The Lip Gloss Gap: Jasmine Wicks-Stephens, Faace
08/03/2023 by The Red Tree
“Build a network of founders and consider them your teammates rather than rivals”
Following over a decade of senior positions at the UK’s top beauty agencies, Jasmine saw a gap in the market for a new PR agency concept and launched, Known. Having developed a winning formula for success, Jasmine subsequently launched her own beauty brand, Faace in 2020. Faace launched with a capsule collection of Period, Tired and Sweaty Faace masks, for people who want to make an investment in their skin, at the times when they can’t find the energy to invest in it. It is now available in retailers across the globe.
Can you tell us a bit about your fundraising journey?
Faace was born out of my need as a new mum for easy and effective beauty products. Faace set out to disrupt the £13billion UK beauty industry in 2020 with fuss-free, ethical skincare designed to look after your skin, when you don’t have the time or energy to do so.
Until this year, Faace has been largely self-funded, with investment from angel investors and a £150,000 investment awarded from the SFC Capital x The Red Tree The Beauty Accelerator™, as part of a year-long collaborative partnership to help accelerate growth. Faace then concluded a crowdfunding round with seedrs in January, beating the original.
Why did you decide to use crowd funding as your latest part of your fundraising?
With the support of our community, we have built the foundation of a much-loved brand and now we wanted to use this initiative to reach even more people in the UK and beyond. The global beauty market is predicted to reach over $180 billion by 2025, and we wanted to give consumers an easier, no-BS way to shop for products in that space.
I feel incredibly proud about how far Faace has come – you can find us in 23 countries and in 59 retailers worldwide – but there’s so much more we want to do. So many more important conversations we want to tackle, more skincare problems we want to solve, more sheet masks we want to save from landfill, and more great causes we want to support.
Crowdfunding gives business founders an alternate pathway to the capital they need to grow and offers the chance for investors (referred to as the crowd), to invest money into a business in exchange for shares in that business.
For too long, these kinds of investments were limited to an elite few, but crowdfunding helps to level the playing field and allows lots of different people to invest in brands that they believe in with what they can afford (rather than just the big banks and institutional investors having all the fun…).
Crowdfunding doesn’t just help address historic investing inequity; it also helps even the odds for female founders. Female entrepreneurs are 63 per cent less likely than men to get funding for their ventures (last year, female entrepreneurs secured only 1% of all venture capital investment). Even though women-led businesses in the UK generate more gross sales, deliver double the return on investment, and fail less often than male-led businesses.
Equity crowdfunding gives women without wealthy networks a better chance of achieving success by allowing them to draw from a larger pool of investors and capital. Crowdfunding has already been successful for other female-led businesses that you may know and love, like DAME femcare, UpCircle beauty, and KANKAN personal care products.
What advice would you give female founders and fundraisers?
Confidence is key
When pitching for investment female founders have been found to be notoriously more conservative in their revenue forecast than men, which can result in a “thanks but no thanks” from potential investors. It’s really important to be confident in yourself and your business, and while you don’t want to swing the other way and over promise on sales projections, don’t underestimate your trajectory either.
Shout about your business
Don’t be shy about your accomplishments and don’t look at shouting about your business as bragging or sharing goals as ‘desperate’ – it’s not. You’d be surprised by how many opportunities can come your way just by sharing with your network what you’re up to. LinkedIn is a really useful (and often underutilised) platform when it comes to sharing about your business – namely because you’re getting the right eyes on your posts, i.e. people in your industry who can help the growth of your business.
Network with other founders
Build a network of founders and consider them your teammates rather than rivals – even those you’re in direct competition with. Share your experiences and help people out when you can – you’ll discover that as founders you go through similar challenges, and it can be invaluable to get advice and support from one another – remember there is room for everyone!
Be strategic with your fundraising
You need to have a really good handle on your financials when it’s time to look for investors. You don’t want to start desperately pitching for funding because you’ve run out of money, it doesn’t help your cause one bit as investors will want to know you can manage your finances. Be strategic and keep assessing where you are, and where you want to be, so that when you present your figures to potential investors they can see you’re following a well thought out expansion strategy.
Be opened minded about where investment will come from
It’s really easy to underestimate how much a product or business launch will cost. So, while you might have some money saved, it’s worth looking into other ways to help get your business up and running. Check out the Angel Investment Network, crowdfunding platforms like Seedrs, and look into any accelerator programmes with monetary prizes attached.
The Lip Gloss Gap is a series by The Red Tree shining a light on the role that the beauty industry plays in closing the female fundraising gap. The series will feature interviews with founders and fundraisers which will be released monthly. We invite you to share your experiences as we continue the conversation.
The Red Tree is the UK’s leading international beauty brand consultancy and a powerhouse of ideas, insight and inspiration. For an informal discussion on how we might help you, please contact us.
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