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September 13, 2017

Birchbox Through The Years

Its our 7th(!) birthday this month and I have been spending time reflecting on our journey so far - where we started, and what Ive learned.

When Hayley and I first started Birchbox we had one key goal: make it delightful for women who arent obsessed with beauty to find the best products. We, like a lot of you, were confused by the sheer volume of products in the market and didnt enjoy the experience of shopping for beauty.

In our early days we had a pretty steep learning curve. We were growing so fast that we frequently found ourselves in uncharted and unexpected territory. I vividly remember spending an entire day running across town to gather signatures for a lease on a new office so that come Monday, new team members would have a desk and space to work in.

The challenges (and tears) didnt stop there. As a new, disruptive brand to the market, we had a big job to do to convince established beauty brands to work with us. We agonized over how to get enough samples to fill boxes. We had to do a similar but different job convincing male dominated investment firms that this was a massive idea and opportunity. We also had to learn our limitations, at times walking away from incredible opportunities when the fit or timing wasnt right.

Through it all, we were endlessly motivated by you, our customers who believe in what were doing and want us to win. We learned early on to listen. We are nothing if we dont stay close to and in constant dialogue with you. To succeed we have to embrace evolution and recognize that there is no steady state. Change is the only constant and that reality requires that we never stop learning. Today and forever we are committed to listening, inventing, imagining, testing and learning right along with you.

On a personal level, during this time my family has grown too and as a woman in business Ive learned a few things. First, that balance is a long term game. A life that has work, home, CEO, wife and mother will require flexibility; you cant judge your success in each on a daily or even weekly basis.

Very relatedly, Ive learned its important to be nice to yourself. You can do this, but yes there will be hard days, weeks, months. That reality is not a negative reflection on you, it is just real life.

So this next insight will come at no surprise- its supposed to be hard! If it were easy everyone would be doing it. Ive come to recognize that hard is a constant state, and that is a good sign. It means you are pushing yourself, you are growing, and each day you are strengthening yourself for the challenges of tomorrow. Challenge is not the enemy. Its a frenemy of learning. And that constant growth and education leads to you becoming a better version of yourself. That shift in mindset is important. It amounts to recognizing that its not about the light at the end of the tunnel but about finding joy in operating in the tunnel, all the time.

Last, the lines between personal and professional will at times be blurry. Whats important is that if that is the case, it is worth it.

With that said, I want to say a sincere thank you for being with us on this journey. We remain focused and dedicated to building the destination place to shop, for the casual beauty consumer. We believe that you deserve an experience that prioritizes you and we will continue our focus on making your beauty discovery delightful. We are SO excited for whats to come.

Katia Beauchamp
Co-Founder & CEO, Birchbox

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