049 – Wendi Berger of Pour le Monde – Fragrance, Naturally

Wendi Berger

Wendi BergerA 100% natural, fine fragrance company with charitable ethos…

Wendi Berger, Founder/CEO of Pour le Monde (certified 100% natural fine fragrances, vegan, cruelty free, each scent benefitting a different charity) joins Karen Moon and guest hosts Stephanie Flor [Around the World Beauty – Episode 17] and Sue Phillips [Scenterprises – Episode 5] in theMouthMedia Network studios powered by Sennheiser.

In this episode:

  • How Pour le Monde means “for the world”
  • Berger reveals her background was not in fragrance, but worked a lot in magazines and around beautyWendi Berger
  • The genesis of the company when she pregnant, when she found that her “beloved perfume” had suspect ingredients in it — and she couldn’t find any great perfumes with only natural ingredients
  • Storytelling around natural and what it means
  • Becoming a “B-Corp” – and being only the fragrance company as a B-Corp in the world
  • B-Corps – Companies doing good, sustainable practices
  • Sourcing natural ingredients from third-world countries
  • Pour le Monde’s three fragrances, a fourth on the way, and how they have done well with beauty editors
  • Each fragrance correlates to a mood
  • Only 450 fragrance notes to work with, couldn’t even use “absolutes”
  • How natural ingredients can age wellWendi Berger
  • Being able to learn the story behind a fragrance, and the experience behind why wearing fragrance means something
  • The charities Pour le Monde works with, how they were chosen, and selecting the names around the vision of each charity
  • Envision – multiple sclerosis
  • Empower – guide dogs
  • Together – cancer support
  • The motivation to launch a startup
  • How and why the name Pour le Monde came from a friend
  • Getting into her first store, and that special moment while at a trade show
  • Advice on trade show success
  • The meaning of naturals and absolutes
  • Why 450 notes – specifically

048 – Jared Schiffman of Perch Interactive – Shelf Stories

PERCH

Interactive retail displays…

PERCHJared Schiffman, Co-Founder/CTO of Perch Interactive (the leader in physical+digital interactive displays for retail marketing) joins Regina Gwynn, Karen Moon, and Abby Wallach in the Podcast Booth at NRF Big Show.

In this episode:

  • The startup journey of Perch Interactive
  • Retailers who are not adapting to the transforming path of retail wont survive
  • Schiffman’s impression and takeaways of NRF, “the biggest show of year”
  • Displaying content that is 80% pre-existing assets/media coming from partners
  • Putting together ideas as solutions for new clients
  • Working out of templates Perch Interactive has developed, not doing software development per client, how it is scalable
  • Customers don’t want a ton of info
  • The ability to be in-store in 6-8 weeks, and being able to update content in as little as 2 weeks, taking execution risk out of the equation
  • Starting simple
  • Getting new ideas by visiting stores and seeing how products are displayed
  • A new product Shelf Touch for sensing high density products, and how that was conceived
  • High value products you cannot touch but can touch glass and interact with product
  • Inspiring persistence in growing a business to success

047 – Karen Young of Oui Shave – The New Smooth

Oui Shave

Razor for women, designed by women, ingrown-free, irritation-free life, eco-friendly and zero waste…

Oui ShaveKaren Young, Founder/CEO of Oui Shave joins Abby Wallach and guest hosts Kelly Kovack (Beauty Matter – Episode 24) and April Franzino (Good Housekeeping – Episode 29) in the MouthMedia Network studios powered by Sennheiser.

In this episode:

  • Shaving and a new way of thinking about razors
  • How Young came up with idea – raised in Guyana in South America, surrounded by uncles, went through shaving with safety razor, fascinated by the process, and it all stuck with her
  • She started growing hair during puberty, and was covered in razor burn, thought shaving was a horrible thing for womenOui Shave
  • Working at Estee Lauder, considered the feeling of luxury women are used to and researched and found safety razor history
  • How the razor does not pull hair up and cut some closer, the hair grows back evenly which feels smoother
  • Multi-blade razors have a lift and cut mechanism, but end up with ingrown hairs and razor burn
  • Educating women on razors and shaving, in the past women were just given colored razors and scented foams, but have been paying more
  • Oui Shave is about to develop a new razorOui Shave
  • So many ingrown hair treatments are not natural or effective, so Oui Shave is developing a solution
  • The jumping off point to starting her own company
  • Funding the business, customer funded, then by success with the WeWork Creator Awards
  • The challenge of showing the way for paying a higher price for luxury experience when woman used to something cheap at local drug storeOui Shave
  • The substantial weight of the razor
  • Customers started helping promote
  • Communicating with customers to continue to develop the product
  • Young wants old school barbershop pop-up stores
  • Ending up in beauty industry and packaging design, from having a small company focused on textile design, and how she ended up at Estee Lauder
  • The healing power of jade with Gua Sha

 

046 – Divya Gugnani of Wander Beauty – Cosmetics with a Compass

Wander Beauty

Fewer, better, multitasking beauty essentials to keep consumers beautiful on the go…

Wander BeautyDivya Gugnani, Co-Founder of Wander Beauty (the first travel-inspired, luxury color cosmetics experience, with deluxe products made of high performance and cruelty free formulas), joins Regina Gwynn, Abby Wallach, and Kelly Kovack (Beauty Matter) in the MouthMedia Network studios powered by Sennheiser.

