A chat with creator Priyanka Patel of Glamour and Giggles

Hi friends!

It’s my 100th post on We are glamerus today <insert cheering now>, and it’s a really special one that I’m so excited about! I recently had the privilege of interviewing Priyanka Patel, the amazing beauty & lifestyle creator behind the blog Glamour and Giggles. Her site is a hub of information not only for all things makeup & skincare, but also for self-improvement, & self-care tips. Priyanka boasts a huge social media presence, and has built a highly successful personal brand that is sought after by a swath of global brands including ColourPop, Neutrogena, Dove & Toyota, just to name a few.

She speaks to her thousands of followers not only about the newest beauty releases but also about insecurities, mental health, self-worth, and being “your own kind of beautiful” (the tagline of her blog). Above all else, Priyanka is genuine & approachable. I hope you enjoy our chat below 😊.

Follow Priyanka across her socials on Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, & Facebook.

Were you one of those fortunate people who realized their career path at a young age?

Not at all, I was never clear on the career path I wanted to take; all I knew is I wanted to help people. My family wanted me to become a pharmacist or nurse, but I knew from the very beginning that those fields were not for me. However, not wanting to crush their dreams, I went into undergrad with the goal of going to Pharmacy school. Long story short, I did not do well in my classes, switched majors, and ended up graduating with a degree in History.

At this point, I still had no idea what I wanted to do and decided to get my Masters in Health Administration, thinking it was a way to help people in the healthcare field; a win for me and win for my family who wanted me in the healthcare field. Grad school was when I became clear on what I ultimately wanted to do with my life – meaningful work that empowers others without restricting myself in one industry. I currently work in healthcare, in a non profit organization that provides advocacy services to long-term care residents. I also have Glamour and Giggles where I empower my audience to live their happiest lives and create beauty, lifestyle, and self-care content!

You’re a first generation Indian-American who grew up in California, and moved to Kentucky a few years ago. How has your cultural & geographic identity formed your online presence, if at all?

I was born and raised in Southern California and moved to Kentucky in my early twenties. Growing up, I saw the beauty created when different cultures came together; that translated into my online presence by promoting inclusivity and encouraging diversity.

My geographic identity definitely transformed my online presence when I moved to Kentucky. I didn’t realize the level of my impact until I began connecting with local creators. This pushed me to be more aware and create more personalized and intimate content for my audience. Both my cultural and geographic identities have guided me in the direction I always envisioned Glamour and Giggles to strive towards.

What came first for you – blogging or social media? Or did they grow simultaneously?

Social media came first. I used to use it for fun and didn’t realize my level of impact or how skilled I was with it until friends and followers told me so. I created my blog shortly after, and as they say, the rest is history.

What is your opinion on the title ‘social media influencer’? Some prefer to be called ‘content creators’ instead. Do you have a personal preference?

I sometimes do cringe when I hear the title “social media influencer” and do prefer the title “content creator,” only because I create content on more platforms than social media (like my website).

Priyanka Patel, photo by Sarah Caton
Photo by Sarah Caton (@spaceplaceandgrace)

Talk a little bit about Boss Babes Institute, and why empowering others is so important to you.

Boss Babes Institute is a private group for individuals who are or aspiring to be social media influencers, bloggers, or content creators. Members of BBI will learn how to fearlessly be the boss babe they’ve envisioned, with tips regarding blogging and social media basics, social media growth, making money with your brand, and more! BBI members will also have access to the FB group and have meaningful conversations with fellow boss babes.

My ultimate goal with BBI is to empower aspiring and current boss babes. Empowering others is incredibly important to me because everyone deserves support in reaching their dreams. The world is large enough for everyone who wants to be a boss babe, and it seems like there is more competition than support on social media; the scales should be the opposite.

(Boss Babes Institute is a private Facebook group. If you’re interested in joining, message Priyanka on any of her social accounts linked above.)

You’ve worked with a very wide range of brands. What are the determining factors in selecting the right brand partnerships for you?

The top 2 determining factors for brand partnerships are:

  • My personal thoughts of the brand
  • Will this partnership benefit or appeal to my audience?

If there’s a brand I don’t support or don’t feel will be a good fit for my audience, it’s an automatic no. It’s also an automatic no if a partnership asks me to do something that compromises my integrity, like requiring a positive review of a product or asking me to not disclose a partnership.

What are you most excited for in 2019? Could be anything personal or professional.

I am really excited for more personal development and putting and prioritizing my physical and mental health. I’m also excited (and nervous) for challenging myself in all aspects of life. One of my biggest challenges is starting a youtube channel – I get anxiety just thinking about sitting in front of a camera and talking for so many minutes.

If you could give up-and-coming bloggers one single piece of advice, what would it be?

Focus on your path and don’t compare yourself with others.

You may also like this: Six questions with Monique Salvador, Founder of Blushup.

Xo, Erica

(Cover image photo by Sarah Caton.)

PIN IT!

Check out my interview with beauty & lifestyle creator Priyanka Patel of the popular blog Glamour & Giggles!
Advertisements

Six questions with Monique Salvador, Founder of Blushup

Hi friends!

