Although some of you will already know this, we thought it would be a good idea to share the story of CODE Beautiful for anyone that doesn’t know it, and we thought what better day to share our story than NATIONAL SISTERS DAY!
CODE Beautiful is now just over 5 years old, where has the time gone?!
We started the brand together because we couldn’t find the perfect mascara and got fed up of being disappointed seeing all the ads for mascaras and them never living up to the edited images we saw in the press.
“I’d always wanted a product and this product led to a brand that Em and I worked tirelessly on to create, something that would break the traditional ‘me too’ beauty rules and give us our capsule wardrobe for cosmetics.”
When it came to choosing a product, we started with makeup by chance really but that’s not to say we won’t go on to create your capsule wardrobe for Jewlery/gym wear/fashion etc. in the future. Mascara was a product in such a competitive market but we didn’t want to be about selling people lots of mascaras for different looks, we wanted a value for money, multifunctional mascara that you could create different looks with depending on how you use it, one for day or night, length and volume, thickness and curl.
We funded the business ourselves, Em and I already have another business, so we funded using investment from that company as well as personal savings which we had both worked really hard for.
We originally worked with another lady, a client of ours that is in skincare, but things didn’t work out how we’d have liked but we originally co-funded with her and then bought her out. It’s really tough being in business with friends/clients as it’s hard to all have the same vision and commitment to each other.
Being sisters is also tough but somehow easier because you know you absolutely have the same vision and commitment to each other!
When it came to starting up the business, we are incredibly lucky to have a great network and skills between us that was invaluable! A really good friend of ours did our branding and packaging design, another friend did photography and we had friends of friends that were our models for our first shoot!
Emma built our website and staff from our other business wrote all the copy and put all the plans together for launch. We run the warehouse in-house now but initially we didn’t have the confidence so outsourced this. So, for a startup business we were fortunate enough to be able to use our skills and network to do the majority of the work and this is a big reason we could grow the brand without an investor.
“No matter how big we get, we always try and think small and focus on value. We spend 80% of our budget and time on new product development and 20% on shouting about it which is why people feel like they are discovering the undiscovered.”
When it came to coming up with the name, we knew we wanted the brand to be about beauty meaning different things to different people... so we came up with the idea of everyone having their own CODE of being beautiful. We find beauty in all sorts and encourage people to crack their own CODE Beautiful.
So, we had the name, we had the website (thanks Em!), we had some cool Tokyo chic inspired packaging... we just had to get the products perfect. We spend a long time developing products and we don’t launch them until they are perfect! We are constantly challenging the norm, like our CODE SSL is a true multifunctional product, it is a 3 in 1 lip liner, lipstick and plumper. We try and give our customers the best possible value we can and make their life easier reducing the number of products they have to use... a lot of brands say they do this but then have loads of products so you can see straight through the marketing message.
We aren’t a big corporate with loads of marketing budget, so we really did rely on social media and friends/family to help spread the word about the brand. Customers that purchased our products loved them and keep coming back and telling their friends which is amazing to see.
The past 5 years have been amazing and we can't wait to see what the future holds!
Sarah & Emma x
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