Beauty Store Business

JUL 2016

Beauty Store Business provides solutions for better retailing! New products, industry news, savvy business moves and important trends affecting both brick-and-mortar and online retailers are included in each issue.

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Page 29 of 115

28 July 2016 | has been to try to present K-beauty to the U.S. customer with the right education, translation and curation." The two CEOs' clear vision of where they want to take Korean beauty, however, is what helps them guide the conversation being generated on the topic. "As a business, it's critical to have a clear point of difference on what you are offering your customer," Chang says. "For us, our focus is on natural, [non-harsh] Korean beauty—because we believe that these will give the best quality-product experi- ence to K-beauty, especially for the American consumer who hasn't experienced Korean products before." Another way they are lending their voices to the K-beauty conversation is through the brand's active blog. Glow Recipe has also partnered with Dramafever to launch "Get Your Glow On," a YouTube tutorial series. Furthermore, the brand has launched #ButSkinFirst, a series of videos designed to make K-beauty easy and accessible. By serving as a bridge between the bicultural beauty spheres and leveraging their experience in both, Chang and Lee possess a unique insight into both the products they promote and the U.S. consumer they aim to educate. Before long, they will be the definitive source for Korean beauty—which is ultimately, their goal. "We have a vision that K beauty isn't just a trend, but will be a long-lived essential to the daily skincare routine for all women around the globe." . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . MAKING ROOM FOR SMALLER PLAYERS The landscape of beauty in 2016 is changing. Luckily for Christine Chang and Sarah Lee, these changes are making room for niche sites like Glow Recipe to truly flourish. "The beauty industry [was once] driven heavily by the bigger players in the market. Currently, the rise of alternative, natural and homegrown brands has been incredible as customers respond to this new wave of authenticity and transparency in beauty. We think this type of connection between brand and customer will only strengthen as time goes on, aided by real-time digital and social platforms." . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Letty Calvo CEO, Vera Mona Cosmetics Age: 37 IG: @vera_mona FB: "It's kind of like a rite of passage: If it's in Sephora stores, then it must be good." "There's an element of realness that is really important; especially with today's consumer." Although Letty Calvo's career began in makeup—working for Sears and Nordstrom—the course of her career led her toward sales and operations, leading her to believe that business was where she was meant to be. Midway through her MBA program, however, she made a surprising comeback to the beauty world. And it all began with an idea. "I took a start-up busi- ness course where I had to develop a product or a service," Calvo says. "I was doing my makeup one night, and it kind of just hit me: There isn't an instant cleaner for brushes." Soon, the prototype developed for class evolved into a real-life business plan—and Calvo realized she had a knack for inventing products. Calvo and her husband reached out to friends and family, and raised enough funds to build the business— all from their garage. "After that, a famous beauty blogger, Lilit [MakeupByLilit, also a CEO featured on this list—see page 26], posted a video [about the product], and it went viral," Calvo explains. In just a matter of months, Vera Mona Cosmetics was born. The breakthrough product was the Color Switch Brush Cleaner, which allows users to switch between colors with the dab of a sponge—rather than switch brushes. "Here we are, two years later, and we're in every Sephora in the United States," Calvo says. The brand's partnership with Sephora has been a major force behind its steadfast rise. The partnership led to major exposure, including a recent appearance on the Today show. "Sephora is the stamp of approval. That alone has raised awareness of our brand. It's kind of like a rite of passage: If it's in Sephora stores, then it must be good." The brand also has been backed by others in the industry. "One of the things that has stood out most is the amount of support we've received from different brands," Calvo says, also giving major credit to beauty influencers. "Without beauty influencers, we couldn't have grown so quickly. They've supported us from the get-go." Despite the support from the industry, family is still Calvo's No. 1 support system—which can be traced back to the name. "'Vera Mona' means true doll in Spanish and Italian," Calvo says. "Ironically, after we picked the name, we saw that right in the center of the two names is our father's name, Ramon. That was super freaky, but cool, because my dad has always been the type of person who says you can do whatever you want in life. It felt like it was meant to be." . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . TAKING THE PLUNGE Letty Calvo never expected to return to the beauty industry as a budding entrepreneur. Yet, she may have never done it had she not first banished her fear. "You can't be fearful of rejection or of something failing. I thought at first, 'How embarrassing is this going to be if I put out a product and no one buys it?' That held me back for half a second; but it holds most people back for all their lives. You have to go for it." . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Nancy Twine CEO/Founder, Briogeo Age: 31 IG: @briogeo Twitter: @briogeohair FB: Nancy Twine dedicated seven years to a career in finance in New York City before she found herself called back to complete a family journey that had started long before she was born. "My grandmother raised eight children on a small farm in West Virginia. Because she didn't have much money or resources, she would use things she cultivated on the farm to provide for the family," Twine says. Her grandmother's natural soaps, butters and extracts relied simply on raw materials—a concept that would eventually inspire Twine to share her family trade with the world. "This idea of farm to table-product making was engrained in me from a very young age. Fast forward to my career in finance, when I noticed a lot more natural products emerging. But the mass-market products I was trying just didn't work as well," she says. Armed with her grandmother's recipes and the help of a natural-product chemist, Twine developed Briogeo's first four products, which she showcased at a local beauty expo to overwhelmingly positive feedback. Part of the attraction was Briogeo's artistic packaging. "When I created the line, I was 28 years old and very into product packaging. I really knew what my demographic wanted," Twine says.

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