Dollbaby London (DbL) was founded in 2017 by award-winning entrepreneur Tyra Warn, with a vision to create beautifully handcrafted eyelashes that are luxurious, affordable and accessible to everyone. It is the only eyelash brand registered by the Vegan Society. In 2019, DbL was the first UK brand to develop its revolutionary Magnetic Eyeliner ‘No-Glue Fuss-Free Lashes’ specifically designed for those who cannot use eyelash glue. Also, the first brand in the UK to launch the ‘Dollbaby Duo Pen’ – the world’s first 2-in-1 Eyeliner and Lash Adhesive.
Dollbaby London has become one of the beauty industry biggest success stories making it the go-to brand for consumers, A-list celebrities and the world’s leading make-up artists. Tyra Warn won the coveted Professional Product Brand Of The Year at the prestigious London Hair & Beauty Awards 2019. They have been announced winners of Most Innovative Eye Beauty Products Brand and Most Innovative Vegan Beauty Product (England): Dollbaby London Magnetic Eyeliner and Lashes Kit at LUXlife Magazine’s beauty awards.
Dollbaby London’s Magnetic Eyeliner and Lashes kit have featured on ITV’s This Morning, selling out at the This Morning Live Show as well as Glamour, British Brides, Cosmopolitan and Celebrity Secrets (Ok!) Magazine.
Welcome Tyra, thank you for taking the time to share your story with us, can you introduce yourself to us as the founder of Dollbaby London?
Thank you for the opportunity to share! I founded Dollbaby London in 2017 after many years working as an Executive Assistant in investment banking. I always wanted to start my own business doing something that I felt passionate about, but back then, I thought to do something I love whilst making a liveable income from it was just a pipe dream.
My family always drummed into me that I should be ‘smart’ and ‘sensible’. This translated into; “find a good job, get a mortgage, secure a promotion, get a pay rise…” etc. This never resonated naturally with me as I have always been a free spirit with a passion for travel. I also worked on cruise ships before becoming an Executive Assistant. But I took heed to the family advice and found a good job, got the mortgage, even a promotion or two. But being cooped up behind a desk 9-5 working long hours for someone else just didn’t feel right to me. I was like a fish out of water.
After spending over a decade working behind a desk, something inside me clicked. Ironically, it was at a time when a promotion was offered to me. I decided enough was enough and I was going to leave the corporate world and finally take the plunge and start my own business.
What incentivised the launch of Dollbaby London?
My mother’s pet name for me since childhood has always been ‘Miss Glamour Puss’ as I adored beauty, makeup and dressing up. I’ve always loved getting dolled up on a Saturday night and trying out different looks, which would usually include a new set of false eyelashes.
I was always stunned that there were only two types of false lashes; cheap and cheerful chemist lashes, or wildly expensive (but incredible) thick and fluffy Kardashian-style lashes. There was nothing in between to suit a modest budget. That’s when Dollbaby London was born, along with our slogan ‘Affordable Luxury”. We set out to bridge the vast gap with a line of luxury eyelashes and products to suit all tastes and budgets.
What is a typical day like for you?
I usually wake up around 8:30am, put the kettle on and look at the to-do list that I set out the night before. Then I go through emails, check-in with my assistant and then start tackling my to-do list. Most of my daily tasks are reactive as opposed to proactive, so I do find that my to-do list rarely shrinks! However, thankfully I have a wonderful assistant who helps me to keep everything in check.
Who is the most influential beauty brand founder that you admire and why?
Marlena Stell. Her products are excellent value for money and very reasonably priced. She started out with a modest makeup review channel on YouTube to become CEO of one of the leading makeup brands out there. She educates on makeup and colour palettes so that everybody from beginners to professional makeup artists can benefit from her makeup and knowledge.
I’m a fan of her YouTube channel and love the way she exudes humility and honesty. Two characteristics that are vitally important to me.
