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As the social media savvy beauty brand begins shipping to Canada, Caitlin Agnew talks international expansion with founder Emily Weiss

Just when you thought Canadians' frenzied anticipation for the arrival of an international retailer had maxed out, here comes American indie beauty brand Glossier.

On July 18, it announced the launch of shipping to most Canadian addresses (Quebec is excluded from the expansion into its first international market due to language restrictions).

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"We felt like it was the right step when it comes to international expansion," says Glossier founder and CEO Emily Weiss (pictured above). "We've had thousands of emails and social comments from Canadian Glossier fans, and we've taken a few trips to Toronto to get to know our community a bit better leading up to launch. We were met with an overwhelmingly positive response – the excitement and enthusiasm from Canada has far surpassed our expectations." The warm welcome was matched by Glossier, which splashed its logo onto Toronto's CN Tower as part of the announcement.

Based in New York's SoHo neighbourhood, Glossier was founded by Weiss in October 2014 following the success of her beauty blog Into the Gloss, a site famous for its Top Shelf posts where celebrities and industry insiders share what's in their powder rooms (Selena Gomez, Martha Stewart and Catherine Deneuve have all offered beautifully photographed peeks into their beauty regimes). Founded in 2010, Into the Gloss earns about 2 million unique monthly page views today.

Weiss has been lauded for her fresh take on the beauty industry, in particular her social media-focused, crowd-sourced approach to brand building. Weiss took product development cues from her Into the Gloss readers, and Glossier now has 25 products in its skincare and makeup divisions. The brand has experienced 600 per cent growth year over year from 2015 to 2016, and raised more than $34.4-million (US) in venture capital.

As for what's next from Glossier, Weiss points her Canadian followers online. "We have several exciting things coming up for the remainder of the year. Nothing I can share now but follow along on our Instagram."

THIS WEEK'S STYLE HAPPENINGS

  • Eager to get a start on fall shopping? Nordstrom’s Anniversary Sale kicks off July 21 and offers discounts on new fall merchandise including shoes, clothing, accessories and beauty by select brands. Prices will go back up on Aug. 7. For more information, visit www.nordstrom.com.
  • Uniqlo’s annual global T-shirt Grand Prix design contest kicks off July 24. Now in its 13th year, the Japanese retailer will be accepting entries based on this year’s Marvel theme until the end of August. For more information, visit www.uniqlo.com.
  • Toronto leather-goods label Eleven Thirty is celebrating the opening of its recently expanded studio. The College Street storefront now carries jewellery by Alynne Lavigne and has introduced a new Eleven Thirty x You program, where shoppers can customize the shape, leather strap style and accessories of a personalized bag. For more information, visit www.eleventhirtyshop.com.
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