In this episode:

  • Unpacking Wander Beauty, and how it is known for multitasking with products
  • The thought process focusing on formulating products and the way ingredients work together for the best results
  • Gugnani’s fourth company, and how there are a lot of decisions based on data points, gathering info from a large number of women in a large age range
  • Because of her allergies and autoimmune disease she cannot enjoy most beauty productsWander Beauty
  • How “free of all the bad stuff” is a motto based on Gugnani’s real personal need
  • The need to think through a revenue model and ability to scale from the beginning of a company
  • Price vs. value being in the luxury space – paying more for something that works for them
  • Being on-air at QVC
  • Going back to oils and the things Gugnani’s mother used growing up, back to the basics
  • Success starts from a passionate founder story, strong demo, and problem-selling (here’s a problem, here’s a solution)
  • Getting a lot of breadth and depth and bringing a senior team in, focusing on connecting with consumers
  • QVC, Sephora, growing relationships with consumers, and how ecommerce is growing the fastest
  • How the brand is enjoying a lot of word of mouth due to high quality
  • All decisions are made because of data and feelings around data
  • When data differs from gut-decisions
  • Sharing decisions as a businesswoman with kids, coordinating time on the calendar with kids, understand and respect the work/life balance
  • Wander Beauty’s name origins relating to being on the move and global ingredient enrichment

045 – Mariya Nurislamova of Scentbird – That New Scent Thrill

Scentbird

Fragrance subscription service Scentbird offering a 30-day supply of designer fragrance monthly…

ScentbirdMariya Nurislamova, Co-Founder/CEO of Scentbird, joins Regina Gwynn and guest host Kelly Kovack (Beauty Matter – Episode 24) in the MouthMedia Network studios powered by Sennheiser.

In this episode:

  • Why Scentbir d, and what’s the reason it needs to exist
  • A fragrance discovery platform that is digital
  • Disrupting the status quo of fragrance discovery, which is in person, sprayed in faceScentbird
  • The goal to bring fragrances digital
  • Helping people discover what they should be shopping for next
  • A monthly supply (about 120 sprays, allowing users to “date” fragrances before “marrying” them
  • Incredibly strong adoption and building a robust community
  • Smart Search, a visual recommender with multiple categories
  • Scentbird’s audience wants a portfolio of scents, not just one or twoScentbird
  • Scentbird went through two accelerator programs
  • Pitching the passion, and adapting to the investor audience, and having enough activity that you can get through the no’s for the yes’s
  • Raising investment rounds as a woman
  • And traditional Russian fare for snacktime
  • Data informed how the platform functions, a quarter of a million subscribers means a lot of data
  • Collecting a lot of crowd sourced data on each fragrance that is shared back to the community
  • Early user growth hacks, including influencer marketing
  • How Scentbird is like 30 tech companies all in house
  • What’s next for the company

044 – Sarah Akkari of Senteurs d’Orient – From Niche to Global Brand

Sarah Akkari

A luxury brand born out of a niche mom and pop business competing on a global stage in the new age of commerce with Senteurs d’Orient…

Sarah AkkariSarah Akkari, Owner/CEO of Senteurs d’Orient (handcrafted, hand-wrapped soap from the heart of traditional soap-making region) joins Karen Moon, Deanna Utroske, and Barbara Zinn Moore in the MouthMedia Network studios powered by Sennheiser.

In this episode:

  • How Akkari’s mother founded the company in Lebanon 17 years ago
  • The fragrance of soaps, inspired by bathing ritual of the Orient, cleanses the body and is soothing and relaxing the mind, with a high concentration of essential oils
  • How Akkari was always interested in beauty products, and particularly the fragrance and science side with formulations etc.
  • She started with L’Oreal, loved what her mother was doing but always had separate work lives, saw opportunities for niche brands telling their own stories, and the opportunity to tell the story outside of LebanonSarah Akkari
  • Confusion of what’s natural at a consumer level, what’s right and what kinds of expectations and standards to be set?
  • Why it is worth the product development effort to give the consumer what they are expecting, such as creating lather
  • How Akkari is launching buddy oils, hand wash, lotions
  • And instead of snacks – single use soap leaves
  • Taking a business from Lebanon and the US, the birth of the brand in the US, started with packaging design in Asian and Middle Eastern designs, fusing both cultures, deciding on a focus on PR to tell the story right and getting credibility
  • Telling the story of the benefits of the oils from an SEO standpoint or content and education?
  • The time and money involved in creating content
  • Story is complex so need content creation to tell it
  • The diversity of Lebanese food
  • What she loved about working at L’Oreal, and now with her own company following the process from beginning to finish, and the most exciting part is working with talented people, making sure they align with your vision, while giving them room for their vision and talent
  • Two places to go in Lebanon
  • Being surprised at the speed of the ecommerce business, and the overall size of the retail industry

