There’s so many exciting happenings in beauty and beauty tech and Glam Doll are right there, in the spotlight! We sat down with Andrea, founder of Glam Doll, about her journey from aviation to Hollywood glam!
HOC: Great to meet you, Andrea; what’s your elevator pitch for Glam Doll?
Andrea: Glam Doll is the leading supplier of Hollywood inspired beauty products for homes and professional salons. Specialising in Hollywood Glam Mirrors, Specialty Lighting, Cosmetic Organisers, Vanity Tables and more Glam Doll’s goal is to help everyone ‘Bring Hollywood Home’. Our aim is to provide top quality products, attentive and personalised service that provides our customers long term value.
HOC: How awesome! What was your journey to starting your business?
Andrea: I was born and raised in Seattle and started my career in the Aircraft Leasing Industry which brought me to Miami and eventually to Ireland over the course of 15 years. Aviation is an interesting industry and I gained a wealth of experience including, commercial negotiations, managing technical specifications, cross border logistics and global marketing while travelling the world!
Given the experience I had gained I always wanted to build a company and brand that was received by customers as excellent, so when I came to a point in my life where I could take this step, I took it but it was not in the direction I had anticipated. While redesigning our daughter’s bedroom I identified a gap in the Irish & UK market for quality beauty products that provided customers a new experience with lifelong products. I set about researching, designing and manufacturing our innovative range of Hollywood Mirrors, Specialty Lighting and more.
HOC: We love when new business ideas pop up from unexpected places. Tell us more about what it was like when first starting up?
Andrea: Starting this business was a big leap of faith and I had to trust my instincts. We made a decision to position the business in such a way that we could protect ourselves in the beauty industry by providing scale. We decided that rather than initially investing in infrastructure or staff we would invest in a variety of quality products that would span the market and be available immediately. This meant designing for the future and placing large orders to satisfy our anticipated future demand at a price point where we could remain strong even with potential new entrants.
HOC: What does the team at Glam Doll look like?
Andrea: We are building an incredible team of strong, creative and brilliant women where we encourage each other and foster a sense of community. It’s important to me that we create a culture at Glam Doll of leading our market which I believe requires mutual respect, hard work and real customer-oriented innovation so that Glam Doll stays at the top of our market while developing new markets.
HOC: We’ve in awe of a strong female team! How has your business grown since starting?
Andrea: When I launched the business 18 months ago it was from my kitchen table in the Irish countryside! We had a small storage facility close by for our stock which was quite unglamorous, and we worked hard on building our brand and getting the word out about what we are doing and our Hollywood inspired products. We were fortunate in that word of mouth really spread as more and more clients purchased our products and connected with the Glam Doll brand. We grew from strength to strength and worked in getting our products into salons, training academies and client’s homes throughout the Ireland and the UK.
Due to our rate of growth and customer demand, last September we set up our HQ in a modern 3-storey warehouse in Celbridge, Co. Kildare. We have a showroom where clients can come and see the quality of our products first hand and I designed an elegant office space with future growth in mind.
It’s come quite far from the kitchen table and I’m just so proud of what we have achieved!
HOC: So inspiring! How can someone prepare themselves for entrepreneurial life?
Andrea: It really requires a leap of faith, to me it was an unknown frontier and I just jumped in and grabbed the reins, determined to succeed and I believed in my capabilities. To me, being an entrepreneur means very long days, sleepless nights, challenges that sometimes seem insurmountable but always persevering, pushing through with the next goal in mind and most importantly having an incredible team and network of supporters. To see our ideas come to life and be appreciated by so many people is the positive outcome from all the hard work and this fuels my passion to keep going and growing.
HOC: Alongside fueling your passion; how do you take time out, do you ever find it difficult?
Andrea: Life can be quite hectic and trying to find balance between running a business, a home, 4 children and pets is a lot to juggle. I have found that it really helps to try and be in the moment and not worry too much about what happened yesterday or what is on tomorrow just being mindful now, otherwise it can be overwhelming.
We do try to get away when we can whether it be a local getaway or something further afield, it’s important to take time out and recharge. We have lovely wooded paths near our home and just getting outside with our 2 dogs helps calm the craziness of the day!
HOC: What’s your ambition for your brand?
Andrea: When I created Glam Doll, it was important to me that we develop a brand that is synonymous with high quality, innovative yet affordable products. Our decision to build an ecommerce business rather than a brick and mortar high street shop was that we wanted to ensure our products were accessible to everyone no matter where you live. The on-line distribution costs we believe provide the best value for our customer and is the 2ndpart of how we plan to protect our market position as we grow. We want to provide that Hollywood feeling for clients & salons so they can create their own Glam Stations at home or in their business. We hope to become a household name and continue to grow our business in the UK & Europe, Bringing Hollywood Home.
HOC: With your brand being built around the idea of Hollywood, we have to ask, do you visit LA much, where are your favourite spots?
Andrea: I absolutely love California, LA in particular, and the backdrop of Hollywood was my inspiration for the brand. I visit LA once a year and am going next week. I love staying in Santa Monica at Shutters on the Beach, it has such a laid-back vibe, it provides instant relaxation. A favourite is taking the bicycles and riding along the shore down to Marina del Ray for fish tacos. Shopping provides something for everyone from the open-air market on Melrose to all the glitz and glamour of Rodeo Drive. Dinner at Nobu in Malibu is always on the list; the food, cocktails and the views are amazing!
HOC: Let’s finish with a classic question! The ’10 years ago’ challenge is all the rage on insta at the moment, what advice do you have for the 2009 you?
Andrea: In 2009, I was a single mother living in Miami working very hard to advance in my career while balancing family life. Looking back, I would tell myself to relax, enjoy each day and all will work out. Everything happens for a reason and these experiences makes us the person we are today. I would also advise how important it is to build a supportive network around you, the greatest feeling is when you can trust that someone has your back and you can hold each other up.
Wonderful to speak with you, Andrea!