Charlie Betty, the founder of her own beauty brand tells Business Matters about the background to her company born from a facebook group in lockdown 2020
What do you currently do?
I am the owner of Charlie Betty Beauty, a cosmetics brand based in South Yorkshire.
I’m pretty much a one woman band here so I’m in charge of the social media, marketing, customer service, picking and packing, blog writing and development of our products, thankfully my husband is a photographer and graphic designer so he’s always on hand to help me out with the product photography and lends his expertise for the designing of the products and website!
What was the inspiration behind your business?
Charlie Betty Beauty was actually formed from a facebook group in lockdown 2020, I was in the deepest pit with my depression, with nowhere to go and missing communication, I didn’t want anyone else to suﬀer the way I was, so I decided to start a Facebook group for people who were in the same boat, women who struggled with mental health issues, who were lonely, who just needed a little normality in these awful times, with a theme of beauty, skincare and fashion, the group was just a lovely space to make friends and connections and just talk.
I’d worked in the beauty industry for about 12 years at that point and it was always in the back of my mind that I wanted to express and create my own version of beauty.
I’d experienced a lot of stigma in beauty salons and similar places I’d worked, I felt like I wasn’t ‘normal’ enough, with the way I looked, my interests, I was always the odd one out, I wasn’t stereo-typically beautiful, I didn’t ﬁt in with the cliques.
So through my past experiences and the support of the girls and accidental market research in the group, I took the leap and I bootstrapped my ﬁrst makeup product, I wanted to create something ‘for the underdogs’, something to prove you didn’t have to look a certain way, or be a certain way, to really solidify what we had learnt and spoke about in the group, a representation of the community we had built.
I based my ﬁrst product on my own journey of self-discovery which I gained through the group, and around spiritualism and nature which really helped me through my hardest times.
Who do you admire?
In general, I have always surrounded myself with people who inspire me to be a better person, people who have built empires from the ground up and stayed humble. I think someone who wills to empower others so selﬂessly is the most inspirational quality they could have.
Looking back, is there anything you would have done diﬀerently?
Hindsight is a wonderful thing, however I’m a ﬁrm believer in learning from your mistakes, in the ﬁrst year of the business, I deﬁnitely lacked planning and structure, I didn’t really look very far into the future when I started this business, I didn’t actually expect it to grow so quickly, and as much as I wish I’d had the structure in place back then, it really did teach me to think on my feet and I kind of appreciate that!
What deﬁnes your way of doing business?
Our business was built on being open and honest with our community and that’s something that we will always be, we started this by getting down to the nitty and gritty details of real life, and by being personable, humble and true to ourselves, in turn we hope that by doing this, we will empower our community to do the same.
What advice would you give to someone starting out?
You’re always going to make mistakes in business, learn from them and always strive to be better, don’t be disheartened by setbacks and criticism, use them to your advantage!
Listen to your body and your mind, take your time with the process, and don’t exhaust yourself.
I think the most important thing is to not lose your focus, always remember your ‘why’ and everything will be worthwhile in the long run.