043 – Kelle Jacob of Estee Lauder Company Ventures – Getting Personal

Jacob

Efficiency, why slowing down can be good, how a former reality show contestant and Millennial leveraged a childhood fantasy, why entrepreneurship in college matters, and putting that to work in corporate America…

JacobKelle Jacob, Senior Manager, International Marketing  for ELC Ventures and for BECCA Cosmetics, joins Karen Moon, Deanna Utroske [Episode 14], and Barbara Zinn Moore [Episode 30] in the MouthMedia Network studios powered by Sennheiser.

In this episode:Jacob

  • Jacobs’ career path
  • Working with innovative companies as the “cool kids of the block”, and how things are changing mixed with the opportunities of a legacy brand
  • Optimizing processes while being respectful to culture while allowing for efficiencies of scale
  • Influencers, and building a community around a brand
  • The impact of social media on brand marketing, and how most important thing is connection to consumer
  • Opening channels of communication with consumers i.e. via receipts, or package trackingJacob
  • Giving relevant content, not just having a bot that the consumer comes to, having a good development plan for technology, with a focus on personalization and interaction
  • Brands need to be personified
  • Instagram top of the list of social tools
  • Biohacking and DNA, voice and voice search
  • The reality show that Jacob was on, Shanghai, her morning ritual, waking up two hours earlier, meditating and dancing, and positivity

042 – Tina Hedges of LOLI Beauty – Food Glorious Beauty

LOLI

Organic, zero waste beauty brand…

LOLITina Hedges, Founder/CEO of LOLI Beauty (beauty brand using only organic, raw, fair-trade, non-GMO ingredients) joins Karen Moon and guest hosts Deanna Utroske [Cosmetics Design – Episode 14] and Stephanie Cartin (CEO/Cofounder of social media and influencer marketing agency SocialFly) in the MouthMedia Network studios powered by Sennheiser.

In this episode:LOLI

  • Tina Hedges discusses a superfood and organic approach to customizing
  • LOLI as the first organic zero waste beauty brand, stirring up beauty to make a change
  • The aim to be ethical, effective, and empowering as a DIY consumer experience
  • Company genesis and how Hedges self-financed the company based on a belief of how much blending women want to do at home
  • How women immediately flocked to purchase a surprise 3 month subscription, paid up front, looked at it as a revolution, but had no idea what they were getting, and hedges didn’t know what she was sending until a week before she did
  • Need flawless and easy solutions for consumers
  • Consumers don’t need to spend 20 min to customize product
  • LOLI offers multi tasking bases, then blend between 3 and 7 ingredients into the bases for hair, skin and face
  • How Hedges knew the MVP wasn’t the final version because she personally hand picked and packed and blended each order
  • How the company was initially essentially paid to focus-group, with a zero cap spend and no customer acquisition cost
  • Partnerships with Urban Outfitters and Adidas, such as pop-up blending bars
  • Hedges shares how the metrics have been incredible
  • Immersive experiential, taking women back and getting them involved in the process and ritual of beauty that has meaning and resonance
  • Pop up strategies and successes, and an average basket price $116
  • A powerful beauty solution
  • Food grade glass containers which can be reused for food, as a true environmentally friendly approach to packagingLOLI
  • Most beauty products are 80-95% water, and LOLI’s products don’t use water
  • How LOLI was the first to use a completely “compostable in 180 days” bags that come from food
  • Products are made in free world economies, use a tech platform to please the supply chain
  • LOLI is positioning to be creating a movement to stir things up and do them differentlyLOLI
  • How LOLI isa food company reinventing beauty, not a beauty company using foods
  • Hedges sees LOLI as encouraging consuming beauty in a fresh and rapid manner, which translates to the type of sizing and packaging
  • Transparency is a mantra for LOLI, including showing on labels how much of each ingredient is in the product
  • Hedges shares how LOLI is sourcing every ingredient themselves from farms, fair trade coops, etc.
  • Up-cycling from food, such as plums for the plum elixir more effective than chemicals but all natural, and how LOLI doesn’t change fragrances
  • A truly fitting snack time, taking three ingredients and making them into cookies
  • Why Coconut oil should not be used on faces and why
  • Mass customization with the bases
  • The balance of giving customers the bases and letting them explore
  • Looking at the essentials that can do many things and provide solutions, but don’t need 30 products
  • How LOLI designed the packaging themselves, and was inspired by walking aisles in gourmet food stores that wasn’t custom
  • The first time a bag like that was ever made, creating a category with new materials
  • Scaling a brand like this – or being flexible with what nature provides, as part of brand ethos
  • Building successful startups prior, discrimination on age and gender, despite being in Grand Central Tech Accelerator
  • Hedges was not allowing a “no” to determine her future
  • Her life outside of work
  • Responses from consumers, delightful customer experiences and partnerships, and how every interaction with the brand must feel personable and special

