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Michelle’s Pick of the Week: Glossy by Marisa Meltzer

Glossier debut on Instagram in 2014. Today, the company is worth over $1B. Since then, the brand has promoted its “effortless, no makeup, makeup” to compete with well-established brands like L’oreal and Maybelline.

In Glossy, author Marisa Meltzer draws back the curtain to reveal an excessively privileged and well-connected woman who used her advantages to build a business empire. We meet 36-year-old Glossier founder, Emily Weiss, during one of the many interviews Meltzer did with her circa 2021. Weiss laments talking about her short stint filming three episodes of The Hills in Season 2. Connecting the dots, Meltzer reveals that Emily Weiss, the founder of the make-up and beauty company Glossier, was once named “Emily the Intern” on national TV.

Weiss is featured only enough to show the reader how the company, Glossier, was built. First, teenage Weiss asks her neighbor for a job at a major clothing company and receives an unposted internship opportunity. Her enthusiastic recommendations from someone she meets at this internship lands her an internship at Vogue years later. From there, Weiss uses the connections she gains at Vogue to start her blog, Into the Gloss (ITG). Weiss realizes that she is essentially conducting market research on beauty products through ITG and wants to start selling those products herself.

Meltzer illustrates the good, the bad and the ugly of Glossier’s early business and marketing decisions. Glossier debuted with only four products and just three shades of foundation while declaring “diversity” as a core value. It was assumed that Weiss, a person who sat on bathroom floors during ITG interviews, would allow media outlets into her bathroom. Except, she didn’t. Yet, there was an air of approachability meets aspiration behind Glossier’s marketing strategy. In 2015 the #Girlboss takedowns started, which did not exclude Glossier. In 2022, Weiss stepped away from her position as CEO and into a new role as executive board chairwoman.

Overall, this title will satiate both the reader’s interest in learning about what it’s like to work at Glossier and in issues women leaders, CEOs specifically, face in the American workforce.

Categories: Books and More

Tags: Books and More

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