073 – Francesco Clark of Clark Botanicals – Skincare Superman


Turning tragedy into a successful indie natural beauty brand…

ClarksFrancesco Clark, Founder and CEO of Clark’s Botanicals (natural skin care including anti-aging treatments, cleansers & scrubs, lip treatments, acne treatment, moisturizing creams, anti-aging serum) joins Abby Wallach and guest host Kelly Kovack in the MouthMedia Network studio powered by Sennheiser.

In this episode:

  • A horrible accident  leaves Francesco paralyzed
  • The moment when he no longer felt alone or hopeless
  • Why not believing a surgeon actually created a path for progress
  • When his skin stopped reacting to temperature or behaving correctly, and he looked much older
  • Falling into a deep depression
  • The impact of the death of Christopher Reeve on Francesco
  • Facing his biggest fear and interacting with strangers post-accident
  • Experimental stem cell surgery in China helped him regain much functionClarks
  • Looking at tonics was a distraction, in the kitchen working on skin remedies trying to feel good again
  • Never had an intention of starting a business
  • His father’s chemotherapy patients and giving it to them for free
  • A special home-cooked snack
  • How the indie beauty industry has changed since launching his company
  • Owning up to who you are with messaging
  • Looking at partners who can help you have sustained economic growth
  • Why Francesco actually answers the phone himself and why he has a 98% retention rate
  • Winning an award 
  • Succeeding despite no financial backing for the brand, his brother and him working out of the basement
  • What it means to get someone to convert from their moisturizer to his
  • Revenue has doubled year over year
  • How a sense of family has extended to the people works with now
  • The “tight bubble”
  • The joy of bad karaoke
  • Why going to the office makes Francesco feel better
  • The secret ingredient to a successful indie business

072 – Kristy Engels of Beauty Barrage – Secret Store Success Sauce for Brands

Beauty Barrage

Managing sales reps while training, planning, and nurturing in-store retailer relationships…

Beauty BarrageKristy Engels, SVP Marketing & Brand Strategy for Beauty Barrage (an outsourced sales force for beauty brand) joins Regina Gwynn, April Franzino, and Abby Wallach in the MouthMedia Network studio powered by Sennheiser.

In this episode:

  • Over 300 people servicing 3,000 doors, training in-store for brands
  • People like to understand a product, how to use it, what’s in it for them
  • A secret sauce for success in store for brands
  • An unusual start with the company for Kristy
  • The genesis of the company
  • Looking at sales data, working as a strategic partner, looking at plan and determining where the best ROI can be in which locations
  • Sales Analysis
  • Looking at ROI at store level, with a halo effect
  • A new way of tackling business
  • In store education, how they are different
    Beauty Barrage
  • Can help alleviate having to staff internally for this
  • Cost savings and strategic partner
  • Kristyn used to produce music and photography in entertainment work such as some Seinfeld images, then worked as chair and makeup agent
  • Doing a lot of content marketing before it was a buzzword
  • Really interesting partnerships
  • Having to get really to creative to get seen
  • Customer knowledge they are coming in with challenges you to raise your level of education

071 – Rochelle Jacobs of June Jacobs Spa Collection and Naturally Serious Skincare – Natural Beauty

Rochelle Jacobs

Rochelle JacobsTaking on the big challenges of going au natural with big results, coming from a legacy of spa skincare pioneers, unplugging for beauty, and making natural skincare that really works…

Rochelle Jacobs, Owner/Co-Creator of  of June Jacobs Spa Collection and Naturally Serious Skincare, joins April Franzino, Abby Wallach, and Regina Gwynn in the MouthMedia Network studio powered by Sennheiser.

In this episode:

  • A family history in beauty

Rochelle Jacobs

  • Rochelle’s mother’s experience for over 30 years
  • Mesmerized by natural skin care products the family made
  • How the products make you look beautiful, radiant
  • How the company took the top 6 ingredients from her family’s homemade skincare products and created a patented blend
  • Why she followed her mother’s footsteps after a corporate finance career start
  • The most extensive list of banned 
  • Product assortment
  • The most underestimated product in a regimenRochelle Jacobs
  • Creating a digital brand first
  • What sets the products apart
  • Packaging moving toward sustainability
  • Working with Sephora
  • Being able to make quick changes 

070 – Rita Hazan – The Business and Technology of Hair Color

Rita Hazan

Building a hair care line that organically captures the technical and creative skills of a high-end celebrity colorist and actually getting it into a high end retailer…

Rita HazanRita Hazan (hair colorist known for her work with celebrities, and is the owner of the Rita Hazan Salon in NYC) joins Regina Gwynn, Abby Wallach, and April Franzino in the MouthMedia Network studio powered by Sennheiser.

