How Indie Beauty Brand Founders Would Like To Change Black Friday

In this edition of Beauty Independent’s ongoing series posing questions to beauty entrepreneurs, we ask nine brand founders and executives: If you had a magic wand, what would you do to change Black Friday/Cyber Monday?

Shruti Rathee Founder and Owner, Tasu

Both as a brand and consumer, I would like to take stress out of the whole BFCM. As a brand, I am always thinking about more sales, and how can we get more of the dollar amount that's flowing around on BFCM. And, as a consumer, I am always thinking, "Oh, maybe they would have better deal on CM or BF." So, it's fear of missing out both [as a] business and consumer. This just raises the stress level. I wish I could just take that out.

Ty McLaren Co-Founder, Koa

This might be an unpopular opinion, but we actually think, in an ideal world, BF and CM wouldn't exist. As a brand, we put sustainability at the core of everything we do, and these flash sales perpetuate a culture of consumerism that is really wasteful. We don't want to blindly encourage people to buy things they don't actually need, but recognize that consumers expect the opportunity to buy at a discount over the holidays. That's why, rather than pressure our customers to buy immediately, we're giving them a month to decide on whether they want to purchase or not.

Julia Teren Founder, Thesis Beauty

As a consumer, I would love to see it stretched over the course of a few weeks or maybe even a month, with every three to five days dedicated to a separate group of consumer goods that you know customarily offer deals within this particular segment of time. That way you really have the time to strategize and shop around. I just like order in certain things. As a business owner, I see the merit in the way BFCM works as it does now because it doesn't limit your creativity.

KéNisha Ruff Founder and Creative Director, Marie Hunter Beauty

I would change the phenomenon of offering steep discounts. As an indie brand, offering such steep discounts can break us. Moving forward, I think offering a gift with purchase would work best as it would give customers the opportunity to try out new products from brands that they may not normally purchase. This could lead to increased sales in the future.

Makeba Lloyd Founder and Owner, Butter By Keba

I would dial back the oversaturation of BF marketing. Some brands marketed BF sales that weren’t even substantial. They basically came up with a small discount, sometimes purchase amount-driven, and slapped a BF sticker on it. How is $10 off $100 purchases considered a BF sale?

Joy Yap Founder, Wyld Skincare

I purchased a set of reusable cutlery and reusable coffee mugs this Black Friday, and something that I will use over and over for years. I think this is the opposite of the mass overconsumption perception most people have of the Black Friday phenomenon. So, if I were to wave a magic wand, I would like Black Friday to be Green Friday, a day of savings and mindful consumption of sustainable goods.

Anthony Polcino Co-Founder, Thin Wild Mercury

Probably the intensity of the whole thing as it relates to convenience and the carbon footprint that inevitably comes with that in terms of shipping materials, transport and resource consumption, etc. Also, the general heightened sense of consumerism that is ever so enveloped in instant gratification tactics, paired with the need to camp out all night at a physical location to fulfill that same sense of consumerism. We could do without that. We understand that just might be us, however.

Julissa Prado Founder and CEO, Rizos Curls

On the one hand, you don’t want to be a promotional brand, and you want to offer value and really build long-standing relationships with your customers. On the other hand, because of the sales discounts, you have a massive influx of both new and ongoing customers who are interacting with your brand. The trick is how to go above and beyond the sale and really create opportunities for customers to get to know your brand. For us, it’s letting our Rizos Curls customers know that we’re much more than products. Rizos Curls is curls, community, culture, what I call the 3 Cs. In the midst of all the Black Friday shopping, what I would like to do is create valuable moments of interaction with customers in the spirit of giving thanks.

This Thanksgiving, we began with two special videos posted on our social channels. The first, a video of me giving thanks to my customers, whom I call Rizos Reinas (curl queens in Spanish). The second, a compilation video of our Rizos Reinas’ self-submitted videos of them saying what they are thankful for this year. For us, through these touch points, we create lots of interactions with customers leaving comments, sending messages, emails and submitting their own videos telling us what the brand means to them. They believe in our mission and journey as a brand, whether they are new customers who had been dying to try the brand or ongoing loyal customers.

Melanie Cruickshank Founder, Da Lish Cosmetics

I feel we have to conform and take part or lose out on a huge opportunity. It’s a big guessing game to be early, but not too early and to be competitive with other offers in the industry. It’s a lot of pressure for an indie brand to compete with and get it right.

Angela Fields Founder, CurlyCoilyTresses

Where indie brands really benefit is talking about the quality of our ingredients. We don’t have the budgets of many of the larger brands, so we have to make the best use of what we have and create partnerships where you’re getting exposure from a brand that’s complementary to yours, but not in the exact same market. I’ve participated in a giveaway with a skincare and body care brand. We’re doing the giveaway to draw followers and attention. I think that kind of partnership can help an indie brand have an impact as it goes against larger brands.

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