Gritty Pretty founder Eleanor Pendleton is the definition of #girlboss. From delivering first-to-market digital ideas to producing an online beauty magazine more schmick than anything else you’ll come across (and can we just mention she’s also an absolute sweetie), today Eleanor announced her next evolution. E-commerce.
While we could break down just what makes this new beauty e-store a stand-out destination, we’re going to let you hear it straight from the founder herself. And after you’re done reading (ahem), we highly recommend popping across to shop.grittypretty.com to have a little dig around for yourself. But first, discover below just why Eleanor’s latest move is one of her best yet.
Congratulations on launching your ecommerce store! Can you tell me all about the store?
Gritty Pretty is a popular online destination for beauty tips, tricks, inspiration and tutorials. Now, Gritty Pretty will be adding e-commerce to its website – offering a highly curated edit of beauty products (approved by our team of beauty editors) which are available for our readers to now purchase.
What was the decision behind launching it?
We wanted to create a simplified approach to online shopping – a very discerning edit of beauty products, tips and inspiration deemed essential by the industry experts who know best. We wanted to create an end-to-end Gritty Pretty shopping experience that was beautiful, personal and first-class – a reflection of the Gritty Pretty brand.
Whether you want to buy the best goes-on-everything lip balm (Lanolips 101 Ointment) or the micellar water of all micellar waters (Bioderma Sensibio H20), the cult face mask (SK-II Facial Treatment Mask) or perhaps purchase the niche fragrance you’ve been coveting (Helmut Lang Eau de Parfum), we will offer it and we will do so in a very stylish and distinct way.
Why should somebody shop for their beauty from the Gritty Pretty store rather than a different e-commerce site?
Unlike other e-tailers who offer hundreds, if not thousands of products, our offering is tightly edited. Our approach is to only stock a small selection of beauty products and brands. In fact, for some of the brands we’re stocking just one of their products because that is what our team of beauty experts consider to be iconic; a cult must-have.
What also differentiates Gritty Pretty is our content – we will continue to publish Gritty Pretty Magazine and articles on GrittyPretty.com. Yes, we will be able to educate and inform our readers of certain products available on GrittyPretty.com, however, we will also continue to support MECCA, AdoreBeauty, Priceline, Myer and David Jones.
How did you choose which products would be available?
We undertook a strict and rigorous approval process – testing the products (if we hadn’t already) and then speaking with our team of beauty editors, contributing beauty journalists and beauty experts so that the vote was unanimous. Every product available on GrittyPretty.com has the GP stamp of approval – literally.
Was it something you always envisioned doing or has this idea progressed along the way?
It was definitely a natural progression for the Gritty Pretty brand. Thanks to Google Analytics, we could see our readers were shopping from our beauty posts and articles on a daily basis. I personally saw a gap in the market for a highly-curated e-commerce platform dedicated to beauty. Even as a beauty editor, I’ve visited various e-tailers and felt completely bamboozled by products. If I’m a seasoned beauty expert with 10 years experience in the industry and even I feel overwhelmed when looking online for beauty products, I could only imagine how someone with little knowledge about beauty feels. I wanted to eliminate that feeling of confusion and offer women a unique, limited selection – quite simply giving them the best of the best.
Can you you talk me through a bit of the background grunt that has gone into the launch?
It’s taken nine months since I had the idea and told my team what we were going to do! Originally, we had planned on launching before Christmas, but the user experience just wasn’t what I wanted it to be. It wasn’t seamless so I decided to push the launch back. Now, we’re excited to finally see this process come to life!
When we started this journey of venturing into e-comm, to be honest I had no idea just how hard it would be! It was a MASSIVE undertaking – I’ve learned so much about customer online behaviour, what an RMA is, what the perfect envelope looks and feels like, and how to simply pick and pack an order. It’s been a huge learning curve. E-commerce is a beast! But, I’m just so excited to finally share this project with our readers because we’ve put our heart and soul into it. We believe they deserve a beautiful online shopping beauty experience and we wholeheartedly think that what Gritty Pretty now offers is.
You’re good friends with Harper & Harley’s Sara Donaldson. Did she help you along the way with navigating the move into ecommerce?
Gosh, yes! Sara is a very close friend of mine and her advice has been indispensable. Beck Wadworth from An Organised Life is also an e-commerce seasoned pro so I’ve really taken them up on their advice. They have been so supportive – I couldn’t have done it without either of them!
What have been some of the key milestones to go from concept to launch?
When I found the perfect wax seals, that was an amazing moment. I had this idea in my head to seal every order envelope containing a personal note with a black wax GP seal. When I finally received it, it was so exciting! We’ve only just gone live and I’m sure there will be little crinkles to iron out along the way, but I can’t wait to pack that first order!
Are there any times you wanted to just give it up and go back to focusing on the website?
[Laughs] Yes, a couple of times the pressure got to me. I’m not joking when I say blood, sweat and (a fair few) tears went into it, but I never once thought of giving up. When you run your own business, it’s only human to have moments of high stress. However, I’m very fortunate to have two incredible co-directors who helped me pull Gritty Pretty’s e-commerce platform over the last nine months and each of us brought our own strengths to the business.
Website, magazine, ambassador work, and now e-store! How do you find time to fit it all in?
I don’t know! It’s a juggle, that’s for sure. It isn’t easy maintaining balance but any time I feel stressed or overwhelmed with my workload and schedule (right now, my inbox is currently sitting at 367 unread…), I remind myself just how lucky I am to be busy. In business, that is a blessing. I also think when you love what you do as much as I do, you just find the time to make it all work.
What are your hopes and dreams for the estore?
Firstly, I just want women to love the experience as much as we do. From start to finish, I want women to experience what we call the ‘ceremony’ from purchasing with ease online to receiving the most incredible black box! Also, we’re launching with domestic shipping and have plans to grow to ship internationally.