YouTube Sensation Michelle Phan’s Startup ‘Ipsy’ Touches 1M Paid Subscribers
Michelle Phan’s Ipsy is going places. Literally 1 million places. The beauty sample startup is setting up to deliver a whopping 1 million “glam bags” to subscribers all over the world, as Ipsy reached a whole new milestone of 1 million paid subscribers.
Founded as MyGlam and later rebranded as Ipsy, the subscription service sends its customers glam bags on monthly basis, which include large samples of beauty products, specifically molded according to the recipient’s taste. The subscription charging a minimal $10 per month, there is no ounce of doubt left when saying Ipsy’s success is monumental.
Another reason for the success behind Ipsy is Phan herself. Michelle Phan is one of those talented public figures who started out on YouTube with their self-made videos, and garnered enough fan following that they could evolve as a brand. Phan is also the designer of Em by Michelle Phan, her own line of cosmetics marketed through the mighty L’Oreal. But she doesn’t limit herself to just the world of beauty. She went on to apply her media experience on the Shift Music Group, a start-up label that will break new artists using established YouTube influencers.
This month is Phan month, as while she announced crashing the milestone of 1m subscribers, she was also putting the curtain on her trip to Tokyo where she appeared with First Lady Michelle Obama to promote The White House’s new Let Girls Learn initiative.
Ipsy’s milestone points to a revenue rate of $120 million in annual sales. Ipsy was launched in late 2011, and took around three years to reach 700,000 subscribers in October of 2014. This means that the company, which normally places hopeful customers on a wait list, gained 300,000 members in the last six months.
“Our mission was to build a new beauty business, where there’s not a one-size-fits-all beauty look,” Phan said. “We didn’t do any traditional marketing or PR — it’s all been word of mouth.”
The growth of Ipsy accentuates the economic power of this emerging group of stars, who evoke passionate devotion from their young fan base and yet remain comparatively unknown to most people in their 30s or above.
Ipsy is not the only beauty mailing service out there, though. Birchbox is another paid subscription commerce company that sends out packs of beauty samples and has more than 800,000 members after launching in September 2010. Birchbox uses its monthly sample mailings as a tool to entice shoppers into purchasing through its online store.