Episode 70: Jeremy and Leigh Adelman, Co-Founders of Artis

The story of an brilliant business idea first sketched on a napkin is the stuff of legends, but in the case of Artis Co-Founders Leigh and Jeremy Adelman, it’s the real thing.

Designed by Co-Founder Matthew Waitesmith, Artis has changed the way people apply makeup by completely changing the look and feel of makeup brushes, and in doing so, helping consumers unlearn bad beauty habits, one application at a time. Their process took patience, life savings, and a few tears, but the results have been nothing short of beautiful.

Listen to this couple finish each other’s sentences with a blend of humor, passion, and no-nonsense business insights.

Dan Hodgdon
AnnouncerWelcome to WHERE BRAINS MEET BEAUTY® hosted by Jodi Katz, Founder and Creative Director of Base Beauty Creative Agency.
Jodi KatzHey everybody, welcome back to the show, I am sitting in our small recording booth with friends, named Leigh and Jeremy Adelman, Co-Founders of Artis, welcome to WHERE BRAINS MEET BEAUTY®.
Jeremy AdelmanHey there.
Jodi KatzHi.
Leigh AdelmanHi.
Jodi KatzThank you for joining me here today.
Jeremy AdelmanThanks for having us.
Leigh AdelmanThank you for having us.
Jodi KatzSo I'm giggling to myself inside because I'm thinking about the first moment that I spoke with you and learned that Artis was not made by a big, gigantic company of non-humans, and it was made by real entrepreneurial humans.
Jeremy AdelmanRight.
Jodi KatzI was so surprised because of the complexity of the product and the beyond new innovation that happened. I just assumed it had to come from a giant manufacturer, right?
Jeremy AdelmanSure.
Jodi KatzBut it came from you guys, and it made me laugh. Do a lot of people have that response to this brand?
Jeremy AdelmanSomewhat, yeah. It may me cry building it, but it was good tears for sure. Good tears of joy because it took a lot of effort. When I met the inventor and designer, Matthew Waitesmith, I believed immediately in the idea.
Leigh AdelmanYeah.
Jeremy AdelmanIt was beautiful because I believed in Matthew's idea, and Leigh believed in me. It was just such ... I needed that from my background initially becoming an investment banker and focusing on selling beauty companies, to Estee Lauder, L'Oreal. I had a blueprint to see something.

Immediately, once this idea was introduced to me everyone else said it was so capital intensive. "Why are you doing it? Why are you doing it? Don't do it. Don't do it. You're going to lose your money." I was fearless. For some reason I was always taught to be so careful.
Leigh AdelmanYeah.
Jeremy AdelmanBut I threw that out the window. And I think it was the support that Leigh provided that just helped me say, blinders and just see this idea from the wire to wind, just make it happen.
Jodi KatzSo we should mention that you're married.
Leigh AdelmanYeah.
Jeremy AdelmanYes.
Jodi KatzYou are partners in the business and partners in life. Were you married at the time of this sketch on a napkin?
Jeremy AdelmanWe were not, no.
Leigh AdelmanWe were engaged.
Jeremy AdelmanRight.
Leigh AdelmanAnd actually that was the year that we got married that you guys, we were married in 2013. That's when all of a sudden Jeremy was helping other companies to structure and sell, and I was working a corporate job. We were trying to figure out the right timing for me to leave so that I could go do my own thing. My background is entrepreneurial, so I was ready to do it. But we were also getting married.

So we sat down, we had a conversation about Artis, and he said, "I really think that I need to focus on this and this alone." We made the choice to put savings into it and that I would keep my day job for a little while longer, because somebody had to make money while we were starting something else. So it was kind of wild.
Jeremy AdelmanYeah, Leigh worked a job.
Leigh AdelmanAnd we got married.
Jeremy AdelmanAnd she quarterbacked from the back and it was really helpful. It really ... We had a defined purpose and I think that's what helped us get through it.
Jodi KatzSo let's go back to this sketch on a napkin moment. Tell me about that.
Jeremy AdelmanI remember, when we were sitting in the apartment that now we work out of, that was our home, and turned into our workspace. Once I heard this idea, I was just, "We have to do this." It was literally a napkin. It was more of just visualizing this idea.

