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How Birchbox CEO Katia Beauchamp Evolved Along With Her Brand A new partnership with Walgreens is the company's latest play for continued success.

By Stephanie Schomer

This story appears in the January 2019 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Courtesy of Birchbox

In 2010, Katia Beauchamp changed the face of the beauty business. With cofounder Hayley Barna, she launched Birchbox, sending monthly boxes of beauty samples to customers who paid a small fee to try the industry's latest products. More than a million subscribers signed up, and Birchbox expanded into men's products as well as retail, launching multiple pop-up shops and opening stores in New York and Paris. But after six years, the industry changed. The subscription-box model felt more tired than novel, and some Birchbox customers complained about receiving products that didn't suit their lifestyle. The company struggled to raise expansion capital and endured two rounds of layoffs. Beauchamp reportedly searched for buyers (Walmart was rumored to be one) to no avail.

Still, the company maintained a valuable, growing base and in November announced its next chapter: opening Birchbox boutiques within select Walgreens stores. Locations will continue to open throughout 2019. Beauchamp talked to Entrepreneur about what the partnership means for her company, where the brand can go from here, and the hard lessons that taught her to be a stronger CEO.

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