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The Glossy Beauty Podcast
38 minutes | Jul 22, 2021
QVC and HSN CMO Brian Beitler: Video commerce is becoming the new standard
Although QVC may have set the blueprint for modern-day livestream shopping, which was accelerated by the pandemic, the televised home shopping network was not exempt from the challenges of the past year. “[QVC] still had its own complexities for the way that we thought about the business, the way that our associates were engaged and [the way that our] team members were engaged in connecting with customers,” said Brian Beitler, CMO of QVC U.S.A and HSN. QVC was also tasked with adapting to changes in customer preferences, as the demand for categories outside of the beauty and wellness spaces increased. “We saw those categories that were built around creating a sanctuary at home take off,” said Beitler.“That included everything from [investing in] home decor to bringing your gym inside your home, so that you could take care of your body and your health, to evolving even your beauty routines and rituals."In conjunction with evolving alongside consumers, Beitler said that the unique experience that QVC provides its customers is also crucial for its success.“People [were] looking to be able to get the kind of experience and education that they might have been getting in a retail experience,” said Beitler. “We're set up very much from a video commerce perspective to give you some of that social experience that happens in the store."And while QVC and HSN may be “the original innovator[s] in this space,” there is still room for the network to grow, especially as competition ensues between different livestream shopping platforms, said Beitler.“We've been working over the last several years to innovate our storytelling in these spaces and to access more of the places that we tell these stories,” said Beitler. Since launching on Roku in 2013, QVC has recently expanded its accessibility to devices like Amazon Fire TV and Comcast Flex.
40 minutes | Jul 15, 2021
SuperOrdinary CEO Julian Reis on being exactly where the customer is
Despite taking a self-proclaimed non-traditional career path, Julian Reis, founder and CEO of beauty incubator SuperOrdinary, credits his initial experience in the conventional finance industry as the catalyst to understanding the potential of the e-commerce beauty market. “E-commerce 1.0 was just beginning,” said Reis, who, while working in finance in Singapore in 2013, successfully facilitated the growth of laser-facial company Skin Laundry. But that was not the end of his innovation within the beauty market in China. “I noticed that a lot of the luxury store counters -- many of the big shops like Lane Crawford -- were being dominated by Chinese tourists. [They were] buying lots of product and bringing it back to China,” said Reis, who made it his mission to “solve this problem in a much more efficient manner.” While Reis was aware of the many marketing agencies and “trade partners” present in China, “No one was bringing all this together under one roof to provide a full service,” said Reis of distribution, marketing and influencer relationships.Reis has begun to fill this gap with SuperOrdinary, which has brought buzz-worthy U.S. brands like Farmacy and Drunk Elephant into China via TMall. The company hit $90 million in revenue alone this past year, but Reis asserts that there is still room for growth. SuperOrdinary comes into play in this area by serving as an “extension of the brands’ arms, eyes, [and] ears,” said Reis. “What we did is focus on each and every brand that we work with to make sure we understand the DNA of the brand and to see whether it would translate in the local market.”Now, Reis is taking that same expertise and applying it to another mega-market and platform: the U.S. and Amazon.
