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Merchant spotlight
Mar 5, 20211 min read

Problem solving with Kate Morris, Founder and Director of Adore Beauty

Klarna K logo on pink background

by Klarna

In honour of International Women’s History Day, we’re taking notes from an an incredible range of inspiring, powerful women across the retail and eCommerce industry. Today, we’re talking entrepreneurial spirit with Founder and Director of Adore Beauty, Kate Morris.

How did you start your own business, where did you get the idea for the concept?

My part time job at uni in 1999 was working on the beauty counters in department stores. I could see that many of the customers found that shopping experience quite unpleasant and intimidating, which to me was a real shame, because I always thought beauty products were supposed to make you feel confident! I decided that there really ought to be an online store for beauty.

How did you make the leap from employee to business owner

I pitched to my boyfriend’s parents to borrow $12,000, which was just enough to build a website and buy a bit of stock.

Who is a woman who inspires you?

Just one!? Cyan Ta’eed is a friend of mine who is absolutely amazing. She’s built two hugely successful businesses, Envato and Hey Tiger, but absolutely marches to the beat of her own drum.

What milestone are you most proud of?

Hard to go past listing our business on the ASX last year (in the middle of a pandemic) – the largest ever IPO with a woman founder and woman CEO. We had to ring the bell virtually on Zoom, but it was still pretty awesome.

What has been the most difficult part of growing your business?

Scaling a fast growing business is really hard. We’ve had times when it feels like everything is breaking at once, and there’s never enough people to fix things. It’s like riding a roller coaster. But also still pretty fun.

What 3 traits do you think are most important when running a successful business?

You need resilience, tenacity, and integrity.

Any advice to future entrepreneurs?

Don’t ever start a business for the money! Solve a problem that you care about.