Although the Glossier showroom was at the top of my list of beauty spots to hit in New York, in between all the food we ate and the snow, we didn't end up going until the last day it was due to be open (it was initially a pop-up installation). However, it's now set up shop permanently, which means I can go back in September! Here are my thoughts on my first visit.
If you don't know Glossier, then er, where have you been? Glossier is the brand that every tween, 20-something (and older, me included) is spending on right now, thanks to it being extremely on-it when it comes to knowing what customers want. Any new trend that we're remotely considering, Glossier is in there first; any product that we've worn forever but could do with a revamp, Glossier gets to it and does it well. Let's face it, we all probably own a lipgloss, lip balm or a brow product, but Glossier seems to make it more fun. The brand itself is a product of the love and attention owner Emily Weiss, gave to her website, intothegloss.com, which launched in 2010. The site swiftly became known as the place to go when you needed skincare, makeup and hair product advice and information. Four years later Glossier emerged as the brand that would give us products created with the backing of in-depth knowledge from beauty editors and experts.
If, like me, you've been sat watching the Glossier explosion from somewhere other than the US, you've no doubt pined and moaned about the fact that Glossier doesn't have a store in your town. The brand has had great success with international pop-ups but the New York Glossier Showroom is the first time it has put down permanent roots. We popped in there to have a sniff of Glossier You - the brand's first foray into perfume - and of course, to take some pix.
We were slightly overly keen on the day - we arrived about 40 minutes ahead of opening, in the drifting snow. We camped out at a cafe opposite but headed across the road with a couple of minutes to spare before it opened at 11am. Except it didn't. Yes, it only opened like, 10 minutes late, but when it's cold, and you've travelled and you're made to wait in a doorway with staff not telling you why it isn't open yet, it gets a teeny bit annoying. I know that might sound bratty. To be honest, I think I noticed it so much because the staff just weren't communicating; they were obviously putting together either purchases or gift bags for people, but all they had to say was 'hey guys, we're running a bit late, please be patient' and give us a tiny bit of eye contact or, dare I say it, a smile, and we'd probably have been appeased. We're that easy! I actually asked if there was a problem, to break the silence and the girl basically just gave me an awkward shrug. Then a voice whispered something about the lift being in use.
Anyway, once we got upstairs the place was very cool, as expected. Flower arrangements, the scent of You in the air, cute girls in pink overalls, and of course, tons of Glossier products on show. On the surface it totally scored - it looked great. But for me, what was seriously missing was customer interaction. I was happy enough to distract myself with taking pictures, but Daniel noticed that no-one, literally no-one, on the team, was approaching people. It's like there was a real fear of customers. Don't get me wrong, I don't love a hard-sell at all, but I do appreciate a smile, a nod of recognition, and a 'hello' every now and then. When you are 'greeted' with disinterest (or maybe nervous behaviour?) it doesn't really make you want to stay. I continued to take pictures but we, like other people that had arrived at the same time, probably left within 10 minutes. It was kind of sad; there are some great products there, and at the the end of the day, I had money to spend. I think I expected to be greeted by brand ambassadors who lived for the products - I don't mean loud-talkers and extroverts; I'm talking about people who love the products and want to help you try them out. For me it just led me to the conclusion that in future, I'll stick to buying the products online - we have zero expectations when it comes to customer service online - except when it comes to returns of course! (I've always heard great things about the brand on this front.)
All that being said, I totally appreciate and respect what Glossier and Emily, in particular, has done. It's a brand that speaks to so many women and men and seems to be 100 percent committed to showing a diverse community. I think I've listened to almost every podcast Emily has been featured on, and read every article about the brand because I believe it has staying power. I will visit again in September, now that the Glossier Showroom is permanent, but I won't be going in there hoping for advice and attention. I'll just look after myself and finally try Boy Brow and probably spend a ton of money anyway.
Have you been to the Glossier Showroom? Did you love it? Let me know in the comments below! And feel free to let me know of any other beauty must-do's in New York.