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14 Jan 2016
Beauty Bliss, a freshly opened shop selling beauty products on Willis Street, was initially purely an online shopping experience. It is quickly becoming so much more than an e-tailer. Owner, Toni Cox, began the online store as a side project while working as a web developer and is proving herself as something of a Wellington success story.
Before she decided to try her hand at a bricks and mortar operation, storeowner Toni Cox was selling make-up from her house in Johnsonville. However, necessity was the mother of invention when she realised "Jack Russell’s and make-up orders don’t mix”. She also soon found that her customers liked to see and feel the makeup they were buying just as much as they do clothes purchases. Toni tested the waters with a pop-up store in Johnsonville, and a little later opened a pop-up on Left Bank on Cuba Street.
The pop-up stores were a roaring success, giving Toni the courage to set up a more permanent Beauty Bliss incarnation on Willis Street. She tells me that on opening day people slept outside the store hoping for first dibs on brands not available in shops elsewhere.
Part of the Beauty Bliss appeal for customers is that they can see and experiment with a wide range of brands, some inexpensive, which appeals to the younger clientele. And I can see why! The closest I got to experimenting with makeup as a young teen was rummaging through my sisters stash – usually resulting in her sassily drawing a line on the foundation bottle so she had proof when she was “alerting the authorities” (Mum).
Beauty Bliss also caters for those after a more up-market product. Toni wants to provide a wide and eclectic range. And as with those of us who like to mix high fashion with chain store, she finds many customers love to mix and match. On the shop floor, Toni shows off some harder to find brands like Jeffree Star and Anastasia Beverly Hills. But don’t worry, old faithful’s like L’oreal, Maybelline and Rimmel are still out back. What’s more, Toni makes a point of stocking vegan products – how very 2016!
Toni gets her name out mainly through social media; she has an ever-rising number of Facebook followers, and promotes bloggers and vloggers on her online store. The proof of the Beauty Bliss popularity really is in the pudding - Toni's store won the National Award – Pure-Play E-Tailer in the 2015 National Top Shop Awards and was runner up for the People's Choice Award.
Toni still maintains the online store as a primary mode of business and uses the physical store as more of a base for people to pick up pre-ordered items. In saying that, Toni mentioned the foot traffic has been heavier than she imagined, so we could be seeing an expansion in the pipeline. Fingers crossed!
Beauty Bliss isn’t confined to the Wellington market. Toni also does a lot of shipping to smaller New Zealand towns. Yes, these products could be found elsewhere online but coming from Wellington they can be couriered for arrival the day after ordering and Toni is only a phone call away for information and advice. She also employs makeup artist, Gemma, who is in store full-time and at the ready to help if you are having a little trouble telling your bronzer from your mineralizer!
Next time you feel the need for a beauty boost, be it a $7.00 lippy or a $90.00 contouring palette, give Beauty Bliss a browse – there’s something for everyone.