26-year-old college student builds $ 15 million empire


Iris Smit quickly expanded her range of beauty treatments. Photo / Supplied

When Iris Smit appeared on the Shark Tank TV show, she turned down an investment offer of $ 300,000 for 25% of her three-month business and the bet was won, with her beauty empire now racking up 15. million dollars in revenue per year.

The founder of the Quick Flick and Beauty Fridge brands took the unusual step of creating a product that some might not consider a beauty staple.

But the journey began in 2017 during a semester break, while she was studying interior design.

“I started working on a project to create a winged eyeliner solution. It was my signature look and no matter how much I practiced I never got it right and then it has become a business, ”she told news.com. to.

“I never started out thinking it would be a great brand, but there was a huge need when I first started on the product. Since then, every product I create is about solving a problem or trying to create a faster or easier solution for applying makeup or beauty product. “

Although she did not accept the investment offer on Shark Tank, her appearance on the show blew the business up.

“After it aired things got absolutely gangbustered – we loved two months of income in four hours. It was absolutely ridiculous. I’m surprised our site didn’t break down to be honest,” she said. revealed.

“Looking back it was a blessing but also a bit of a curse at the same time. Businesses don’t normally grow that quickly, so it was quite difficult to put so many systems and procedures in place after such a short time. . “

The eye tampon continued to be a top-selling “cult style product”.

But when Covid hit, a new product she was working on turned out to be the perfect time to launch, especially since wearing a mask became the norm and eyes “were the only things you could. to show”.

She had created a two-in-one eyeliner and eyelash adhesive.

“It exploded during Covid because many eyelash salons were closed,” she said. “So it attracted customers because they weren’t able to get eyelash extensions and false eyelashes and it allows you to apply false eyelashes in seconds.”

Smit also believes the pandemic influenced beauty routines, with many people no longer wanting to spend hours doing makeup in the morning.

“People don’t want long, complicated routines anymore. They want two or three products that they can apply and are then ready to use,” she said.

“There is a shift in the types of products that people want too. They want these quick fixes and these multi-purpose products rather than having five different things.”

The 26-year-old said there has also been a shift towards a greater focus on skin health, with people stuck in front of their computers for hours at home worrying about damage from light blue.

She spotted a gap in the market not only for blue light protection, but also for a new type of sunscreen because it just wasn’t “sexy,” she added.

“I’m a crazy SPF user. I wear it everyday no matter what and had a hard time reapplying it every day because I had to put on makeup and it can ruin your makeup,” he said. she explains.

“It also feels a little gross to me and the SPF just wasn’t sexy – there wasn’t any product on the market that I felt excited to put on my face. It was pretty oily or greasy or left a dominant white on my face, so I wanted to find a solution on how to reapply the SPF every two to three hours. “

Smit offers a range of beauty care products.  Photo / Supplied
Smit offers a range of beauty care products. Photo / Supplied

Rather than a complicated routine involving a primer, moisturizer, and SPF, she wanted to bring the three products together into one.

So this week, she launched two new products nationwide in Priceline – a combination primer, moisturizer, SPF 50, and blue light lotion. There is also an SPF 50+ spray formulation that can be applied to makeup during the day.

Smit said the brands had also started to gain momentum overseas as they managed to secure “pretty big deals” with a US retailer, the largest beauty retailer in Germany and also in the Arab Emirates. United.

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