Big dreams and big drive: resources for early-stage indie brands

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"Know thyself" applies to a lot of choices you’ll make as a beauty brand founder, and it starts before you’ve launched your first product. All new founders show up to their business with different goals, and with a different mélange of experience and expertise: Some are seasoned entrepreneurs new to the beauty space, others come from years in skin care or cosmetics but with little experience up or down the supply chain. Some have been storytelling for years, others are looking for their voice.  After landing your “why,” finding the right resources to help you move beyond your pain points and build upon your strengths is an important step in catapulting your dream brand into a reality.

We asked our research & development, sales, and customer service teams which resources they found most useful for early-stage brands, and here’s what they said:

Beauty Independent

“Beauty Independent is my go-to for new indie brands or early-stage brands looking for concrete resources,” says Anthony Kozik, Sr. Sales, Marketing, and Customer Service Rep. If you find yourself asking questions like ‘How do I differentiate my product?’ ‘How should I forecast first-year sales?’ and ‘What qualities do investors look for in new brands?’ you should definitely check out.”

Their column No Stupid Questions offers digestible, synthesized opinions from multiple indie brand founders. Its crowdsourcing approach makes it a quick way to see what other brand founders are doing when it comes to a specific — and yet universal — decision. The column addresses everything from product launch strategies to how to spend marketing dollars. If you prefer to listen, their lunch-hour webinar series (called In Conversation) is worth a registration.

These quick reads are some of our favorite recent articles:


Spate is a marketing team favorite for its unique ability to make customers’ inner thoughts accessible. Beyond social listening, Spate uses google search data, which is a treasure trove of information that tends to be more intimate than what people share on social media. The platform uses their founders’ trend backgrounds to dig deep and bring key insights relative to the product formats, claims, and ingredients consumers are searching for.


A beauty industry resource list would not be complete without CEW (Cosmetic Executive Women). “CEW is a leading resource for brands of any size, but their beauty news and industry reports have been really helpful for our early-stage clients,” says Yoana Azmanova, Director of Product and Component Development.

Their educational events, normally held on the east and west coasts, and their awards shows are not to be missed. CEW has held a number of virtual events in lieu of their traditional in-person events this year.

New indie brand founders should check out:

Already read up, and ready for your next steps in product development? Watch our product development video, browse white label products, view our paths to market, or get in touch to start your sunny journey with us.