38 minutes | Jul 8, 2021
Revlon CEO Debra Perelman on matching the "timelessness" of her brands with the "timeliness" of the moment
From pouring over Revlon magazine ads as a young girl to becoming the first female CEO of the company in 2018, Debra Perelman personifies the “emotional connection” consumers have with beauty.“A big focus of mine has always been, ‘How do you utilize these iconic brands and products in order to really leverage this emotional connection that we can have with the consumer?'” said Perelman on the Glossy Beauty Podcast. For Perelman, this emotional connection is rooted in her own mainstay products, like Revlon’s Super Lustrous lipstick, which she used as a teen, and her grandmother’s perfume.By maintaining the aspect of heritage while also adapting to changes in the beauty industry and the world, in general, “We’re able to create beauty innovations to inspire confidence and ignite joy in the consumer,” Perelman said. While Revlon has maintained a focus on personal beauty and confidence throughout the brand’s history, the emergence of Covid pushed to the forefront of the beauty industry the ideas of “[making] sure that people are staying safe” and “[giving] back to the communities around us,” she said.Perelman facilitated Revlon’s adaptation to the pandemic by not only transforming some of the company's production lines to make hand sanitizers and donating to underserved communities but also navigating the management of employees who were managing Covid in their personal lives.The pandemic also accelerated the desire for digitization within Revlon. “I was focused on making quick decisions, in terms of further accelerating our digital transformation,” said Perelman. To achieve this, Perelman “focused on moving from a siloed organization to a much more collaborative organization,” with small “pods”, or teams, centered on e-commerce, product development and marketing. In addition, Perelman emphasized her mission to transform Revlon's oldest, most iconic beauty brands, Revlon and Elizabeth Arden. The focus: diversity, inclusion, and sustainability -- not only for consumers, but also for Revlon employees behind the scenes.“For Revlon, the future is just so bright,” said Perelman, who hopes to “leave [the company] in a way that's a bit more positive than when I started.”
33 minutes | Jul 1, 2021
Kjaer Weis CEO Gillian Gorman Round: "Luxury is not having everything all of the time"
Gillian Gorman Round may have spent her career in big beauty, from L'Oréal to Gucci Group to most recently Revlon, but she couldn't turn down the opportunity to become CEO at Kjaer Weis, even in the middle of a pandemic. Like her former boss Revlon CEO Debbie Perelman, Gorman Round is one of the few female CEOs in the beauty industry today. She joined the organic and refillable makeup brand in December 2020.Many of Kjaer Weis' points of differentiation are catching on industry-wide, namely its organic formulas, high performance, and sustainable and refillable practices. As such, Gorman Round believes the brand awareness opportunity is ripe for the taking. This is especially true since founder and makeup artist Kirsten Kjaer Weis has been perfecting that proposition for 11 years. It helps that Waldencast, which recently announced its better-for-you SPAC, recently took a majority stake in the brand."Kirsten, when she founded the brand a decade ago, was the very first creator to be able to develop certified organic, high-performance, refillable, sustainable products. Now we see a decent amount of activity within that space...but [in] certified organic, which is our principal and our philosophy, we really stand alone, " said Gorman Round on this week's episode of the Glossy Beauty Podcast.Throughout the pandemic, Kjaer Weis was able to own that point of view digitally and with retail partners. To date, its DTC business, which is up 300% for the year, accounts for 50% of the business. Sales in the wholesale segment, which makes up the remaining 50%, doubled year-over-year."It's not that we are shifting 50% of our business to DTC because our wholesale business isn't performing," she said. "A rising tide lifts all boats."
31 minutes | Jun 24, 2021
Walmart's Musab Balbale: "The ethos of Gen Z squarely matches Walmart's ethos"
If the idea of Walmart as a beauty hub seems new, then the expansion of the nation’s leading grocer’s beauty e-commerce business by Musab Balbale may be equally disruptive.Balbale, the merchandising vp of omnichannel beauty at Walmart, has worked within consumer retail for the past 20 years and most recently has transitioned from wellness to the beauty space. This transition, which he said is “exciting” began when he had the chance to spearhead the beauty and health e-commerce businesses for Walmart in 2016. “[Beauty] combines considered purchases -- those that are infrequent higher price points [alongside] daily regimen purchases. And [the consumer] is also looking to be inspired,” said Balbale on this week's episode of the Glossy Beauty Podcast.Within the last year, Walmart's beauty team has “nearly doubled" the number of new brands coming into the beauty aisle by “[evolving] our stores to work in a new