Building a Beauty Brand with Marianna Hewitt
Co-founder of Summer Fridays and social media influencer, Marianna Hewitt is a self-confessed beauty fanatic. Prior to her popular brand launch, Marianna paved her way to over 1 million loyal followers by sharing her beauty knowledge, recommendations and natural passion for the industry.
Now, the successful co-founder is a podcast host and regularly interviews fellow brand founders, influencers, and personalities. Looking to start your own beauty brand? Read on as we interview her on all things business and beauty.
- How did Summer Fridays come about?
We started working on the idea for a skincare brand in 2016 and launched in 2018 with our Jet Lag Mask. It instantly became a best seller and has been ever since.
- Do you feel your career as an influencer has helped when it came to starting Summer Fridays?
Absolutely. We had built a relationship and trust with our followers online for years by sharing products we genuinely really loved. Our community really trusted our judgement when it came to products and brands. We also really understood social media, marketing and especially photography which is really different on Instagram than a typical brand campaign. We always thought digital-first and thought of ourselves as our target consumer.
- What advice do you have for someone looking to start a beauty brand?
There is room for everyone, but because there are so many incredible brands — your products really have to stand out! Think about what can be unique to you from your formulas, packaging, branding, photography or price point.
- Did you always see yourself starting your own brand?
Now that we have our own brand, I truly feel like it was something I was meant to do in this lifetime. But because I didn’t have the traditional background of going to business school, I wasn’t sure it was possible for me. But thanks to social media, and the people who believed in us and our ideas — it’s possible!
- Which areas of the business do you enjoy the most?
Product development. When we finalise a product and are so obsessed with it, it’s the best feeling. I get so eager and anxious to share it with the world after it’s been a staple in my routine for so long.
- What are your business goals for 2022?
We have really incredible products launching this year, the first of which was our Light Aura Vitamin C + Peptide Eye Cream. If you loved that, you’ll be really excited to see what else is coming this year and beyond.
- Do you have any advice for people looking to start their own podcast?
Anyone can do it! You can pick up a microphone and start recording. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself at the beginning. Record some episodes with different formats and see what people gravitate towards.
- What are your favourite publications/platforms for business knowledge?
I get so much of my news from Instagram. I see things there first before I read a full article somewhere else! I look at WWD daily to get industry news. I listen to lots of podcasts for business motivation and I read every day. I start my morning with a motivational book that helps hone in on my habits, work routines or self-development.
- What's the best business advice you've been given?
Always think big, even when you’re small. If you set yourself up for success now, it’s easier to manage growth when you’ve laid the right foundation.
- Who inspires you and why?
I am so inspired by my peers, both as influencers and brand founders. It’s so incredible what my friends have been able to do with limited resources and teams, just with the power of social media.
- Are there any new products launching that you can give us a teaser about?
Something is coming that everyone has been wanting for years. And there is something else coming that maybe is a bit unexpected, but as soon as you see it … it will make so much sense!
- What's your top skincare tip? And what's your best-kept skincare secret?
My top skincare tip is to use the routine that works for you. I know there are a lot of rules out there, but if something is working for you and your skin stick with it! And my best-kept secret is getting frequent facials. I really try and take care of my skin with professionals, then maintain it between appointments with great products that work for my skin.
Shop the Summer Fridays Lip Butter Balm in The Sensitive Face Box.