Battington Beauty's Sirine Swed
Our series Talk Shop is a career and style profile featuring personalities from various industries. Esther Lee Leach interviews beauty industry mogul Sirine Swed, owner of Battington Beauty, who has built a very successful business from the ground up.
Esther Lee Leach: Sirine, your company Battington Beauty was started because of your love of wearing lashes but you could not find any comfortable, long lasting products that could be reused. Tell us more about why you started Battington and your journey to creating this company?
Sirine Swed: I was an executive in the pharmaceutical industry. My position was eliminated while I was pregnant with my son. I knew at that point that I wasn't going to go back to a corporate job. I've always loved beauty. Especially lashes. I think lashes look great on everyone. I wanted to create a brand that could be used by a wide variety of women. I always felt that there was a need in the market for higher quality lashes. That is how Battington was created. The name came from my Love for London. I was at Paddington Station and the idea came to me to do Battington for bat your lashes. Our logo is a cobra with a lash on it and the cobra represents Ancient Egypt. This is when women started experimenting with eye makeup Confidence is so important and when women feel beautiful they are more confident. We want women to feel confident when they wear our lashes and this is a huge reason why I started Battington.
ELL: After working as an executive in the pharmaceutical industry for over 15 years, how was the transition to the beauty industry?
SS: The transition has been fun and challenging. Moving from a job as an executive at a large corporation to starting your own business in an industry I did not previously work certainly brings new challenges every day. I have grown as a business woman because I run every facet of our company, from sales and market, to product and branding, to overseas fulfillment. It is a challenge that pushes me and each day brings its own set of ups and downs. I wouldn't trade the high you feel when you have those successes for an easier ride in the business.
ELL: Battington Beauty’s lashes are extremely popular around the world. What makes your lashes different than the other products on the market?
SS: Most lashes on the market were made out of Mink or were synthetic. The mink lashes tend to be super dramatic in length and volume. Mink gets hard and brittle over time which limits the amount of time it can be used and synthetic lashes tend to not blend in naturally to your own lashes. Our lashes are handmade out of 100% silk. This means that they won't get hard and brittle, and can be used 25 times. The silk blends in naturally to your own lashes. Even our 3D silk lashes look natural when worrn. Our band is made out of cotton which makes it flexible and easy to apply. The cotton band makes the lashes super comfortable and you truly forget that you have them on. I have applied my lashes on Friday and slept in them through the weekend. Lashes make a big difference on anyone that wears them.
ELL: Your Instagram feed is filled with celebrities and models wearing your lashes! Superstar Kim Kardashian, who is a beauty guru, is one of them. How did this happen?
SS: We sent some lashes to Kim Kardashian makeup artist, Mario Dedivanovic, to try on his clients. He loved the lashes and asked for some to use during his Master class in New York. He used the lashes on Kim Kardashian during the class as she was his model. She loved the lashes and how they felt. He talked about the lashes and how nicely they blend in to one's own lashes during his sold out class. Our lashes are popular among celebrity makeup artists.
ELL: Your company always continues to be innovative and one of ways you have done this is by developing an app called Battington. Tell us more about the app and what it can be used for?
SS: Our app was designed to give customers the ability to virtually try on all our lash styles. It is hard to tell what lashes will look like on someone and you don't have the ability to physically try them on. So we teamed up with Face Cake. Face Cake has a very realistic AR experience that allows users to see the fine differences even in the length and fullness of lashes. The lash styles vary, some considerably and some in subtle ways, and it was important to us that they look as realistic as possible. Our app delivers an experience that does just that and we won a Trendsetter Award at Cosmoprof for being innovative and “the most genius way ever to try on fake eyelashes before you buy.” We were just written up in Wall Street Journal for our app. For beauty products, accessibility is key, and the app has allowed Battington to be face to face with our customers. We also have a link on the app that takes you directly to a video on how to apply the lashes.
ELL: Your company has garnered a lot of international press including Vogue Magazine. What is next for Battington Beauty?
SS: Battington launched in the UK and Ireland with Space NK. We were exclusive to Space NK and the brand did really well there. We were written up in Vogue magazine a couple of times and New Beauty magazine. We are partnering up with a huge monthly subscription box and it will be launching in September. We also have new products launching in October just in time for the holidays. Our new products include expansion of our current lash selections and other cosmetic products.
ELL: I always have to ask about style! Where do you love to shop in Denver and how would you describe your personal style?
SS: I love to shop at Neiman Marcus in Denver. I'm also a big online shopper. My favorites are Net-a -Porter , Shopbop and Forward by Elyse Walker. My personal style is classic and I believe in spending money on timeless pieces. My favorite designers are Valentino and Oscar De La Renta.