Who: Ian Ginsberg, President, C.O. Bigelow
CEW Member: since 2016
Biz Cred: Ian is the third-generation owner and President of C.O. Bigelow, America’s oldest apothecary; he is also a pharmacist. Ian infused new life into his shop by creating its own eponymous product range, and by curating European brands he knew would appeal to savvy New Yorkers and tourists alike. C.O. Bigelow products have grown into a successful business and are sold in luxury boutiques, lifestyle stores, and department stores in the U.S. and abroad.
What quality does a product need in order for you to recommend it?
For me, as a retailer and an advocate for our own brand and others, there are three main elements which make a product worthy of recommendation. Of course, a brand needs a great story, whether it’s a story rich in heritage or a foundation built on a great ingredient story—a product needs something to talk about and share, something that touches you emotionally. Second, the product needs a great package, something you’re proud to display either by your sink, in your cabinet or to pull out of your bag. And third, and most importantly, the product needs to do what it says it’s going to do. It needs to add something special to your daily routine or daily life, such as a skin care product that changes your skin, a fragrance that makes people ask what you’re wearing, a shower or bath product that takes you away for a moment to a different place, something that makes you look or feel better.
You’ve won a CEW Beauty Creators Award. How was it meaningful to you?
We won a Beauty Creators Award in 2007 and honestly it was one of the highlights of my career. Accepting the award on the stage at The Waldorf, in front of an audience of my peers, was pretty memorable. While we all receive recognition for our brand and our products from the media and from our fans, it is always special to receive praise from your colleagues.
Why is recognition by the beauty industry important?
Recognition by the industry is always important to my team, my brand and myself. All of us make cosmetic products that we hope will make our customers happy. We all do our best to appeal to our fans and to the media and to create something noticeably different. CEW is an organization of our peers and amongst us we produce a fairly vast array of cosmetic products. Receiving an award voted on by beauty industry experts lets you know that you’ve done something special…that you’ve created something that your peers have voted on and decided, that despite the massive launches, this rose above and touched them in some way.
Be sure to vote for this year’s Beauty Creators Awards Winners!