In this episode:

  • Rita being blessed at young age to know what she wanted to do, and being in NYC to hustle and pursue her dream
  • Understanding many aspects, the type of water, where you live, other chemicals being used, and each chemical matters
  • First client Mariah Carey, needed a new look
  • Creating a look with JLo
    Rita Hazan
  • Flying across the ocean to work with Madonna
  • Creating a new product that is magnificent
  • The biggest question is: what can you do at home in-between coloring, and big corporations didn’t have a solution for it
  • Her proudest moment in her beauty history
  • A weekly remedy  — technology——manipulated Ph balance, working with hair cuticle
  • The little can that could
  • Getting her line into Sephora
  • Why glossing your hair matters
  • Girl talk
  • A hot hair color of the moment
  • That time Rita created a one-time best hair color ever for Jessica Simpson at a party

069 – Danielle Alvarez of The Bonita Project – Breaking the Beauty Barriers

Danielle Alvarez

An insiders look into influencer marketing and the do’s and don’ts of tapping into the multicultural consumer…

Danielle AlvarezDanielle Alvarez, Founder of The Bonita Project (a marketing, public relations, and influencer marketing agency focusing on multicultural), joins Karen Moon and guest hosts Stephanie Flor and Deanna Utroske in the MouthMedia Network studio powered by Sennheiser

In this episode:

  • From former beauty PR agency, leading multicultural efforts, largely Hispanic
  • Own business came out of nowhere
  • Her first client for The Bonita Project

Danielle Alvarez

  • Cater to beauty and speak to both audiences
  • Hispanic market
  • Bonita is a compliment
  • Budget for brands in multicultural
  • Mailers still hugely used
  • Being careful of skin tones in ads, diversity important
  • Influencers, PR in a new world
  • Staying in touch with people, growing her network, The Wing workspace for women
  • Deskside – editors desk appointment still important?
  • Sliding into DM?
  • Mobile phone habits?Danielle Alvarez
  • Innovation in other countries as a passion
  • Influencers in other countries and relevant economics
  • Peruvian background
  • Digging and doing research with influencers is crucial

From Danielle’s bio: As a result of gaining a deep understanding of the nuances of the cross-cultural consumer, Danielle decided to aim even higher and launch The Bonita Project where she bridges the gap between general and multicultural markets to build buzz for her brands and create a detailed, creative, and inclusive PR strategy for every client.

068 – Erika Zauner of HealthKick – The Beauty of a Healthy, Happy, Holistic Workforce

Erika Zauner

Corporate wellness membership that incentivizes and rewards employees’ healthy behavior…

Erika Zauner, Founder/CEO of HealthKick (offering exclusive discounts and experiences for 100+ leading consumer health, fitness and wellness brandHealth kick serve ecosystem for over 150 fitness and wellness brands) joins Karen Moon and Abby Wallach in the MouthMedia Network studios powered by Sennheiser.

In this episode:

  • Addressing all dimensions of someone’s wellness, on a holistic basis
  • A consumer-first experience to corporate programs
  • Helping people discover what’s out there to several lifestyle needs, discounts, special member experiences
  • Attracting the right talent
  • Benefitting three different parties
  • Why sleep matters so much
  • A benefit strategy as tied to talent acquisition and retention efforts
  • Working at a company that understands you and your needs
  • Meditation


HealthKick’s mission is to make healthy living accessible, personal and fun for employees, as a take-home wellness option for on-the-go lifestyles with access to popular and up-and-coming brands.

067 – Nancy Berger of Marie Claire – Storytelling Beauty

Wendy Berger

A pioneer in the media industry who brings brands to life in a new and fresh way, who is also super fancy, pops up everywhere, and coins words that become part of the fabric of beauty and fashion industry…

Wendy BergerNancy Berger, Publisher of Marie Claire Magazine, joins Abby Wallach and April Franzino in the MouthMedia Network studio, powered by Sennheiser.

In this episode:

  • The evolving landscape of beauty brand advertising; telling your story and finding your super fans
  • Omnichannel advertising as it pertains to Marie Claire; Print, Digital, Social, and Experiential
  • The importance of experiential marketing and print’s ease of access to sample based advertising
  • Building trust amongst your audience, thinking about months to moments when connecting channels; a story in the magazine may have video content available only on the website or social mediaWendy Berger 
  • Stretching the “old” budgets to meet the needs of today
  • The Global Beauty Awards – Marie Claire’s editorial team from around the world voting for the best products and brands
  • Partnering with Amore Pacific to create a pop event with influencers
  • The importance of real tactile experiences in today’s digital age
  • Partnering with Clarins to create “The Next Big Thing,” a pop up experience in SoHo; next gen retail experiences: smart mirrors, cashless transactions, touch screen window shopping, the future of retail
  • The Marie Claire Power Trip, and meeting Flower Shop’s owner
  • Nancy’s history in media and her initial trepidations about the beauty industry
  • Her surprise about the vastness and nuances of the beauty industry
  • The pre-Sephora/Ulta world of beauty and the reality of what’s in every woman’s make up bag
  • Beauty as a life style and inventing words; “Beautitude”
  • Beauty as part of the pop culture fiber at AlureWendy Berger
  • Recognizing the white space for beauty at Gourmet; creating events pairing wine and fragrance
  • Marie Claire’s platform for women’s empowerment, and the emergence of the “professional” market in beauty
  • The ying and yang of Marie Claire’s Marie Claire Play and Marie Claire Work 
  • The founding of Marie Claire in France, and projecting where the women’s empowerment movement will go
  • Finding good role models, and “holding the door”
  • Disruptors in the beauty industry that caught Nancy’s eye 
  • Working with the beauty industry vs. working with automotive or fashion, etc.
  • The type of person that the beauty industry attracts
  • The Global Beauty Forum – meeting with Marie Claire editor’s from around the world
  • Nancy’s favorite destination
  • Finding fun products in local pharmacies you won’t find at home
  • What’s currently in Nancy Berger’s make up bag?

