Matt and Donna Ball from Second Glance Cosmetics tell us what advice they would give to someone looking at starting out in business.
What do you currently do at Second Glance Cosmetics?
We are a husband and wife partnership and we design and retail budget cosmetics without the compromise in quality. All our products are cruelty free and we aspire to make as many vegan as possible in the future.
We sell a range of products including Complete Beauty Sets, Cosmetic Glitters and Make Up Brushes to name a few and we launch new products all the time which follow the latest trends in make-up and fashion. We are involved in every aspect of the business and oversee all aspects of the brand, which has been particularly exciting recently being part of eBay’s Wolverhampton Pop-Up Shop.
eBay’s Retail Revival programme has really helped us to be involved in every aspect of the business as it helps us to excel at every part of running it, including important aspects such as social and digital. We do everything from under one roof in Wolverhampton – we design the products from scratch, deal with marketing, accounts and quality control in the office and then the warehouse deals with distribution and storage.
What was the inspiration behind your business?
Our inspiration has come from a number of factors. Donna has been involved in a family business for as long as she can remember, and Matt’s Dad was self-employed when he was young – this gave us both a passion for business. We started out in business together about 10 years ago selling cosmetics, but as we sold numerous brands we found that the quality doesn’t always justify the price tag, inspiring us to start our own range. We drew on our experiences as consumers that as the cost of living increases, you look for more value for money, and launched an affordable brand. There are many businesses that are like this generally, and we’ve tried to give it to the cosmetics industry.
Who do you admire?
Lord Sugar, he came from a council flat and started out in business with £100.00. It is just an inspiration to us all and shows what you can achieve in life through business. We started selling on market stalls, and now we’ve been involved in eBay’s first ever concept shop in Wolverhampton!
Looking back, is there anything you would have done differently?
We feel that we wished we had done this sooner. We spent a lot of time selling other peoples’ products and it takes a lot of time to develop ideas and grow your brand so that would be the main thing. But we are big believers that your experiences help to shape you so you can’t dwell on the past you need to be positive to enable you to have your own business
What defines your way of doing business?
We try to make business enjoyable. You have to enjoy what you do to do it best. We feel that you have to be adaptable as the world moves so quickly and your market and customers are constantly changing. We have a plan for the future but we know that it will evolve, grow and change and that is the most appealing and exciting part.
What advice would you give to someone starting out?
Go for it! You need to have a clear plan on where you want to go, but you will always regret not trying a lot more than giving an idea a go. Any mistakes you make along the way are the best lessons you can learn. We’d also recommend getting involved with a program like eBay’s Retail Revival, if you have a chance.
Even just selling on eBay can help kickstart your business into something great – it gives you a platform to sell on with such a large buyer base of 180 million buyers in 190 markets, putting your products out to the entire world. You have to be willing to put the hard work in, but it’ll be worth it in the end.