Dollbaby London is the only eyelash brand registered by the Vegan Society, can you tell us why you wanted to integrate this plant-based strategy into your business model?
We pride ourselves on being an eco-friendly, cruelty-free brand. We continually strive to lead the industry, by insisting that our products and ingredients are vetted by a globally recognised organisation.
We are extremely proud to have recently won ‘Most Innovative Vegan Beauty Product 2020’ award, for our Dollbaby London Magnetic Eyeliner & Lashes Kit at LUXlife Magazine’s Health, Beauty & Wellness Awards 2020.
Being registered by the Vegan Society enables us to offer our Vegan customers peace of mind as well as permission and licence to display the Vegan Society trademark logo.
What has been the most challenging yet rewarding barrier you have faced so far and how did you overcome it?
The most challenging no doubt has to be the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown. We did suffer somewhat due to so much uncertainty, however, it was encouraging to discover so many new customers who were in between eyelash extension appointments, seeking an alternative. Eyelash extensions are extremely damaging for natural eyelashes with the side effect being hair loss.
It was very rewarding to receive emails from customers saying that they had never considered DIY lashes before Dollbaby London, as they could never apply them. They were surprised by how quick and easy our products are to use, so much so, they say they will never ever go back to eyelash extensions again.
Feedback like that warms my heart, as we pride ourselves on our innovative product range and felt so proud to learn during lockdown that we won another award from the same competition, LUXlife Magazine, for the ‘Most Innovative Eye Beauty Brand 2020’ award. Winning these two new awards as well as the coveted Professional Product Brand Of The Year at last year’s London Hair & Beauty Awards 2019 is really such an honour. It is a dream come true with regards to recognition from the hair and beauty industry.
We provide solutions to make false eyelash application easier, from beginners to experienced makeup artists. We continue to develop products that enable everyone to have fuss-free falsies!
What platforms or outlets are you using to promote and increase sales for Dollbaby London?
We work with various celebrity makeup artists and celebrities directly for editorial, TV, red carpet events, concerts and stage. Cardi B, Poppy Delevingne, Victoria Secrets and Vogue supermodels Karolina Kurkova and Doutzen Kroes have all worn my lashes to dazzle on stage and on the red carpet. When we are credited, we use these images to promote our products on our website and social media platforms.
We work with influencers. Dollbaby has also featured on ITV’s This Morning, selling out at the This Morning Live Show and we have gained media attention in glossy media titles including Glamour, British Brides, Cosmopolitan and Celebrity Secrets (Ok!) Magazine, which has helped put our brand out there and garner interest.
We have some very exciting collaborations in the pipeline too – which I can share with BEYOUROWN when I can!
How is Dollbaby London funded and what is the company structure like?
I funded the business myself with some help from my family. I have a small but fantastic team that consists of myself, my wonderful assistant Chloe, my social media manager Nicole and PR manager Suzanne Kerins. Every member of the team is valued to the highest degree and each plays a very important role. They’re all amazing and I really couldn’t manage without them.
What does #BEYOUROWN mean to you?
Being your authentic self. Do something you’re passionate about, that makes you happy and drives you to jump out of bed every morning. Then figure out a way to make a living from doing that very thing. Trust your spirit guide to lead you, rather than conforming and following a path that you think you “should” take because it’s what everyone else is doing.
Only listen to your inner voice and ignore anything external that contradicts it. I believe you can only ever succeed and stay motivated if you truly love, believe in and feel passionate about what you do.
In which areas are you looking to grow and expand Dollbaby London in the next 3-5 years?
We are constantly evolving and plan to continue growing our team. We are looking to vastly expand upon our product range and as I mentioned earlier, we have some exciting new projects in the pipeline! One of our fundamental goals is, to develop eye beauty products that are not only luxurious and attainable to all, but that also make life easier.
Developing and curating new products is one of the most fun and rewarding parts of the business. I am setting out to raise the bar in quality and price. I can’t wait to see what the universe brings over the next few years!