A few years ago, beauty company Glossier founder and CEO Emily Weiss watched some of the company’s staff hand out roses to subway commuters, just for fun. “I loved seeing how such a simple, in-person interaction could make someone’s day,” says Weiss, a former fashion assistant. “Ultimately, we want everything we do, on or offline, to feel just as personal and special.” Weiss created Glossier in 2014 after discovering that traditional beauty companies weren’t adapting to changes in consumer behavior. She wanted to democratize the beauty space. “I wanted women to be the expert of their own routines,” she says.
Weiss, who believes a great leader can cultivate a sense of community in every aspect of their business, aims to prioritize her attention based on goals, not seniority: An intern and executive are both valuable to the company, she says. Glossier currently has 130 employees and more than $34 million in venture capital funding. In the office, Weiss tries to stop by the Showroom at least once a day, where she runs into customers and beauty editors. “I always leave feeling inspired and motivated by the people I meet there.”