way to accelerate the freshness of our assortment on our shelves and to make it easier for the customer,” said Balbale. The ingenuity of products on Walmart’s shelves isn't the only measure that the team has taken to increase customer engagement. They have also begun to step into the popular worlds of TikTok and livestream shopping, hosting their first live shopping event through TikTok in March.According to Balbale, Walmart’s involvement with TikTok has to do with its new customer base: Gen Z. “This was the first live selling event on TikTok,” said Balbale. “We were striking the balance between showcasing products that you care about and talking about it in an authentic and genuine way, while also making it a selling event.” He said the ultimate goal was to “create energy in the industry.”Along with their identity as “digital natives,” Balbale admits that Gen Z is “leading us to be more focused on inclusivity and equality,” a core value that the omnichannel beauty team has capitalized on through their selection of mission-driven beauty products.The current political climate, with calls from the public for racial and environmental justice, has become “articulated in the beauty shelves” in the past 12 months, according to Balbale.Walmart beauty’s new partnership with Uoma by Sharon C, a Black-owned, sustainable beauty brand from Sharom Chuter that is inspired by Gen Z, exemplifies the team’s push to “change how we engage the beauty community” through “diversity," as well as “inclusivity, accessibility [and] sustainability,” said Balbale.Uoma by Sharon “has pushed the boundaries on sustainability” by including vegan, eco-friendly and cruelty-free products within the line. Both the omnichannel beauty team and Chuter shared the desire to “bring these values that we all care more about now than we did pre-Covid and make them more accessible, both in terms of price point and physical reach to consumers.”Also during the pandemic, Balbale said the beauty team translated to beauty products the “simplicity and convenience” of grocery pick-up. “We were conscious about making sure that the beauty products she was already purchasing were in front of her [and] easy for her to reorder,” said Balbale.
52 minutes | Jun 17, 2021
Hyram Yarbro on his new beauty brand: 'The primary intent is social change'
From growing up on a cattle ranch to having his face grace the shelves of Sephora, skinfluencer Hyram Yarbro, 25, has taken the beauty world by storm due to his honest yet informative persona. “When you're brand new to this world of skin care, you ask, ‘What do all these things mean?’” said Yarbro, on the most recent episode of the Glossy Beauty Podcast. He himself had wondered just that at 18, when he first started to notice signs of premature aging in his skin. “I realized that there was a gap where there wasn't anyone simplifying skin care and teaching people how to do the basics -- how to have a good, simple skin-care routine.”Just a few years later, in 2017, Yarbro started his YouTube channel to try and fill that gap with an authentic “documentation of [his] personal skin-care philosophy.” Yarbro’s progression to TikTok at the height of the pandemic, in the spring of 2020, was a natural extension of his philosophy to remain “reliable and trustworthy,” while also simplifying important skin-care information in short 60-second videos. “I wanted my videos to feel like you were talking to a friend -- like you're just sitting down with your best friend,” said Yarbro. “What I try to do is unapologetically show my skin-care opinions and push brands to be more accessible, while still being respectful.”In doing so, Yarbro captured and held the attention of millions. He experienced rapid growth from 4,000 to around 4 million followers within six months -- a milestone that he doesn’t take lightly. “Every single day, I'm still in awe and in shock, and I don't take it for granted,” he said. The exponential growth of his following yielded a plethora of sponsorship opportunities, which, according to Yarbro, can be “a slippery slope.” “I see the mistake of a lot of people taking sponsorships that don't align with their personal philosophy,” said Yarbro. “I only accept the ones that fall in line exactly with my philosophy, and I encourage that for other creators, too.”With the release of his own skin-care brand, Selfless By Hyram, in partnership with The Inkey List, Yarbro is living proof of the benefits of staying true to one’s own philosophy in what can be a cutthroat industry. When looking at his options for launching his own brand, Yarbro “didn't want the purpose and entire philosophy of the brand to be swept away by corporate semantics.” The philosophy in question for Yarbro is about social change, specifically through reforestation and clean drinking water efforts, which he found to be perfectly aligned with The Inkey List, founded by Mark Curry and Colette Laxton. “I think it's amazing, and it's definitely not something that fell into our laps. Mark and Collette can attest to the sheer workload that is involved,” said Yarbro. “But it's a testament to the power that we as a collective can have when everyone is aligned on the same philosophy.”
