Beauty Store Business

AUG 2019

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Page 47 of 75

46 August 2019 | annually rom a pool o thousands o potential applicants. Rapay inished her degree in 2011– and suddenly, it was time or another change. NEW BEGINNING "Ater being with Clinique or 13 years, I once again elt the burn to try something new," says the pro. "I love everything about that company and its people, but the urge to move on pulled strong." Once again, timing coincided with her birthday. "I didn't have a new job lined up, but as a git to mysel, I made the conscious decision to resign and see where I might land," she says. What ollowed was a nearly year-long stay back in the Philippines, to be with her mother who had returned home and had allen ill. Rapay came back to New York City in January 2018, ready to interview, with one idea certainty ixed in her mind: She didn't want to work or just a single beauty brand. That's when ate stepped in via a recruiter who knew BolongaFiere Cosmopro was not only looking to hire a new marketing lead, but also move its headquarters or marketing operations and unctions rom Las Vegas, where they'd long been based, to Manhattan, Rapay's home base. Perhaps even more astounding is that despite being in the beauty business or over a decade, Rapay had never heard o Cosmopro beore she scored her interview. "I told them I didn't know anything about them during our irst meeting," she admits. "East Coast perception o the show isn't as high as on the West Coast, but i an industry insider like me was in the dark, how many others are out there?" Rather than a challenge, the pro believes this lack o knowledge poses a remarkable opportunity. Her irst order o business ater oicially coming onboard was to crat a comprehensive plan or how to exponentially increase overall awareness o the Comsmopro group as a brand. All the training she acquired at Estée Lauder translates seamlessly to this new role. "I was responsible or media advertising at Clinique, which means I knew how to start creating a better digital strategy," says Rapay. "From LinkedIn to social postings on Instagram and Facebook to native ads, Cosmopro is now getting a lot more hits." The website likewise required revamping, and Rapay ocused on making it as seamless and user-riendly as possible. "By keeping custom- ers top o mind and ocusing on their ease o navigation, we were able to drop our website bounce rate by 85 percent in the irst ew months," she says. The eel o Cosmopro's online platorms has evolved. Synergy now exists between its social channels, which themselves boast a thoughtully curated look. "Using Google analytics, I'm also making sure to target my lookalikes–those who were previ- ously unamiliar with Cosmopro," says Rapay. "This is an amazing platorm or connecting people in our industry, and I want every member o the beauty community to be aware o all it has to oer." Connection has long been important to the woman who believes on a undamental level that tight relationships are one o the constants required to succeed in business. She's strengthening the global ties between all Cosmopro events–Las Vegas, Bologna, Hong Kong and Mumbai–to create continuity or brands and guests, so they may better leverage participation at and ater shows. "We've also made our buyer program a top priority, in the hopes o attracting additional proliic partners such as Alibaba, Bluemercury, Space NK, Macy's and CVS, among others," says Rapay. "I'm excited to work with all beauty companies, rom startups to established brands." This year's Cosmopro Las Vegas eatured a variety o new participants. "Our exhibitors are our customers, and we must listen to what they want in order to continue growing," notes Rapay. Such evolution urther relies on the establishment o partnerships with other industry leaders. Rapay recently announced a strategic global alliance with FIT, whose beauty programs are supported by inluential brands. She's likewise nurturing a relationship with NPD Group, a top market research company, which will have speakers at this year's Las Vegas show. "I personally selected NPD and really wanted them to be present, because their wealth o data relates directly to methods and strategies or improving sales," notes the expert. Be on the lookout or additional exciting innovations already in the works or next year's Cosmopro. "We'll be making more changes and improvements, as I continue grasping details o how the show perorms," says Rapay. "In the meantime, my goal remains the same: continue to evolve, while maintaining our standing as the leading beauty trade show in America and around the world." Having long ago shed her childhood tomboy status, Rapay has also become a discerning beauty consumer. Today, she still uses Clinique's 3-Step or combination skin, starting with Liquid Facial Soap, ollowed by Clariying Lotion 3, and inishing with Dramatically Dierent Moisturizing Gel. But as she's grown in her knowledge o the ever-changing beauty industry, so too have new products been added: La Mer's The Eye Balm Intense and Crème de la Mer count as avorites. "With so many brands exhibiting at Cosmopro, I'm excited to continue trying new products with strong proposition," says Rapay. Her united passions or beauty, business and relationships make a winning ormula. ■ Francesca Moisin is a beauty and haircare writer based in Somerville, MA. "Our exhibitors are our customers, and we must listen to what they want in order to continue growing." Roughly 40,000 attendees are expected to attend this year's CPNA. Courtesy o CPNA

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