The Launchmetrics 5 Questions With… interview series provides a way to connect leaders from the fashion, luxury, and beauty industries, and gives a platform for them to share their best advice and expertise. For our second episode of the series, we conducted a beauty industry interview with Sophia Chabbott, Founder of Testament Beauty.
Sophia Chabbott is an experienced editor, writer, and social media strategist who enjoys leading new digital initiatives, launches, and partnerships. Most recently, Sophia was a Digital Director at WWD, where she was responsible for creating all global online strategies and partnerships for WWD.com. In her decade-plus long career as an editor, she has developed successful new online initiatives for Glamour.com and SaksPOV.com for Saks Fifth Avenue. Sophia is from Brooklyn, N.Y. and currently resides in Manhattan. Testament Beauty is Sophia’s first entrepreneurial venture.
Interview with Sophia Chabbott, Founder of Testament Beauty
1. What do you love about your job?
What I love about my job… I actually started at Testament Beauty three weeks ago – we launched on July 13th so the beauty industry is new for me. I have been in publishing for the past 15 plus years – I’m an editor, writer and reporter. And so, the common thread of what I love about my past jobs as an editor, and now as a founder, is really connecting with people. And now it’s our customers, it’s influencers on social media, it’s retailers, chemists, you know, all that great stuff, and just connecting, exchanging ideas. And I think it’s actually very similar in a way to what I did in publishing, which is connecting with readers, informing them. So it’s just that idea of connection with others that I love about what I do.
2. How has the industry changed since you began your career?
In publishing, everything has changed since I started my career. I started in publishing in print and so that was a very different thing. I’d written for WWD when it was in print and lots of publications, and of course – the great migration to digital. And so, a lot has changed in that business. But the tie that binds is, again, it comes down to communication and connecting with other people. The mediums will always change and always continue to change. Who knows where we’ll be, you know, in five years, and if it’ll be Instagram or something else. But the media industry has changed a great deal.
In terms of being a beauty founder, again, I’m new to it – three weeks! Three weeks but four years of prep work before launching Testament Beauty. And it’s really interesting to be launching a brand, especially when it’s a skincare brand, which is so much about trying and testing and experiencing and expressing to others, but it’s all virtual because we’re in the day and age of COVID. And so, you know, a lot has changed but we’re nimble and working at it.
3. Launching products and collections has been challenging for everyone during the pandemic lockdown. What lessons have you learned from this new virtual world we had to adapt to?
So much of the communication that we had pre-COVID – it is nonverbal communication, it’s body language that communicates so much, and there’s only so much you can communicate through screen. And so, I’m in the spirit of overcommunicating and sending that extra email, just kind of taking a few extra minutes to explain what you mean when you’re conducting business, because we’re all operating at a gazillion miles an hour, we’re all trying to manage all of our screens and all of that. I think that a lot of miscommunication can happen if you’re not A. communicating often and B. not communicating as thoroughly as you can be. So communicate, communicate, communicate.
4. If you had a magic wand and could create one tool that would help the fashion industry, what would it be?
If I had a magic wand, I would say Wingardium Leviosa and speed up the supply chain, because that is one of the biggest challenges as a brand founder.
5. What is one tip you would give to your younger self?
One tip I would give my younger self is that kind of gut feeling that you have, don’t ignore it. It’s your body, it’s something trying to tell you something and really try to hone in and listen to that gut feeling and I think it could be your greatest strength.
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