MEET LAURA BRONNER, FOUNDER OF GLOSS48

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This week, we introduce you to a founder of one of our new favorite beauty shopping destinations, Gloss48! Laura Bronner talks to us about what it’s like running a successful new website, how they decide what beauty products to feature, and gives us a sneak peek into her own makeup bag!

For our readers who aren’t familiar with your website, tell us about Gloss48.

Gloss48 is paradise for product junkies! We provide a daily dose of must-have niche beauty brands for you to discover and shop.  For the first seven days that we feature our brands, we offer them at an introductory price so that you can try a new product without breaking the bank.  We also keep a permanent collection of our favorite products at regular price so that you can continue to buff up your beauty arsenal. 

How do you curate the products featured on the site?

One of the members of Team G48 or our circle of trusted beauty professionals tries every product we feature on the site.  At a minimum, the products we offer have to be high quality, safe and effective.  We don’t just stop there.  We seek out brands that are doing something truly unique or innovative – whether that’s a rock star creating a super pigmented lip gloss that won’t stick to her microphone or a new skincare line that is based on biological studies of arctic animals!

The Gloss48 team seems so fun. What’s a typical day in the office like?

We are a big bundle of crazy, sassy, girly chaos. We have an open office that we share with a bunch of other startups in the PayPal Start Tank program.  Let’s just say we’ve been accused of having a few “loud days.”  We probably talk about food almost as much as we talk about beauty.  Almost. 

I used to work for a corporate real estate consulting firm.  It’s pretty much the polar opposite of that. 

How did you get the website off the ground? Did the entire core team have prior experience in the beauty industry?

The three founders all had some experience in the beauty industry.  Jill Kravetz founded a high end nail and waxing concept called MiniLuxe.  She hired me about five years ago because I was working on a similar concept in Chicago.  

Since neither of us had online experience, we brought in Jodi, our tech guru.  We often refer to Jodi as our tech “unicorn” because, unlike most techies, she had a lot of relevant experience working on websites like Ippolita and Urban Decay.  She is also a next-level, hard core beauty junkie!

In the past few months, we hire four more, amazing team members:

  • Kellie Van is our Creative Producer. She also happened to work with us at MiniLuxe.
  • Brittany Fischer is our Beauty Correspondent.  She was a blogger and freelance writer with a perfectly edgy style and wit.  She’s hilarious.
  • Mara Chernin is our Beauty Brand Scout.  Mara was a superstar in Nordstrom management before we met her.  She has an incredible knack for finding exceptional niche brands and helping to bring them to Gloss48.
  • Guisell Smith is our Shipping Maven / Resident Makeup Artist.  Prior to Gloss48, she was an educator at Sephora.

We came up with the concept for Gloss48 about two years ago.  Our MiniLuxe clients loved the selection of hard-to-find, unique beauty brands that we carried in the salons.  At the same time, beauty channels like Sephora and the department stores were moving away from niche brands.  Our niche brand partners were struggling to find effective marketing and distribution opportunities.  Gloss48 brings together beauty junkies who crave authenticity and newness with amazing, indie brands. 

If we peeked inside your makeup bag, what would be find?

It would probably change on a weekly basis!  I keep discovering new stuff!!  Right now, I’m obsessed with Kevyn Aucoin mascaraGirlactik cream blush, and 29 Cosmetics lipstick.  I also keep a spritzer of Shamanuti toner at my desk.  It comes in handy mid-afternoon when I’m feeling kind of grimy.

I can go on!  You might need a few more blog posts for my makeup bag!  We could spend a year talking about the products in my bathroom! 

What is the one beauty product that you can’t live without?

One?! Our Beauty Editor Brittany recently pointed out that finishing a beauty product is a good indication that it’s an amazing product.  Based on Brittany’s Empties Theory, the product I can’t live without is Skin, An Apothecary Soy Body Whip.  It comes in an enormous tub and I go through it faster than any other product!

Any new beauty trends you’re particularly excited about?

I love that the modern beauty consumer holds skincare companies accountable for ingredients, safety, and effectiveness.  I think it’s causing skincare companies to be more straightforward and honest.  I am also seeing some incredible, scientific innovation on the skincare front.

On a less serious note, I LURVE all of the sparkles and textures in nails.  Just when I think we’re about to turn the corner and head back to a life of Ballet Slippers and OPI Red, an indie nail brand comes out with a new brand of glitter that makes my heart race! 

Tell us about some products or brands recently featured on Gloss48 that your’e particularly excited about.

Where to begin!?  The hard part about working for Gloss48 is that, by the time the brands are featured on our site, we are already so in love with the owners and products.  Some of my recent favorites are:

  • 29 Cosmetics: these skincare and color cosmetics all contain grape seed oil, which is known for anti-aging properties.  I love their lipsticks because they are rich, smooth, and highly pigmented – but also contain nourishing grape seed oil. 
  • SewLomax beauty bags are absolutely adorable.  I bought six of them for holiday gifts and I will probably regret not buying a few more!
  • Rainbow Honey nail polishes are endless, glittery gorgeousness!
  • I’m also excited to shop Rain Cosmetics for some fun looks.

What’s in store for Gloss48? Any exciting updates you can tell us about?

We are always up to something!  Right now, we are offering one to two brands per day.  We’re hoping to gradually increase that throughout the year!  

We are also working on a personalization engine that will help us recommend products to our members.