Everything was ready: in record time, Sylvie Giret and Sonia Khemiri, co-founders of Beautyque, had developed their concept of “ethical” cosmetics store. In March, they were preparing to open their boutique in Soho. But the Covid-19 pops up and everything falls into the water for the two French women. “In this kind of situation, we cannot afford to wait for the situation to recover on its own. We had to do something, to meet the needs of the sector but also for the people who got involved with us ”, says Sylvie Giret.
In the moment, Beautyque is changing feet and becoming a 100% digital project. “For us the Covid-19 was a difficult moment, as for everyone, but from a professional point of view it was a trigger for adaptation and reinvention ” analyzes Sylvie Giret. A reinvention that goes through the 3D experience, which allows customers to discover brands and products “like in a real store ”.
Shopping at home or in store
Wednesday May 13, the site is launched and the reception is very warm on the part of Internet users. In a few clicks, the virtual visitor finds himself in the heart of the Beautyque store where he can discover the shelves exhibiting different brands: Rejucream, For the Biome, Amazing Cosmetics, Snow or even Sunia K and Skinergies, the latter two created respectively by Sonia Khemiri and Sylvie Giret. The experience allows customers to have access to product details, the history of the brand and to obtain sound advice directly from a Beautyque specialist. “We really try to stick to a store experience as much as possible ” says Sonia Khemiri.
“Behind Beautyque, there is a strong community commitment”
If the store “Brick and mortar” has given way to 3D, the DNA of the project remains the same: an offer exclusively made up of quality and ethical skin care and beauty products. The store currently offers 16 brands, some well-known, others less, but all of them with “great potential”. The products offered are selected based on their composition – no chemicals – and their effectiveness. “We don’t follow trends, we try to look at which products are bringing something new to customers” develops Sylvie Giret. This guideline has been pushed by customers’ fed up with the use of chemicals, such as environmentally harmful wipes, when natural alternatives exist. Beautyque’s objective is to give consumers a taste for being interested in the composition of products and in the history of the brand which has its own definition of beauty.
The same founders of beauty brands, Sonia Khemiri and Sylvie Giret are also activists of “inclusive” beauty. “Your beauty and the beauty you define” they say. To transmit this, they are developing events that go beyond the circle of beauty products, with for example workshops on nutrition, on breathing, yoga… “We give them access to a fairly rich and wide steering wheel of everything related to beauty. Beauty is a personal matter that has nothing to do with trend ” they explain.
Always know how to reinvent and adapt
The Beautyque platform is updated every month to add new options. “In June, we want customers to be able to speak to a counselor by video in order to ask all their questions like in a store”. Another project is to send product samples to customers, directly to their homes. “This will allow us to collect information, such as the address, which we would not have had access to in a regular store. This will feed the marketing chain, which is interesting for brands ”. From June 15, events (product launches, nutrition workshops, etc.) will be organized on the Beautyque site and will allow people to participate virtually. “It will be more effective for brands, unlike an in-store event where you rarely have time to go and stay” explains Sylvie Giret.
“The future will be partially digital”
The crisis will have allowed Beautyque to quickly build up a community of more than 7,000 people: “Behind Beautyque, there is a strong community commitment that was motivated by the Covid-19. Solidarity will allow us to get through this crisis ” continues Sylvie Giret. If they intend to continue developing digital experiences, the two founders have not given up opening a shop as soon as the economic situation allows. But Beautyque en ligne will remain at the heart of the project. In the future, the French hope that people will look at and then test the products in store and will buy from them.