She became a millionaire with luxury cosmetics at popular prices | Exam


Some people are lucky to have a good idea in life, with which they build a successful business. Marcia Kilgore had five.

First, in 1996, she founded Bliss, a cult beauty emporium in New York City that became a profitable product line and later became the first North American acquisition by LVMH, for about $ 30 million. .

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Then, it was the affordable bath, body and cosmetics brand, Soap & Glory, which became ubiquitous in British bathrooms and was sold to Boots Alliance drugstore chain in 2014. Then came a line of ergonomic shoes, FitFlop; and then Soaper Duper, a vegan brand of body products.

But it’s Beauty Pie, her fifth company, that the 52-year-old serial entrepreneur believes to be her best idea so far. “I’ve had some good ones in the past. I am proud of them all. But Beauty Pie eclipses the rest. ”

Beauty Pie, which is based in London, started operating four years ago and is a shopping club for beauty addicts. Members pay a monthly membership fee to access some of the best fragrance, skin care and cosmetics factories in the world, many of which supply large luxury brands, who now charge much more for products since receive your logo. With Beauty Pie, members can get regular deliveries of Japanese skin care products and South Korean serum, Italian lipsticks and perfumes made in Grasse, France, all arriving in exclusive pink packaging.

Kilgore had this idea one afternoon when he was at a train station in Milan, returning from a beauty product manufacturing region in Italy known as the Lipstick Valley. She had about $ 5,000 in free samples from local factories in a large bag. “Suddenly, I thought, what if all the women who usually buy these products at Sephora or in department stores could have this feeling, which I am having now, of doing a big deal, eliminating the middlemen? If they could have access to the products at a real cost, they could buy many more things of great quality. I knew that making the client feel good like that had real appeal, even if it also displeased some in the industry. ”

MAKEUP PATON BSPR 4 2 She became a millionaire with luxury cosmetics at popular prices | Exam Marcia Kilgore applies a mask at the Bliss spa in New Vork

Marcia Kilgore applies a mask at the Bliss spa in New Vork (Suzanne De Chillo / The New York Times)

After all, making the client feel good was what energized her business from the beginning. Kilgore was born in 1968 in Saskatchewan, Canada. Her father died when she was 11 years old. Money was tight, and after high school, she moved to New York with $ 300.

For several years, he worked as a personal trainer, and then, having taken a beautician course after recurring bouts of acne, Kilgore found a new niche: offering facials in his East Village apartment.

In 1996, she opened the Bliss Spa in SoHo. A Vogue article praised his exfoliations and peels. Oprah Winfrey, Calvin Klein and Madonna became customers. The waiting list for treatments like Quadruple Thighpass and Double Oxygen facial with Kilgore was up to 18 months long.

A successful product line followed, as well as spas and a decade of 90-hour work weeks for Kilgore and his team, who relaxed customers with videos of King Kong in the electrolysis room and chatted with them like great friends.

“Bliss stood out as a brand because it had a peculiar, interesting and different personality from everything there was at that time, just like Marcia herself. She was also an astute pioneer who discovered a lucrative niche in the health and beauty industry. She was never afraid to take risks, ”said beauty businesswoman Bobbi Brown.