47 minutes | Jun 10, 2021
Ben Bennett of The Center: “I disagree that the market is saturated”
It was Ben Bennett’s first job working at Limited Brands that showed him the power of working on a portfolio of businesses. Early in his career, Bennett, the founder and CEO of beauty brand incubator The Center, worked on 14 different apparel businesses at Limited Brands, but it was his time helping to conceive Bath & Body Works that got him hooked on beauty.“I’d never considered developing fragrances or personal care products,” he said on this week’s episode of the Glossy Beauty Podcast. “I looked at Bath & Body Works like this was another specialty business that I was brought in to help influence seasonality and trend: What would that mean, season after season, to look at what was happening culturally in the world and how we could incorporate that into the things that we were developing?”At the time, body wash hadn’t quite upended bar soap and consumers were shopping in drugstores. “Body wash was something that maybe wealthy people used when they went to a spa. It wasn’t such a common item. Bath & Body Works opened up a whole new category of personal care for consumers and created almost a frenzy around coming in and experiencing the new fragrance,” he said.Since then, Bennett has been instrumental in creating the next guard of beauty brands, first at incubator Hatchbeauty and now at The Center, which he founded in 2020. At just over a year old, The Center has been busy, relaunching Make Beauty under new ownership and debuting Naturium with skin-care influencer Susan Yara. Bennett will bring Phlur’s rebrand to market in fall and launch a fourth brand in the first quarter of 2022.
36 minutes | Jun 3, 2021
Charlotte Cho on Soko Glam and Then I Met You: "We have the best of both worlds"
Charlotte Cho, Soko Glam co-founder and Then I Met You founder, was one of the original purveyors of K-Beauty in the U.S. But nearly nine years after launching the e-commerce platform Soko Glam, she acknowledges that the category has changed significantly."Korean beauty has never been about one product, one category or even one brand. It's been a skin-first philosophy. It's really helped introduce skin care as a self-care moment. It's been about the general innovation at large; it's helped push the envelope in the beauty industry to innovate," said Cho on the most recent episode of the Glossy Beauty Podcast.While there have been murmurs that K-beauty has plateaued, with Innisfree's recent store closures in the U.S., Canada and China, Cho disputes that point."Maybe you're not seeing K-beauty trends popping up in the media, because honestly, the industry and the brands have wised up and they've actually started producing and manufacturing a lot of their products in Korea," she said.And though some of Cho's original K-beauty peers -- think Glow Recipe, Memebox and Peach & Lily -- have moved beyond curation to branded products, Cho was clear to state that curation will always be a part of her founder's story, even with the addition of her skin-care brand, Then I Met You, which will be launching at Cult Beauty this week."I truly take delight in introducing Korean brands and innovations through Soko Glam, and providing a platform for new and exciting indie brands. I think that people in our community really trust us and want to hear from our lens -- a K-beauty lens but, ultimately, a quality skin care lens… That will never change," she said.
35 minutes | May 27, 2021
Natura chief brand officer Andrea Alvares: "We were a social network before social networks existed"
Like many beauty executives, Andrea Alvares, Natura chief brand officer of innovation, international and sustainability, saw her business completely change with the onset of Covid-19. Meetings on Zoom became commonplace and a digital-centric model became priority No. 1. But while the U.S. is close to normalcy, the bulk of Natura's business is in Latin America where the pandemic ravages on."We're still in a weird space. In Latin America, you've got some countries like Chile that are a bit further down, in terms of the vaccination programs for everyone. The majority of the Latin American countries are still in the initial stages of vaccination," said Alvares on the most recent episode of the Glossy Beauty Podcast. "It was very difficult also to do complete lockdowns because the whole socio-economic landscape isn't a favorable one, in terms of ensuring that you keep people really in isolation. There are some situations where it's just not possible. We've seen a reduction in overall death rate -- it's dropped by half -- but it's still very high, and we can't get used to it."Still, the Natura brand saw net revenue grow by 12.6% in Brazil and 60.4% in Hispanic Latin America for the most recent quarter, announced in May.Alvares largely credits the wins to Natura's holistic approach to beauty and the brand's social selling model. Of the latter, she said. "It has been absolutely critical to the fact that we've been so resilient and that we actually fared well in 2020. We were a social network before social networks existed; they've been dialed up with digital tools [now] that actually amplify the reach of that business model. We actually helped many of our consultants up their capabilities in digital -- so, their skills using digital tools and actually be[ing] able to sell in this environment. We reached 1.3 million virtual consultants in Latin America over the past year, which is incredible -- that's more than double the size we were seeing pre-pandemic."
