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Startup Corner

  1. We are transparent. We list all our ingredients on our website.

  2. We believe in simplicity. We are proud to say we use only eight simple ingredients in most of our products, most of which you find in your kitchen. Our packaging is minimalistic including the product shade names which are mere numbers (For example #001).

  3. We believe in being a business with a conscience. Our hashtag is #SmileWithSeleste as by buying the products, not only are you making a difference for yourself but also in someone else’s life. We use 5% of our income towards social initiatives. Our first was providing medicine to anemic girls in a small village in India called Gopinenipalem. This even encouraged local authorities to further donate hygiene products to the girls. Our second helped provide braille kits to blind students in Mumbai. We see through that the money is used properly and actually makes an impact and are involved throughout the process.

  4. We believe in embracing who you are. We are a brand focused on the everyday person from diverse backgrounds and genders. Our branding is around being silly and having fun!

  5. We believe in understanding our customer. We write hand-written personalized notes to our customers and encourage them to reach out to us. One of them mentioned that our old lipstick cover didn’t fit a standard lipstick holder and so we changed it!The name Seleste is inspired by the word “celestial”, which means supremely good, or heavenly. Our cosmetics are made ONLY from simple and natural ingredients: for example, our lipsticks have coconut and avocado oil, our bronzer gets its color from cocoa powder, our lip balm consists of aloe; ingredients that you and me can actually pronounce. Who is the team behind Seleste Cosmetics? The team has its roots in Alberta, Canada where I worked prior to coming to HBS and where the other two founders received their chemical engineering degrees. The team consists of me, Akash and Sravya Kalyanapu, also a chemical engineer. I oversee growth strategy and branding. Akash oversees business logistics, ingredient sourcing and distribution. He was acknowledged as the Top 30 under 30 in Alberta for sustainability. Sravya oversees on going product manufacturing, accounting and advertising. She is also Miss Northern Alberta, Canada 2017! How did you get started? We started with me using the product and I fell in love! We then ventured to summer markets and noticed people liked our product. Once we launched online in October 2017, we were blasted with positive reviews and started to think about making this bigger. What’s next? We have bootstrapped our way so far and only spent under C$1,000 on marketing through social media ads up until September 2018. Our growth was driven by story coverage from local media channels and word of mouth. Now that we have expanded our product range, we are looking for funding to start pushing marketing including reaching out to online influencers on YouTube, Instagram, and other social media to increase online traction. We want to continue growing our #SmilewithSeleste campaign that will feature local women wearing our product, and their story on our social media to display the brand is for everyday women. Each day is a learning experience, but we hope to stay nimble, and stay true to our values.

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