Concious beauty with gitti products

Conscious Beauty with gitti products

The mission of gitti is clear: to revolutionize the beauty industry with innovative products that are better for customers and the planet. This starts with better ingredients and continues through production and packaging. gitti takes the entire value chain into account. And it works to improve it step by step.

The company is synonymous with “Conscious Beauty”. It bridges the gap between two previously opposing worlds: outer beauty and inner wellbeing. As a sustainable brand, gitti is internationally established with an active social media community. This rapid growth of its community shows that the gitti brand and its mission are really striking a chord with the target group.

Jennifer Baum-Minkus is the woman behind gitti. She studied media management in Cologne and got a taste of the media at a local newspaper and a TV station. She did a master’s degree in international marketing in Barcelona. After graduating, she had a classic corporate career at big companies. She was also in charge of a women in leadership programme for 13 European countries.

Jennifer is a total gut person. All she knew was that she couldn’t go on like that. She made the decision to quit her job, even though some people in her environment told her it was crazy, and dived into the development of gitti a short time later.

Before founding your start-up, you built quite a track record working for corporate companies in the HR field. What did it feel like to jump from such a secure position into the cold and unpredictable water of entrepreneurship? How did your HR experience help you in building the gitti brand?

I think it is basically about empowerment. Standing on the side, cheering people on and trusting them that they can do things that they perhaps did not think they could do themselves. In the companies I worked for, I understood conceptually what is necessary for hiring the best talents with the right capabilities and potential. That is crucial for a start-up. In the end, the best team masters every challenge down the road.

I was really lucky to be able to learn an incredible amount with regard to leadership issues, managing teams and dealing with large, complex projects, and perhaps also the issue of resilience.

But with gitti, it is much more from the heart. Trusting people to do things that they might not think they can do themselves. For us, empowerment lies at the core of the company. And that applies to everyone, from an intern to myself.

With gitti, we want to revolutionize the beauty industry and contribute to a rethinking of the entire value chain.

Conscious Beauty with gitti
Photo Credit & Copyright: Patrycia Lukas

Your philosophy of creating conscious beauty using innovative formulas, clean ingredients, and sustainable packaging is important to sustain our planet and our body. Where do you source natural ingredients for making the nail polish and the creams? And was it difficult to find distributors of such ingredients?

The challenge was definitely to find the right partners to make our first product, a 55% water-based nail colour. Finding the lab that will embark on this experiment and journey with gitti took time and also involved many setbacks. We develop the formula and produce everything in Europe.

Many people prefer to wear gel nail polish because it stays longer. You describe two techniques on your website: the plant-based formula for long-lasting and the water-based formula for fast-paced everyday wear. Can it be that the long-lasting technique is not going to be gone after a few days? Also, can your products be used with the Ultra V lamp?

We have two formulas:

1) based on water, easy application (even for people who are not used to their nails by themselves) and no nasty smell

2) plant based, long lasting, with a shiny gloss and high coverage

Both nail colours use different formulas for a different purpose. An Ultra V lamp can cause damage to health, due to light exposure.

I think it is important to do your homework before starting to talk with VCs.

Are you planning to launch other types of conscious beauty products under the gitti brand?

We have already launched a small care series with nail oil and serum, a hand cream and a 100% natural nail polish remover. And we have planned some new product launches for the rest of this year. So, you should buckle up, because gitti comes with a lot more than just nail polish.

With gitti, we want to revolutionize the beauty industry and contribute to a rethinking of the entire value chain. We see that the food industry is already rethinking and acting, but the beauty industry is still in its infancy – especially when it comes to packaging.

We want to change that through innovative products and education about a conscious beauty routine.

Products by gitti
Photo Credit & Copyright: gitti

Are you planning to launch other types of conscious beauty products under the gitti brand?

We have already launched a small care series with nail oil and serum, a hand cream and a 100% natural nail polish remover. And we have planned some new product launches for the rest of this year. So, you should buckle up this year, because gitti comes with a lot more than just nail polish.

With gitti, we want to revolutionize the beauty industry and contribute to a rethinking of the entire value chain. We see that the food industry is already rethinking and acting, but the beauty industry is still in its infancy. Especially when it comes to packaging.

We want to change that through innovative products and education about a conscious beauty routine.