041 – Sindhya Valloppillil of SkinGenie – The Beauty of DNA

SkinGenie

Skincare advisor that analyzes your DNA and lifestyle with artificial intelligence, and the journey of founding a startup…

SkinGenieSindhya Valloppillil, Co-Founder and CEO of SkinGenie, joins Karen Moon and guest host Deanna Utroske [Cosmetics Design – Episode 14] in the MouthMedia Network studios powered by Sennheiser.

In this episode:

  • How companies make unsubstantiated claims
  • Valloppillil shares how Skin Genie personalizes products using AI to create a product to address a person’s unique genetic traits
  • DNA testing with blood, saliva, or cheek swab tests
  • Most people don’t know how to effectively read ingredient listsSkinGenie
  • SkinGenie is a tool to help buy the right products
  • The app does work for customers without the DNA component, using lifestyle questions, but is not as powerful.
  • With DNA, a seamless login for 23andMe, the customer can click on the “My Products” section of SkinGenie app and rank products 0-10, plus ratings
  • How SkinGenie was started by two scientists, including a genomics expert, built the algorithm together, used clinical studies that look at mutli-genetic variants for analysisSkinGenie
  • How most competitors only use a single trait for analysis, but Skin Genie’s approach offers more convincing and robust science
  • Skin Genie’s direct to consumer app and the enterprise services platform (brands, retailers spas, media companies)
  • A snack of Kati Rolls (Indian Street food) for snacks,
  • Valloppillil’s career journey working on a global brand image team, then working on an innovation team, then Neutrogena, then a larger company that which was run like a startup, leading product and marketing, then the company was acquired by P & G
  • The first men’s grooming brand to go online and went global
  • Starting a company named Helix, which was a difficult time, competing against men for fundraising, and how it is about who your know, not about traction
  • How a parental suggestion for therapy re-motivated Valloppillil
  • When writing an article about fundraising and women led to being banned by Business Insider and doors opening, then she went from snarky to journalistic style
  • An amazing story about The Art of Shave and acquisitions and a brand family and competitive brands – and the same company being bought back twice
  • And the most emotional moment on the show to date

040 – Celebrity Makeup Artist Elena George – Enhancing Natural Beauty

Elena George

Building a 30+ year career from hair to makeup with artists including Robin Roberts, Mariah Carey, Salt-N-Pepa, Aretha Franklin, and more…

Elena GeorgeSix-time Emmy Award Winning Celebrity Makeup Artist Elena George (makeup artist for Robin Roberts on Good Morning America) joins guest host Abby Wallach [Episode 25] in the MouthMedia Network studios powered by Sennheiser.

In this episode:

  • George shares how she always wanted to do hair, and when a kid the girls always had new hairstyles thanks to her, her mother nurtured that talent and drive, and convinced her to go to beauty school after high school, then she went to college, and was the campus hair person and made good money on campus
  • How she turned her college career into her first business
  • How a friend’s invite to do hair on a music video for Pepa of Salt-N-Pepa changed her life and created the next level of her careerElena George
  • Pivoting from loving hair to doing makeup, the issue with discontent and complaining, how makeup was like painting, and how it all changed because of one incident
  • Watching other artists recreate the whole face, was magical, like maestro
  • Being with Salt and Pepa for thirty years, and branching out more such as Vivica Fox, Aretha Franklin, Vanessa Williams, and more
  • George shares how there are easier ways to manage hair with more products now, and the same in makeup, and how that has impacted the use of salons
  • How makeup needs have leveled out with the introduction of HD
  • How George prefers to do makeup as naturally as possible and as close to how you normally look like with a few enhancements
  • The industry now wants to put a mask onElena George
  • Using social media for sharing expert advice because so many people ask for it
  • Evolving and not looking the same for years and years
  • The sacrifices of being on the road and on tour (such as with Mariah Carey), and how those people touring with you become another family
  • Acting like a producer, and with Mariah you have to know the lighting, so why she has her own lighting a person to stay in sync with how she always looks, consistently
  • How having her talent spotted resulted in an ongoing gig for George with Robin Roberts on Good Morning America
  • So many beautiful celebrities are not confident in their beauty, and how the makeup artist ends up being a confidence builder
  • And, how George thinks of God as an agent