For some reason, I already saw it as something that was, like the Dyson for beauty instruments. It was what Clarisonic did but again, just for a whole new thing that was never ... It was a game changer idea immediately. So once this happened I immediately, like we said, "I need to do this. Figure it out." I had support, and we just took it from there.
Leigh AdelmanYeah, I wasn't at that first meeting that you had with Matthew. I remember he ... You had Matthew over while I was at the office.
Jeremy AdelmanRight.
Leigh AdelmanWhile I was working. He afterwards showed me the drawings and the prototypes. And I said, "That looks like a really, really tough product to make." I was working in beauty at the time, and I said, "But I get it. I get what you're seeing. I get that you see that this is something different."

He explained to me the way that it had been described to him. Like, "Why are we using something that's a conventional makeup brush to apply product to our skin?" It was like a duh moment, like, "Oh my God. I've been doing it wrong since I was eight years old and I first tried on my mom's lipstick." What are we doing that we're still using something that was meant to go on other people?

If I were to take a paintbrush and paint on a canvas, that's totally different than if I take a paintbrush, now reverse it and try to paint on my face. So you saw through it and cut through it and were able to say, "We need to do this."
Jeremy AdelmanJust, I was shocked that it never existed before.
Jodi KatzRight, it is like that Dyson moment.
Jeremy AdelmanRight.
Jodi KatzFor me, it was the reason that I thought it couldn't be humans, real people inventing this is because of this, the complexity of it.
Leigh AdelmanYeah.
Jodi KatzThis must take years to develop like essentially a piece of technology. And you have to figure out how to make it and make it last and prove it. I'm just curious, how long was Matthew thinking about this before he had that conversation with you?
Jeremy AdelmanBefore he was born.
Leigh AdelmanIt was a few years.
Jeremy AdelmanYeah, it was a few years.
Leigh AdelmanI mean he, sorry.
Jeremy AdelmanNo. We finish each other's sentences.
Leigh AdelmanIt's like we're in each other's heads sometimes.
Jeremy AdelmanI know, it's telepathic. I think it was when Matthew retired, he said, "Why, what am I going to do now? I was just going to paint and do photography." And I think he still had a lot of knowledge up there and reservoired different ideas and he said, "Okay, I want to do this. This makes sense." People don't really realize what people do. The product is half the equation, putting it on is the other half. I think that's what was always missed.
Jodi KatzYeah.
Leigh AdelmanWell I think people have innovated. I mean you think about it in the beauty industry, people ... An innovation is like a new lipstick color, or a slight change in formulation that becomes big news. So there aren't leaps and bounds that happen, except for once in a while. We have ... I mean think about it, I spend so much money on skin care products and have over the year. You're either using your fingers or you're using an applicator and it's really inefficient.

It's like it's a new behavior that you have to learn, trying to do something that is more efficient. You have to unlearn how to do things inefficiently, and that's, I think, the biggest challenge is how do you unlearn behaviors that aren't intuitive that you had to learn? You joke in management like compensating behaviors. That's what we've been doing.

That's what the beauty industry is also built on, what are the tips and tricks to figure out how to actually do a winged liner, because it's not super easy to do. The brushed are designed to make it more intuitive. You pick them up, you, most people automatically know how to position it on their face. But you have to unlearn what you've been doing with a conventional brush, because you've had to learn how to position it, you've had to practice so many times to figure out how to get the product on your face, and you have to keep loading the product.

So to unlearn that, to unlearn the pain and the pressure that you've used, if you're using a sponge to wack your face, which seems crazy to me now, that I would have ever used a sponge. Why would I want to beat my face to put foundation on it?
Jeremy AdelmanIt doesn't have to hurt to be beautiful. It doesn't have to hurt.
Leigh AdelmanRight, yeah.
Jodi KatzYou're just unlearning, I think is actually really probably one of the more pivotal marketing stories for you. It makes me think of we've tried to unlearn behaviors in hair care, for example we have a client who's all natural hair care, so it's not going to have that slip and glide the way that a L'Oreal product would. Or it's not going to have the same level of frothy bubbles. But teaching the customer to accept that this is okay, the differences are happening, that the product's still working.
Leigh AdelmanYeah, that your hair is still getting clean. It's still getting moisturized.
Jodi KatzIt's really complicated. I think one of the biggest hurdles for a brand that's really doing something different to do. So how have you approached that?
Leigh AdelmanYeah. You know, we've been really lucky, because people have fallen in love with the brushes. Even if you aren't using them. Even if you're using them the same way that you used your old brushes, you're still going to get a better application. It can just be better if you use it more lightly.