You want to drive and inspire positive change in the beauty industry and beyond. Still, many beauty products are bought from big retail stores (e.g., dm, Sephora) or prefer to go to beauty salons to get their nails done. Are you taking into account these sales channels or are you mainly focusing on online sales? And why?

At the moment, we are focussing on our own Online Shop as a sales channel, which works really well. We are working with Shopify and are very happy.

We have built a community that is very connected to us. They are checking in on our channels and giving us a lot of feedback as well, I am very grateful for that.

gitti is also presented in some leading Department stores such as THE STORE at Soho House Berlin and LeBon Marche in Paris.

At the beginning of your start-up journey, you were involved in three accelerator programs, such as Grace Accelerator, Google for Start-ups & SEPHORA Accelerator. How useful was it to participate in such a program? And what did you get out of it?

This was the best decision ever. I was very lucky to get the chance to take part in such great programmes.

The first accelerator was Grace long before gitti was on the market. It was only an idea, but filled with a lot of passion and research for the topic. The various networks I am in thanks to these programs are irreplaceable for me. I benefit from it again and again and am very grateful for it.

I can really only recommend taking part in an Accelerator program. As a start-up, it is also always about getting better and learning. For this you need strong partners – like these programs – from whom you can learn a lot.

Become a Member

Turn your passion into a purposeful job and overcome business challenges with the help of online courses in a supportive environment of like-minded female entrepreneurs.

As you might know very few women receive VC funding. In the seed round you received $3,5 mio from Grazia Equity and Btov Partners. Tell us about your experience while raising money for your start-up? Which factors do you think helped you to succeed in it?

It is very important to have a strong vision and a mission with purpose. As a founder, what we want to achieve with gitti is to revolutionise the beauty industry!

I think it is important to do your homework before starting talking with VCs. What can they bring to the brand? What is their mindset? Does that fit with gitti?

We are very proud that just now we have closed a Series A round with 6,9 million Euros with existing investors and XAnge as a new international partner.

The lead investor is the Paris and Munich-based venture capital firm XAnge, which supports visionary founders with strong values and ambitions in their international roll-out. Existing partners btov and Grazia Equity are also back on board and are further increasing their investment.

We are so pleased and proud that within less than one year after our first financing round we could now close this Series A round. This will allow us to focus our attention on ramping up internationalisation and extending our product range.

With XAnge, we now have a partner by our side who shares our values and is helping us to push ahead with our vision. Despite the current circumstances caused by the coronavirus crisis, in 2020 we increased our revenues by 1,200% compared to the previous year.

Nail polish by gitti
Photo Credit & Copyright: gitti
Nail polish by gitti
Photo Credit & Copyright: gitti

I am sure there are ups and downs while creating a brand from nothing. What were the best & the worst moments since you became an entrepreneur and how did you deal with them?

Of course, there are ups & downs every day. Founding a start-up is like riding a roller coaster, it always goes up and down.

The downs are also important. It is when I learn the most and can really take a run-up for the next high. As an example of a low, there is the story of our very first batch arriving and the bottles were only half full.

An absolute high is seeing our community grow. We already have more than 150,000 happy customers, who have joined our Conscious Beauty movement.

We want to change that through innovative products and education about a conscious beauty routine.
Conscious Beauty by gitti

What were your three biggest learnings while founding your start-up? What are three tips would you give to a young woman who wants to become an entrepreneur?

For me, it is clear that entrepreneurship requires one thing above all else, and that is to be very passionate about what you do. If I do not stand behind my product 100%, then it is hard for me to be an entrepreneur.

Everything else can be learned and worked on and experienced in daily business. It is exactly these experiences that make you an entrepreneur.

What I have learned above all is that it is good to think big and to get partners by your side for the journey there. I learn every day: especially from mistakes that make me stronger and better.

Three tips:

  • Listen to your gut
  • Never lunch alone: always look for people to talk to
  • Ask for support
[Featured image – photo credit & copyright: Patrycia Lukas]

In their own online magazine “the good good”, the company explains the benefits of natural cosmetic products and, with in-depth articles, shows its readers how to incorporate “Conscious Beauty” into their lives. If you are inspired and wanna read more about Jennifer Baum-Minkus and gitti check out their website and Instagram

Do not forget also to check out other articles  in our online magazine.

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