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Gippky Limaksorn

Co-founder of Boyfriend Cosmetics

We did a lot of stupid things before getting it right...

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What are you up to?

I’m working full-time in advertising. I do everything from account managing, sales, AE, and talking to clients. I also co-founded a cosmetic brand called Boyfriend which we sell both online and on shop fronts. We are in the process of coming up with new products to keep our brand fresh!

How was Boyfriend started?

It was during the gap year between graduating from Bachelor degree and applying for masters. I had to study a lot for the test, same as my co-founder, so we ended up meeting every day to study. At some point during that time, we talked about having our own little business to make some money. Since both of us are into makeup, we thought it would be a perfect starting point, something that we would enjoy. We agreed on starting with lipstick since we thought it is a makeup item that is the easiest for the customers to buy online since there’s no skin involved.

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What was the first thing you did?

We started by brainstorming ideas of what kind of lipstick we should make. We took ALL the lipsticks we owned and put them all out of the table. We probably had like 40-50 lipsticks in total. Then we divided them up into tones and started choosing which shades and formulas we thought were best.


We went for a wide range of colors so everyone can find at least one color that they like. We also have some special colors for fun occasions like purple or bright orange. We agreed on going for the creamy texture since it’s the easiest to apply and maintain and is something that everyone can use.

We started by brainstorming ideas of what kind of lipstick we should make. We took ALL the lipsticks we owned and put them all out of the table. We probably had like 40-50 lipsticks in total. Then we divided them up into tones and started choosing which shades and formulas we thought were best.

We went for a wide range of colors so everyone can find at least one color that they like. We also have some special colors for fun occasions like purple or bright orange. We agreed on going for the creamy texture since it’s the easiest to apply and maintain and is something that everyone can use.

RESEARCH!

RESEARCH!

How did you find a factory to make your products?

We did some field research on local products to study where they got their stuff made. We tested a lot of them to find the ones with the texture and product quality that we like. Our main method was to look at the packages of those that we like because the factory address is always listed there. We look at what other brands they manufacture products for and judge them from that.


Since my co-founder worked in the entertainment industry, she has a lot of insights about different local makeup products from the makeup artists.

We did some field research on local products to study where they got their stuff made. We tested a lot of them to find the ones with the texture and product quality that we like. Our main method was to look at the packages of those that we like because the factory address is always listed there. We look at what other brands they manufacture products for and judge them from that.

Since my co-founder worked in the entertainment industry, she has a lot of insights about different local makeup products from the makeup artists.

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What did you do after picking out the factory?

We took the first 10 colors that we picked to them along with the sample texture that we wanted. They made us some samples and we brought them back to try them out. Some colors were just too unpigmented and we didn’t like that. We then went back to them, they reiterated the formula and colors until we liked it.

What's special about Boyfriend?

The quality and the price. We also keep it natural. There’s no fragrance, paraben, or harmful ingredients in our product and we make sure the texture and quality is something that we ourselves would use.

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What's your branding about?

We want to be fun. Our concept is definitely leaning toward being fun, young, and more carefree, hence the bright colors that we have on our packaging. We want our customer to not only think of putting our lipstick on as in just putting lipstick on, we want them to have fun putting our lipstick on.


The name ‘Boyfriend’ came from the gimmick of being super sassy. All of the lipstick colors are named after boys. Although the branding might seem young, but with the colors range and quality are suitable for even woman in their 30s or 40s...

We want to be fun. Our concept is definitely leaning toward being fun, young, and more carefree, hence the bright colors that we have on our packaging. We want our customer to not only think of putting our lipstick on as in just putting lipstick on, we want them to have fun putting our lipstick on.

The name ‘Boyfriend’ came from the gimmick of being super sassy. All of the lipstick colors are named after boys. Although the branding might seem young, but with the colors range and quality are suitable for even woman in their 30s or 40s...

Process Process Process

How did you create the packaging for your lipsticks?

The packaging was kind of like the second step after we got the right product formula. The factory is all in 1 from making the product formula to printing out the packing. The main thing we wanted for the packaging to have twist tubes. The worst thing is to have the cap come loose in someone’s bag. We showed the factory the kind of twist tubes that we wanted and the factory found the supplies for us.
For all the graphics on our brand, I got my other friend to design it. We told her what our branding is about, and she came up with something we really liked.

The packaging was kind of like the second step after we got the right product formula. The factory is all in 1 from making the product formula to printing out the packing. The main thing we wanted for the packaging to have twist tubes. The worst thing is to have the cap come loose in someone’s bag. We showed the factory the kind of twist tubes that we wanted and the factory found the supplies for us.
For all the graphics on our brand, I got my other friend to design it. We told her what our branding is about, and she came up with something we really liked.

What was the budgeting plan?

To be honest, it was all trial and error. We didn’t really have a full-on plan for budgeting. We were just trying to save money from what was not important to us (like engraving logo on the lipsticks) and put money on other things that matter (like the formula and marketing).

 I wish we planned it out better. We didn’t have a full plan so we just put in more money little by little when we needed to. We lost track of how much we actually spent on everything especially because we weren’t aware of the cost of social media marketing.

What was the marketing expensive?

Honestly, we only thought about asking friends to post about it on their social media, and were hoping to rely on word of mouths. In reality, the reach was not enough so we had to start paying for Facebook ads. Now that’s I’m also working full time in digital marketing, I see how much I actually should be spending and it’s quite a lot. We also spent some money on hiring influencers to review our products.

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What did you learn?

It’s all about being adaptive when you do trial and error business like this. We used to use all English content for our social media posts to keep the brand international, but we found that we attract way more customers by using local language. Bundle sales also work really well for us since we sell more products and our customers really like the discount.

We actually did a lot of stupid things before we learned all the easier ways. I used to have to put barcode sticker on every single one of the product that went to physical shops by myself. I would do that for 500-600 lipsticks. We eventually learn to to just print the barcode with the color sticker that the factories stick it on the packaging for us so we don’t have to do that manual. Even the envelope for delivery, I used to have to put the bubble wrap into small squares to put in every single envelope by myself! Very time consuming and we don’t have as much time anymore. This year we use the service of MyCloudFulFillment to handle all the warehouse, packing, and delivery. This also helps with the quality of the product they have cold storage room there. We also use FlowAccount for our accounting and for documenting for taxes etc.

Lifestyle?

What's your day-to-day schedule?

Before using FlowAccount and MyCloudFulfillment, I had to rush home from work to pack the stuff for our customers. Now I have more time. I’ve been obsessed with working out super early in the morning before work. I also go after work.

What exercise do you do?

I got a chance to try Soul Cycle in the US and got hooked on spin class. Such a great way to let it out and clear your mind after work. I tried other classes too, like core blast and HIIT. I enjoy challenging myself physically especially when I eat a lot. But now I want to focus more on what I put in my body since I feel like I got my workout routine locked down!

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What about skincare?

I’ve been terrified of having a wrinkly face so I avoid putting on makeup so I can avoid rubbing my face too hard trying to remove it. The only thing I have to use every day is sunscreen.

Sometimes when I don’t have any product on my face, I use only water to wash my face. At night, I use this sleep mask. I leave it on overnight. I love Korean skincare because they are usually natural, and Asian skin probably does best with Asian products right?  

Do you shop?

I got bigger when I studied abroad so I didn’t want to buy new clothes before I get back to my normal size. Now I made it! But now most of my money goes to paying for gyms and traveling. I only buy clothes for formal occasions like going to see clients now.

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