In this episode:

Wendy Liebmann talks to Claudia Lloreda, founder and general manager of Blush Bar, the Latin American beauty specialty retailer about creating a unique beauty experience for Gen Z shoppers.

They discuss:

  • How to create a unique beauty retail experience for Gen Z, by challenging the established order
  • Why sustaining a clear shopper-led vision – and passion — is so critical to success
  • The importance of creating an experience that reflects the values and needs of younger shoppers (e.g., sustainability, mental health)
  • The importance of the in-store beauty advisor and service for younger shoppers
  • The role of social media and e-commerce in building Blush Bar
  • How to adapt the product focus to different Latam beauty cultures
  • Learnings for Hispanic beauty shoppers in the US, and
  • The power of pink bunnies

Exclusive Look Inside: Retail Safari® Blush Bar [ Download ]

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Watch the video episode:

Wendy 00:00

Hello, everyone. I'm Wendy Liebmann CEO and Chief Shopper at WSL Strategic Retail and this is Future Shop. This is where I talk to innovators disruptors, and iconoclasts, about the future of retail. Today, my guest is Claudia Lloreda. She is the founder and general manager of Blush-Bar. It is an amazing pink happy beauty specialty retailer based in Colombia in Bogota, Colombia. She'll tell you more about that. Welcome Claudia.

Claudia 00:50

Delighted to be here. Wendy, thank you so much for having me. It's a pleasure.

Wendy 00:48

I should tell everybody that when I first saw Claudia recently, it was in Miami at Cosmoprof the major beauty Expo. And she was on a panel of experts talking about beauty and beauty retailing, in Latin America and South America. It was extraordinary. Her exuberance, her passion for what she does just grabbed my attention. And so I figured, we better have her on to talk about all the things she knows from all sides of the world of beauty it's interesting to me, knowing some of your background, very US based education, working in the US, and then going home and opening a beauty shop. tell us a little bit about that journey and how you actually got where you are today.

Claudia 01:57

Absolutely. Well, it's delightful to be here. My journey really begins with the women in my life, my mother and my two grandmothers. I grew up with, you know, two grandmothers who had beautiful boudoirs and red lipstick and powder and perfumes on there. And I remember climbing on and you know, applying everything when I was just a little girl. So I have always loved beauty. I think it's a an amazing category. Everyone can use beauty products. So I absolutely have loved it. Professionally I actually did investment banking for two years. And I spent six years at McKinsey, most of them in New York. It was a wonderful experience because it made me very analytical. I worked mostly with banks. I was definitely in the wrong in the wrong industry. But I learned a ton at McKinsey and you know, have a lot of respect for that my time there. And then miraculously, in 2005, I got my dream job at The Estée Lauder Companies. I joined the corporate strategy team. I remember arriving in that 40th floor lobby with Estée Lauder blue and just thinking I was in heaven. You know, I was so delighted to be there. I spent eight years in total at The Estée Lauder companies for in the corporate strategy team, working across all brands, that's when we met many years ago. And then I spent three years at Clinique as Global Head of Marketing for makeup and fragrance working under Lynn Greene and Agnes Landau, who were incredible, extraordinary mentors. And after well at that time, you know, I am originally Colombian even though I am a US citizen, my husband and I had two very young babies. You know, the grandmothers were saying, you know, why aren't you here? You know, I want to have the baby nearby. And we made the decision to return home to Bogota, Colombia, where we are originally from and you know, having these two young babies, I really wanted to find a way to work from home. You know, it's as simple as that I wanted to be home for my kids. And so I set about kind of building this business plan for Blush-Bar. This was around 2013 and 2014. I was still working with Estée Lauder on a part time basis writing their brand books. And I really began to see this you know, beautiful pink store. Very feminine, very clean, very warm and kind. You know, a pink happy place with my favorite brands. You know, we're a small store, I never imagined a big store and our store format to this day will continue to be small stores around 70 square meters, around 800 square feet and a very personalized experience. And so I started building Blush-Bar back then. And here we are, you know, nine years later, we're about to be nine years September 1, which was when we opened our doors in 2015. We will close 2024 with 53 stores, 10 in Mexico, 23 in Chile and 20, in Colombia. So it's been an incredible journey.