People have recognized that when they go to put foundation on, most people really like those big brushes because they just are delicious. They're big and soft and yummy to look at. As soon as you touch them, the first time somebody touches that fiber to their skin, they're like, "Ah." You lose them for a second and then you have to reexplain what you just said.

But it really does do a better job of putting product on, color cosmetics especially on your skin. So it's obvious. There's an obvious difference and it just feels good. What we need to do as we continue to grow is focus on the experience and because people don't love education. Some people, beauty lovers love education. They love tutorials. They love all that.

But how do you make somebody's experience better when it goes beyond that group of beauty people? How do you, people who don't like to wear makeup. There's so many people who said they don't wear makeup, really they do wear a little bit of makeup, right, they just probably use their fingers or they slap something on.

Learning that actually using a tool makes that experience better, getting that one thing that you do every day, whether it's tinted moisturizer, whether it's concealer, whether it's putting your eyebrow on, that it can be a better experience for you. It can be shorter. It can feel better. It can look better if you use a tool versus using something that's not efficient.

That's one of the ways that we're focusing on making this be something that people feel comfortable doing so that it doesn't feel unapproachable. That it doesn't look like, "Oh my gosh, what do I do with these things now? They're really pretty, but I'm overwhelmed."
Jodi KatzRight. Let's go back to the beginning, 'cause I think that's always about the journey and not the destination. So you knew this was going to be a capital intensive opportunity, so where did that capital come from?
Jeremy AdelmanLife savings. And the life savings, savings, savings, savings and we finally did it together. And friends and family. I think a lot of people invested in me, not necessarily the idea. Because a lot of whether it's men or women, don't necessarily want to invest in the next beauty breakthrough company, so it was a lot more pressure on me, but I didn't care. It didn't matter about that. It was just that-
Leigh AdelmanIt was hard to get outside investors though.
Jeremy AdelmanRight.
Leigh AdelmanPeople thought that this was not worth spending money on because it was as a proposition, everybody thinks of makeup brushes as the gift with purchase of the crappy thing that goes in the eye pallette or something that you get for free. So they weren't looking at it as a business opportunity and portfolio opportunity. So it was really hard for you to convince people of that, but you saw it.
Jeremy AdelmanYeah, I think it-
Leigh AdelmanI feel like you're not giving yourself enough credit.
Jeremy AdelmanNo like the wire to wind element, is that we didn't compromise. So I was willing to invest everything that I had, and you were willing to jump along with me. The friends and family to the extent, but other than that, that's what we did it.
Jodi KatzRight, so you drained your bank account?
Jeremy AdelmanYeah.
Jodi KatzHave you been able to build them back up?
Jeremy AdelmanYes and no. We keep on reinvesting. You keep on believing that ... You know what that is, it's just kind of reinvesting in the dream and building it bigger. I mean, yeah not yet. Not yet, so.
Jodi KatzYou know you mentioned the idea of an afterthought for brushes, it really is so fascinating to me what you've been able to build here because you're making them not an afterthought, you're making them as important as the goop. But as someone who's been in the beauty industry for a long time, who's been using product for way longer, I have to admit that brushes are so not on my radar.
Leigh AdelmanYeah.
Jodi KatzI'm going to say it to the world, never clean my brushes.
Leigh AdelmanYeah, oh my God it's so bad.
Jodi KatzI have really, it doesn't even occur to me. I am more of a finger applier, but I have a ton of brushes. I have a Miss Piggy toothbrush that I've used since high school as an eyebrow brush, 'cause I always had bushy eyebrows.
Jeremy AdelmanRight.
Jodi KatzI'm 42 years old. That Miss Piggy brush. It's never been on my teeth. It's only ever been in my brows. But it's never been washed. And I'm saying this because I'm somebody in the industry. Think about that random woman who wherever she is living her life.
Leigh AdelmanExactly, yeah.
Jodi KatzSo moving the conversation around brushes is really essentially. Moving the whole universe around talking about brushes, whether they're yours or not is really going to drive more interest to the category.
Leigh AdelmanYeah, it has. And also the cleaning piece was really important right from the beginning. People are daunted by cleaning their brushes. Because with traditional brushes too, or conventional brushes, you wash them and then you have to wait five days for them to dry and then they smell like a dog that's just jumped out of a lake. So it's disgusting. Sometimes you're using a hairdryer to dry them. There was intention in the design. There was a lot of intention in the design of everything.
Jeremy Adelman[inaudible 00:12:58] yeah.
Leigh AdelmanI call it the lazy girl's guide to cleaning your brushes, because we've got a cleaning system that makes it really easy. So depending on what kind of product you use, you clean, or you clear the brush in different ways. It's literally like the swipe on an iPhone if you're going in between powder foundation to eyeshadow, you just rub it across the microfiber pad, and it releases the product that's on the tips of the brushes.

