Profile of a WINner: Brittany Lo
I recently sat down with one of the Women Innovating Now (WIN) Lab’s participants, Brittany Lo ‘14 to discuss her business, Beautini by B.Lo. An accomplished and ambitious senior at Babson College, Brittany is currently competing in EDENS Retail Challenge, where the best up-and-coming entrepreneurs pitch their retail concepts to compete for prize money.
Tell me about your business idea.
My business idea is Beautini by B.Lo: a makeup bar for women that is open early in the morning before work, during the day, and late at night to accommodate women’s busy schedules. Each makeover is 30 minutes and during this time clients can enjoy complementary cocktails, desserts, and socialize with friends. Beautini by B.Lo strives to empower women and instill confidence by creating a fun and positive atmosphere. Whether the occasion is for an important meeting, networking event, date, or simply for a night out, a makeover at Beautini by B.Lo is the perfect boost of confidence to feel your most beautiful self.
I’ve recently entered my business idea in the EDENS Retail Challenge. I have my business plan ready and slides to present, so my next step is to find the perfect investors for my venture!
When was your light bulb moment?
My passion for beauty started when I was just two years old. By second grade, I knew that one day I would have my own cosmetic company. I came to Babson College to better prepare myself to make my dream a reality. Last year I took a Services Marketing course at Babson with Professor Mozill and it was this course that made me realize that I wanted to have a service associated with a cosmetic line, differentiating it in the market. Further, after interning in the Professional Products Division at L’Oreal, I became more familiar with quick services, like blow dry bars (quick blow outs, no color, no cuts), which have been popping up all over the place. After learning more about this concept, I realized that I could easily replicate it to the cosmetics industry, providing a differentiated service to women.
What drew you to the WIN Lab?
During my junior year, I took an Entrepreneurship and Opportunity course where I first learned about WIN Lab. After I was recommended to be a participant, I realized it was perfect fit for me! While classes and past experiences have been wonderful, prior to WIN Lab, I had not felt like I had a real network of mentors to push me and my business to the next level. WIN was the perfect opportunity – to help me get motivated, push me to the next level and further utilize all of the resources available at Babson.
What’s the greatest thing you’ve gotten out of WIN / how has it helped you the most?
The greatest thing I’ve gotten out of WIN is, hands down, the incredible network of women. Each “WINner” wants to see each other succeed and work together. It is an interesting and special dynamic. The WIN women come from all different backgrounds and add many different ideas and perspectives to the conversation. We truly support one another. I came into WIN with an idea, but was not quite sure what to do with it. WIN really made me reflect my life purpose and career path. If not for WIN, I probably would not have pursued my business idea.
What do you think the future of women entrepreneurship looks like?
I think that the future of women entrepreneurship is changing. I’ve witnessed a transition to women embracing femininity and being more confident as women leaders. Women are embracing all of the different struggles that we go through and are using it to our advantage. We are seeing more and more women having kids and starting businesses and are realizing that we really can do it all. Society is becoming more adaptive to this as well. The best thing we can do for the future of our economy is to get more women CEOs and business owners.
Who’s your “shero”?
My mom. She has four children and a full time job at IBM. I swear she never sleeps! In addition to having a successful full-time job, she supports each of us, never missing any of our activities or sports events and is constantly providing us with support. I am the person I am today because of my mother. She and my father have taught me that I can be and do anything, as long as I work hard for it. My mom really does it all and proves a common misconception that you can’t have a family and a successful career at the same time. She’s taught me that if you want this, you can have it, you just have to create it and work hard for it.
What has you jumping out of bed in the morning?
Starting my business – I know I have a great concept and as of yet, there is no one else in the market doing it. I need to get out there before someone else does. My competitive spirit combined with this big opportunity within the beauty industry has me literally jumping out of bed in the morning!
What’s your biggest need. / What’s one thing that could help take your business to the next level?
Funding. Starting a brick and mortar retail concept in New York City requires a large amount of capital. Though the barriers to entry are high, once I can achieve my concept, the potential for growth and success is tremendous.
Advice for other aspiring women entrepreneurs?
Just do it. The biggest challenge is the personal/mental struggle that you have with yourself. The entrepreneurial vs. traditional path was the biggest obstacle for me. Once you realize which path to choose, just go for it.
Created by Babson’s Center for Women’s Entrepreneurial Leadership (CWEL), WIN Lab is a year-long residency program for women students that accelerates the entrepreneurial path from ideation to prototype. Learn more about WIN Lab.