Wendy 05:37

Now, you know, it's interesting we've had on this podcast in some wonderful retailers. And in the beauty space, we've had Jo Horgan, who founded Mecca in Australia, and Maly Bernstein, who now is the is the head of Blue Mercury in the US. And the passion, the personal passion, to beauty and creating a unique experience for shoppers is consistent across the three of you. And it makes certainly makes me smile. I did say to Claudia in the room before we started that we shouldn't be I thought I should wear pink today. For those of you who only listening can't see we're both in black and white or black. And I was like, Oh, heavens, I should have worn pink. So anyway, tell us tell us about who the target shopper customer is for Blush-Bar.

Claudia 06:47

So our shopper is really a younger consumer, Millennial and Gen Z. And that's who are who we are razor focused on, even though everyone of course is welcome at Blush-Bar. And we have a very welcoming kind of value for everybody. So, you know, she is digitally obsessed, you know, she derives all of her information from her friends and from social media. She is very influenced by influencers. You know, she is very influenced by TikTok and Instagram, in particular. And she loves this category, you know, she is looking at the US brands, and knowing you know exactly what's launching and wants to have it now, you know, you know, she's just so informed. So we find that that's one side of her. But she also, which is very interesting, I think, contrast sometimes with the US, she wants assistance, she wants classes, she wants to sit down and figure out what is right for her skin. So that's why we offer 25 makeup and skincare and brow, everything classes, in our stores, because she also wants to be informed. She derives her information from social media, but when she's in store, she wants to try everything on and make sure she, she loves it. I also think the other very interesting trend we've been seeing in the last nine years is daughters bringing their mothers to discover Blush-Bar with them. In my mom, you know, I remember when my mom took me to the Clinique counter at Burdines you know, to, you know, buy my Clinique 3 Step when I was 13. And here, it's the reverse. It's the mother saying to me, oh my god, I just discovered the best route product from my daughter, you know, who's 15 or 18 or 16. So it's been a delightful, kind of, you know, we continue to focus on this younger consumer, even though, of course, we welcome everyone. And I think that focus makes us very efficient. You know, we design our stores so that they're full of beautiful details. You know, we have a pink bunny. That's our mascot. This is like Pinky. Yeah, so she's now getting overalls. You know, this is version one. And she this year we'll we're launching her with overalls. She was my toy, my favorite toy when I went to school in New York as a young girl. So the bunny is kind of our mascot. So we we fill the store, you know, with tons of details that appeal to the younger consumer. You know, our pink bag is meant to be elegant, simple, cute, very recognizable, it has a bow. So you know, I think we, since we know she is our consumer, we you know we align our brand portfolio, our service portfolio, our experience, our communications, our social media to her. And it makes us very efficient.

Wendy 10:04

Yeah. So what, what competition was there in Bogota when you opened your first store, which I think is incredibly brave, opened your first store in 2015, where were these young women going for their beauty products?

Claudia 10:20

So when they it was very scary to launch, it still is scary to have a startup, you know, I'm always scared, it is a permanent state of scary. But, you know, at the time, the the reason for Blush-Bar was really that the dominant players were department stores, and traditional perfumeries. So what I saw in the market was a very heavy focus on fragrance. Fragrance was 90% of the market. And zero focus on makeup and skincare, especially new brands, you know, so at the time, you know, Two Faced or, you know, brands that were up and coming, you know, we're talking about 2015, none of the brands like Two Faced or Smashbox, or any of you know, those cool up and coming brands were present in the market. It was mostly this, you know, classic, traditional brands, you know, which we need in our stores. But I saw this opportunity to innovate the store experience, to focus, you know, to create a store that was pink and happy. Where everybody else was large, you know, the formats of these perfumeries were large and heavily focused on fragrance. So I went with the reverse, I went with almost no focus on fragrance, I think fragrance is around 3% of our business, very tiny. And makeup and skincare are the dominant share of our business. Everyone told me you're going to fail, You know, you will fail because Latin America is a fragrance market. And, and no, you know, like, of course Latin America is a fragrance market and there's excellent retailers who addressed that fragrance market like the department stores, and the traditional perfumeries. But we wanted to bring specialty multi beauty, you know, advisors, excellent brand portfolio, niche brands, you know, and big brands. So we have MAC, Clinique, Estée Lauder, of course, but we also have Sol Janeiro, the ordinary, Anastasia, Milk Makeup, Pixie Beauty. You know, we're always on the lookout for wonderful new brands.

