Lisa Lee launched My Beauty Spot earlier this year. Here, she tells JLife’s Laura Sefton where her inspiration comes from and the importance of using experiences to move forward.
My Beauty Spot has been described as Trip Advisor for the beauty industry. Can you tell us how it works?
I think the similarities come from it being a useful tool to find honest reviews that will help the users to make purchasing decisions. Hair and beauty salons plus mobile therapists are listed (and if not already featured they can be uploaded), along with beauty products. Users can then search for or add reviews. Then, if you’re the salon owner for example, you can update your businesses details, add pictures, and be notified when comments are left, giving the option to respond directly.
Was there a lightbulb moment?
I was looking for a treatment for the lumpy skin on my arms. I searched online for answers but advice came from bloggers or paid endorsers. I couldn’t believe there wasn’t one place that offered real beauty advice from real people who had experienced similar issues. I started off with the Facebook group ‘My Beauty Spot’ and it really took off. The website was a natural progression.
What have been the best beauty stories and tips you’ve had since setting up My Beauty Spot?
The best tips are often the ones that save us money, for example using lemon juice to remove fake tan, members alerting us to great Groupon beauty offers or the recommendation of the amazing and cheap moisturising product from Aldi that we all swarmed to buy.
We also get loads of tongue-in-cheek complaints saying the site is costing our members so much money with ‘must have products’ being recommended every day, such as Chanel’s Universal Bronzer or the BaByliss Curling Wand Pro.
As a Leeds-based businesswoman, is it important to you to keep things local?
As we’re online we can be local and global. To start with we’re focusing on Leeds and the support from the community has been amazing so it’s great to be able to provide a platform for local businesses to create an online presence. We’re also holding some exciting events in Leeds and partnering with great retailers such as Harvey Nichols, which we hope to roll out to other regions.
On the subject of Leeds, are you from the city originally?
Yes, I was born here and only left to go travelling to South East Asia and Australia, and then studied at university in Liverpool. I finally came back and married a Leeds boy, so I’m here for good!
And how involved in the Jewish community are you?
It’s a big part of our lives. We give much of our time to LJWB, my husband is a Maccabi coach, the children use the great facilities at The Zone and go to Brodetsky, and we go to many of the fab events that the community puts on.
You’re a business and marketing graduate. Do you think you were always destined to set up on your own?
I invented ‘toilet gloves’ when I was about 12 and have had many ideas since then that never came to fruition. My degree helped me to learn more about the real workings of a business and made me realise how marketing plays such a huge part in successful businesses and brands.
What advice can you give to others with a good business idea?
Go for it or you’ll never know what could have been!
You’re on a desert island. What one beauty buy do you have with you to get you through?
Definitely my Heliocare SPF 50 tinted moisturiser as I’m so pale I would burn within five minutes without it.
What is your top beauty buy for autumn/ winter 16?
I am definitely no beauty blogger and take advice from all of our lovely members, but I do have my eye on the Burberry Shimmer Dust in Gold Glitter that I can’t wait to use for the party season.
What’s next for My Beauty Spot?
The plan is to grow the site, adding more businesses and products, and more people wanting to share real reviews and recommendations. I’m also keen to get men involved as we know that women are not the only ones interested in looking and feeling the best we can! With lots more events and competitions planned too it’s going to be an exciting year.