Wilma Holmqvist on creating an inclusive influencer brand that said ‘you can sit with us’
For the Swedish entrepreneur, it’s clear that her Gen-Z following desires to be involved in the development process when growing her brand.
By JOHAN MAGNUSSON
August 08, 2023
When Wilma Holmqvist was younger, she firmly believed that the beauty routine wasn’t just about appearance but about self-care and self-appreciation.
— It was a time to reflect, a moment to play with eyeshadows and let go of everything else, she says. That’s when the idea for Hickap came to me. When we launched, we noticed that most beauty brands solely focused on perfection and that elusive idea of being the cool girl in school that everyone admired. That’s when we decided to create a beauty brand that tried to make everyone feel equally invited. A brand that said ‘you can sit with us’.
Yes, you talk about being perceived as a ’kind’ influencer beauty brand. How?
— Our approach is based on honesty, which I believe reflects in our products and in the way we communicate. We try to involve our customers and our community in the development process, always asking them for their opinions and ideas. We are convinced that this kind of transparency and co-creation provide a sense of reassurance in our brand. It’s about developing products that our customers genuinely want, rather than what we assume they want.
We’ve seen a great rise of influencer brands in the last few years and now, it might have reached its peak. Do you agree?
— It’s possible that the hype has peaked, but I still believe we will see many more influencer brands emerging. Generation Z desires a connection with the brands they buy, so influencer brands appeal to them.
How have these years been since launching?
— Fantastic and intense. When expanding our range, we’ve maintained a high pace of product launches. Sometimes it has felt overwhelming, I must admit, but somehow we have managed to handle it by maintaining control and avoiding hasty decisions. We continuously learn, which allows us to elevate our level with each launch. Our biggest challenge, of course, is that the beauty industry is enormously competitive, with new brands emerging daily.
How do you work to continue to grow the brand?
— To play and have fun, bringing back the joy of beauty while creating affordable, high-quality beauty products that everyone can enjoy with a clear conscience. Over the past few years, as we expanded into skincare and makeup, we have been working hard to create a comprehensive assortment within these categories. Lately we have focused a lot on playful communication and deeper engagement with our community. With our latest makeup launch we built the entire story around a trip to Paris — a trip which the team really enjoyed. Everyone was excited and the content came out spectacular so it was a big win-win. Our goal is to make people realize that beauty is not just good for the skin but also for the mind.