Vellvette’s Vineeta Singh Has Coffee With Dollie

Hey Shringaristas,
Guess who’s having “Coffee with Dollie” today….none other than the lovely Vineeta Singh, co-founder (the other founder is Kaushik, her hubby) of the beauty subscription box, Vellvette. I have met her at a couple of events and she is such a cheerful, friendly person. So, get to know more about her…..

        



D) From engineering at IIT to banking at Deutsche Bank to a beauty subscription box. How? 
 
V) I always wanted to start up something for women. In 2007 when I graduated, I thought of launching India’s first branded lingerie chain, but that needed a lot of funding. So, I started a human resource outsourcing business and ran that for 5 years. Then I found a Birchbox lying around at a friend’s place in New York and I couldn’t figure out something similar that I could subscribe to in India. So, I pitched the idea to Kaushik and we decided to start Vellvette.  
      
 
D) How did you first meet your hubby? How long have you been married? 
 
V) We met at IIM Ahmedabad campus in 2006 and we married eachother in Dec 2011, so almost 2 years now…gosh!! 
 
D) What do you love about curating beauty boxes? 
V) I love our members’ enthusiasm in giving us feedback – good, bad or ugly. It is the feedback that has actually shaped us. I have a dream that someday every Vellvette member would have at least 1 Holy Grail product that she discovered through her subscription. 

D) Vellvette subscribers are divided into two camps…those who want true luxury products even if the samples are small (I’m one of those) and those who love full-sized, paisa-vasool products even though the brand might be unknown. How do you intend to strike a balance between these two for the future boxes and keep them both happy? 
     
V) Interesting question, Dollie, and I am glad you brought this up. When we started Vellvette, we were actually talking to only luxury brands and I remember the Lancome Training Manager explaining to me that the luxury market in India is really small and when it comes to beauty, there are very few women who use only luxury brands. For instance, it wouldn’t be shocking to find a Maybelline Colossal Kajal in the bag of a Sisley customer. We’ve actually seen this play out over the last 12 months. While thousands of members have come back to purchase full sizes of non-luxury brands, the number of members who have purchased full sizes of the luxury brands we’ve sampled are significantly lesser in number. Although the luxury market is growing, we estimate that it will still take some time for these brands to see sampling work for them at scale and meanwhile we will continue serving our members by selecting the best of what the premium, prestige & luxury brands have to offer.
 
But then, don’t look so sad 🙂 Even as I talk to you, my team is speaking to several luxury brands and trying to get deluxe size samples for our future editions. I can’t predict exactly how the coming months will pan out, but I promise you that we’re working hard to keep both the camps happy! Meanwhile, what we have always done and will keep doing is:
 
1) Sending products from brands that invest more time and resources in research and product development than marketing
2) Sending products that our Editor, Vellvette Crew and I have tried on ourselves and loved. In fact, most of us actually have a paid subscription to Vellvette bags too 🙂
3) Sending you products worth a few times more than what you pay, so that even if you don’t end up using a product from your bag, you will always get more value for what you invest. 
 
D) Name five celebs/historical figures that you’d like to meet. 
 
V) Bono , Steve Jobs, Abraham Lincoln , Farhan Akhtar, Meredith Grey 😉
            
D) What’s your makeup mantra? Are you a minimalist or do you love getting dolled up?
V) I only wear make up for meetings and events. Rest of the days – just sunscreen 🙂 
D) What are your five “stranded-on-a-desert-island” products?
V) Sunscreen
Running shoes
Matchbox
Coffee beans
Energy bars
 
D) Which has been your personal favourite Vellvette box to date? 
 
V) The first one 🙂 When we announced in July last year that we’d be sending 200 Vellvette boxes out in September, Kaushik and I had no clue how to make that happen. So, those were 2 super stressful months leading to the first Vellvette box and the response was absolutely overwhelming!
 
D) Which product has been very disappointing for you? ( makeup/skincare/haircare)
 
V) An SA at Singapore Airport had recommended the Lancome Blanc Expert for pigmentation and I bought the whole range, but it somehow didn’t work for me at all. 
 
     


D) Besides running the marathon, what are your other passions? 
 
V) I love to travel – I have a list of places I want to see before I die and of places I want to be able to travel to every year and of places I want to run a marathon in…phew…that’s a lot of lists I know! I also love making, serving and drinking good coffee. 
 
D) Your one feature that you’d like to change.
 
V) I’d have loved to have problem-free skin like my mom. Unfortunately, my skin reacts to everything! 
 
D) What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done? 
 
V) Bungee jumped off a bridge that’s more than 100 years old – at the Victoria Falls. It was kinda crazy because the same rope snapped a few months later, throwing an Australian woman into a river full of crocodiles!
 
D) One adventure sport you’d love to try. 
 
V) Sky-diving is next on my list.
 
    
 
D) Rapid fire time…
 
Fave lipstick: 

Deborah Atomic Red – Rossetto

 
Dream travel destination: 
Mount Kilimanjaro
 
Fave foundation:
Estée Lauder Double Wear
 
Fave movie:
Jerry Maguire 
 
Fave song:
There are sooooo many, but if I have to pick one that I’ve listened to the most in my entire lifetime, it’s “Comfortably Numb” by Pink Floyd.
 
Fave cuisine:
I love Mediterranean food. I’m a vegetarian and I don’t think any international cuisine does most justice to us! 
 
Fave perfume: 
Gucci Guilty
 
Beaches or mountains:
Mountains
 
Jeans or dresses:
Dresses
 
Heels or flats:
Flats
 
Lipstick or gloss:
Gloss
 
Liner or mascara:
Mascara
 
Books or movies:
Movies
 
D) One last question. Can you give us a little sneak peak into what brands/products we can expect in the coming Vellvette boxes/bags? 
 
V) Hahaha! Dollie, just 2-3 more days! Honestly, I’ll get fired if I tell you 😉

24 Comment

  1. Aditi Y says: Reply

    Awesome ya!

  2. Esha Gupta says: Reply

    Loved reading more about vineeta..awesome post dollie 🙂

  3. Rayconnect says: Reply

    I would love to meet Meridith Grey too 🙂 nice interview 🙂

  4. Arzoo says: Reply

    You come up with really interesting post Dollie, loved reading it.

  5. Stacey Castanha says: Reply

    I loved this interview 🙂 #BSP

  6. Thanks..

  7. Thanks Arzoo. Glad u liked it ::

  8. Thanks 🙂

  9. Thanks….have already entered ur giveaway 🙂

  10. Thanks Esha.

  11. Gald I liked it….will def enter ur giveaway 🙂

  12. Shilpa says: Reply

    I’ve met Vineeta and she is a very warm person to talk to! Nice interview! #BSP

  13. Thank you….and yea, I agree with you. She really is very sweet.

  14. Lisha B. says: Reply

    Loved goin through the segment 🙂 #bsp

  15. Apurva says: Reply

    Never got my hands on my a Velvette box till now, but heard a lot about it.

  16. Tina S. says: Reply

    Great interview! #BSP

  17. MissBoPeep says: Reply

    Lovely interview!!

  18. Anubhooti Khanna says: Reply

    Great Interview!!

  19. Thanks 🙂

  20. Get the November one while it’s still available. Really nice stuff this time 🙂

  21. Thanks 🙂

  22. Thank you 🙂

  23. Glad you liked it 🙂

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