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Friday, September 29, 2017

Beauty News: Jacqe Gutierrez, Beauty Mogul, Shares What It's Like To Work With Anne Curtis

1.  What segment of the market is BLK targeting? What opportunity did you see in that particular market? 
BLK caters to the practical, everyday woman who’s on the lookout for a fuss-free makeup line to help her do more and be more—by making her life easier. We want to help women simplify their makeup routines by giving them no-frills, high-quality cosmetics that promise an enjoyable, long-wearing experience, as well as value for money. I feel that there is a scarcity of high-quality brands in that price segment so there is clearly an opportunity to introduce a brand like BLK. We’re out to prove that luxe-looking, premium makeup doesn’t have to be a splurge. Our lipsticks, for example, are up to par with higher-end brands in terms of quality, but at a fraction of the cost.

2. Where will the products be sold and why did you choose these platforms? Have they been proven effective from your experience? 
BLK will be exclusively sold in top Watsons stores nationwide and through our own online store (www.blkcosmetics.com.ph). Watsons is the No.1 beauty store in the Philippines so it is the best way for us to reach as many consumers as we can. They’re also very aggressive in marketing their retail stores so it’s beneficial for a brand like BLK to partner with them. I’ve been working with Watsons for over a decade now—ever since my corporate days—and their priority is to ensure that they that they continually cater to the expanding beauty needs of women today. Since we’re also in the digital age, we’ve decided to have our own website to make it easier for anyone to purchase a BLK product anytime, anywhere! We’re also in talks with other online stores so hopefully other partnerships will play out soon. We want to reach as many women as possible, so they can all try and enjoy BLK products.
3.What was the process you and Anne went through to build this brand and actualize your vision?
Anne is super hands-on and passionate when it comes to BLK. In spite of her busy schedule, she finds time to really test and review all the products and shades, research new product ideas and creative pegs, and even shoot for all of the videos that we’ve created for the brand. She’s always messaging me her ideas—even during the wee hours of the morning—especially when she comes across an interesting innovation or beauty trend that she wants to explore. I am simply amazed at how she manages to do everything, including work on BLK, with the same level of professionalism that she has for all her other many endeavors: her showbiz career, her other businesses, and even her charity works. She’s a superwoman!  The concept of uncomplicated beauty in a makeup brand is something that I’ve always wanted to explore because I feel that the cosmetics industry is currently built on unrealistic expectations, with super made-up models and too-complicated routines. Coincidentally, Anne feels the same way. So when I proposed this concept to her, she was 100% on board! It’s exactly her beauty philosophy as well—that less is more, and that beauty should be made easy. It’s been smooth-sailing since the beginning since we really share the same vision for the brand and we both just want to give quality products to all her fans.

4.With so many players in the category today, what makes BLK different? What sets us apart is the fact that we’re not trying to sell numerous complicated products to women. Our goal is to keep thing simple. We are launching with just five products (Lipsticks, Powder Foundation, Contour, Blush, and Highlight Palette, Liquid Eyeliner and Eyebrow Duo), which we feel are the absolute essentials in creating a full uncomplicated look—it’s really beauty made easy. From the product range selection to the shade assortment, everything has been streamlined to make your beauty routine easier. On top of that, everything has been tried and tested by Anne herself, so you can be sure they’re really the best of the best! When you visit our counters, you won’t feel overwhelmed. We’ve simplified it for you so that makeup shopping—and even application—can truly be an easy, stress-free, and enjoyable experience. Plus, I’m also proud of the fact that we are one of the few local brands that has an official cruelty-free certification from PETA.

5. How has your experience and knowledge in the industry helped you in developing this brand?
I’ve been in the beauty industry for more than a decade and this is my second brand in the cosmetics industry. I strive to have constant awareness of both the external and internal competitive landscape, opportunities for expansion, customers, markets, as well as new beauty industry developments and standards. My experience has enabled me to understand consumers better, so that we can provide exactly what they want and need. I’ve also had a lot of practice in understanding how to create quality products and working with competent manufacturers. My dream is to level up the quality of local brands, and this means ensuring that we deliver the best consumer experience, from creating appealing packaging and ensuring top-notch product quality to building a strong retail space. We really took all these into account—making sure everything’s perfected down to the last detail—as we developed BLK. I’m proud to say that this brand is something Filipinos will truly be proud of.
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