Wendy 12:46

Did you when you thought about your experience in the US, I mean, I was trying to think when you were describing the Blush-Bar experience, that yes, we see younger shoppers, younger beauty consumers who go to shop in a Sephora or an Ulta, or in department stores and things. But I don't really think about a beauty experience in this market that is focused solely on the consumer and shopper that you're talking about? did what you saw in the US, frame up the opportunity?

Claudia 13:53

I spent so many years in the US, as you noted, you know, my education was in the US all my, you know, first jobs were in the US, I think, where, you know, what I learned in the US market was, you know, the size and scale of these markets is just, it's so different. You know, Colombia is a very small market in comparison. So is Chile. Mexico is obviously much bigger. But I think what drove the focus was more that we were a startup and when you are a start up, you have very limited resources. I raised original money, it was like me with a little basket, you know, asking people for, you know, $5,000. Pink basket, for sure, but it was a little basket. So I think we had such, you know, such small resources that we had to just be very focused. It was more out of need, you know, we couldn't advertise in magazines or newspapers, which were still, you know, important conduits at the time for communication. So we built social media, we grew our social media community, because that was the only thing we could afford. So I think that focus came, you know, from, you just need, you know, you had limited resources. I desperately wanted my stores to be pink, like, they just had to be pink, I love pink. It made it now, in retrospect, it was a great decision, because it makes us very different, versus the other retailers in the market. But I think that focus on that younger consumer, which is who in turn has brought us her mother and her mother loves us to was happenstance, it wasn't by design, it was out of a need to be having an efficient use of capital, because retail requires so much capital.

Wendy 16:03

The other thing about that, that's interesting to me is when you think about that opportunity, and you know, 10 years ago, early, early days of what I'm going to call social shopping, which by the way, is my subject for Cosmoprof in Las Vegas that early days of building a community, a direct messaging online, in the ether space, that was that was still pretty new 10 years ago, right, so so talk about how that informed what you do today, and how you use that community and social media to engage and bring and keep your shoppers together and passionate about.

Claudia 16:53

I mean, I think we, we, we act more as a brand first. And then a retailer. And I think that comes from my time at Lauder. You know, at Lauder, I learned, you know, being on brand, being on brand, and your visuals, your communication, everything was, you know, so much about the brand. And so, we have built Blush-Bar first, you know, so consumers recognize our bunny, our pink, our pink stores, our pink bag, and that community that we built in 2015, we have built through extremely personal storytelling. You know, so our entire team is on our social media, we talk about all sorts of different things, like it's not just product or newness that, you know, a brand is launching, we have a pet adoption program. So we partner with, you know, we have this beautiful pink tutu, and a beautiful pink van which we can I have some pictures that we can share, you know, and so what we do is we partner with foundations who rescue animals, and we have a pet adoption program. So why do we have that because it builds community and love outside of our love for makeup or skincare. We have a recycling program, because our consumers, you know, absolutely care about recycling, and not feeling as wasteful with obviously, you know, the beauty industry has a lot of waste. So we have a recycling program. So we've built this community, by personal storytelling, you know, my dog is all over our social media. So our my team's dogs, they know our names. You know, we always talk about female empowerment, the fact that we're founded by a woman created for women, 95% of our leaders are women, you know, and 90% of our company is women. So I think we've, we've built storytelling that, yes, of course, we talk about our products and our brands and the beauty benefits. But we also speak beyond that. We speak about recycling, we speak about mental health, we do zooms, you know, around mental health around facial yoga around kind of finding your purpose. So I think we've expanded the topics that we cover with our community, in order to engage them and on the basis of what they want, we constantly ask them, you know, what content would you like to see? You know, so, you know, we do a Bridgerton look it's because the community said, I want the Penelope glow up or whatever. So I think it's just listening to this consumer and social media allows you, you know. For years, I am the inbox of our Instagram and TikTok like when you are saying, you know, my product didn't work. I don't like it. Like, I'm answering It's me and I'm listening and that has been incredibly valuable, to define this community and unify our customers together.

