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'Game-changing' gadget means you never need to root for makeup again

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a person standing posing for the camera: MailOnline logo


© Provided by Daily Mail
MailOnline logo

A ‘game-changing’ skincare gadget that signals an end to reaching into the backs of cupboards is set to make its Australian designer $1million this year.

Michelle Hu founded beauty brand Etoile Collective from her grandparents’ home in 2016 when she was just 21 years old, selling vanities, cosmetic organisers and luxury light-up mirrors and that wouldn’t look out of place in a Kardashian’s glam room.

The Melbourne businesswoman, now 26, recently launched a $90 skincare holder, a two-level rotating perspex table that spins 360 degrees for easy access to products.

After selling 600 units to the tune of $54,000 in the first week, the holder has repeatedly sold out and now has a waitlist of over 700 customers who are expecting their pre-orders to be dispatched on April 30.

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a bottle of items on the counter: The $90 skincare holder (pictured) from Melbourne beauty tool brand Etoile Collective is a two-level rotating perspex table that spins 360 degrees for easy access to products


© Provided by Daily Mail
The $90 skincare holder (pictured) from Melbourne beauty tool brand Etoile Collective is a two-level rotating perspex table that spins 360 degrees for easy access to products



a woman holding a camera in front of a computer: The accessory was developed by former banking analyst Michelle Hu (pictured), who founded Etoile when she was just 21 years old in 2016


© Provided by Daily Mail
The accessory was developed by former banking analyst Michelle Hu (pictured), who founded Etoile when she was just 21 years old in 2016

Ms Hu said she was driven by personal necessity when she developed the holder, which she needed to find products quickly rather than rooting around at the back of a press.

‘We spend so much time researching and learning about makeup and we spend about half our pay on beauty products,’ Ms Hu told Daily Mail Australia.

‘It doesn’t make sense to sit in front of smudged mirrors or search through messy boxes to find our new expensive foundation leaking or our eyeshadow smashed!’  

In the five years since launching, Ms Hu’s company has seen turnover scale from $240,000 a year to $5million a year.

The prediction is that she will make $1million in 2021 from the skincare holder alone, given its track record to date.



The holder (pictured) signals an end to reaching into the backs of cupboards


© Provided by Daily Mail
The holder (pictured) signals an end to reaching into the backs of cupboards



a bottle of items on a table: The useful design is set to make Ms Hu $1million in 2021


© Provided by Daily Mail
The useful design is set to make Ms Hu $1million in 2021

Five-star reviews on Etoile’s website stand testament to the usefulness of the holder, with one customer asking: ‘Where has this been all my life?’

A second said it decluttered her vanity straight away, adding: ‘Really sturdy and well made. Delivery was swift and easy. Can’t recommend enough, absolute game changer.’ 

Ms Hu was a second year banking analyst earning $200,000 a year when she quit her job in the finance sector in October 2018 to focus on her side hustle full time. 

Etoile had grown without any press, employees or marketing to become a small earner of $20,000 a month, so she took a chance and went all in.



a person standing in a room: Five-star reviews on Etoile's website stand testament to the usefulness of Ms Hu's holder


© Provided by Daily Mail
Five-star reviews on Etoile’s website stand testament to the usefulness of Ms Hu’s holder

In the first 12 months after leaving her job Ms Hu moved from working out of her home to a warehouse with office space, earning $200,000 a month by October 2019.

Today, she employs a team of five who operate two warehouses in Sydney and Melbourne. 

But she humbly admitted that Etoile didn’t ‘explode’ onto the scene as soon as she came up with the idea.



a woman standing in front of a window: Ms Hu (pictured) was a second year banking analyst earning $200,000 a year when she quit her job in the finance sector in October 2018 to focus on her side hustle full time


© Provided by Daily Mail
Ms Hu (pictured) was a second year banking analyst earning $200,000 a year when she quit her job in the finance sector in October 2018 to focus on her side hustle full time

‘Everything was done organically on Instagram at the beginning and whilst I’m extremely fortunate to be in an industry where the audience is super engaged and active on social media, our Instagram following grew much quicker than sales to begin with,’ Ms Hu said.

‘It wasn’t until a very well known Australian beauty Youtuber featured Etoile in a video that we had more eyeballs on us.’

Ms Hu’s focus is on listening to customer feedback and acknowledging every like, survey, review, email and comment.



a man standing in front of a building: Ms Hu's focus is on listening to customer feedback and acknowledging every like, survey, review, email and comment.


© Provided by Daily Mail
Ms Hu’s focus is on listening to customer feedback and acknowledging every like, survey, review, email and comment.

Etoile has the longest warranty available on all vanity mirrors – which is three years – and offers four-hour delivery on mirrors and accessories within Melbourne’s metropolitan areas.

The site now sees approximately 2,000 visitors a day and records between 40 and 50 sales every 24 hours.  

‘I think we have been able to piggyback on an industry that continues to explode,’ Ms Hu said.

She also attributes the company’s success down to SKU proliferation, which is gradually increasing the amount of products you offer.

And it seems her latest addition might be her most lucrative yet. 

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