If you've been working with the brush for a long time using your foundations and your concealer, then you just use the foam cleanser to clean it off, and then it dries in a couple of minutes. You're not waiting days, and days, and days to use your favorite brush and using something else in the meantime. So trying to make it easier for people and not as overwhelming.

But there are so many opportunities for education that we haven't tapped into yet, and that's really a part of moving forward is how do you create an experience and a habit that actually makes your beauty experience better? Right now, and you were just saying it. People don't think about it. You have beautiful skin so you probably naturally have that. It doesn't look like you have to do a lot of work for it. You have gorgeous skin, but a lot of people don't and they do spend a lot of time working on it.

But there are so many opportunities for education that we haven't tapped into yet, and that's really a part of moving forward is how do you create an experience and a habit that actually makes your beauty experience better? Right now, and you were just saying it. People don't think about it. You have beautiful skin so you probably naturally have that. It doesn't look like you have to do a lot of work for it. You have gorgeous skin, but a lot of people don't and they do spend a lot of time working on it.

They spend a lot of money on skin creams and on facials and cleaning. Then they go home and they use the same brushes every day that they've pulled out of the bottom of their makeup kit that they have to then put in their $750 eyeshadow pallette and wipe across their eyes, and then they put it right back into the bag without cleaning it. It's in the bottom of their bag usually. I mean that's gross.
Jodi KatzYeah, it's very gross.
Jeremy AdelmanIt's like dirty little secrets.
Jodi KatzYeah.
Leigh AdelmanIt is, and you're spending so much money and time and energy on your skin looking great and your makeup looking great. But it's a big problem if you're making your skin sick by using something that's dirty. So it is something that people just don't think about. It's like it's become okay to not clean your brushes, but clean your face.
Jodi KatzRight.
Jeremy AdelmanOf course, what I would do, I'd ask all my girlfriends, primarily, it's like, "How often do you wash your face a day?" "Twice." And they look at me like I had four heads. And I said, "Oh, when's the last time you washed your makeup brush?" And they looked and me and they cringed 'cause it's just not a learned behavior.

It's not something that people feel like they had to do. I don't understand, why's everyone always washing their hands? Why not just make sure you wash something that's touching your key orifices on your face?
Jodi KatzRight.
Leigh AdelmanYeah. You wouldn't use the same toothbrush over and over again and drop it in the bottom of your bag.
Jodi KatzThat's right.
Leigh AdelmanYou would change it every couple of months.
Jodi KatzRight, like you're dropping the toothbrush and throwing it away because it fell on something. But [crosstalk 00:15:34] that makeup brush, like you said, and it's in the bottom of my drawer and it's just getting tossed around in that drawer.
Leigh AdelmanYeah.
Jodi KatzIt's disgusting. I know it's disgusting. I have to say it out loud [crosstalk 00:15:42] because it opens our conversation.
Jeremy AdelmanOther things that are in the bottom of your drawer, sometimes people buy makeup products and they buy it and they don't know how to use it so they put it in the bottom of the drawer with our brushes, they can actually take those products out and they can actually apply them in a much better, more efficient, effective way. I think that's what we're trying to do is open up opportunities. Make this a whole experience where get courage, build that confidence and do it with Artis.
Leigh AdelmanI think that's a truth at the base of the brand. We aren't standing there in judgment at the mirror. The brushes were there, developed to help you have a better experience. Not to say, "Your face needs to look a different way. And you should use this to edge your nose differently."