Wendy 20:01

So I know from originally talking to Jo Horgan from Mecca, I mean, I clearly see the the impact of of Lauder around the world because I know it was, much because Leonard Lauder said it's okay, we'll bring those brands will let you sell those brands for us in Australia, because it was very much it was a department store market or a or a, you know, a pharmacy drugstore, elevated drugstore market. thank you, Leonard, for all of those things, right? But when you think about that, the challenge of now being the the curators, a much overused word, but the the home for all of these brands, and the work you do as a leader to bring those companies to you in Bogota, or Mexico City, or, you know, in Chile. How challenging has that been?

Claudia 21:11

It's still challenging. I mean, you know, so what you said about Mr. Lauder, to me, he is my hero, you know, he is the most pivotal person that I've ever had the opportunity the honor to interact with. So I, you know, I am a full, my heart is very blue, you know, still meaning Estée Lauder blue, because I learned so much at such a fantastic company, so could not I'd agree more. It's always been a struggle to bring brands to our markets, because our markets are small, you know, our GDP per capita is small. Chile, you know, has three times the GDP per capita of Colombia. But we're still, you know, Latam is always, you know, a small portion of the world. And there are so many other markets that are quite large. So what we've done first, we had Estée Lauder believing us and that's why we were able to open our stores. Because exactly what you said, like literally, without Clinique, without Estée Lauder, without MAC, we would not have been able to recruit, you know, other new brands to join Blush-Bar. And nowadays, it's still a struggle, I'd say it's a struggle, because understanding Latam, Latam sometimes is viewed as scary, meaning there's, you know, political uncertainty or economic unrest, etc. But we now have a lot more scale, you know, and a lot more of a track record to show brands. One of the biggest hurdles is product is regulatory, basically, our markets are very regulated. And we need product registrations to import into Chile and Colombia. And that is a process that takes time, you know, on the brand side, so that's a barrier. And I think it's just, you know, what we do as Blush-Bar is we say, we are your little affiliate, in these markets. So we do all the branding, we work with brands, as a brand would like, you know, total respect for the their creativity, for their assets, but for years, it was very hard, you know, it was me, you know, again, with my pink basket, you know, begging for brands in the US, for sure.

Wendy 23:54

for sure. So, so when So you went from Bogota to Mexico City next. Was that your second show late? No. So So why Chile, and then why Mexico? Perfect.

Claudia 24:06

So, you know, when we the first four years of Blush-Bar, we're focused on Colombia, and we reached tenders in Colombia. We, we then understood how we work you know, like, what kind of store design we need, you know, how much capital we need all of that. And in 2019, we welcomed a private equity fund from Argentina, into our investor base. And, you know, I presented a plan where I wanted Chile, for many reasons, you know, Chile is three times the GDP of Colombia. It's a very sophisticated retail market, the, you know, the department stores in Chile, the pharmacies in Chile are amazing. So best in class, you know, retail execution. And lastly, you know, I had a dear friend from Clinique, who also worked at L'Oréal, who I just knew had to be our general manager, you know, so. So there was also a touch of, you know, Christian can roll this out for us and can do this. And we can test the hypothesis of whether we can export the Blush-Bar concept we launched in November of 2019. Three months later, we had to shut everything down because of the pandemic hit. But it was fortuitous, because the pandemic allowed us to find incredible retail locations. So we our locations in Chile are exceptional. And we opened 10 doors, between 2020 and 2022. In Chile, and now Chile is bigger than Colombia, we'll close with 23 stores, you know, eight in Santiago, but many outside of you know in smaller cities, Concepcion, Talca, Chillan, Viña… and the success was tremendous, you know, we immediately performed well, and it was the same Blush-Bar consumer, you know, young, passionate, socially, social, social media driven. And we're delighted to have, you know, part of our business be in Chile, and then Mexico. So when we, you know, we continued to receive investment from our private equity fund in Argentina, and we looked at the map, I mean, our objective is to be a pan Latam retailer. So, you know, we will be probably opening Peru in a year, Peru is in a really important market. But Mexico for us was, you know, the biggest challenge we've ever faced. Mexico is enormous, the competition is tremendous. You know, the biggest specialty multi retail players are present in Mexico, but we we see the Mexican consumer, as very similar to the Colombian consumer, she wants to be ‘apapachada’ which means taken care of, loved in store, you know, like she wants. She's a very, very, you know, service driven consumer. So, we thought, you know, our stores are efficient, they're small, we're nimble, you know, we can be in many cities, we can open many doors quickly. We don't need a large scale format. And we've been delighted with our performance in Mexico. You know, as I said, we'll close the year with 10 doors, in Mexico, in different cities, not all in Mexico City. And, you know, we're just really proud of being able to join such an incredible market with so much, you know, growth opportunity. Yeah.

