As far as brand equity goes, Into the Gloss has always had a lot going for it. Since launching in 2010, the beauty website has been building a readership thirsty for a unique blend of relaxed but authoritative product coverage and insidery interviews with known cool girls (see: Alexa Chung, Liv Tyler, Iris Apfel). It's cool, and not just by association.
Hot off a collaboration with Warby Parker and installed in a sunny new office, Into the Gloss is at one of those inflection points in the growth of its business. It heads into the next phase with a reworked team. Co-founders Nick Axelrod and Michael Harper are moving on from their full-time roles at Into the Gloss but staying on in advisory roles, founder and CEO Emily Weiss tells us. We learned Wednesday that Joe Zee scooped up Axelrod for his team at Yahoo Fashion; he'll be a contributing editor there while managing his own consulting business.
Weiss has hired Henry Davis from Index Ventures in London to fill the role of chief operating officer and take the lead on business development. In the world of venture capital, Index invests more than anyone in fashion and branded e-commerce companies, with a portfolio that includes Nasty Gal, Cambridge Satchel Co., Business of Fashion and Farfetch. During his time there, Davis worked most closely with Cambridge Satchel Co. and Wool and the Gang.
"ITG is the first full-time startup job I have taken (I have been advisor to some and interned at others)," Davis wrote in an email. "The fact that it was Into the Gloss that captured my imagination in startup land speaks to how much I believe in Emily, the team and the opportunity the company has to be a true game-changer in a massive industry."
"[Henry] brings a tremendous amount of branded e-commerce and technology savvy to the table," Weiss says of the hire.
Just under a year ago, Into the Gloss raised $2 million in venture capital funding from Forerunner and Lerer Ventures, which also has a stake in beauty e-commerce site Violet Grey, Thrillist and the designer wholesale startup Joor. Into the Gloss's full time staff numbered five at the time, and much of that financing went toward hiring. By the end of the summer, the team will comprise more than 15 people, Weiss says.
The investment has also enabled Into the Gloss to, in Weiss's words, "evolve and grow in new directions, which you'll see very soon." Weiss stayed tight-lipped on the nature of those projects, but she did note that technology is the company's "key area of focus" at the moment, and the team is actively recruiting for a few positions within that department. Between its affiliate sales and active commenter community, Into the Gloss has a wealth of data on what products people care about most -- and there are a lot of ways that information could be put to use.
"We've all been working very hard with our heads down for the past year and I couldn't be more proud of ITG's supremely talented, passionate team," she says. "We are about to bring you something else truly special and I could not be more excited about that too."