After discovering fame together with her life-style weblog, Isabella Lowengrip went on to determine certainly one of Sweden’s best-known magnificence corporations. Nevertheless it wasn’t all plain crusing for the 27-year-old.
When she began her weblog on the age of 14, the mainstream media did not take her critically in any respect.
“Swedes, and significantly teenage ladies, had been very quick and early adopters,” she says of the running a blog growth that swept the nation a decade in the past.
“However I keep in mind the Swedish media laughing at us and saying, ‘take a look at these younger girls making an attempt to do enterprise with blogs’. We did not surrender although, and I am very pleased with it.”
Below the pen identify Blondinbella, she rapidly grew to become one of many most-read bloggers within the Nordics, and at this time some 1.5 million folks go to her website each week.
Translated into English, German, and extra not too long ago French and Arabic, the weblog focuses on vogue and wonder, Ms Lowengrip’s enterprise ventures, and her efforts to stability a busy profession with citing two younger youngsters.
It has additionally propelled her to changing into one of many Nordics’ finest identified “social influencers”, in addition to being a launch-pad for a raft of profitable spin-off companies.
“I see myself extra as an entrepreneur than a author,” she admits as we chat at her glitzy places of work in Stockholm. “I nonetheless suppose I write fairly badly!”
Ms Lowengrip first confirmed a aptitude for enterprise as a teen, when she secured quite a few promoting and sponsorship offers for her weblog.
Whereas a few of her contemporaries partied away their earnings, the Swede selected to spend money on new ventures. In 2012, she launched her personal magnificence model, Lowengrip Care & Shade (LCC), which was ranked as Sweden’s fastest-growing magnificence firm final yr.
It markets itself as promoting “mild” merchandise that supply quick outcomes, together with facial lotions, mascara, shampoos and physique lotions.
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LCC has expanded throughout the Nordics and into Switzerland and Estonia, and final yr reported gross sales of 35m Swedish krona (£three.3m).
“Constructing an organization is my ardour,” says Ms Lowengrip of her resolution to attempt new enterprise ventures past running a blog.
“It is laborious for me to only put on any individual else’s make-up or garments – I wish to create all the pieces.”
However LCC and the weblog stay strongly intertwined. Each ventures share the identical workplace area above the unique Stockholm mall Sturegallerian and collectively make use of 40 staff in whole.
Ms Lowengrip’s posts additionally often reference her work at LCC – from conferences with designers and toxicologists, to appearances at magnificence festivals and main contract wins.
She additionally usually asks her readers’ for his or her opinions on her merchandise or tasks.
Ms Lowengrip’s different enterprise pursuits embrace a shoe model, a clothes label, an funding firm and private finance workshops, and the entire group expects to report gross sales of 75m Swedish krona this yr.
“When it turned out she had a expertise for enterprise, she was taken far more critically,” displays Frasse Levinsson, a Stockholm-based media commentator and digital editor of in style tradition journal Nojesguiden.
“She is aware of which approach the wind blows. For instance, skincare has change into a scorching matter within the feminist motion in Sweden.
“Nevertheless it’s virtually like she predicted that as a result of she launched her personal skincare merchandise simply beforehand.”
Ms Lowengrip places her success all the way down to a variety of things, from the sheer variety of hours she’s invested in educating herself on enterprise issues, to collaborating with “smarter colleagues” in her ventures.
Nevertheless, she admits that the effort and time concerned in constructing her profession has put a pressure on her private life.
She can be candid about tasks that did not blossom, together with Egoboost, a conventional shiny journal that by no means turned a revenue, and Bellme, her first on-line retailer, which went bankrupt shortly after she bought the enterprise.
“I realized a lot throughout these years, so I’m very grateful for all these errors. You must simply bounce on the horse once more and never be so afraid of what individuals are pondering.”
The 27-year-old says she’s accepted she’s “not one of the best chief”, arguing that she’s higher at arising with concepts, and specializing in LCC’s larger imaginative and prescient “to change into the following Estee Lauder”.
Because of this, her enterprise associate, the economist and journalist Pingis Hadenius, has taken on chief govt duties at LCC. Ms Lowengrip’s official title is artistic director, however she additionally stays the model’s extra public face.
Such a public persona continues to be a blended blessing.
Regardless of being an icon for tons of of 1000’s of Swedish girls who’ve grown up studying about her life, Ms Lowengrip, maybe inevitably, divides opinion.
She not too long ago confronted a backlash after divorcing from her husband and being vocal about subsequently shopping for in additional home-help for cooking and cleansing – one thing of a taboo in Sweden’s social democracy.
However the mother-of-two says she refuses to be judged for her life-style.
“It is vital for me to not have to decide on between my enterprise and my household life,” she says.
“And if I am a happier particular person on my own, then I’m additionally a greater mum, a greater colleague and a greater chief.”