Wendy 25:27:40

And I, as I think about what you were saying, you know, that, you know, as you know, we are so shopper focused and understanding who that person, person focused, but who, understanding who that person is, and that, again, the thing that intrigued me, as you said, you know, very focused on this younger woman. It's so interesting to me, when I think about that service proposition, when I think about the US market, the challenges of service, challenges of hiring people who are passionate and might be passionate about, I mean, I think, the early days of MAC, I mean, the MAC makeup artists were so passionate, you always wanted to go in and say no, wait a minute, how do I do that? How do I whatever, but not necessarily, that experience in lots of other places where people can go, I think we undervalue service, but also younger people wanting service and experience. So when you look at the US market, and you think about it now from this, your newer, more recent perspective, what what do you see as opportunities here, particularly in those markets with larger, you know, younger, perhaps Latin, Hispanic populations? Where do you where do you see opportunities here? I don't mean, for Blush-Bar necessarily, but as a, as a business growth opportunity.

Claudia 29:03

I think it's all so in, in my experience, these years with retail, it's all about aligning the store, and on a store by store basis, with the demographic that's around the store. So, you know, in heavily Hispanic areas, I think, you know, we are Latin, Latina at heart, you know, in spirit, everything, and we always, you know, make sure that our consumer feels seen and heard and listened to. So I think staffing, you know, with I don't know store managers and makeup artistry staff that is bilingual, Spanish speaking, you know, and really has that sense of, what is the look that this Hispanic woman or Latina woman is looking for? is really important product mix is really important, you know, ensuring that you have the right foundation shades, the right corrector shades and concealer shades. So important. And the communication, you know, I think the communication does need to be teared to local relevance. And that's what we've, we've learned very much with our presence in Mexico, in Chile and in Colombia is while we are communicating the same Blush-Bar DNA, we are communicating it differently to those consumers, because there are local relevance preferences. You know, in Chile, you wouldn't talk about oily skin, if you would talk about hydration, because, you know, Chilean women have drier skin because of the climate. Whereas in Colombia, no one has drier, dry skin, everyone wants oil control. So I think it's a matter of, you know, the consumer wants to be listened heard, she wants to be treated with kindness. And that is the hardest thing to do in retail, because retail is tough. You know, you have people that are working very long hours, they're on their feet. Sometimes, you know, a client comes in and, you know, you're having a personal issue. But it's inspiring our staff in store to place the consumer at the center of everything. You know, and I always say, a Blush-Bar, like we build this, this, we built this business, you know, click by click consumer, by consumer, sitting one woman on a chair by one one, it's, it's tiny, it's, you know, it's very, very granular, how we've built this business. So we can't fail any single consumer ever, you know what I mean? So it's, it's, it's been a quite a journey.

Wendy 31:47

You made me think about two things in that conversation. One. When you talk, click by click, and you've talked a lot about social media and the community and the personalization of that. When you look at the business, the e-commerce business, I mean, what is that? what is the mix of business when you think about e-commerce versus in store? And is it the same shopper? Or is it different?