It's more like, "This is now angled for you to use it on yourself and it's meant to mimic the way your fingers move across your face, so you're not having to awkwardly, while you're looking in a mirror and do it backwards by the way, be even more uncomfortable with applying something that's meant to be used by somebody else to apply to you." We want people to feel like they're getting a better experience and a more intuitive experience.
Jeremy AdelmanAnd people are getting it. I mean we started one electronic store front, one, and now we're in over 600 stores worldwide.
Leigh AdelmanAlmost 600, yeah.
Jeremy AdelmanAlmost 600. So I mean it's picked up pretty quickly, and it's exponential at this point. So I think we just want to keep on building on that story. That was the perfect time to say when to bring Leigh up more on board full-time when she left her past position and say, "Okay, let's target the next generation and see how we can take it to a whole new level." I feel really lucky to be [inaudible 00:17:13] with brilliant people.
Jodi KatzSo let's talk about the launch because you did something that I would say happens to away [inaudible 00:17:21] too, you didn't exist in my mind and then all of a sudden you're everywhere.
Jeremy AdelmanMm-hmm (affirmative).
Jodi KatzI think that's the secret sauce these days is to really, really, really cultivate a plan in advance of the launch and launch in a huge way so that all of a sudden I feel like, "Oh, where did this brand come from?"
Jeremy AdelmanRight.
Leigh AdelmanYeah.
Jodi KatzSo what did it take to do that? 'Cause this was like you had a lot of people supporting you on social. You had a lot of storytelling from makeup artists. What was happening behind the scenes to get that done?
Jeremy AdelmanWell it's internal too. I mean we got a lot of people who through relationships, believed in what we had and what we were doing. Net-A-Porter was the first retailer that saw it, and David Olsen was like, totally, sorry David, a cheerleader for us, and a big visionary in that way. It's like once people got on board it was like, "Oh, I'm coming along for that ride."
Leigh AdelmanI think to your credit though, some things are really basic. You have to have a good product. You can put lipstick on a pig, but it's only cute for so long. You know. We started with a really good product, and it was supposed to be a slow, thoughtful growth strategy and it was. It was still thoughtful, but it was just much faster.
Jeremy AdelmanYou know what it was too-
Leigh AdelmanHey, you interrupted.
Jeremy AdelmanSorry. Go for it.
Leigh AdelmanGo ahead.
Jeremy AdelmanIt was authentic. Again, coming back from where I was always buying and selling and rebranding companies, it was telling the best story that actually looked extensively really attractive. This, it was. The idea that Matthew invented, it really was amazing just to look at, to feel, to actually use. So it was just, we were working with some really great products. So once people got on board it was just right.
Leigh AdelmanWell and I think it was getting the people on board though.
Jeremy AdelmanAnd I'm sorry for interrupting.
Leigh AdelmanNo, it's okay. We're working on that. I think it was getting the people on board. And I think it was to your credit because I wasn't there at the beginning doing this. Because I was somebody had to have a corporate job to pay the bills. Sorry.
Jeremy AdelmanNo.
Leigh AdelmanBut we, you the goal was this is not going to be something that you can buy and pay for it. You have to convince people that this is something that's worth their time and worth them changing behaviors for.

It was all done through earned media, and earned relationships with key influencers in beauty and lifestyle and even fashion. So really having a sit down one-to-one with editors and beauty influencers and people who did the tutorials, people who would be able to share it, it was about that authenticity, the third party credibility, because really once you sit down and explain how the brush works and you do the demonstrations and they feel and touch it, it's an experience.

It's not like clothes where you can look at a gorgeous dress and think, "I want to wear that." You look at the brush and you're like, "Wow, it's interesting." You have to experience it so they knew that it was about that experience. So they knew that it was about that experience, so it was how do we get the industry to jump on board? How do we get the people who will care about this first, to jump on board? The early adopters in beauty. The people who are going to tell all of their beauty fans. The people who are going to care about it.

'Cause if you don't get those people to believe first, it's going to be really, really hard to get the broader population, who doesn't really care that much about beauty, but it's part of their lives to care. So that's where you started. People, once they did feel and touch the brushes, cared about it.

