How We Created Exclusive and Luxury Beauty Brand for Women on the Go
Sisters Shikha and Sonali Chaturvedi believed that every woman should have the ability to feel glamorous and beautiful, even in the midst of hectic schedules and responsibilities. These sisters were determined to be the solution, and together they created ShikSona Beauty. They created 5-in-1 beauty product that can be used on the entire face, all in the shape of one small lipstick or gloss. This product allowed people to take their beauty on the go, allowing them to look and feel beautiful no matter where they went.
Was it a lightbulb moment or gradual process of ShikSona Beauty?
ShikSona Beauty was definitely a lightbulb moment. We wanted to simplify beauty products for busy women on the go who don’t have the time to research ingredients, choose between hundreds of different brands, or go to the store to figure out what shade goes well with their complexion.
So, we decided to remove the choice overload for our customers by creating a new line of lip products, which includes five highly pigmented, long lasting matte lipsticks and five ultra-smooth, high shine lip glosses in vibrant and timeless shades, that are made with clean ingredients, look great on any skin tone and can be used for any occasion.
How did you get your first three customers?
Our first three customers purchased products online from our website after seeing our social ads on Instagram.
How did you validate the idea?
We spent a lot of time on market research (with online questionnaires and in person interviews) to see if busy women on the go were interested in a luxurious and inclusive beauty line that was simple to navigate (less choice overload), easy to use, and made with clean ingredients. Turns out, they were!
Did you have any experience/expertise in the area?
No, I do not have any direct experience in the beauty industry, but I do have a business background and owned an IT consulting company for the past 16 years. Although the beauty services industry may seem worlds apart from IT consulting, at the end of the day, when you really break it down, in both cases it is about identifying a gap in the current system and trying to fill that need for a particular client base.
To bridge the experience gap, I’ve hired beauty experts to help me develop, test, and launch this beauty line. As business owner, it’s key to understand your strengths and weaknesses early, and hire the necessary expertise at the beginning of your venture, if you want to be successful.
Have you raised any money? How much?
We have not raised any money– this venture has been fully self-funded.
Who is your target demographic?
Our target demographic is busy women on the go between the ages of 35-55. She hustles hard every day, juggling multiple tasks/priorities required by her demanding career.
She spends her days working long hours and struggles to fit a beauty routine into her already hectic schedule.
How did you fund the idea initially?
My sister (co-founder) and I have provided all of the funding for this business venture.
Where did you meet your co-founder/founding team?
My sister and I started this venture as a means of helping women find beauty options in the midst of their fast-paced, busy schedules. This idea was very different than anything else we had done in the past.
We graduated from the University of Virginia with our studies focused on the U.S. energy industry. We were both very career-oriented and worked day in and day out on furthering our business ventures, which left little time for self-care and beauty routines. The idea of trying to implement the latest beauty trends felt daunting and overwhelming. This is when we realized that we wanted to create a business that would provide easy access to hair and makeup services that would not take up too much time or energy.
Thus, we created our first beauty brand, Glam Set Go. This is a mobile beauty service that comes right to your door in our one-of-a-kind “Glam Truck,” helping you find the balance between quality and time.
Any tips for finding first employees?
As we began to get deeper into the beauty industry, we realized that as busy women on the go, beauty routines can become even more overwhelming when there are limitless options. It is difficult to know where to start. We wanted to remove the anxiety that comes with having to find the right shade, ingredients, and products. So, we created our second brand, ShikSona Beauty.
This is a line of multi-functional lipsticks and glosses that help remove choice overload by providing quality products that look good on everyone. Plus, all of the ingredients are clean and cruelty-free. We are not here to compete with the big brands, but rather, provide an option for busy women who want an easily attainable, flawless makeup routine.
What motivates you when things go wrong? What is the end goal?
It’s inevitable and also very normal for things to go wrong when starting a business. I’m a problem solver, so when things go wrong, I really enjoy the challenge of pivoting and coming up with a better solution, all while learning valuable lessons in the process.
Do you have any advice for someone just starting out?
Starting a business is going to be challenging. There is no way around it. Patience is key as you take the necessary steps to work towards your ultimate goal. It will not overnight but in the end, your hard work will pay off. It is important to create a realistic business plan, research, and find your target market. Always be willing to be flexible, as things are constantly changing. You need to be ready for anything!
What has driven the most sales?
Instagram and Facebook social ads have generated the most sales. It’s important to get the right photo/video and message to captivate your target market with these ads.
What are the next products you’re working on? Are there any releases you can tell us about?
With ShikSona Beauty, we are currently focusing on the development of beauty products that contain anti-aging ingredients and are multifunctional, so it saves busy women on the go both time and space with their beauty routine. We are currently working on a skincare line that we are hoping to launch by next spring!!