Claudia 32:17

It's a very good question. So e-commerce is our number one store and all of the markets. You know, ecommerce represents around 20% of the business in Colombia, around 25 to 30% in Chile. Mexico, we're still you know, we've been around for five months, so we're still kind of figuring out that number. But e-commerce, you know, first of all, of course, saved us during the pandemic, thank goodness we had, you know, perfectly working e-commerce and warehouses and logistics for we wouldn't be around speaking right now. Ecommerce is so important because it lets us you know, talk to that community that Blush-Bar has in maybe a faraway city where you know, we just can't have a store like a brick and mortar store. So she feels you know, every time we say we send you to any corner of Colombia, people are happy you know, they feel included, even if they live in a small village or a small town. So e-commerce is really important. We also reflect the Blush-Bar experience in e-commerce very much so every you know, ecommerce box receives a personalized note saying, you know, you're a ray of sunshine or something positive, you know, something lovable in handwritten form. We send five stickers, we send little pins, you know, like the the things I'm wearing. We always always all our e-commerce orders are in our pink bag. we often have QR codes so that a person can you know, you bought X eyeshadow palette, here's a look so that you can you know replicate I don't know the Bridgerton look with this eyeshadow palette. So we try to mirror, the love the kindness and the the knowledge or the expertise that we have in makeup and skincare in the e-commerce experience and I think e-commerce will continue to be the most important doors for us. you know We're now investing a lot more money in digital advertising for linking, you know, everything that we can link together with social media and digital advertising and CRM. You know, we're we're doing it and I think, you know, it's certainly the future but in our markets, the store experience is still irreplaceable. You know that conversation in store trying on the red lipstick seeing if you love it happens in store in this category and physical stores, brick and mortar stores give us credibility with the consumer, because they realize that we're an authorized retailer that, you know, we're, you know, legally importing all goods into the market. I mean, there's a whole gray market that happens in our in our market. So brick and mortar will still be very important. Yeah, I think next year. Yeah.

Wendy 35:17

The other thing you you sparked in my thinking when you were talking, I was thinking about when we were in Miami for the Cosmoprof event, we also learned one of our Retail Safari® tours, where we had a group of visitors, we looked at retail in Miami, and there were a mixture of people from various parts of Latin America, as well as the US. And what struck me is, you know, you think about the size of the, of the Latin, Hispanic community in a city like Miami, and you walk around, you know, an amazing mall like Brickell in Miami. And you do absolutely see the preponderance of, you know, single fragrance retailers, that you would never see in any other city in the world, n the US rather. What struck me, however, on the opposite side of that was, it felt like that was almost the only nod to the more Hispanic shopper in that market. I just felt like they were missing something in terms of the other needs of the Hispanic shopper.

Claudia 36:44

I mean, I think, you know, Miami is certainly a gateway of Latin America, you're constantly hearing Spanish and Portuguese very, very honest. I think there's a Latina message that appeals to, to all of these consumers from the various countries. And I don't know enough about Miami retail to kind of give you like, a really educated answer. But to me the, the big learning is that the consumer that I know, in our markets in Columbia, Chile, Mexico, is different than the US consumer, you know, the US consumer is more of a self shopping consumer. You know, she is already so knowledgeable. It's rare that a US consumer wants to, you know, have a makeup application, our best selling services called The Makeup Party, and it's, you know, five girls, you know, a makeup artist, and they go through and you know, do an entire full face of makeup. And it's our best selling service. And these young girls love it, you know, and they can be in their 20s, you know, celebrating an engagement or in their 30s, celebrating a baby, or they're in their teens, you know, learning, learning about makeup and skincare. So, to me, it's all about what services you can offer to create a relationship with that consumer, whether it's your brow service, or your makeup class, and give the consumer a reason to come back to a specific makeup artist. That to me is how we've built Blush-Bar by creating a strong, strong link between our staff and the consumer. It's not an it's not impersonal, you're not just you know, putting a product in a basket and then go paying for it. You've had a service, you know, her name, she knows your brows, you know.

Wendy 38:52

well, and I think you said something wise as you clearly always do is that you really do regardless of where you are, you really need to know your consumer, and how they want to shop for the category, the experience, whether you're in, you know, Miami in us whether you're in anywhere in Latin America, or South America, or whether you're in Europe or anywhere else. And I think you probably saw that in your life at the Estée Lauder Companies, right? Because it is an extraordinary, it's an extraordinary business around the world. And so trying to stamp the brand is the brand, but how you deliver that brand, market by market is so often different in terms of the needs and desires of the consumer. So last question for you. What's next? In the general terms, what do you see as the next area future in terms of beauty in general, as an expert in beauty for the global perspective? And then what's next for Blush-Bar? Absolutely.