48 minutes | May 20, 2021
The Skinny Confidential's Lauryn Bosstick: "I don't claim to be an expert, I'm a practitioner of beauty"
Lauryn Bosstick, the blogger, podcast host and beauty brand executive -- she launched her Skinny Confidential-branded product line in April -- has had an unusual route to becoming a founder. But being a disrupter has always been her m.o."I am not an expert. I do not claim to be an expert. I am a practitioner of beauty. I am someone who's tried every product," said Bosstick on the latest episode of the Glossy Beauty Podcast. "I want to show women that you can be a bartender and be broke, and you can go disrupt a space that's cliquey."Bosstick was, in fact, a bartender and a Pure Barre instructor while attending San Diego State University, when she started her blog in 2011. It later spawned a podcast show and a line of products."I joined a sorority, and in the sorority, they told me it was $800. I was like, 'What do you mean, it's $800 to have friends and community?' I couldn't believe it. I was already broke. I couldn't afford $800. So I left the sorority after two seconds, [thinking,] 'This isn't gonna work for me.' And [I thought,] 'How can I do this online? How can I do it better? And how can I do it for free?" she said.Bosstick was more than able to grow that community: She has 1.3 million followers on Instagram, 278,000 fans on Facebook, 38,000 newsletter subscribers and 2.6 million monthly impressions on her blog. The Skinny Confidential podcast has 90 million downloads, and the new line of "beauty wellness" products, which started with a facial roller and oil, has beat projections since launch by 300%.
44 minutes | May 13, 2021
Bybi co-founders Elsie Rutterford and Dominika Minarovic: "The term sustainable is a little bit problematic"
"Sustainability" was a buzzword in beauty and wellness well before the pandemic. But due to 2020's stay-at-home orders, coupled with the sheer volume of boxes and waste from online shipping, beauty companies recognized they needed to up their focus on sustainable practices.For British beauty brand Bybi, which came to market in 2017, its road to "sustainability" has been a work in progress. "The term sustainable is a little bit problematic in itself. It's not regulated, so what does it even mean?," said Elsie Rutterford, co-founder of Bybi, on this week's episode of the Glossy Beauty Podcast.Rutterford started the natural brand focused on performance with Dominika Minarovic, a friend and colleague from their time in advertising. With no professional beauty experience, the twosome first started a natural beauty content platform called Clean Beauty Insiders before going on to make products in their kitchen. A full-fledged beauty line wasn't in the cards."When we first started, we grew this content platform... We had a book published by Penguin, which was kind of a recipe book for your skin, your hair -- all centered around natural ingredients. We were running these events, workshops in central London, where we would bring together people who were interested in making their own beauty products. We spent quite a lot of time just testing out different ways of monetizing the content that we'd sort of begun to do as a hobby. [Products] were never our end goal," said Rutterford.But their authentic approach to beauty building yielded more than they bargained for. In December 2020, Bybi raised a $7 million Series A, and it launched into 1,800 Target doors in January. Minarovic said that the brand grew 200% in the pandemic and has high hopes for Target to be a $10 million to $20 million account.Below are additional highlights from the conversation, which have been lightly edited for clarity.
