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South Africa, Consumer
Dominique is giving Chile’s beauty product shopping experience an extreme makeover. Tired of shuttling around Santiago to buy assorted brands of mascara, moisturizers and the like, Dominique founded DBS Chile in 2006 to reinvent the consumer experience. DBS has introduced a convenient, fun shopping experience that includes both beauty products imported from around the world and private label products produced by DBS. The company sells product from department store concessions and its own free-standing stores. With plans to spread the DBS shopping experience regionally, DBS could soon become Latin America’s answer to Sephora.
Dominique discovered the joys of shopping at beauty stores outside Chile when she was a national junior tennis champion playing in tournaments around the world. She loved testing samples, chatting with knowledgeable salespeople and walking away with a bag full of the newest beauty products. Dominique studied International Business and Hotel Management at the University of Miami, where she was admitted on a tennis scholarship. Miami was where she first dreamed of converting her passion for beauty products into a career. During a summer spent working with the Spa Director at Miami’s Ritz Carlton Hotel, she saw a clear path to fulfilling her dreams. Upon graduating in 2004, Dominique accepted a full-time offer from the Ritz Carlton’s management training program and seemed well on her way. However, when Dominique met her husband, Jacobo, on a trip to Chile, she had to innovate the structured path she had envisioned for herself with the Ritz Carlton. Rather than forego her dreams, Dominique kept on her toes, and merely changed the context of her career ambitions. What at first seemed like an obstacle ended up being an opportunity for Dominique and for Chile. She ended up being the woman who would reinvent Chile’s beauty products industry.
Accustomed to her years of living and working in Miami, Dominique was the first to recognize how far the retail experience for beauty products in Chile lagged behind that in the US. Several premier brands were either unavailable or a hassle to locate. Moreover, the beauty products Dominique longed to enjoy were almost always hidden behind locked cases. Dominique felt she had the right background and skills to change this and launched DBS Spa in 2005. The spa was intended to be an intermediary step, a low-risk way to learn the local market and build relationships with suppliers. Before long, Dominique brought the spa to profitability, secured exclusive relationships with several international brands and constructed a vision to bring open-display, interactive beauty product shopping to Chile and Latin America. In 2006, Dominique raised money from her family and brought her vision to fruition the same year when DBS Chile formally began operations.
Dominique designed DBS to introduce a novel shopping concept and to educate women about beauty products. As Chile’s sole licensed distributor for 35 international brands, DBS has strong supplier relationships that it leverages via professional and retail sales channels. Women learn about beauty products and are introduced to new brands in the spas and salons that buy from DBS. DBS then sells the same brands through other retailers as well as its own concessions and stores. Although Dominique plans to continue distributing to spas, salons and retailers, she expects the true growth of her company to come from her own shops. In 2010, Dominique opened 7 department store concessions and launched a line of private label products to bolster the DBS brand. To drive growth, the company is aggressively rolling out even more concessions and beauty stores.
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