I have a very special post for you all today, something very different than anything I’ve done on my blog before! I’m really excited to introduce you to Monique Salvador, the CEO & founder of Blushup, a newly launched online marketplace for discovering and booking beauty services in NYC. She’s a motivated and enthusiastic entrepreneur making her mark in the beauty industry, and she very kindly agreed to do an inteview for We are glamerus. We recently connected and I found our chat to be very inspirational. She seized an opportunity to start her own business at a young age, but she also let me in on the obstacles she faced not only as a young professional but as a young professional woman in the beauty industry. It’s still a bit difficult for me to reconcile that fact considering that beauty is an industry primarily “for” women.

I hope you find our chat to be enjoyable and educational in some way, so without further delay let’s launch into the questions!


1 – Explain what Blushup is or offers in one sentence.

Blushup helps women discover and book makeup and skincare services in retail stores in their city.

2 – Why should customers use Blushup’s service over, say, Glamsquad [the on-demand, at-home beauty service]?

Blushup is a whole different concept from Glamsquad. Blushup is for women who like getting beauty services with top beauty retailers, whether it’s for a date, business meeting or any other event. They book online and go to the store location. We do not offer the same services as Glamsquad, who brings freelance artists to customers’ homes. There’s plenty of apps in the market doing that and we wanted to build something new for women. Glamsquad takes a bit more planning since you have to organize the location where the service will happen and you need to communicate the logistics with your artist beforehand. Blushup is a quicker service, perfect for the busy woman with little time to plan and get ready. You book in 3 easy steps from your mobile phone or desktop and stop by the store for your appointment.

Blushup customers also know what beauty products their artist will use since they get to pick the brands for their appointments. Glamsquad artists bring their own products and customers don’t know until the artist arrives which brands they will use. In general, I would recommend Glamsquad for big wedding events at remote locations. Blushup is more for an everyday, any type-of-event service.

7E8954B5-9503-46C6-A539-A5AFCA0547D3 

3 – What inspired you to start Blushup when you did? Do you think it’s a good time for female entrepreneurs in the beauty industry?

I had worked with startups for a few years before starting Blushup and I’ve always admired entrepreneurs. I never thought I would be an entrepreneur, unless one day I had a really really great idea that I believed in 200%. That day came all of a sudden when I tried to book a makeup appointment in NYC in 2016 and I realized how frustrating the beauty retail booking experience was. I spent all day searching for beauty retailers, prices, reviews, and it was a hassle to reach these beauty counters by phone. I spoke to hundreds of women and beauty retailers and it was clear that there was a big demand to have an online marketplace for the $56B beauty retail market.

I think the overall market has realized that female entrepreneurs are underrepresented, which is a great moment for women starting off their businesses. Women in particular are helping other women, investing in other women and female focused investments are on the rise. Nevertheless, this whole movement has just begun and there’s still a lot of biases to be broken in order to raise the 2% of funding that went to females. It’s really hard to be an entrepreneur, it’s even harder for women to be entrepreneurs, but the beauty market is in the midst of a boom and now is the best time for female entrepreneurs to enter this market.

4 – It’s hard out there for retail. Lord & Taylor, for example, will close its flagship store in NYC after the holidays. Do you see these closings as a challenge or a potential opportunity for Blushup in the future?

We are sad to lose Lord & Taylor from our platform, however WeWork has announced that it will create a new space for retail at that location. I believe this will be an even bigger opportunity for Blushup. For every store closure there are 4 opening in the beauty space. Last year there were 5,100 beauty retail store openings and due to up-and-coming beauty brands the projections are showing a strong growth in independent beauty store openings. Beauty pop-up stores are also on the rise and we plan to include them in our platform really soon.

Beauty is different from other retail categories because women can’t just buy makeup online. They need to try it on at the store especially for new product launches, therefore I don’t see store closures as a threat to the beauty market. If department stores close, beauty brands will have to open their own stores or search for new retailers to sell their products. This is all a big opportunity for Blushup.

BFE34864-2FE9-453D-9A6F-1D934AE99469 

5 – Where do you want Blushup to be, say 3 to 5 years from now? What are your expansion plans?

Our vision for Blushup is to give women all over the world quick and easy access to all beauty counters. Five years from now, we want the woman who’s traveling for a business meeting or a wedding from New York to Dubai to be able to log into our app and book her makeup appointment with her favorite beauty brand without a hassle. We want Blushup to give access to beauty services at airports, department stores, independent stores, small and big cities. In the short term we will be expanding to 300 new locations covering Long Island, Westchester, some parts of upstate NY and New Jersey. 

6 – If you could give one piece of advice to budding entrepreneurs out there, what would it be?

Starting a company is really hard for all of us. There are so many pieces of the puzzle that need to be put together and it’s really important to build a close network of people who have gone through similar situations that you can be real with. It really helps to talk to other entrepreneurs, ask them how they overcome challenges, be honest with them and ask for help when you need it. Having a strong network of support is crucial especially if you are a solo founder.


If you are interested in discovering and booking beauty services in NYC (for free!) with the best makeup brands, visit the Blushup website. You can also follow them across social media on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, & Twitter.

xo, Erica

PIN THIS!

Check out my interview with Monique Salvador, Founder of Blushup, the newly launched online marketplace for discovering & booking beauty services in NYC!