We didn't have to pay makeup artists and influencers because it really helped them. It made the experience better for male and female. I know that you, over the years we've worked with a lot of makeup artists on sets of movies and TV shows. They have to do so much makeup all day long on the actors and actresses that are in that.

The actors and actresses like feeling something soft on their skin. They don't want to feel something that's swatting your skin all day, because if you're on a shoot for 18 hours, it doesn't feel really comfortable to have to consistently have your makeup touched up. So you can fix concealer without having to add more concealer, if it's pilled, by using the Oval 4 to just rub it across, glide it across the skin. So you're not having to constantly pack more product on.

It was really interesting to think about it from that perspective. Their experience was just better. That's really what the intention was when the product was designed. So we were able to get those people excited and involved right away. So we had those credentials and then have continued to build on that.
Jodi KatzRight. So I would like to let you know that I grew up in a household of interrupters, and I didn't know it. So this, I'm going to pass this along to you. So I'm talking to my mother or my grandmother, anyone in the house.
Leigh AdelmanYeah.
Jodi KatzIt's like you start saying and then they ride over you with new words. I didn't know that I had picked that habit up. That's just how I lived my life. It's all you know. What you know is all you know.
Jeremy AdelmanRight.
Jodi KatzIt wasn't until I had kids that I realized, "Oh, I do this?" So in our household, 'cause I have two kids and my husband. We work really hard, and it is hard work.
Leigh AdelmanSo hard.
Jodi KatzTo not interrupt each other, to stay focused on that child who's talking to me right now, even though the other child is trying to come into the conversation or change the conversation. But I do feel like I have to unravel that learned behavior. So I just wanted to share that knowledge.
Jeremy AdelmanThank you. It's active listening, right? And that's what I'm learning to more and more.
Leigh AdelmanYeah.
Jeremy AdelmanBack to what you were saying too, I think you asked me how long, this was at the beginning of the conversation. It was dog years. It was every week was like a month. Every month was like a year. Mathematically it doesn't work out. But anyway. It was all times we were doing walk and talks, desk sides, every possible way to actually communicate the message so people really understood and had that aha moment, it was like, "Oh, I want this. I need this. I can't live without it."
Leigh AdelmanYeah.
Jodi KatzSo was this ... I told you I felt like you didn't exist and then all of a sudden you existed in the landscape. Was it really not that definitive? I just ... The momentum just happened?
Jeremy AdelmanOh it was planned. It was definitely planned in terms of I held off launch for six months, which was hard to do, because I wanted to be sure all the moons would be aligned as best as possible.

Nothing's perfect, and I think that's what Leigh helped me do was realize that Jeremy, it's going to be perfect and you'll be doing this for years before you even launch. But it was planned to make sure that everything was timed, whether it was through digital, whether it was through print, whatever it was so that it all happened at once. I think that's what really made sure a little more momentum and it kept on going.
Jodi KatzRight, so this is actually really challenging for a lot of companies [inaudible 00:23:46] which is to be a little patient in the process and to do that forethought and that planning so that ... And the mentality that I see all the time is if you build it they will come. It just doesn't happen.
Leigh AdelmanYeah.
Jodi KatzYou don't make a product and then people are going to care. They're not going to care. You have to make them care, but that takes time and a lot of work.
Leigh AdelmanYeah.
Jeremy AdelmanRight.
Jodi KatzYou can see it working. It worked with you. It worked with Away. There's a handful of brands we can point to that did the work ahead of the launch.
Jeremy AdelmanTotally.
Leigh AdelmanYeah.
Jodi KatzSo I'm hoping that our clients are listening because it really can pay off and make much bigger grand slam.
Leigh AdelmanThe delayed gratification is really hard, especially when you're a founder culture and every minute, every cent counts. It's really hard to wait and time things out and pace things out. But there were some key benchmarks that I know that you guys wanted to hit and also retailers wanted to come on. So there were some things that they had to wait on before they announced.
Jeremy AdelmanIt was so hard.
Leigh AdelmanI remember the pain of this every single day because it was right, the year after we got married and we were like ... It was challenging.
Jeremy AdelmanYeah.
Leigh AdelmanBut then holiday of 2014, 2015 by that time when everything had hit and we were in all the new retailers and all of the news built at that point, we saw the success and then it built from there and it was really, really exciting.
Jeremy AdelmanI totally agree. It's definitely patience like you said, and it's respect. It's like you can bake a cake, it doesn't mean people are going to eat it. So you have to make sure ... It can be great. But you need to make sure it's timed properly so everyone's hungry or ready. That's a really hard balance to maintain. I think it's a continuous thing, personally and professionally speaking.
Leigh AdelmanYeah.
Jeremy AdelmanSo I think that's something that we always learn. I was always taught network, network, network. But it's the relationship how you respect and patiently grow them too. It's so important just to actually remember that, because it's not just about checking the box.

