Beauty blogger blush stash

How I became a beauty blogger

One day in March of 2010, I decided to start a beauty blog. I was in the middle of my Master’s studies in Utrecht, and was desperately looking for a new passionate hobby to escape the dry reality of books, exams and libraries.

And what could be less dry than colorful nail polishes and eyeshadows, shimmering powders and beautifully scented cremes? I madly fell in love with the magic, beauty and power of make up. It might not be irregular for a girl at the age of 24 but slightly odd as I wasn’t really skilled. Even today, I think my skills are fairly limited but after all, passion is not about competition but about what makes your heart sing. And man, did it sing loud and clear.

US imports

Soon, I caught myself spending endless hours in beauty forums, drugstores and at make up counters. We shared excitement about the latest limited editions, gave each other product recommendations or just discussed about the difference of that peachy blush to that other peachy blush.

At that time, before the rise of Kylie Cosmetics, Charlotte Tilbury, Fenty Beauty and before Korean skincare became popular in Europe, the places to purchase from were limited. Together with other make up addicts, I issued collective OPI nail polish orders to US eBay sellers. Back then, they were not even available in Europe other than through professional nail art resellers and when they did enter the European consumer market, $5.99 vs. €18 was still a quite convincing argument to stay loyal to eBay.

It felt like we were constantly waiting for some deliveries from the US, praying that our parcels would be overlooked by customs as we were poor students running on a low budget. But we were definitely students on a low budget with the most stylish manicure in town!

Stop wishing, start shopping

Without any particular strategy or concept in mind, my blog quickly earned a witty and loyal audience, 43k unique visitors and 220k page views per month. We even gained some “international” recognition (an interview for an Austrian magazine does count as international, doesn’t it? #fakefame) and were recommended by the German newspaper with the widest reach, Bild am Sonntag. Despite the fact that my head was filled with blushes and lipsticks rather than economics theories, I managed to successfully finish my studies.

I kept blogging throughout my first job. With the first job usually comes the first real cashflow – KA-CHING! And maybe it’s not difficult to imagine what I did with what felt like a sudden fortune (let me assure you, it wasn’t) and that long wishlist of mine that had been growing impatiently.

Life in a DHL parcel shop

While I enjoyed shopping all the nice products I was not able to afford before, I was also a bit worried about the fact that my apartment slowly started looking like a DHL parcel shop. Apart from the things I ordered myself, I also received many unannounced PR parcels from brands which added to the chaos.

In order to stay organized, I helped myself by maintaining Excel sheets on all the products I owned and which I still wanted to write a blog post about, which needed to be tested, etc. While I do highly appreciate Excel from a professional point of view, I always feel that using them in private life is always a bit of a turn off. Does anyone really enjoy looking at spread sheets in their free time?

Not so EXCEL-lent

Three years into blogging, with a full time job and challenged by the real “grown up life”, I felt things slightly getting out of hand. At that point, I was not even sure anymore if I already own a certain product or not, and where in my warehouse-apartment I could possibly find it. I ordered from many different shops as some brands were only available in the US or the UK. I noticed that I was not even aware of when to expect which deliveries, which order was already paid for and how long I could actually return items.

Of course, I was not only ordering beauty related items but other products as well: Fashion, decoration, furniture, household items, electronics, books, pet food, etc. While I found my inbox flooded with e-mails that tried to inform me about everything related to my online orders, my twitching eye and constant urge to start yet another hate-love Excel sheet told me that this was not giving me the overview that would really simplify my life.

A STOREE is born

My own frustration and experience inspired us to make STOREE. If you search for “online shopping organizer app”, you usually find apps that help you organize or list what you wish to buy in the future. Or you’ll find apps that are connected to certain shops and tempt you to shop more.

STOREE shows you orders you already made, and allows you overview of the products, the shops you bought from (we were surprised to learn how many people actually forget where they shopped, and they simply cannot find it back when needed because, obviously they don’t know what to look for) and the expenses. STOREE also helps you to know when your parcels arrive and remind you until when you can send them back. It works cross-shop which means that regardless of where you purchased, it will all be in one overview.

 

STOREE app screens

 

Become a STOREEteller

I’m still passionate about make up and beauty, also beyond my active blogger career which only lasted for about 3.5-4 years. The only other passion that’s grown even stronger is the one for convenient digital solutions that work in favor of the consumer and truly simplify their lives. This is why we are developing STOREE. If you want to organize your online shoppings and try the app before the official launch, you can sign up for free and exclusive early access here.

Join our community of STOREEtellers, too. Share your thoughts and experiences with us on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. Or just to prove me wrong and let us know if you are one of the spread sheet loving unicorns that I believe didn’t exist :)