Beauty Store Business

AUG 2017

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60 August 2017 | BOUNCING BACK When Jacobson started at Seventeen magazine as an assistant beauty editor with zero journalism experience, she was the only assistant with a two-year-old in tow. Previously, the New York native had been living in Paris, working as a fashion stylist for a photographer. "I thought it would be a natural tran- sition to work in an editorial department, but it was a very big learning curve," she recalls with a laugh. "I was the oldest assistant there, just starting my career." But, to no one's surprise, juggling responsibilities—and excelling at any- thing she set her mind to—was already intrinsic to her character. Soon, Jacobson likes to say, she went "from acne to wrinkles." Following her two years at Seventeen in the early '70s, she spent nearly two decades at Harper's Bazaar as associate beauty editor and then beauty editor, while at the same time working as a beauty consultant in the '90s, producing editorial content for big-name brands like Chanel, Donna Karan and CEW. "Being a beauty editor is all about covering the marketplace: knowing and trying the new products, identifying trends, conceptualizing pieces, meeting with manufacturers," Jacobson says. That know-how would serve her well in her career's next phase. When she (along with most of the staff) was fired from Harper's after a new editor took over, Jacobson didn't stew. She piv- oted and advanced forward by assuming one of her most accomplished roles to date, president of the New York-based CEW, an organization started in 1954 (then called Cosmetic Career Women) for women to network in the industry. Despite a solid base of insider con- tacts and an intimate knowledge of the industry, and even gaining experience serving on the board as chairperson of CEW while still an editor, she knew that overseeing the organization was a completely new ball game. "CEW was and is still growing, but back then it was small enough, and I felt I had ideas that would benefit and pro- mote women in the industry," Jacobson says. "It felt like it would fulfill things for me that I wanted to do." Indeed, a quick look at the numbers demonstrates her success. Starting with only one part-time assistant in 1996, she has since grown the organization to 30-plus employees. In 2000, CEW counted 400 members; today, it's comprised of more than 7,000 (8,800 internationally). In 2010, memberships became open to men, and now they make up roughly 10 percent of the constituency. Moreover, Jacobson has signifi- cantly built the board to reflect the demographic and has maintained a rig- orous events schedule to keep pace with the growth of the industry and CEW membership. She also spear- headed online development and growth with Beauty Insider articles and videos, which report on beauty trends, merg- ers and acquisitions, financial news, and digital and social media marketing; webinars; a membership directory; and the Mentor Match program, an online networking and career development tool for mentors and mentees within the CEW member community. "I had the best people to learn from, as far as business and marketing, since our board was always comprised of top women in the industry who were very helpful in guiding me," she says. "I've always had a great staff, even when there were two of us! And a lot came from my experience as an editor, to know what people want and give it to them in a way that's easy to grasp and satisfies their needs. Everyone needs knowledge of the entire industry, not just their own company." GIVING BACK Working in the first-ever organization with a mission to help advance women in the beauty industry, Jacobson is understandably proud of growing the board and its members while boosting the industry's esteem for CEW. But she's also proud of touching so many lives in a profound way, whether it be through events, recognizing women's achieve- ments with the Top Talent and Achiever Awards or through the nonprofit Can- cer and Careers, which helps cancer patients navigate the workplace while in treatment. "My position has meaning—support- ing people in the industry, recognizing their accomplishments and giving them access to industry leaders and valu- able contacts," Jacobson says. "I try to support and give back to the people who support CEW—our board members, sponsors and members. I'm very grateful for the support CEW has received from the industry and always look for oppor- tunities to recognize them." Jacobson's support has also shone through with the creation of Beauty Insider Awards, a way to let consumers know about the best products on the mar- ket thanks to its expert members' ranking prowess. As CEW's only outward-facing event, the award ceremony has grown tremendously since inception 22 years ago, bringing attention to innovation in the industry. And, of course, she assumes responsibility for the well-being of her own staff, working with team members to help them become more self-aware, build on their strengths and assist in their professional development. "I try to empower my staff and am very clear on what our goals are, but I also spend time with our board members and take courses "I think the real change will come in stores as they need to play a different role—what can the store offer them? What can't they get online?" MEMBERSHIP BENEFITS Cosmetic Executive Women (CEW) supports beauty industry professionals at every career stage in every facet of the industry—prestige manufacturers, indie brands, suppliers, distributors, retailers and investors. Some benefits of a membership include: • Access to a global network of industry professionals from which to grow, learn and exchange ideas • 20-plus events to connect with other members and learn from the top innovators in the industry • Exclusive industry intelligence and trend reports • Opportunities for your brand to be discovered, including CEW's Beauty Demo and Awards programs • Career resources and mentoring opportunities • An invaluable database of membership contacts "Beyond the benefits we outline on paper, when you're a CEW member, you're part of a community—a global support network alongside the best and brightest in the industry. CEW membership can instantly elevate someone's career. It may be an introduction to a sought-after contact at our events, or renewed motivation after hearing another member's story, or an invaluable piece of data that can be applied back at the office. Membership continually opens doors of all sizes." —Carlotta Jacobson, president, CEW

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