It's about, do you want to, is it right for you, it's the right time or the right person. I think that's what I'm continuously learning. That's what's helped me differentiate what I'm doing from what I'm not doing.
Jodi KatzRight, so what you're saying is really important. I do think a lot of marketers, or a lot of brand owners are like, "Let me check the box. I reached out to influencers today. I reached out to the press today. I reached out to retailers."
Leigh AdelmanYeah.
Jeremy AdelmanRight.
Jodi KatzBut it's about being meaningful.
Jeremy AdelmanRight.
Leigh AdelmanYeah.
Jeremy AdelmanIt's not just about impressions. And everyone's like, "Oh impressions, ROI." And all these terms. It feels good when you're getting good ROIs, or whatever that means. But it's not only about the conversion, it's about getting that lifelong continuity and that customer that's who's going to maintain that loyalty to you, because that's everything we have and that's something we do want people to learn and enjoy the experience more and more.
Leigh AdelmanYeah. It's a challenge to line up all the right timing. It has to be the right emotional mood. It has to be the right time of day, month, year. You have to hope that something earth shattering doesn't happen in the meantime too. 'Cause that can impact a launch, or it can impact an entire sales season. Holiday is huge for us, so you have to make sure that you're prepared for it.
Jeremy AdelmanAnd one thing too, or for all your listeners. Things will happen. Things that you can't plan for will happen. How do you pivot? How do you audiblize to make that move so you can't see everything? I saw it, but I had to be agile and make sure that I can actually switch when something didn't go the way I wanted it to go.
Jodi KatzSo what's an example of something not going the way that you hoped?
Jeremy AdelmanSecondary packaging. Didn't necessarily come in enough time to assemble the brushes. The brushes were there. Secondary packaging wasn't there. So how do I make sure, besides driving to Newark airport to make sure that I can pick them up quicker? How do I expedite to make sure that the retailers are happy? The film in house can get logistics done. It's just making sure that you know that, back to that patience thing, that it will come, but you have to make sure that you have the ability to reevaluate a situation. [crosstalk 00:27:46]
Leigh AdelmanAlso, as we grow and it's a big part of the forward movement, is you can't do everything. You can't scale if you're doing everything yourself. It's just not possible. So how do you build in the team so that you're not the one going to Newark to meet something at customs to make sure that it gets escorted through customs faster so that we can get the brushes assembled and sent out to the retailers and all our customers fast. How do you make sure that you build in a team to support that growth, so that you can focus on vision.
Jeremy AdelmanWhich really happened, while I'm on the phone with the editor trying to get some coverage for holiday and sometimes you have to do that. You have to wear a lot of different hats too. Everyone at Artis, we work together. No one's too good for anything. We wear a lot of different hats. I think that's what makes sure that we have the comradery that really helps us take things to the next level.
Leigh AdelmanYeah.
Jodi KatzAnd Leigh, you just walked right into my last question, which is about scale.
Leigh AdelmanYeah.
Jodi KatzI think a brush is not really a consumable. I can keep this for a long time. I mean eventually maybe I'll replace it.
Leigh AdelmanYeah.
Jodi KatzBut what does that look like for a company where investing in this tool. Like a hairdryer, invest in this tool, it's going to last me eight years, or whatever it is. What does scale look like for your brand?
Leigh AdelmanSo it's interesting what we've learned from consumers is their behavior in using products. Like you said, most people don't clean their brushes. Even if you have a cleaning system and you have cleaning directions and you Face Timed with them through customer service to show them how to clean it.

