Find something to admire in yourself. Even those simple things that just came to mind. Appreciate it. Own it. Instead of beating yourself up, treat yourself. Imagine what you could do with all that energy used up on negative thoughts about yourself?
As a part of our series about how technology will be changing the beauty industry over the next five years I had the pleasure of interviewing Ardak Yeraliyeva, founder and CEO of Tynt — a social media platform for beauty-focused content (www.tynt.live). Ardak is an experienced professional with a demonstrated history of working at the Big 4, capital markets, and the beautytech industry.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Before we dive in, our readers would love to learn a bit more about you. Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?
It all started when I came to America for 2 weeks… and stayed for almost 2 years.
My story goes back to 2017, when I quit my perfectly good job to follow my passion. My parents just couldn’t understand why I would leave a well-paying job and jump into the unknown, following an entrepreneurial path. And they still don’t!
When I first started, Tynt wasn’t even a concept yet. It was around that time I came across a wine discovery app that completely changed my customer experience. You just scan the label on the bottle and get immediate product reviews, ratings, and prices. And boom, there it was! I wanted the same tool for beauty product discovery.
Why beauty products? Well, it was my personal struggle. Back then highlighters and concealers were very popular and yet I didn’t know how to use them. For a moment I thought: Wouldn’t it be great to have a similar tool for beauty product discovery that gives you immediate reviews, prices, DIY makeup tutorials, etc. All in one place.
Since I couldn’t find one, I decided to create one. Tynt was born after many iterations, trials and errors since those early days. Today it’s a niche community of beauty enthusiasts who create and share a unique, live experience daily.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began your career?
Well, I think a series of interesting events have come together to make up my professional journey. I came to the US with a small bag of personal belongings, planning to go back in 2 weeks. But what happened next changed everything.
During those 2 weeks, I met my future co-founder through a friend. We started talking and quickly realized we shared a passion for entrepreneurship. Soon, we set-up a company and started working on our first idea. Of course, I canceled my return tickets and stayed in San Francisco for a while.
Just when I was planning to go back home again, as fate would have it, I took an elevator ride with Cinta. She just happened to own Cinta Aveda Institute (beauty school) and salons in the Bay Area. Yes, we got a new partner on board! As you may have guessed, I canceled my return tickets again.
And finally, we usually say that Tynt in essence, is Twitch for beauty enthusiasts. Guess what happened next? In one word I can sum up everything — serendipity!
Are you able to identify a “tipping point” in your career when you started to see success? Did you start doing anything different? Are there takeaways or lessons that others can learn from that?
You know, I’ve never thought of it as a ‘tipping point’ per se, but I still remember that exact moment: The day when we partnered with Cinta Aveda Institute in San Francisco. It was the first big name in our portfolio. Later, we got Saks Fifth Avenue, Armani Beauty, and many others. But it will always be the first big win for me. Right around that time, beauty bloggers with significant social media followings started joining our platform. I couldn’t be happier to get validation from the industry, and for the first time ever I felt we’re doing something that customers wanted. As they say, build a customer-focused product, even when you don’t have any customers.
Hmm… takeaways? Since the beginning of my career one thing I understood is — you’ve got to start. You’ll be surprised at all the opportunities that will come up along the way. Regardless of doubts and criticism, you’ve just got to start. The thing is that most of us want to start a business with the perfect idea. But there’s no such thing as the perfect idea. Speaking of which, Tynt was born as a result of constant iterations. So, my advice is just start with something small and keep improving it.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person to whom you are grateful who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
I can’t say there’s one particular person, rather there have been a few key people who have supported and helped me to get where I am today.
First of all, I’m thankful for my brother who is always there for me to bounce ideas off. Since we have similar backgrounds and share the same interests, I find it natural to discuss things with him. Even though he doesn’t believe in every idea that I have, he’s still supportive and makes sure I don’t lose touch with reality. Sometimes as founders we tend to experience excessive optimism or pessimism about our own ideas.
Second of all, I’m grateful to my co-founders, with whom I share the burden each day. The ups and downs of startup life are endless, but life goes a lot more smoothly with the right ones.
Finally, business partners that gave Tynt our early chances. An angel investor that wrote the first check. Friends and family. And many others shaped my life and helped to get me where I am today. I couldn’t be more grateful for having them in my life.
Ok super. Let’s now shift to the main part of our discussion. The beauty industry today has access to technology that was inconceivable only a short time ago. Can you tell us about the “cutting edge” (pardon the pun) technologies that you are working with or introducing? How do you think that will help people?
Due to the COVID-19 outbreak the world will change radically and we need to adapt to a new way of living. We’re witnessing a massive spike in online content consumption. This phenomenon creates new opportunities, and social media is proving to be ahead of the curve.
In fact, we live in remarkable times. Today social media allows anyone to become a celebrity. However, millions of independent content creators with huge followings struggle to access sponsorships or meaningful revenue on existing social media platforms. So the question is, how can content creators access capital to help their personal brands or businesses thrive?
The truth of the matter is that content monetization is one of the biggest challenges that social media influencers face. To meet this challenge head on, Tynt is focused on building an attractive ecosystem for content creators to help them to monetize their social media content. Our platform is niche and customized to the needs of content creators, whereas other content platforms, like YouTube have too broad of an audience to resonate with our creators. Because live streaming is the new wave of digital communication, content promotion, and consumption, we are at the precipice of a content revolution, and we are so happy to be providing the solution!
