Bringing Big Beauty Savvy to Her Own Brand with Courtney Baber, Co-founder of The Route Beauty

Courtney Baber and Nancy Pellegrino (photo: )

Through time, some of the strongest relationships have led to the biggest successes. Cory and Shawn from Boy Meets World were a dynamic duo, Turk and JD from the television show Scrubs are the traditional sitcom-bromance most friends envy. But what happens when friends become business partners?

A powerful co-founder relationship is not just needed but relied on — especially when you leave a successful career to do your own thing. You need someone you can lean on, trust, and go to when things are rocky. That’s what did when she launched with best friend and now co-founder, Nancy Pellegrino.

Courtney left a successful career with some of the biggest beauty brands in the game, Sephora, L’Oreal, and Urban Decay to bring her own skincare solutions to the counter in a big way.

“When Ulta said, ‘yes, we want to launch you.’ I can’t explain that feeling. I just laid down on the floor of my daughter’s room and ˛ just started gyrating, I don’t take anything for granted. I built strong relationships in my career and people believe in what I can do; it’s all about working hard and giving the retailer and the customer something that they need and they want.”

Big beauty like a L’Oreal has the budget to play in an expensive and inflated influencer marketing game, so coming to her own small business with an understandably smaller budget, Courtney has found a way to still tap into the influence of social by implementing a hybrid influencer/affiliate marketing program.

“It’s kind of a challenging world, the influencer world. It’s gotten very hard to play in that space without spending a lot of money. When I was at Urban Decay we could get people to do things for us by just giving them early access to a product. You can’t even talk to somebody without first paying the agent. So what we’ve decided to do is go kind of a much more micro route and really kind of build relationships at a grassroots level. And then also we’ve really built this group of what we’re calling our “Routies” they’re really are true brand devotees who have been with us from the beginning and they are influential. They’re not millions of followers because but this group of individuals, we kind of have an affiliate program where they get some kickbacks from us. They love the brand, they love talking about it, but we also want to reward them for continuing to do that. So it’s a small group of people like that. And then we’re really how we were really growing our awareness and following and email list through working with like-minded brands that aren’t skincare brands. They’re hair brands or they sell chocolate that is high-end, or wine brands — we all want to scratch each other’s backs and all win together. And so that’s been really successful.”

Featured on Oprah, promoted by Khloe Kardashian, and sold on HSN, The Route Beauty is making big moves in the beauty world, now available on the shelves of big retailer, Ulta. There’s a lot of love and respect in the story of Courtney and her co-founder, Nurse Nancy Pellegrino’s, beautiful partnership at The Route Beauty,

Get excited about marketing and founding your own business with Baber and The Route Beauty, in this !

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