43 minutes | May 6, 2021
Trinny London's Trinny Woodall on building "a brand she can live the rest of her life with"
Trinny Woodall was well-known and beloved in her native U.K. as style writer and "What Not to Wear" host, well before she started her DTC makeup brand Trinny London in 2017. But, Woodall, who acts as founder and CEO of her brand, doesn't think of herself as an "influencer" who is dabbling in beauty."I'm not really an influencer who's launched a brand. I think I always knew I would launch a brand," she said on this week's episode of the Glossy Beauty Podcast.Woodall said her business was on her mind for at least five years prior to its debut, but actually started taking shape when she was a child. "From six years of age, I did makeovers on girls in my boarding school, and I think I got the bug then of how you could transform how a person feels by these different aspects: by doing their makeup, their hair, their clothing. I spent 20 years refining that."The pandemic helped solidify Woodall's point of differentiation. Her brand remains digital-only -- a saving grace during Covid-19 -- and banks on its Match2Me technology that personalizes the makeup assortment a customer sees based on their hair, eye and skin color. Last year, Trinny London hit about $62 million in revenue, and growth is on Woodall's mind -- but not necessarily in the same way that others increase their market share."I don't want to be a [founder] that goes in and says, 'OK, here's brow. Let's see if the 28 different variations of brow we can do [work],'" she said. "I feel that, because we have so much choice, it makes it harder and harder to decide what woman you are and what you want to buy."
31 minutes | Apr 29, 2021
The Lip Bar's Melissa Butler: "Beauty doesn't look like one thing"
Unlike many beauty entrepreneurs, Melissa Butler, founder and CEO of The Lip Bar, wasn't a makeup or skin-care fanatic. Butler started her professional career at Barclay's, and her entree into beauty was driven by being frustrated with how women were judged by their looks -- this was especially true on Wall Street."I oftentimes was having to show up for myself in a multitude of ways, thinking about what my hair looked like, what my makeup looked like, and also, ultimately, thinking about what my core work performance was," she said on the most recent episode of the Glossy Beauty Podcast. "In thinking about how I showed up and what beauty meant to me, I became incredibly frustrated -- frustrated with the beauty industry, its lack of diversity, not seeing people who look like me. [It] really was just this idea that beauty was linear. And I was like, 'Wait, no'. Beauty doesn't look like one thing. It looks like all things, and I'm included within that."In many ways, The Lip Bar, launched in 2011, was the opposite of what was prevalent in beauty at the time."I very vividly remember the beauty industry and the media essentially putting the Kim K. look on a pedestal. That Kim K. look was supposed to be aspirational for every single woman in the United States. Meanwhile, only probably 2% of the women in the country look like her," said Butler. "It's like, 'Well, if she is the standard of beauty, then how am I to be made to feel?' That's something that I was questioning -- I was questioning it for myself, for my friends, for my family and just everyday women."The Lip Bar, which first debuted with lip products, launched with unexpected colors like purple, blue, yellow and orange. "We didn't even have a single red or nude lipstick... [That was] really to say I'm making a statement that beauty is a matter of self-expression," she said.Ten years later, the once DTC-only Lip Bar has expanded beyond lip to complexion products, launched in national retailers like Target and Walmart, and doubled its sales every year for the last four years.
34 minutes | Apr 22, 2021
LoveSeen founder Jenna Lyons: "It's incredibly important to stand in who you are"
When Jenna Lyons left her role as president and executive creative director of J.Crew in 2017, few assumed that her next act would be in beauty.But in September 2020, Lyons debuted LoveSeen, her eyelash extension brand with digital connection and content at its core. Lessons Lyons enforced at J.Crew -- personality, individuality, stretching the boundaries of style and owning your message -- have been amplified tenfold with LoveSeen."Having felt not seen when I was young, feeling left out of a lot of things or just not feeling beautiful, I realized how powerful it is to feel attractive. It really is transformative. It can make you happy, simply happy," she said on the most recent episode of the Glossy Beauty Podcast.Like many beauty founders, Lyons zeroed in on a category, eyelashes, because of personal experience. She doesn't have any, due to a genetic disorder, and wasn't able to participate in the growing trend of professional eyelash extensions."Anyone who has something that they feel deficient in, I'm sure that's the thing that you notice on everyone else," she said. "I was super attuned to other people's eyelashes. I noticed all the women in my office coming in with eyelash extensions that literally would arrive in the room before they did. I was doing research for a beauty company separately, and I was watching all these Huda Beauty videos, where she was putting on, like, seven layers of concealer, eyeliner, eyeshadow and highlighter. How many products can one person put on their face? But I loved it. At the end, [she always] put on an eyelash. I thought it was really interesting that it was two really opposite ends of the beauty spectrum: these girls at J.Crew who were wearing no other makeup and Huda Beauty candidates who were, like, full makeup."
