“We Don’t Focus on Competition” – 15 Minutes with The Quick Flick CEO, Iris Smit

Ally Feiam By Ally Feiam | 30 Mar 2020

Iris Smit founded The Quick Flick in 2017, with the premise of creating a simple and innovative solution for people who struggled with creating the perfect winged eyeliner. We sat down with CEO and Founder, Iris Smit, to discuss the evolution of her brand and the future of innovation. 

The Quick Flick is a pretty simple idea: an eyeliner stamp that creates the perfect wing. There are three sizes available and come in a range of colours. In 2018, Iris participated on Shark Tank to pitch the Quick Flick for a 10 percent stake at $300,000. Despite receiving an offer, she turned it down. Since its launch, The Quick Flick has changed the way people do their makeup, and it has single-handedly revolutionised online retail.

What inspired Smit to create The Quick Flick? “I was dedicated to creating a brand that represented everyday people, rather than mimicked the aspirational images we are readily sold in the beauty industry,” Smit tells Power Retail. “We successfully do this by only ever using real customers in our campaigns and never retouching our material. The Quick Flick is much more than a beauty brand, it’s a platform where customers are allowed to express themselves through makeup, rather than to use it as a mask to cover up who they are.”

Smit has plenty of experience when it comes to e-commerce, despite starting The Quick Flick at the age of 21. “I actually started coding websites when I was 14. The first website I ever built was for the Busselton football club and I charged $200. Not bad for a 14-year-old,” Smit explains. “Before I started my own company I also worked as the creative director across a few other small e-commerce brands, I learnt a lot during this period, particularly what not to do when running a business.”

It’s no secret that the beauty industry is cut-throat. The competition is heavy, so it can be hard to keep up with the hottest trends and influences. However, Smit and The Quick Flick don’t rely on the work of competition to stay ahead of the game. “We don’t focus on what our competition are doing, because that’s one of the easiest ways to lose focus on our own identity, innovations and most importantly our why,” Smit says. “At the end of the day, we are running a business so of course, we need to be profitable, but unlike other businesses where it’s always about the highest margins and the money in the bank, every decision we make comes back to our customers – they call the shots on our content, our messaging and product development.”

As the world shifts into the unknown, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to predict what the future is for retail. With COVID-19 and retailers reacting to the outbreak, it’s harder and harder to say what will happen next.

“The world is going through such a huge period of uncertainty at the moment, I don’t think anyone can clearly predict what we’re going to see in 12 months time, but I think we’ll see an even bigger shift towards brand transparency and authenticity,” Smit says. “There’s also so much untapped potential in VR and technology within the beauty industry, and that’s going to become more important than ever over the next few months as the world adjusts their lifestyles.”

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As with all retailers, there are challenges that need to be faced. For Iris Smit, the challenge was beyond the business strategy for The Quick Flick; it was a bit more personal. “My greatest challenge to date has been addressing my mental health, which really hit rock bottom in January 2019,” Smit tells Power Retail. “I had quite a traumatic upbringing through my childhood and used work as a distraction to numb the pain. I was driving home from the office one evening and was wishing I could go to sleep and never wake up. Finding the courage to speak to someone and work through the experiences of my past was definitely a challenge at first. I was programmed to believe asking for help was a sign of weakness, although I’ve come to realise its the greatest sign of strength when you can get back up when you’ve been on your knees.”

While many retailers turn to the past to learn for the future, iris Smit prefers to keep her eyes forward. “I wouldn’t want to go back in time, as I’ve enjoyed my journey thus far and had I not experienced certain things I wouldn’t have learnt many important lessons,” she says. “If I did have to give advice to another entrepreneur who was just starting out, I would advise to ensure you enjoy the journey and process and to stop constantly chasing “the end”. For many years I lived my life believing that I was working towards happiness like it was something I would acquire when my business became successful, when I earned more money or went on my dream holiday. I was living every day empty, hating the journey because I thought only the end would bring me happiness. What I’ve come to realise is that happiness actually comes from within and is not something we acquire externally, but internally – without ourselves. My advice would be to take a moment to access every action of your day and ask yourself how you can experience happiness in that moment. One of my favourite quotes is by John Bytheway which is “inch by inch, life’s a cinch.” So if we apply this principle of happiness to every “inch” of every moment in our day, happiness becomes apart of the journey and not just the end.”

At the end of the day, Iris Smit launched The Quick Flick to revolutionise the beauty industry, and change the way people go about their every day. Smit has also launched The Beauty Fridge, which bolsters that revolutionary mindset. “Like The Quick Flick, Beauty Fridge aims to challenge the way we conventionally do things,” she says. “In this case, the way in which we store skincare and beauty products. Skincare is changing and I believe the way in which we store our products needs to change too. We’re also talking about our customers’ skin and skincare in a way that is empowering rather than viewing it as a way to “fix” perceived imperfections. It’s definitely a contrast to how skincare has been considered and consumed for decades.”

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