Why is CEW membership important to you?
For me, it was like the being a part of something that I live and breathe and having an extended family that I can go to, that I can share with, that I can learn from. There is just so much about having an organization that understands what you do and can give you foresight and can share best practices. On top of all that, the opportunity to have networking opportunities through the years at the functions that are held. When you are in this business, the people in this business become your friends and so, you can’t believe over the years who you have met. And when you go to these networking sessions, it’s like going to a high school reunion almost. It really has been a source of comfort when there’s been difficult times and challenging times and people you can commiserate with and then it’s also been a source of great inspiration, to be able to tap into the knowledge that some of the members have, that you may not have.
What advice would you give someone who is inspired by your career and one day wants to be in a similar position?
There’s always one that comes to the top of my mind. Only because, I think I’ve worked with a number [of indie brands]. I’ve been on the Indie Advisory Board and I listen to lots of indie brands and startups. Everybody has great stories, but I would say that everybody thinks that their story is unique, and it’s unique to them. But I would say that one of the benefits of being involved in CEW is being able to look at brand profiles and know what else is out there, that might be considered competition or in your space, because you really do have to find that one-minute elevator pitch that sets you apart. If you don’t do your homework to see what you are up against, you may be working in a silo and not realizing that somebody else did what you’re doing or somebody else is doing what you’re doing. They’re already out there and they’re already garnering a lot of attention. How do you set yourself apart? I think doing homework and understanding why you are unique and why your brand is unique is critical to your success.
Even still to this day, I’ll tell my team in my office, my product development team, my marketing team, “you should be watching everything and anything that’s in our space, so you can see how other people are positioning things and if you’re going to start working on a project for product development, why would you work on something that everybody else already has?”. I always say, “We want to innovate not imitate”.
What do you love most about working in the beauty Industry?
I think that it’s an uplifting business to be in. There are a million businesses in this world, and I don’t know many businesses that are businesses of beauty, that make you happy, that help you. Even if you may be a quiet person, a private person, an introspective person, whatever it may be, beauty sometimes helps you feel better on the inside, just from working on the outside. I think that’s one of the reasons I went into this business. I think it was always a business of feel good and I don’t think there’s ever a time, even in this pandemic, that people don’t want to feel good. Especially during this time, people are clamoring to find out what it is that they can do to make themselves look good and feel better and that’s one of the things that attracted me to go into the beauty business.