Here, the beauty entrepreneur shares a profile of herself and the brand.
Name: Sylwia Wiesenberg, Founder
Indie Beauty Company: Bawdy Beauty (butt beauty brand) and DOPE Naturally (ingestible beauty and wellness)
Launched: Bawdy Beauty launched July 2018, DOPE Naturally launched August 2017
Headquarters: New York, NY
Cash flow: Both brands are 100% self-funded.
Indie how? Indie beauty brands are born from an individual’s ideas, passions, obsessions, etc., and the desire to connect and be part of others’ lives, sharing one’s views on beauty and wellness. Indie brands does not have to be a niche or small brand. It is a brand to be discovered by the mainstream consumer. However, indie brands have a different point of view than what has been done in the past. As an example, BAWDY Beauty butt masks address an area that has been neglected in the past. Indie brands are often bold and innovative.
Team work: 1 employee and growing
Currently, my employees are outsourced. As the business grows, we will bring functions inside. I work directly with everyone - from my design agency to translate my vision into artwork to my PR agency, and printing and manufacturing partners. I handle everything, and know every person by name and most of their family stories. I also know everyone at USPS, FEDEX in my neighborhood
I do everything: idea generation and concept development to sourcing and fulfillment. At times, it is really stressful and exhausting, but I believe that the best CEOs know every single aspect of their company. On the bright side, learning and meeting people never hurts – I love meeting people!
Distribution: I launched both brands through their websites, but my biggest achievements came after Indie Beauty Expo events where I met many amazing buyers, store owners, spa owners from around the world. Retailers and individual buyers have to look at your brand and you as the face of the brand and know that you are a perfect match for them; and at the same time, you have to do the same! You have to have a clear vision for your brand: where do you want to be retailed, who is your target audience, their behavior.
In addition to our websites, Bawdy Beauty and DOPE Naturally are currently retailed at Credo Beauty, Anthropologie, Urban Outfitters, Free People, Riley Rose, and Beauty Heroes, and in the second quarter there will be some major announcements for both brands - Bawdy Beauty and DOPE Naturally globally.
Years in beauty: I have been involved in beauty and wellness for many years, beginning with my first job while in college on the beauty counter for Clarins in Australia. After graduating, I joined Leo Burnett internet division and worked on the launch of SKII at Selfridges. I was also involved in the development of Special K wellness challenge in the UK.
These experiences were a terrific way to learn product development, marketing, and sales, but I really learned so much more developing my own brands.
Years as an indie beauty founder: The idea for DOPE Naturally was conceived in 2014, but all the legal work, sourcing, development began in 2016 when I made the decision to bring I to market.
The business: DOPE Naturally is an ingestible beauty and wellness brand focusing on the highest quality and unique organic ingredients, absolutely no sugars, flavorings or fillers added. We deliver the purest dope, naturally!
Bawdy Beauty is a butt beauty brand. I started the company with the concept of sheet masking, and am planning some surprising launches shortly of unique products for butt beauty and beyond!
The wow-factor: DOPE Naturally is about beauty and wellness from within, supporting all you do externally. We are unique in what we deliver in terms of ingredients and their potency.
BAWDY Beauty - Butt is the new face! I guess I am the mother of butt beauty. It is an important part of our bodies. For me, it has always been the most important muscle and the most beautiful part of our bodies. Perhaps this is the reason I work for hours to perfect it, and take special care of its skin beauty.
The customer: We are a non-gender brand, although women are the majority of our customers. Beauty should be inclusive and this is a wonderful time to be genderless. I believe we should start self-care at a young age with simple routines like washing one’s face, brushing teeth, moisturizing your skin, applying sunscreen. These are the first steps in self-care. Being active, eating healthy and clean foods, and taking care of yourself with a little help from beauty products can delay aging by many years. I target people who want to have fun with beauty, yet just like me seek quality!
Milestone moment: I am proud to be where I am; to see my brands being retailed with the top-notch vendors. Credo Beauty gave me the opportunity, launching my clean beauty butt masks when many retailers were questioning the segment. The Credo partnership helped us to go to the next level. This year we are launching with leading beauty retailers in the US and Australia. The thought of seeing my products on the shelves of hundreds of stores makes me proud and anxious at the same time!
DOPE Naturally started 2019 strong with a unique collaboration with Sephora Collection which is in stores right now. This began at the end of Indie Beauty Expo in LA when a striking woman asked if I was the founder of DOPE Naturally. After a great conversation, I was told that the Sephora Collection team would be very interested talking to me and my team about potential collaboration. I am proud and thankful that their team believed in me, and my vision and passion for DOPE Naturally and put DOPE Naturally in front of millions of people entering their doors every day!
Advice for fellow beauty entrepreneurs: Take risks and never, ever give up on your passion! There will be many people telling you cannot do something. Trust me - you can do anything, but you have to love it, believe in it, and have fun with it. I left Poland as a 16 year old girl without my parents and went all the way to sunny Australia. I never looked back. This was my first step to risk taking. All you can lose is money, but what you gain is knowledge, people, and priceless experiences.
Just one: Asked about her desert island beauty product, Wiesenberg says: It is so hard. I drink DOPE and butt mask daily. Other than that, I love ultra red lipstick!
Deanna Utroske, CosmeticsDesign.com Editor, covers beauty business news in the Americas region and publishes the weekly Indie Beauty Profile column, showcasing the inspiring work of entrepreneurs and innovative brands.