Paula Ferrai is the founder of Bloom Avenue, an online premium organic beauty store and one of WeAreBrain’s venture partners. We’ve been lucky enough to be around since the inception of Bloom Avenue, helping them develop from a humble startup to a successful premium beauty business.
Bloom Avenue redefines the online retail experience with carefully curated premium organic skincare brands and product ranges. All the products on offer carry no parabens or SLS and are cruelty-free, allowing you to enjoy radiant and beautiful skin guilt and worry-free.
“We also provide an online skin assessment, entirely unique to Bloom Avenue, that helps you choose from a shortlisted set of products that are best suited to your skin type and environment” says Paula. The trendy Bloom Avenue website also comes with The Avenue, a digital magazine helping you keep up to date with the latest trends, ingredients and beauty tips. “It also gives you the downlow on the best, most luxurious beauty products across the organic market”.
We sat down to chat with Paula to find out more about what motivated her to become an entrepreneur and what exactly it takes to own your own startup. Here’s what she had to say.
Q: What got you interested in the Startup space?
I have a corporate background in marketing and communications. While I loved the fast pace and exciting projects, I began to feel like I needed to take a step back. That’s when I realised I wanted to focus my energy on something close to my heart that is representative of my values. All in the hope that I could spread some goodness around me. I really wanted to do something positive for people and the world as a whole.
Q: When and how did you get the idea or concept for Bloom Avenue?
We noticed that it was incredibly difficult for people to make informed decisions when choosing beauty products online. Product ranges are broad, and support or advice is not readily available. Understanding our customer’s needs is at the core of our business. This is the reason we developed our skin assessment — a sophisticated but easy-to-use tool that helps you determine your skin type and the best routine and products for you. We’ve also launched a digital magazine, The Avenue, that keeps you updated with trends, beauty tips and information about ingredients and brands. It’s very important for us to try and spread information and educate people so they have all the right tools to make the best decisions for themselves.
Q: How many people did you start with and how many people do you have on the team now?
I started alone but quickly brought a partner on board to be able to discuss future developments together and just simply share the experience together. I also surrounded myself with a group of professionals who could support us in digital development, copywriting and social media.
The Brain team around Omar, Alex and Vitalik helped me develop our website with its various tools, such as our exclusive skin assessment, online chat, a Facebook chatbot and the magazine. We’ve been very impressed with the quality of work and look forward to more collaborations in the future” she says.
Q: What is your vision for Bloom Avenue in the future?
We are looking to expand our range of products but are also considering a brand new approach to personal beauty routines and products. So stay tuned!
Q: What would you say is your competitive advantage and why can’t it be copied?
I’d say our product curation and our skin assessment are really what sets us apart from other online platforms. We feel that we recreated the type of advice that a customer can get in-store, asking the right questions to enable people to choose the right products for them.
Q: What things took you by surprise throughout the process of bringing your business to life?
I’ve had a lot of experience from my corporate life running large projects and campaigns and advising brands on what they should be doing. However, when it comes to your own business, you can easily forget about a little detail that could have a huge impact.
Q: What mistakes did you make?
Oh, I’ve made quite a few! The first one was probably wanting to have a perfect product when launching. You can get sucked into the nitty-gritty and forget to keep a healthy distance, which will help you make the right decisions.
Q: What is the one piece of advice you’d give to other budding entrepreneurs?
Don’t get stubbornly stuck on one idea, but rather be ready to change direction if it makes sense to do so.
No matter the scale of the project or business, we invest in people. People who share our tenacious spirit for pushing the boundaries and constantly striving for better. And Paula certainly has these qualities and more. We are proud to be working with Paula and her team at Bloom Avenue to help people around the world have easy access to quality beauty products. Onwards and upwards, Paula!