Claudia 39:58

my hypothesis is, you know, we are such an incredibly innovative industry, I just love that new brands pop up, you know, every year with something new to say. So I am very grateful to be a multi brand retailer because I have an opportunity to bring those brands in. So I think small brands will continue to challenge, you know, be disruptive, bring new ideas to the table, and I'm always on the lookout for small up and coming cool brands, and I think that trend will continue absolutely. I think technology will continue to play a stronger role in the in store experience, you know, we now have scanners where you can, you know, scan your skin and match your foundation in all of our stores. And we'll be launching that to the end consumer, which will be you know, it's an interesting project, to see, you know, how she fares with a device that scans her skin at home. But I think technology will continue to be a partner, a complement to the experience, but never, you know, I don't think the world is gonna go, you know, full AI in this category, because there's so much emotion in this category. There's love, emotion, color, you know, so it's a very personal, very emotional category. So I am always on the hunt on the prowl, you know, looking at all brands that are, you know, telling a different story, and bringing them to Blush-Bar. For Blush-Bar, I think, you know, we we take things day by day, you know, we have a long term view of the consumer, but, you know, we're very, we're very much a startup still, you know, we're very much, you know, we don't have a main office, you know, we have, we're lean staff, it's mostly very young, you know, our leaders, but our head of Mexico is 28 years old, you know, and she's just a star, she's amazing. So, I think, for us, it's continuing to consolidate Colombia and Chile, you know, as you know, a pink happy plays a retailer, that is very knowledgeable and expert with the coolest brands, but always a warm feeling in the store. For Mexico, we will roll out at least, you know, another 10 to 15 doors next year. So, reaching kind of 25 to 40 doors as soon as possible. And as fast as possible. And then there's so many other markets in Latam that we're still not in, you know, Peru, Ecuador, Panama, Costa Rica, are tremendously interesting markets. So we're very focused on on that. And I think the other place that we're focused on is our own private label brand. We have a Blush-Bar brand, which has accessories, so you know, makeup bags, and bunnies and brushes. We also have a, you know, small kind of makeup line, but we're developing a skincare line based on Colombian ingredients that are innovative, you know, for our consumer and for our market. So I think there's, there's just lots of fun, you know, amazing things that, that I'm so excited for. But we take things day by day, you know, because we remain very humble. I think humility is the key to, you know, knowing where you need to be knowing where you came from, how hard it was to get here. But the future seems good.

Wendy 43:54

Yeah, definitely seems pink and fluffy, I think. I'm thrilled we could we could talk today, as I say, the passion you have for the business and for these young women, I can see bringing their mums into the stores. But these young women who find a place for themselves in this space, and not just in this, the the external beauty, but the social aspects of and all the program to do, really is an it's an extraordinary story. So I I give you great credit for being so bold, and brave and pink. Thank you for joining me today. It is a pleasure and I look forward to seeing you somewhere very soon for a great cup of Colombian coffee.

Claudia 44:48

Fantastic Wendy, thank you so much. What a delight. I loved this conversation.

Wendy 44:55

Thank you, Claudia. You have to have the shopper, in your mind's eye always. I mean, to begin a business that identifies a gap as she did, to think about how do you communicate with that consumer in your stores all the time, particularly a younger consumer. She talked about the power of the younger person bringing the older person into the store, that that that community of passion. And she talked about not only the digital proposition and the social aspect of building a brand, which we all know and see here so much now, but also the fact of the value based proposition and all the work they do, which isn't only about the product, although clearly, that's so important, but the value of having values that mean a lot to your shoppers. And I think all of those things bundled up together talked about, showed why she exudes a passion for this business. And I will say as the last when I mentioned earlier, and I think about Jo Horgan who founded Mecca in Australia and New Zealand and Maly Bernstein who runs Blue Mercury here in the US, this extraordinary passion of women led companies driving business in beauty is the is the thing that resonates with me, so more power to us. That's a view of the future from us today. So look forward to seeing you soon in the future. Cheers. Bye for now.

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