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The Secret Behind 22 Years of Custom Cosmetic Success: An Interview with Giella

Giella Poblocki , Founder/Creator at GIELLA Custom blend cosmetics

In this episode of Wytpod, host Stephen Bland engages with Giella, founder of Giella Custom Blend Cosmetics, to discuss the groundbreaking approach to personalized beauty. Discover the journey from idea to industry innovation, as Giella reveals how her brand revolutionizes makeup through customization. From her transition from accounting to beauty to the impact of custom-blended products on diverse skin types, this conversation sheds light on the dedication behind Giella’s success and her vision for the future of cosmetics. Join us for an insightful dive into the world of tailor-made beauty solutions.

Giella Custom Blend Cosmetics has been crafting makeup for 22+ years, revolutionizing beauty with personalized solutions for all skin types.

Giella Poblocki
Founder/Creator at GIELLA Custom blend cosmetics

Hello everyone, welcome to our latest Wytpod. I’m Stephen Bland, your host with Wytlabs, an e-commerce internet marketing agency. I have Giella with us today.

Hello.

Giella, feel free to introduce our viewers and let them get to know you better.

Thanks, Steven. I’m Giella from Giella Custom Blend Cosmetics. We launched our company 22 years ago in Henry Bendel in New York City. We custom blend all products, and cosmetics on the spot specifically for you. So we have over 100 different pigments, a laboratory heater, and glass vials, and we can mix within minutes foundation, B creams, powder, blush, highlighters, eyeshadow, and brow pomades, we make lipstick, lip gloss, nail polish, skincare, and even pencils. And if you have a product that’s been discontinued, people send it to me if they can’t get to me in New York City, and we can recreate it for them. So we have matched thousands and thousands of colors over the 22 years.

Awesome.

And we had some great shout-outs from people like Cathy Lee Givert who always wished she had her Chanel nail polish again. And we were able to connect with her. So she gave us several shout-outs for that. People follow them up with a specific shade and we can easily, well, not easily, it’s not easy, but we can match it. So we served over 15,000 makeup lovers.

 

Over the 22 years, we’ve been featured in over 350 magazines. We’ve been seen on BuzzFeed and different broadcasts such as New York One CBS and NBC as well. So it’s our journey to continue to reach out to people because we can match all skin types and all skin colors. It could be a very neutral, simple, natural look or it can be a very extreme runway look. We can reach all. So we’ve always had that before. It was very trendy. And that’s great because a lot of clients, they just don’t want to settle, you know, why should you have to use a separate toner because your foundation is wrong or use a primer because you know, your foundation doesn’t have enough moisture in it. Your product should be robust and it should have a lot of benefits to them. So we’ve always, you know, reached that market. So there’s a lot of value in the Customs and Cosmetics. And we keep everything on file so that it’s very easy if you want to reorder. You just email text or call me.

Awesome. So what inspired you to get into this?

It was an extension of what I had been doing for 12 years. I was originally an accounting major and switched over to marketing, but I always had a love for color and fashion since I was a teenager. I mean, I would shop for people in high school and see the cell cosmetics always, you know, while attending college and graduate work. So I just never thought it was a career. So I did learn about FIT. So I switched from Hofstra.

 

with my concentration in accounting over there. And I just thought maybe the perfect scenario for me would be fashion buying, a combination of color and fashion and numbers. So on that path, or right before I started that job, I did an internship at Family Circle Magazine. So when I was at my current job on the path of retail buying,

 

one of the lines that we did a story on had asked and approached me and asked if I wanted to work for them back in 1989. It was hugely successful, but the company, needed funding, so they got involved with the venture capitalist and everything fell apart. And Vidal Sassoon had picked up the distributorship. So they got my name because I sold it for them and I ran it for Vidal’s students’ salons for 12 years. So really nobody was interested in the line. So they gave me the flexibility to expand it, to go to the trade shows, the packaging shows. I worked with a chemist on my two days off just to learn the whole back end of the business. So after 12 years, Vidal’s students sold their company. And then I had to, you know, they just did not want cosmetics on their. So they allowed me to acquire it. So that’s what I did. So it was an extension of what I was doing for 12 years.

Awesome. Got it. Wow. So who is yours, I know your target audience is mostly women, I’m sure. So who exactly is your target audience?

I mean, the majority of our clients range from 40 to 70, a lot of the baby boomers, but we are reaching a younger client because of that whole value-driven product. People really, don’t want a product just because it’s sold by a celebrity. They want to understand the ingredients. We’re a very sophisticated line in that we add a lot of makeup skincare benefits such as hyaluronic or green tea butter into concealers or peptides or niacinamide. So our client is savvy. She knows about cosmetics, she knows about ingredients, and she wants a good value. So that is our core customer.

Awesome. So why are you different than your competitors?