Can you share 3 things that most excite you about the “beauty-tech” industry?
First of all, I’m fascinated by the rise of beauty IoT. Over the years, beauty brands have introduced an assortment of high tech beauty devices to enrich the user experience. For instance, L’Oreal and Dior offer smart devices such as skin analysers, smart brushes and customized printed makeup to improve the customer experience. It still feels somewhat futuristic to me that these smart devices can provide information about your skin condition, or send an alert whenever you need extra care. It’s amazing what can happen when personalization meets technology.
Second of all, I am intrigued by the use of AR tech in beauty. Cosmetic brands are leveraging AR to enhance customer experience. In 2019, L’Oreal reported a record high in online sales partly thanks to its AR technology allowing online shoppers to try on makeup before purchasing the actual product.
Finally, the new trend in online beauty communities is especially exciting. Tech enables beauty enthusiasts and industry professionals to connect and share their experiences with each other, monetize their social media content, get sponsorship and collaborate with beauty brands. Being a social media celebrity is becoming a full-time gig nowadays.
Can you share 3 things that most concern you about the industry? If you had the ability to implement 3 ways to reform or improve the industry, what would you suggest?
I’d start with privacy issues since this has recently been a visible trend across various industries. In particular, beauty-tech hardware companies that collect users’ personal information must convince customers that they take data privacy concerns seriously.
My second concern is beauty cyberbullying. More and more beauty influencers are abused online because of their appearance or identity. Two thirds of those will never talk about it, however, the consequences might be devastating. After experiencing some kind of cyberbullying, they simply shut their social media accounts or experience low self-esteem, eating disorders, depression, anxiety, etc.
We need to talk more openly about this and bring greater awareness to the world that cyberbullying is a serious case that needs to be addressed. We at Tynt take it seriously and host special events with a focus on cyberbullying in the beauty industry.
I am also concerned with ‘fast-beauty’ trends, the products that launch in a short period of time (skipping the 9–12 month full product development stage) to capitalize on short-lived market trends. Hot and available tomorrow at a pharmacy nearest you. Unfortunately, according to research, 85% of all newly launched ‘fast-beauty’ products fail in the short run, and the products end up in the ocean, causing massive amounts of damage to the environment. I firmly believe that collaboration between brands and niche beauty communities will help the world reduce the negative environmental impact as a result of small batch product testing. Also, how about the concept of refillable makeup? Why not? Many of us have been reprogrammed to religiously carry our reusable grocery shopping bags, so why not to apply the same concept to beauty products?
You are an expert about beauty. Can you share 5 ideas that anyone can use “to feel beautiful”?
1. Smile. As simple as that. Too often we underestimate the power of a smile. Simply putting a smile on your face, even when everything feels overwhelming, has the power to turn your mood around. It is also the source of joy and beauty.
2. Find something to admire in yourself. Even those simple things that just came to mind. Appreciate it. Own it. Instead of beating yourself up, treat yourself. Imagine what you could do with all that energy used up on negative thoughts about yourself?
3. Do you see the beauty in other people? Well, surprise, surprise, you have that thing in you too. Yes, yes, you’re beautiful too! That’s how it works. Isn’t it amazing?
4. Work on your confidence, because beauty is confidence. Proven fact: if you think you’re beautiful, others will feel the same way. It’s contagious. I don’t exactly know how it works, but the truth is that it works. Always.
5. Do what makes you feel beautiful. If it’s makeup, go for it. If it’s a specific self care routine, go for that too. There’s no right or wrong when it comes to taking care of yourself. In fact, being happy positively correlates with feeling beautiful.
And whoever reads these lines, listen up! You don’t need to lose weight, put tons of makeup on, or buy new clothes to feel beautiful. Join us on our ‘Everything beauty’ talks and get support and love from our Tynt community.
You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
Lately, I’ve been inspired with the idea of giving back to our community in these trying times. In essence, bringing the most amount of good to the most amount of people. I think any action big or small can make a real difference when it comes for a good cause.
In fact, we at Tynt have just started a free online therapy series to support our community’s emotional health in these trying times. Each day we interview experts, engaging in informative conversations about self-care and mental wellbeing. I believe online meetings will help us to survive isolation during the coronavirus outbreak.
Frankly speaking, you don’t need millions of dollars to contribute. You can simply donate your time, skills toward a good cause and become a philanthropist. Ready to join our community? Please reach out to me at www.tynt.live
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
Mark Zuckerberg once said: “Now it’s our turn to do great things. I know, you’re probably thinking: I don’t know how to build a dam, or get a million people involved in anything”. But let me tell you a secret: no one does when they begin. Ideas don’t come out fully formed. They only become clear as you work on them. You just have to get started.”
There’s just something about this quote that inspires and resonates with me on some personal level. Oftentimes we look at successful people and think we’re not good or experienced enough. But so did they, when they first started. And the only way to get the experience is to go out into the world and just do it.
How can our readers follow you online?
You can find us on IG/FB/Twitter @tynt.live and join our community of beauty enthusiasts at www.tynt.live Stay tuned!
Thank you so much for joining us. This was very inspirational.
Thank you for having me!
Ardak Yeraliyeva of Tynt: “Why You Should Find Something To Admire In Yourself” was originally published in Authority Magazine on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.