Reflecting on a Golden 1st Year For Kiss and Makeup

Reflecting on a Golden 1st Year For Kiss and Makeup

Published by Stephen Beath on 31st Jul 2020

We can hardly believe that an entire year has gone by since we launched our business.  We are proud to be a Kiwi business and family owned, and we truly love what we do.  In our first year there have been so many firsts (and a global pandemic), a few big milestones and some important business goals that really speak to what we are about.

You might be asking why we set up Kiss and Makeup. Well it all started with a 'wouldn't it be great' conversation with Sabrina who spent a large part of her life in England, and had observed how ridiculously expensive makeup is here in New Zealand. I was tinkering with a change in career, having left the corporate world with a background in online marketing.  Suddenly everything made sense and Kiss and Makeup was borne

From the very outset we wanted to balance economics with environmental factors. We wanted Kiss and Makeup to give back and be more than just a place for kiwi's to come and buy their favourite makeup brands. New Zealand is without doubt one of the most beautiful places on this planet. From day 1 we have supported Trees that Count by donating and planting NZ native trees to offset carbon. Similarly we choose to send out all our products in recyclable bubble wrap and compostable bags. 

We know with this, that there is still one last pieces of the puzzle and right now we are looking into how we can ensure the packaging of the products get recycled to reduce the waste at landfill. To make this happen we have teamed up with an expert in environmental initiatives to guide us on this journey.

A Year of Growth and Challenge

After a serious amount of planning, research and preparing, and investing in 100 product lines we held our breath and went live at the end of July 2019. The first order came after a few days of launch, and then before we knew it the orders started piling in. 

Alongside the business our wee 9 month old boy was diagnosed with hepatoblastoma, a cancer on the liver. While it was a shock and a huge adjustment to how we lived our lives, it also gave us a bit more focus as every spare minute we had we have spent keeping the Kiss and Makeup juggernaut on track while we took turns flying from Wellington to Christchurch to the Childrens Oncology Unit for treatment and also during level 4 lockdown. By on track we mean, still offering the best online service possible and still pushing forward with our environmental commitments.  On top of that we also had our now three year old to look after, and focused on ensuring her life was as least disrupted as possible. It was a busy time.

From left: William after an early chemo round. William on a flight during Covid level 4 - thanks Air NZ for not cancelling the flight. William after recovering from hepatoblastoma and back at work.

Going into lockdown in March felt like we were saying goodbye to all our hard work, but at the same time we recognised that we didn't have that pressure facing traditional 'bricks and motar' stores. After a few weeks into lockdown some of the trading restrictions were eased and we were off again!

On left: At launch in July 2019 with just 100 product lines. On right in July 2020 we now have over 500 product lines across various locations including cupboards, wardrobes and the original office pictured above. 

Looking ahead

As we move into our 2nd year our attention has focused on new product categories, one of which is haircare, with a launch due in September 2020. Recognising that we have more work to do in the sustainability space we're researching solutions into recycling some of the plastic products we sell. We also mentioned a while ago that we're investing in solar panels and we're still committed to this initiative. And to the relief of all of us here at Kiss and Makeup we're looking to rebuild our Shed into a purpose built warehouse and office space to allow the business to hire locals to drive this business forward.

We may even win an award (who knows)....

One final note

We are truly grateful to all our wonderful customers (all 5,000+ and counting...).  Without your feedback and your interactions with us, we wouldn't know if we were on the right track, AND we do love feedback. We love to know what you like and what you think could do with being better.  Here's to another awesome 12 months.

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