In The Know of ChickAdvisor!

Welcome back to The Silver Fashionista's interview series, "In the Know." This is where I spotlight Canadian experts in fashion, beauty, art and design to learn their careers and advice for young entrepreneurs. 

Today, we're looking at a business in the beauty industry: co-founder of ChickAdvisor, Ali de Bold! If you're not familiar with ChickAdvisor, you will be soon! This is the #1 site to bookmark on your browser for helpful makeup/product reviews written by consumers. 

Ali de Bold

The Silver Fashionista: What inspired you to start ChickAdvisor?

ChickAdvisor: At the time [2006], there weren't any makeup review sites. When people first heard about my idea, they didn't think it would catch on. I came up with the idea when I was planning my wedding. My husband and I were booking hotel sites on TripAdvisor and I said that I wished they had a site like this for products. He said, "Why don't you start one?"

The Silver Fashionista: That's so cool! What's the hardest part about running a business that's solely online?

ChickAdvisor: I would say the hardest part was figuring out the revenue model. It's not just "I have a cool concept." It's "how can I make enough money to pay myself and other people." 

We went through a few different versions of our business model. At first, we thought we could do affiliate revenue where you put a link on your site. Every time someone clicks through and buys it, you make a few cents on the purchase. We tried ads where we made a few thousand a month. 

The Silver Fashionista: What did you choose in the end?

ChickAdvisor: The way I came up with the business model was inspired by the brands sending products to me. For example, I got products for every skin type, but I only have one skin type. I couldn't test them all! I started feeling guilty because it was way too many products and I couldn't review them all. So I started reaching back to brands and saying, "Instead of sending everything to me, why don't I find some people in my community who are the right fit and send it to them?" Brands with cleansers for oily skin could send that to people with oily skin. That became our business model and what's driven us to 15 years in business.

The Silver Fashionista: What are the five top beauty trends you've seen so far in 2021?

ChickAdvisor: I would say that people are wearing less makeup because of masks and everyone's at home. No one feels pressured to put their makeup on going about their day-to-day. Mascara is the #1 item people are using and lip balm would be the #2. People are still buying and wearing lipstick, but only for special occasions. The beauty industry has been hit really, really hard by COVID. 

The Silver Fashionista: As a teenager who doesn't use any special products, would you have any products for teens that you'd recommend?

ChickAdvisor: There are a lot of products for acne on our site. Aside from that, I think teenagers are also investing into good skincare routines. I would say that's something anyone should focus on regardless of their age. Just making sure your skin is clean before you go to bed and that you never wear makeup to bed! 

The Silver Fashionista: Good advice, something that my mom keeps reminding me to do before bed. What advice would you give young entrepreneurs who are interested in the beauty and business world?

ChickAdvisor: To not be afraid! Going into business can be scary and a lot of people will discourage you, but the truth is only you know what you're capable of. You get a lot of "no" in your life, so to push forward anyway means you'll get there.

The Silver Fashionista: That's really good advice! My final question is a fun one: If you could only live with one makeup product for the rest of your life, what would it be?

ChickAdvisor: Mascara! I need my eyelashes. 

Thank you Ali for this amazing interview and sharing your story! Check out ChickAdvisor  for on-trend beauty tips, fun giveaways and  reviews on that amazing lipstick you're dying to buy.

Thanks for reading ❤

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