger first. I think in entrepreneurship people as well as brands, partners, will naturally gravitate come to you when you have or are striving toward something great.
We’re focusing on building a sustainable as well as socially responsible brand so that we can continue to give back. Each of our products has a portion going to different charities. For example, the sale of each of our sunglasses goes to a children’s vision and education Charity in China called Education in Sight, and we have worked with notable charities including The Women’s Foundation, and Her Fund where I’m an ambassador. The team and I like to work with causes that resonate well with me and with our brand values. We are working on limited edition GlamPacts in limited colors and materials. You should be seeing more from us on this front in the coming year.
Who inspires you in business?
I’m inspired by strong women such as Sophia Amoruso and Anna Wintour. Otherwise Sheryl Sandberg and Marissa Mayer inspire me as well as other women who are paving their way in Silicon Valley. I’m taught firsthand by my advisors which include investor and philanthropist Cecilia Chan, entrepreneur and property developer and investor Alexis Wong, entrepreneur and activist Joanne Ooi (I’m an advisor of her recently listed company Plukka). I’m also inspired by the men in my life including my CFO who likes to remain nameless, my ipso facto COO/CTO Varun Mittal who is a heavy-hitter in the startup and technology scenes, and Jong Lee, who has been my advisor and friend for as long as I can remember.
How did you assemble your team?
All of my current team found me. But we do get resumes on a daily basis, and we are always looking for people with the same values and outlook, plus who can add real tangible value to the team. I always look for people that are better at things than I am. I like to surround myself with people who have different opinions to me. We never move forward with major decisions, without everyone on the team discussing it first.
All the startups that I have worked for in the past have been challenging because they scaled fast. But one thing one of my mentors taught me is that company culture is really important and that always has to be maintained.
How was launching your product in Hong Kong?
Hong Kong is the litmus test of Asia. It’s very cosmopolitan and is also a great place to test a product. If you can survive as a startup in Hong Kong you can survive in Asia. It’s a very busy region/city and I never thought I would find a faster paced city than New York, but a Hong Kong second is a New York minute.
What do you miss most of all when you are away from home on business?
Home is where the heart is, but I do have wanderlust and love meeting new people. Wherever I travel to I try and connect with friends when I arrive. I’m okay as long as I have my GlamPact with me!
Jennifer’s Top Startup Tips:
- Just do it
- Time is the new currency, not money
- Don’t be afraid to find people who are better than you are and who can fill in the blanks
- Ask for help
- Listen to the opinions of your team
- Make every moment count and never live with regret
Photography courtesy of Jennifer Cheng and Glam-it!