28 minutes | Apr 15, 2021
44 minutes | Apr 8, 2021
Waldencast's Michel Brousset: Beauty brand building is about "managing this level of complexity"
After 20 years in big beauty, with stints at L'Oréal and Procter & Gamble, Waldencast founder and CEO Michel Brousset set out to start over, with an eye on the future."We started with a dream, which was to create this big global company, but you [have to] start as an entrepreneur. I'm an entrepreneur, just like founders are," said Brousset on the most recent episode of the Glossy Beauty Podcast.Brousset was most recently group president of L’Oréal's consumer products division in North America. In 2019, he started Waldencast by investing in and providing operational support for emerging brands. Early investments included refillable cosmetics line Kjaer Weis and Francisco Costa's beauty debut Costa Brazil, which was recently sold to Amyris. And while that is still one arm of the business, brand incubation is also a focus. It debuted its first foray last week, a travel-inspired line dubbed Whind, and it has three other brands in the works.With multiple goals and scale as its focus, Waldencast recently announced its special purpose acquisition company (or SPAC), Waldencast Acquisition Corp, with $633 million to invest."As we were developing these two areas of how to create this new, next-generation company -- in a way, we're creating it from a blank sheet of paper, the way we want to create it and with the values that we want to create -- we started thinking relatively early that we wanted to do larger acquisitions," he said. "When we started developing and firming up how to do that is where we landed with a SPAC, as an efficient way of building that capability."Still, Brousset said the focus for Waldencast is to bet on brands with a similar ethos. "If you look at all the brands in our portfolio, they have certain threads or flows between them, some commonality between them. They are brands that have in their DNA, not just a perspective on beauty, but also a perspective relative to important social values like sustainability, inclusivity, responsibility and conscious entrepreneurship, which happen to be our values," said Brousset.
42 minutes | Apr 1, 2021
Robin Tsai of VMG Partners: "We're delving into categories that are still a little amorphous"
Private equity firm VMG Partners has invested in some of beauty's biggest disrupters: Drunk Elephant, Briogeo and Perfect Diary. But the 16-year-old firm didn't have a firm playbook when it first started out, said Robin Tsai, a general partner at VMG who leads the company's beauty and wellness practice."As a first-time fund, you're really more defined by what works and what doesn't," he said on this week's episode of the Glossy Beauty Podcast. "You can have all these great theses at that point in time, but it's a lot easier to connect the dots when you're actually looking backward than when you're looking forward. What I would say that we're good at is working with founders. It's just something that was part of our DNA. It probably also came from the fact that we were a startup, as well, so we could really empathize with what people were going through. We found that we were very good with brands and had a certain gut in terms of what consumers really cared about and where they were headed."To date, VMG has realized many of its beauty and wellness investments, including Drunk Elephant, which sold to Shiseido for $845 million in 2019, which is something that Tsai said founders recognize. "We have sold the most businesses of any consumer fund to strategics over the last 15 years. That track record is an important one, and it's something that founders truly care about," he said.And while the investing landscape is changing rapidly, with firms investing earlier and SPACs becoming part of the equation, Tsai said VMG's focus is on "elevating" the businesses it invests in. "Our M.O. is really more about investing deeply within the ecosystem of the categories that we're investing in, so that's food and beverage, beauty and personal care, the wellness space, alcohol and spirits, the pet space. It really is having a super, super deep knowledge of who the stakeholders are, what makes them tick," he said
38 minutes | Mar 25, 2021
Jane Hertzmark Hudis of Estée Lauder Companies: "We are really brand builders over time"
