Letter From The Publisher
It was a rainy New York day in March when I placed a call to Rachel Brown, former West Coast beauty editor at WWD. I called Rachel because I was frustrated. I was frustrated because I was spending an hour every day combing through a dozen publications only to find a few scattered bits of news on indie beauty. When I did manage to find something, it was often a surface piece that was barely helpful or relevant to what I knew to be the reality of an entrepreneur’s life.
In the year-and-a-half since we founded IBE, I met hundreds of beauty entrepreneurs and spent many hours listening to their stories, learning about their challenges and discussing their needs. The people I met were interested in how to effectively run a small business on a bare-bones budget. They worried about payroll, inventory, supplier issues and, without exception, near-term sales.
The more time I spent with beauty entrepreneurs, the more I became convinced they needed their own publication. A media source that, similar to IBE, was laser-focused on their journeys and challenges, and spoke to them as peers. A source that offered practical business advice and know-how that could be immediately implemented. A source that provided candid profiles of brands that were truly representative of the indie community. A source that celebrated indie success, however small it may be. When you crack into five doors at Neiman Marcus, that is news in the indie world, and you deserve recognition for it.
That’s why I called Rachel. I explained my frustration and told her that IBE wanted to start an online publication that covered the intersection of beauty and entrepreneurship. I told her that we had next to no budget or infrastructure for this initiative. I told her that we first had to do research and validate the idea, after which we may decide to pull the plug. I told her of a dozen other major risks and uncertainties.
What I would later learn was that ten minutes into the conversation Rachel had already made up her mind and there was nothing I could say that would deter her. Similar to the moment when Jillian and I decided to jump into the abyss and start IBE, Rachel decided to take the plunge with us into a different part of uncharted space.
Over the next five months, Rachel threw herself at the task with a level of passion and commitment that has humbled us. At every turn, she has proven to be more skilled, more capable, more knowledgeable and more adaptable than we could have ever imagined. Together with Claire McCormack, who joined from IBE’s Education + Thought Leadership group, they have prepared Beauty Independent for launch in less than six months. Undeterred by lack of time or budget, Rachel and Claire pulled off the impossible and readied Beauty Independent for its unveiling at IBE New York.
Beauty Independent is like many indie brands it will cover: a product of pure passion, hurriedly conceived and rushed into this world by people who knew, deep inside, that it was their mission to make it happen. It is our sincere hope that Beauty Independent lives up to its promise and becomes the trusted eyes, ears and voice of the beauty entrepreneur. Now, let us continue the journey.