Bee Shapiro

Founder of Ellis Brooklyn

Tell us about where you work and what you do there.

I am the Founder of Ellis Brooklyn, a clean, eco-friendly luxury fragrance and body care line, and I’m also a beauty columnist at the New York Times. As the founder of Ellis Brooklyn, I oversee our creative and product direction, and work to source clean ingredients and sustainable packaging, forge relationships with retail partners, formulate fragrances with master perfumers, and more.

At my core, I’m probably a workaholic.

Bee Shapiro

Founder of Ellis Brooklyn
Bee Shapiro

How would you describe yourself?

I am a huge bookworm and nerd. I can obsess about things. It used to bother me when I was younger, but now I actually see it as just who I am, and in fact, it’s an asset sometimes. I use all those aspects of me when creating Ellis Brooklyn products — the scents have literary inspirations. Another part of me is that I love being outdoors whether it’s running, playing tennis, hiking through the woods, or snowboarding. It clears my mind, makes me feel strong, and it’s refreshing.

What drew you to entrepreneurship?

At my core, I’m probably a workaholic. Before Ellis Brooklyn and writing, I actually went to law school and practiced law for a year. Later, when I started working in beauty, I ended up falling in love with fragrance because of all the stories you can tell with fragrance, and all the memories you can create. That’s what took me down the path of starting a company. I’m not one of those kids that always wanted to start something. It was this desire to create something truly from my own thoughts and vision of what modern fragrance can be.

What do you think has been your biggest professional success so far?

Probably the biggest deal was launching at Sephora but then also succeeding and growing there each year. It’s like an MBA in the beauty business only I’m learning it day in and day out.

What goals do you have for 2022?

I’d love to figure out how to balance the needs of the business which are growing every day with my own need for downtime. Ever since covid, it’s been very easy to slip into work mode at any hour of the day.

What do you think is the next big trend in eCommerce?

I’m curious to see how connected TV advertising will drive ecommerce. With the iOS updates this past year, a lot of brands have been seeking out new avenues of driving to eCommerce, whether that be direct mail, affiliate marketing, or a return to some form of TV advertising.

Name an eCommerce brand you admire and why.

I think Beautycounter does a really great job of telling a story and using their extended sales force to get that message across. Especially since their products are not necessarily very low price points. To succeed in such a massive way on DTC is impressive.

What do you geek out over?

I’m obsessed with the possibilities of Defi and just the way transactions can happen in the metaverses in general. I’m not sure every brand needs to be on the metaverse yet, but I could very easily see business transactions moving to that kind of platform.