On The Fly ep.1 | Aimee Connolly - Sculpted by Aimee

    Daniel Nugent

    November 6, 2023


    About the podcast

    In this episode of Wayflyer’s On The Fly Podcast, we spoke to Aimee Connolly, founder of Sculpted by Aimee. We discussed the rapid growth and expansion of her cosmetics brand.

    Key speakers

    • Aimee Connolly, Founder of Sculpted by Aimee
    • Daniel Nugent, Head of Marketing (Host)


    • Rapid growth of Sculpted by Aimee
    • Expansion into new markets
    • Balancing online and offline presence
    • Building relationships with retailers
    • Challenges in scaling a cosmetics brand
    • Advice for DTC brand owners


    1: Rapid growth in cosmetics brand Sculpted by Aimee due to a blend of online and in-store strategies

    Sculpted by Aimee, a cosmetics brand founded in 2016, has experienced rapid growth in recent years, expanding into the UK and the Middle East. This growth can be attributed to the company's omnichannel approach, combining online presence with in-store distribution through major retailers like Boots.

    Aimee Connolly, the founder, explained that the brand is "70% distribution, 30% online" and that this blend has been key to their success in various markets. She emphasized the importance of maintaining a consistent brand experience across both online and in-store channels, stating, "What we really don't want to happen is that a customer feels like online and in-store are very different experiences."

    In addition to offering their products in established retail stores, Sculpted by Aimee also has its own flagship store in Dublin, which Connolly sees as a valuable way to provide customers with a fully immersive brand experience. This omnichannel approach has allowed the brand to grow rapidly while maintaining strong relationships with retail partners and consumers alike.

    2: Building community and customer loyalty is crucial for the success of a cosmetics brand

    Aimee Connolly attributes much of her brand's success to building a loyal community around Sculpted by Aimee. She believes that engaging with customers, showcasing real people using her products, and providing a seamless shopping experience are all essential elements in fostering this loyalty.

    "We've put huge efforts into trying to make that experience really seamless," Connolly said, referring to helping customers choose the right shades for their makeup. By providing consistent content and support for customers both online and in-store, the brand has been able to maintain a strong relationship with its customer base.

    In addition to fostering community, Connolly also highlights the importance of staying current with trends in content and marketing strategies. She advises other brands to break down their marketing efforts into individual channels and set clear goals for each one, in order to ensure that all aspects of the brand are contributing to overall growth and success.

    3: Creator-led brands can succeed with authenticity and passion

    As a creator-led brand, Sculpted by Aimee has experienced success thanks to Connolly's genuine passion for her products and her willingness to be a visible presence behind the brand. She believes that authenticity and genuine care for the brand are essential factors in the success of creator-led businesses.

    "I think people really see through that and they don't respond well to that as you'd imagine if you're buying into the human element," Connolly said, emphasizing the importance of having a true connection with the brand. She also discussed the challenges of maintaining rapid growth, stating that having the right team and financial strategy in place is crucial for maintaining success.

    In a market where many creator-led brands struggle to find lasting success, Connolly's dedication to her products, customers, and overall brand experience has allowed Sculpted by Aimee to thrive and continue expanding into new markets.

    Insights surfaced

    • Sculpted by Aimee experienced steady growth, expanding into the Middle East and nurturing existing markets in the UK and Ireland.
    • The brand maintains an omnichannel presence, with a blend of 70% distribution and 30% online sales.
    • Building a community and having genuine advocates for the brand has been key to their success.
    • Content creation and staying current with trends is essential for creator-led brands.
    • Having the right people and managing financials are two main challenges in scaling a cosmetics brand.

    ‍Key quotes

    • "So, yes, we've grown 100% year on year, but it feels like that's the way it should be."
    • "We definitely find the blend of it (distribution and online sales) is really important for the customer offering."
    • "I think growing that community and having people who genuinely act as advocates and give the word amounts to other people has been our biggest kind of secret success."
    • "I think it shows the sheer level of hard work and consistency that it requires to build a brand."
    • "Having people who are really passionate on the journey and coming with you and thankfully I have the most amazing team around me where I really feel like they all really care for what we do and they want to push forward."
    • "I think separating out the kind of pieces of the pie and having a really clear goal of what you want each to account for, maybe you need to invest more in some areas, and maybe you need to cut some areas that just aren't performing and you're spamming customers or whatever it might be."

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