Elsie Rutterford and Dominika Minarovic | Founders of BYBI Beauty

In episode forty three of the Glow Journal podcast, host Gemma Watts sits down with the founders of BYBI Beauty, Elsie Rutterford and Dominika Minarovic.

Elsie and Dominika are almost disarmingly open and honest about their beginnings in business, and everything they said, particularly surrounding funding for women in business and also around global attitude to sustainability, will be ingrained in my head for quite some time. 

After meeting in ad sales, London-based Elsie and Dominika bonded over a mutual interest in the wellness movement that was only just beginning to gain traction at the time. Their interest in wellness prompted them to start looking at the ingredients they were putting on their skin, and in 2015 their website, Clean Beauty Insiders, was born. 

In the same way you might swap beauty advice or a recipe with a girlfriend, Clean Beauty Insiders became the globe’s go-to destination for, as the name suggests, clean beauty advice, and for recipes for skincare products you could make at home. Elsie and Dominika both began to study formulation science, and in 2016 their following was so large that they attracted the attention of a literary agent. Their book Clean Beauty, was published in in January 2017- a book that had been to auction, was bid on by every single publisher Elsie and Dom had pitched to, and was won by Penguin, no less. 

Later that year, Bybi Beauty was born- arguably the first clean beauty brand to lead with a message about performance and science, rather than just the fact that it was a clean brand. Bybi launched onto Asos, one of the largest ecommerce platforms of all time, and is now stocked in beauty retailers globally. 

As impressive as the Bybi story is, what I found even more impressive was how forthcoming Elsie and Dom were with their knowledge. Their approach to both beauty and business is absolutely no BS, and the way they talk about financing and pre seed funding and even just surviving when the business was in its lean years is the kind of conversation women NEED to be having. Money has long felt like a really taboo topic, but I think the more open conversations we, particularly women, can have around finance, the more financially empowered we can all be. 

I’m interviewing two women here, and you’ll hear Elsie answer me first, but if you are confused about who is who you can follow along with the full interview transcript on glowjournal.com. Naturally, given the state of the world, this interview did take place on Zoom across continents so the audio is far from studio quality, but please persist because this conversation is rich and valuable and one I’m really proud to be sharing. 

In our chat, Elsie and Dominika share the steps they took to secure investment prior to Bybi’s launch, how you can really know if the time is right to leave your full time job for your startup, and the clever way they bring new customers into the Bybi fold. 

You can read this interview now at: glowjournal.com/interview-bybi-beauty-founders-elsie-dominika

Follow BYBI on Instagram at @bybibeauty

Find out more about BYBI at bybi.com

Stay up to date with Gemma on Instagram at @gemkwatts and @glow.journal, or get in touch at hello@gemkwatts.com

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