Because we can custom blend literally in five minutes so that you don’t have, I mean, so many women or so many people can relate to this. They go into a cosmetic counter and either the product is out of stock or they’re gonna sell you something just to get the sale or they’re gonna sell you two products to mix so you can get what you want. You don’t have to do that with us. We’re at the same price point as any other cosmetic brand, but we can make it for you. When we were in Henry Vandell, there were probably over 1,500 different lip glosses available with all of those makeup lines. And sometimes you just want a tad brighter, a tad browner. You don’t like the smell of it, so we can make it fragrance-free. And that’s how we compete with all of these big brands, is that we can customize within minutes, like within five minutes, I can make you a lip gloss. So that sets us apart.

Awesome and no one else is doing that, right?

A very few. Or they’ll just do the lips. They don’t do the full range. We do everything, from foundation to nail polish to skincare to pencils.

Very few. Okay. So what are your best-selling products or what is the most common product you sell? Okay.

Lipsticks are our number one seller and then number two is our foundation. The foundation is really hard to get exactly and that’s why people just opt for a tinted moisturizer or a powder because it’s light and it will give you some kind of finish. But when you get your exact color, especially with people of color, it has to be right on. And once you get that, you’re likely to stray to another brand because it’s that perfect. And with the finish and the coverage, it’s a very loyal following. And lipsticks, basically because we’ve matched thousands over the years. So people just continually reorder those. People fall in love with a certain color. They got married in it. It was there you know, a memory of their mom or, you know, who passed on or like, it’s such a, an emotional purchasing product lipstick. And it’s also a vegan base. And I make the base myself here at the warehouse where I am. So I know what’s going on there. And I think, you know, you ingest three to four pounds of lipstick in your lifetime. So you want to pay attention to what’s in those ingredients.

Wow.

So I need to turn over and see from other brands and look at the ingredients and some of them are not good for you. So I feel good about what goes into our vegan base. They’re all very good ingredients.

I know I’ve ingested some lipstick after drinking out of my wife’s cups, so I know what you’re saying.

Yeah, and some people don’t care, but you know, really should. It permeates, especially with nail polish too. The gels are great and the powders are great, but it does permeate. So you want something healthy. And I think that’s the trend we’re going, you know, more towards looking at what you’re eating, you know, in foods and processed foods. And it should be the same for cosmetics or skincare, whatever you’re putting on your body because it does permeate.

Yeah, 100%. Yeah.
Perfect. Do you do all of your business online?

No, we have six different locations and I go around to them to do events. I was just in Baltimore. We’ve been there for 20 years. We have a location in New York City, which I’m at every Thursday and Friday. So I take personal clients there. We will do events as well. And then for reorders, people will go online. Or if they just find out about me, I can easily do a Zoom call if they’re not in my area. And then once you can consult with me, it’s very easy to order online because I’m going to guide you.

Great. What’s your plan?

Well, we strategic partner to grow the way we need to, you know, the way it should be. Like, you know, I always think of Starbucks, you know, once when I saw on the subway their big tagline was, you know, customize your cup. They’re in thousands and thousands of locations all over. And I just, I feel like we can be there too, but it’s someone who needs to see what we do and how special we are and the lifestyle community amongst our clients who come to us is that people need to see that vision and for us to have freestanding stores or even just to do pop-up events and then they can reorder online. I need that strategic partner to see that vision and see how special customization is.

 

I mean, I think we were ahead of our time when we launched in 2002, but as you’ll see now from sneakers to cars, everything has a little customized spin on it. And why not? Why shouldn’t it be a little bit more special for you? And at the same price point.

Yeah. Makes total sense.

So we’re ready, we’re ready for that partner.

So you’re ready to grow to the moon.

Yes, we are.

You mentioned some events, what other activities are you doing to promote the brand?

We do a lot with these concierge services in New York City, whether it be just a very high-rise co-op in Manhattan where we will come and do a demo to their residents and mix for them on the spot, mix lip glosses, or Mother’s Day. We do lots of bat mitzvahs where we go and we mix lip gloss or nail polish for all the women and all the girls.

 

We get involved with a lot of women’s organizations where we go and talk about makeup and trends and do one-on-one consultations. Now I’m very hands-on -and I just feel like within makeup and what I hear mostly after I meet people is that they’re always surprised about how much they learned. So we stand apart from others by educating people, not just saying, this looks good. You know, it’s more the why, the how, and that’s our client. She’s savvy and educated and wants to know what the ingredients are as well.

Awesome. Well the l, the most important question I have here is, what else would you want our viewers to know that I haven’t asked or you haven’t said? What have I missed?

You covered quite a bit. I just would, I’m always looking to spread the word. So if anyone does want to reach out to me personally, I would love to chat with you more individually about your makeup needs, color, and needs. So I’m always happy to call or FaceTior me, or Zoom to help you out. But I think you covered exactly what we do and what makes us very special.

Perfect. Well, I appreciate your time today. I appreciate you coming on the wytpod and have a great day.

Thank you. Appreciate your time.

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