Get to Know Power Sibilings Laura and John Nelson, Founders of ColourPop
The past few years have been a makeup whirlwind, with a growing obsession for how-to videos and beauty post #goals that have us all on the hunt for that perfect lipgloss, or never-before-seen eyeshadow color. There's one Los Angeles cosmetics line that's kept everyone weak in the knees since its debut in 2014, exploding onto the scene with their cultish Insta-fame and super cute images. ColourPop may be the new kid on the block, but it's definitely the most popular, creating cruelty-free, on-trend products that don't drain bank accounts. Laura and John Nelson have created a cosmetic brand that thrives on a cohesive relationship between the product, the customer, and the influencer. Anyone who stalks ColourPop's Instagram (guilty!) is witness to their gratitude to YouTube tutorial mavens, and the mavens' adoration of the brand. ColourPop makes it look so easy, and that's the point - maybe it is that easy. We sat down with the owners to get the scoop on how you turn "Hey, I have an idea" into an adored phenomenon.
With ColourPop only being in the game two years, its Insta-fame and cult following are explosive. How would you sum up the brand’s success?
With one word – WOW! We’re having a blast. Obviously, you think you’re onto something when you start a company, but the positive reaction to ColourPop has been humbling. We have a great team at ColourPop and they deserve credit for where we are today. We’re proud of the brand’s success so far and we’re excited about the future.
Your fans think of you as the Matte Liquid Lip originators-what other innovative aspects about the company would you like to be known for?
Our innovative approach to consumer engagement. ColourPop is all about the customer. We value input and listen to our customers across all of our social media platforms and then make products based on what we hear from them.
What is ColourPop culturally driven by?
We’re driven by an inclusive approach to beauty. Our hope is to be a fun brand that empowers people to be playful and experiment with products in a way that isn't intimidating and makes them feel good about themselves.
Describe a surprising moment for you since ColourPop’s success…
A surprising moment for us, and there have been many...would be when we launched Ultra Matte Liquid Lips for the first time. We launched a fall type product in the dead of summer - July of 2015 - and the consumer response was well beyond any expectation. This is now a product that many people know and love us for. We launched with 24 shades and now have over 40. Customer feedback on this product also led to the creation of our Ultra Satin Lips. A liquid lip with a Satin finish – still long lasting but also less drying and super comfortable.
“Trend and innovation is not just one person or one team’s responsibility. We take a very collaborative approach to the development process and a lot of our inspiration comes directly from our customers!”
How are your cosmetic chemists continuously inspired to create new colors?
Trend and innovation is not just one person or one team’s responsibility. We take a very collaborative approach to the development process and a lot of our inspiration comes directly from our customers! Our chemists work with the marketing, social media, and customer service teams to develop and create new products based on what our customers tell us they need and want at the moment. And, because we make our products in-house, we’re able to give our customers what they want when they want it.
ColourPop is proof that you can have a strong brand identity, quality products, and dope packaging at a reasonable price. How have you accomplished this well-balanced formula for the brand?
Our business model enables us to operate and produce our products efficiently, which ultimately benefits our customers in every way. We develop and make all of our products in-house, and sell and ship directly to our customers. Those savings create tremendous value that gets passed on to the customer without jeopardizing quality.
There’s great interest in the story (and owners) behind the ColourPop. What would you like to share with your followers that they may not be aware of?
John and I are very hands on with the company. We are in the office every single day and truly enjoy working with our team members to create new products that we love.
Both you and John have over 15 years of experience in the cosmetics business. What was missing from the industry that prompted you to launch ColourPop?
The ability to give customers the products they want while they STILL want them! I’ve already said it, but we think ColourPop is transformative in that we have a direct line to our customers and are able to deliver the products they want within weeks. We don’t have to guess what is going to be on trend a year from now, we respond to trends as they happen.
If I could only stash 3 ColourPop items in my purse, what three should I choose?
Without question: "Beeper" Ultra Matte Liquid Lip, "Amaze" eyeshadow and "Wisp" highlighter.
What places in L.A. (or California) inspire your work and lifestyle?
The 'boo baby! By that I mean Malibu, haha.
What does MISSBISH mean to you?
It’s all about empowering women. We can really relate to MISSBISH on that note, makeup should be all about empowerment and how it makes you feel about yourself.
Photos by: Christina Choi