Beauty enthusiasts rushed to Pier 36 on the first of October for the Beautycon, a convention dedicated to brands, content creators and fans coming together. The Knockturnal caught CEO of Beautycon Moj Mahdara at the event to talk about create beautycon and why content creators have built the best kind of audience.
Q: The overarching theme of Beautycon seems to be fun. What’s the most fun part of the industry for you?
A: I really like that there are a bunch of young indie brands [and] young indie creators. I like the fresh faces of beauty. I like the diversity, ethnicity, [and] gender fluidity is pushing its way to the forefront of the beauty conversation. As someone who is a minority in a couple different ways, I can appreciate that there is a place and products and platforms and content that is really evangelizing the diverse, 2016 faces of beauty. So, that’s what’s exciting for me.
Q: Many companies are successful because they saw a need and fulfilled it. Was there a need that you saw when you created Beautycon?
A: The need that I really saw is that there were a lot of traditional beauty media companies that were focusing on putting women at the forefront of their covers that were more traditional, is what I will say. There weren’t a lot of brown or Asian or Middle Eastern or transgender faces or gay faces or inclusion of difference body shapes or sizes. I just felt that people feeling bad about themselves is not positive for us as a society. Today there’s a ton of positivity in this room. You can feel it; it’s contagious right? You can feel it in our content, you can feel it in our products. Our focus is about the reinvention of beauty and leaning in to that.
Q: What do you think we can learn from content creators as consumers and brands?
A: What brands and consumers can learn from creators is that leading with vulnerability, leading with transparency, leading with diversity, leading with inclusiveness, leading with love not hate is – look we’re at a very pivotal time in our culture, you can no longer be an innocent bystander, a watcher of what goes on. You need to speak up.
Q: Do you think showing that vulnerability can build a better audience?
A: Absolutely, I think that’s the difference between a blogger and a vlogger. A blogger is perfect. It’s perfectly art directed, perfect succulents and everything is always gorgeous and beautiful. A vlogger, I’ve seen them with breakouts, I’ve seen them go through breakups, I’ve seen them go through miscarriages, I’ve seen them go through hard times, bad times, good times, I‘ve seen celebrating times, heartache. It’s very human. Look at the line up of talent today. They’re all vloggers. It’s all video content creators; we don’t have a ton of bloggers here. Not that we don’t love them, we like them too, but really we’re here to work with people who have a mission around beauty and I think you can really translate that through video.
Q: I was looking through your Twitter and you’ve retweet many tech companies that have reached beyond simply putting out a product. Was there a particularly company or venture that influenced Beautycon?
A: I really am very enamored by brands that have created amazing director/consumer relationships. I’m an investor in Harry’s. I invest in HelloGiggles. I got to work with Warby Parker early on. So I think those brands have really resonated with me and I love brands who have essentially created a very intense, visceral relationship with their consumer. You look at the exit of thing like Dollar Shave Club; all ships rise with the tide. You look at the exits of itCosmetics, NYX cosmetics. It’s very exciting.
Q: If you had no responsibilities today and could go out into the convention where would you go first?
A: I think I would go to meet a lot of the talent and I think the panels are amazing. The content that’s shared here is amazing. The news that’s shared here is amazing. I’m very passionate about the panels, I’m very passionate about the talent here and what they talk about and the stories they’re sharing. I would also come here to make new friends. I think this is the perfect environment in which you can meet those people that you’ve been DM-ing with, you’ve been Tweeting with [and] you’ve been snapping with and you can meet with them in person today. You can be a fangirl here. I got in to the Beautycon business because I am a fangirl. I started as a fangirl. I was a fangirl of music and I’m that person [where] I’ve met all my bands, I went to all the shows [and] I’ve stood in line; I’ve been these kids. These kids that come here at 6 in the morning, I’ve done that, many times. And I have the ticket stubs and the badges to prove it, so I think for me I’m in to; you want something so bad that you’re willing to give me your time, I’m going to give you the best possible experience I can.