During a full year of uncertainty and change, companies found few things they could bet on. But for Estée Lauder Companies, its hero product strategy provided to be fundamental. In its latest quarterly earnings, 10 of ELC’s brands saw growth. La Mer and its namesake brand Estée Lauder saw double-digit sales growth, thanks to iconic franchises."[The strategy is] really to focus on our hero products. Because first and foremost, these products are absolutely loved," said Jane Hertzmark Hudis, executive group president of the Estée Lauder Companies, on the most recent episode of the Glossy Beauty Podcast. "They will drive the greatest amount of recruitment, which is new consumers to our brand, and repeat business, which is the loyalty to the products. Advanced Night Repair and Crème de la Mer are great examples. However, we do innovate in what we call those franchises."A long-term ELC veteran, Hertzmark Hudis started at Prescriptives within the company before taking leadership roles at Origins and Estée Lauder. She is often pointed to as the driver of the organization's skin-care wins. In July, she became the first woman promoted to executive group president at the conglomerate.Though the concept of prestige beauty is evolving, Hertzmark Hudis affirmed that Estée Lauder Companies will "be pure-play, focused on prestige and luxury.""The luxury business is booming, and people want more and more luxury, and more and more luxury experiences. So luxury is, quite frankly, here to stay," she said
39 minutes | Mar 18, 2021
"I fell in love with what it promised": Casey Georgeson of Saint Jane on the power of luxury CBD
Casey Georgeson, founder and CEO of Saint Jane Beauty, was building brands for others, like LVMH's Kendo and Cupcake Vineyards, before she saw herself as a "founder.""I've always been that behind the scenes," she said on the most recent episode of the Glossy Beauty Podcast. Oftentimes people would ask me, 'When are you going to start your own brand?' 'When are you going to be a founder?' I never felt like I had the big idea to do that, to make the leap. I knew what went into it, and I knew how extraordinarily difficult it would be."That changed, however, when Georgeson was introduced to CBD while working in the wine industry. Though many people had negative opinions of CBD because of its connection to marijuana, Georgeson believed it had greater appeal. "I fell in love with what it promised," she said.And despite the stoner presentation in dispensaries, she also believed that CBD had the power to be a luxury skin-care and wellness ingredient. Today, Saint Jane is sold at Sephora and Credo, and on its own DTC site. The company's sales grew 300% in 2020.
39 minutes | Mar 11, 2021
L'Oréal technology incubator's Guive Balooch on marrying beauty and tech
Though a 15-year-veteran in beauty, Guive Balooch, head of L'Oréal's technology incubator, considers his outsider-turned-insider perspective a skill. Balooch started his professional career as an instructor at the University of California, Berkeley before working in pharmaceuticals."I spent almost half of my life really focused on academia and science," he said on the most recent episode of the Glossy Beauty Podcast. "I fell upon this job in L'Oréal, because I was moving to Chicago for family reasons .. I didn't know anything about the company. I will say that I did like fashion and beauty, in general, even before joining L'Oreal, but I didn't really know much. I discovered this incredible industry ... I feel like if I didn't grow up in an academic family that I probably would have ended up being a marketer, because I really like business and product and consumers. At the same time, I feel a bit lucky because I have this fundamental science background, and I used my experience of being at L'Oréal almost 15 years to learn the marketing and the consumer part."In the early to mid 2000's L'Oréal's technology and digital ambitions were just getting started. Balooch found his footing in the now timely skin and hair sectors, but he knew technology had the power to transform the beauty industry, even back then. "The idea that we've have had from day one on my team has been: How can we really elevate the beauty experience for people around the world by using tech?"
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