Jenna Lyons might have spent her career in fashion, but the cofounder of LoveSeen, a new direct-to-consumer brand specialized in false eyelashes, feels like she’s been part of the beauty space forever.
“It’s always been top of mind and really close to the [fashion] process,” said Lyons, who had a 27-year run at J. Crew, serving as its former president and executive creative directors.
So eyelashes were a natural pivot.
“I have always been super fascinated by how people see themselves, how they are interested in being seen,” she said.
“There’s nothing more bizarre than launching a business from scratch, other than doing it in the middle of a pandemic,” Lyons continued.
Due to the coronavirus outbreak, LoveSeen’s launch was postponed for almost four months, its employees were hired over Zoom and shifts in consumer habits made things tricky to gauge.
“It was definitely challenging,” Lyons said.
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So, too, could have been the fact false eyelashes are generally worn by people going out — an impossibility during the time of COVID-19.
“However, we made these lashes for people to wear every day,” she said, adding the response to LoveSeen has been “phenomenal.”
Lyons and her business partner, Troi Ollivierre, cut and built up by hand the 10 lash styles strand by strand on people with all different eye shapes — very much as she’d done with fashion at J. Crew.
And the quest for ever-more sustainable solutions continues.
“Creative businesses are problem-solving businesses,” Lyons said. “I think of creative as a service business — you are servicing an idea. They’re interrelated.
“When you pay attention and give homage to the creative process and really protect it, you’re protecting the business, because people naturally gravitate towards beautiful things,” she continued.
Lyons adores the individuality of many d-t-c brands today.
“When you’re a young brand you can set the tone and do whatever you want,” she said. “That’s pretty amazing. I love that level of creativity that’s coming through in the voice that I see with all of these new brands that are saying whatever they want to say and showing images that would have been taboo.”
The people selected to appear in the LoveSeen campaign informed how the lashes appeared.
“We didn’t want to put a lash on them and then decide how they were going to look. They all had totally different vibes, and that was so fun,” Lyons said.
Working with makeup artist Ollivierre was an obvious choice, as she and him have always been sync, starting at J. Crew, in wanting to bring out a person’s best and not trying to change them, explained Lyons.
The pair wants everyone to feel welcome by LoveSeen, so they found influencers with varied approaches who chimed with the brand. None is paid for posting about the eyelashes, but they are for creating a video about how they’d use the lashes.
People on LoveSeen’s staff have also made videos to educate how to apply the eyelashes.
A new tool — hybrid tweezer-eyelash curler — is on deck to launch to help the application process.
Building the right team is paramount, believes Lyons.
“I feel so deeply grateful for the team that I have in place,” she said. “When you wake up every morning and feel excited to talk to people who are your partners, your creative team, you believe in them and they believe in you — even if something goes wrong, you guys can work through it. You can get through anything, and it’s so critical.”