We do get repeat customers on brushes, but I think the bigger thing that we get repeat customers on are the consumables like the cleaning system. People use that a lot. People also buy brushes for gifting. They buy it for friends, for family, for their bridesmaids, for mother of the bride, for host and hostess gifts. The palm brushes are something, those are the ones without the handle, people use those to put sunscreen on. Men and women use those.
Jodi KatzOh, interesting.
Leigh AdelmanSo there are lots of different uses and ways to use the brushes. So it's some people buy multiple sets because they want to separate out what they use for skin care versus what they use for cosmetics. And then some people like to travel with a certain set versus the other set.

So there are different things for different purposes and different reasons in someone's life. Some people also just like to buy them because they're pretty and they put them out in their living room, which I think is hilarious, but I'm also very impressed by.
Jodi KatzRight, it's like instead of having a beautiful vase of flowers, I have a beautiful cup of brushes.
Leigh AdelmanYeah.
Jeremy AdelmanIt's true though. And I think the paradigm shift also is that Jodi, you don't have one pair of shoes. So why have one collection of brushes?
Leigh AdelmanRight.
Jeremy AdelmanAnd I think that's what people really are, once you get a cool fan favorites, let's just join and get every collection that we produce, every different product that we offer.
Jodi KatzI'm loving this idea of the brush as a gift. Instead of buying a host gift as a candle, I can buy a brush. I think that's really fascinating.
Leigh AdelmanYeah, and they're really pretty and they're really easy to gift. And you know, like holiday ... One of the things that I think we was really surprising to us is that we expected more people would buy certain skews of the brushes, singular skews of bigger brushes or tiny brushes for this. But people love sets of the brushes.

We have a three, five and ten set. It's crazy how much faster those go than the single skews. Even some of our best-selling skews, because people like to buy them in sets. They like to have a group of things together. It's also a really nice gift to receive because it feels impactful when you get it.
Jodi KatzRight, oh my God I love this. So you've just opened my eyes up to a whole new category of [crosstalk 00:31:15] brushes can be enjoyed. Thank you so much for sharing your wisdom today.
Leigh AdelmanOf course.
Jodi KatzI'm so excited. I'm so glad to meet you to know that there's real humans versus [crosstalk 00:31:24] behind this brand. It's beautiful, and my first experience with the brand Beyond Social was on that crossbar. I think I might have mentioned to you I love secret shopping.
Leigh AdelmanYeah.
Jeremy AdelmanTotally.
Jodi KatzIt's like my little hobby. I secret shopped in there and I went to the door in downtown. I can't remember the name of the mall.
Leigh AdelmanYeah, in Brookfield?
Jodi KatzYeah, Brookfield.
Leigh AdelmanYeah.
Jodi KatzI went in intentionally saying, "I want something new. Maybe just a concealer, but I don't want to spend a lot of money."
Jeremy AdelmanRight, sure.
Leigh AdelmanYeah.
Jodi KatzI'm going to give them a challenge, 'cause everything there is so expensive. She applied the concealer to me using one of your brushes and then she's like, "Okay, do you want the product?" I'm like, "Sure." 'Cause she picked something mid-range.
Jeremy AdelmanSure.
Jodi KatzAnd I'm like, "But I want the brush too." And she was really surprised.
Jeremy AdelmanHow about that.
Jodi Katz'Cause it's not inexpensive.
Jeremy AdelmanSure.
Leigh AdelmanYeah.
Jodi Katz'Cause it didn't fit in my criteria, but it felt so good. It felt like an aesthetician's hands on my face. It gave me that connectivity that people long for.
Leigh AdelmanThat's how it should be. Everybody jokes like it hurts to be beautiful. Surgery, everything that you do for your skin and your body. But hopefully this part isn't. It should feel beautiful to be made beautiful in whatever that means to you. That experience should be a positive one, not something that feels stressful or-
Jeremy AdelmanIt's gotta be meditative.
Leigh AdelmanYeah.
Jodi KatzYeah, absolutely. Well thank you so much. And for our listeners, I hope you enjoyed this interview with Leigh and Jeremy. Please subscribe to our series on iTunes. And for updates about the show follow us on Instagram at @WhereBrainsMeetBeautyPodcast.
AnnouncerThanks for listening to WHERE BRAINS MEET BEAUTY® with Jodi Katz. Tune in again for more authentic conversations with beauty leaders.

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