066 – Sabeen Mian of Ipsy – Valuable Samples


IpsyMonthly makeup and beauty subscription box amplified by tutorials and extensive community, with valuable feedback and data for brands, and an influencer network…

Sabeen Mian, Head of Brand Partnerships & Merchandising at ipsy, joins Karen Moon, and guest hosts Stephanie Flor [Episode 17]  and Deanna Utroske [Episode 14] in the MouthMedia Network studio powered by Sennheiser.

In this episode:

  • Addressing the need of beauty junkies
  • Inspiring people to express their unique beauty
  • Embracing changes in the beauty industry, working with influencers
  • Democratization, driving content-driven commerce
  • 3 Million beauty obsessed people receive a monthly “glambag” that is personalized
  • A marketplace for 3 Million members with access to exclusive brand deals
  • Engagement with community pages for ipsy without ipsy’s direct involvement
  • Ipsy Gen Beauty
  • Working with brands when they want them to help create content and build brand awareness, help wth conversion, sampling programIpsy
  • Many reviews result in signficant data for brands
  • Patterns of keys to success
  • Becoming a part of the family—hard for small brands to invest in reaching a lot of people, so ipsy is a strategic partner to brands
  • A network effect with influencers
  • Sabeen’s own subscriptions, personal escapes, SoulCycle, and sheet masks on long flights to stay moisturized

065 – Romain Daumont of MemoMi – Memory Mirror

A high-end digital mirror for a new generation shopping experience…

Romain Daumont, General Manager of MemoMi Memory Mirror (a mirror for fashion and beauty — using simple body gestures, on the mobile app you can control the MemoryMirror™ to see 360-degree back and side views in new outfits) joins Karen Moon, Regina Gwynn, and Abby Wallach on location at NRF Big Show 2018.

In this episode:

  • MemoMi – digitizing mirror, experiences through digital mirrors
  • How MemoMi created three experiences —  fashion, eyewear, cosmetic tutorial
  • Trying to reproduce beauty methods at home – working with a makeup artist – every step recorded – quality video via link in the mirror
  • Augmented reality, animation possible
  • Video recorded — comes with an angled camera, computer – process the image to make it look like a mirror in real time
  • At NRF, working with Intel
  • Two sided mirror, two experiences at same time
  • Beauty is about training, i.e. master class
  • Ability to run ads, and drive intention
  • Creating unique products allow creativity of brands explode and explore
  • Studies of people trying colors they wouldn’t have otherwise
  • Working with Sephora
  • Finding something immersive, an interesting experience
  • Capturing data on trends, can translate data very early, predict likely hot products
  • Ability to opt in and receive video library of all try-ons and tutorials and share
  • The customer feedback so far, monitoring multiple devices in a single store
  • A way to engage people in a store, a nice and fun experience, icebreaker
  • The ability to customize for the retailer client

064 – Essence Gant of BuzzFeed – Beauty Buzz

What it takes for beauty brands to grab the attention of BuzzFeed, what kind of posts perform best (and when they fall flat), diversity as a priority, the choice to use real people instead of models, a new lifestyle platform, and the journey from social work to BuzzFeed…

Essence Gant, Senior Beauty Editor for BuzzFeed  (an Internet media and news company based in New York with a focus on digital media) joins Regina Gwynn, Abby Wallach, and April Franzino in the MouthMedia Network studios powered by Sennheiser.

In this episode:

  • Making sure all diverse voices are heard in beauty narrative
  • Diversity as a priority from the beginning has been part of success
  • Videos a big part of communication—don’t really use models—they use each other
  • Real beauty, real people, real talk
  • Trying to be funny
  • Anything that they really love and lives up the hype—performs well
  • Stories vs. tips doing well, products do well, consumer audience
  • The journey from social work to buzzfeed
  • Launched womens lifestyle platform in March
  • “As Is”
  • More thoughtful conversation about beauty
  • What gets attention with products to cover
  • Whats special about brand, sticks out from the rest
  • Why BuzzFeed will cover super indie brands
  • The impact of giving attention to small brands, and how it can transform their business
  • When content falls flat
  • Depends on what’s going on in world at moment, timing
  • You know beauty when you seeit, finding beauty at Afropunk
  • Instagram is pretty, and insane nails from Cardi B’s nail artist
  • Why reflection is so important to success