Michelle Phan is truly an inspiring young entrepreneur, starting from nothing using social media to gain attention and then launching several successful businesses.
In 2005 at age 19, Michelle Phan started her youtube channel and published her first makeup tutorial while still at college. Her idea was to provide value by sharing her beauty tips with a community. At that time, it was difficult to get free beauty advice without having to go to a beauty shop and buying products or hiring a specialist.
This first video was watched 40 000 times in a week and Michelle found her calling.
Michelle understood early on the power of having influence on social media and found that doing something she’s passionate about could provide an incredible creative energy.
Her audience grew as she continued to post her beauty tutorials and was getting thousands of new followers steadily. Fast forward as of 2017 she now has more than 8 million subscribers and 1 billion views of her videos.
With her growing audience and popularity, Michelle launched Ipsy in 2012. Ipsy is a beauty community where you can subscribe for $10/month and receive a bag of personalized beauty products according to your profile.
Ipsy idea originally came a few years back while she was travelling in Asia and saw how many people were crazy about buying samples of expensive beauty products to test as these products generally could not be returned. This sparked the concept of Ipsy a few years later to provide these glam bags to her community.
“It does not matter how small your beginnings are. It’s like growing a plant, you water and nurture it, it grows and becomes fruitful in time.”
In 2015, Michelle raised $100M for Ipsy which is now valued at $500M and ships 1.5 million of these glam bags monthly.
She has also launched a new cosmetic brand, EM cosmetics, in partnership with l’Oreal in 2013 and Icon network in 2015 in partnership with Endemol dedicated to lifestyle, beauty and entertainment for millennials.
Quite an impressive feat for someone who just turned 30 this year.
Watch this 10 min video from Draper TV where Michelle shares her story and gives valuable advice to young entrepreneurs.
I hope Michelle’s story inspired you to take action. So if you have a business idea, go work on it. No matter how small your first step is. Start that youtube channel, that instagram page, that twitter page or that Facebook page ….
Read more about Michelle’s Story :
How Michelle Phan built a $500M company - Forbes
How Michelle Phan built a $500M beauty empire - Success