052 – Bobbi Brown – Makeup Mogul, Motivator, Mother

Bobbi Brown

Starting, growing, and succeeding with a lifestyle brand…

Bobbi Brown

Photo Credit – Martin Lee Studio

Bobbi Brown (the iconic cosmetics entrepreneur, author of nine books on makeup and beauty, hotelier, founder of JustBobbi, and more), joins host Karen Moon, guest host Pavan Bahl, and Josh Wexler (CEO of RevCascade and Souler) on location in front of a live audience at La Marina for a special “Souler Salon” (presented by Souler, the ultimate influencer commerce platform where influencers share and sell the products they love directly to their followers). MouthMedia Network studios are powered by Sennheiser.

In this episode:

  • Brown on being someone who likes to do things differently, organically, a mother of three “amazing children”, and married almost 30 years

    Bobbi Brown

    Photo Credit – Martin Lee Studio

  • The origins of the Bobbi Brown brand, how she was freelance makeup artist and couldn’t find makeup that looked good, often had to fix things, and the makeup she needed didn’t exist
  • She never had thoughts of starting or being a brand
  • How Brown met a chemist, asked him to make a lipstick, she sold out for a year, serendipitously met a cosmetics buyer for Bergdorf Goodman,
  • Brown may have this in her genes, seeing herself as “incredibly naive”, how she doesn’t believe in failure or strategy, and just believes things will work out
  • How Brown only ever intended to be a makeup artists and a mother
  • She has a lifestyle brand, sharing content, empowering women, teaching people to be entrepreneurs, and making lifestyle inspired products
  • Created a hotel based on things she didn’t like about hotels, and involving several of the brands she likes, creating creative partnerships
  • Why relationships are everything

    Bobbi Brown

    Photo Credit – Martin Lee Studio

  • When she was a beauty editor of the Today Show without ever bringing Bobbi Brown products into it in general, and how it all became organic part of company, then going on to Yahoo and more
  • Brown’s sons give her feedback that’s valuable, and her own focus groups from her personal world
  • Why things that are simple are important
  • Brown on networking simply being about being open and just talking with people
  • Her current book is her ninth, written before she decided to leave the company
  • Advice for young entrepreneurs – don’t talk about what you’re going to do – just take action
  • The importance of being positive, and being able to fix things quickly and turn quickly, retaining people to work for you
  • Working with (or for) Estee Lauder
  • Being an “intrapreneur” while at Estee Lauder
  • Why Brown says she shouldn’t be in a corporation
  • Working with Uber for a fun campaign
  • “Just Bobbi” – an editorial platform
  • “Evolution_18” health supplement
  • The importance of positive energy, and how walking clears one’s brain
  • A dream dance partner for Brown
  • The genesis of Brown’s company name as her own name
  • Setting goals, and purpose vs. profit
  • The value of not taking loans for business, and why Brown never did







051 – Sonia Kashuk – Breaking Rules

Sonia Kashuk

Building a reputation into a brand…

Makeup legend Sonia Kashuk joins Karen Moon at South by Southwest in Austin, TX.

In this episode:

  • Breaking rules, mass vs. prestige
  • How the industry is a different marketplace, how it is hard to be a first, and it feels like everyhtings been done,
  • Always room for a great idea, making a difference and doing something new, disruption
  • How Kashuk got into the beauty industry
  • How she was studying design, clothing, got an opportunity to do clothing design, was thrown into makeup, loved it, being involved with the music video for the song “Funkytown”
  • Working with fashion designers, how it was more about not using makeup than using makeup, sometimes not doing something was more important, understanding what’s needed, not needed
  • Being known as the Queen of Clean, working a lot with photographer Arthur Elgort, learning about using makeup to enhance and perfect
  • What matters the most is the performance in skincare, and does it work
  • Both natural and science can be great
  • Holding confidence and being strong about how  you are
  • Skin care will support and own our faces as they are
  • Working with CEW Foundation and rights in the workplace with cancer

050 – Elana Drell-Szyfer of ReVive Skincare – Brands, Beauty, and Bossmom


Skincare brand for pre & post cosmetic procedures with ReVive Skincare…

ReviveElana Drell-Szyfer, CEO of ReVive Skincare ( a luxury skincare brand that combines beauty with the science of skincare) joins Karen Moon and guest hosts Stephanie Flor [Around the World Beauty – Episode 17] and Sue Phillips [Scenterprises – Episode 5] in the MouthMedia Network studios powered by Sennheiser.

In this episode:

  • A 20-year-old skin care brand started by plastic and reconstructive surgeon Dr. Gregory Brown who ran the company himself for the first 10 years, and now owned by Tengram Capital Partners
  • How the brand is based on science and tech that he experimented with as a surgeon, help facilitate healing process on skin grafts, and got the idea from Nobel Prize-winning science
  • Product was strong, science, relationships with retailers, loyal customer following, could harness it all give focused attention and make bloomRevive
  • Special price point, packaging, distribution, very luxury
  • What drew Elana to Revive
  • How the word “brand” is loosely thrown around
  • Authenticity speaks to the consumer well with founder involved, and with much credibility
  • On trends, skincare is on fire, color slowed but still growing, fragrance coming back more than anticipated
  • Big brands are up in North America for first time in a long time
  • Younger and younger people getting into BOTOX and fillers – -what that means for industry
  • Used to be you used surgery or BOTOX or products, now not siloed, the consumer today uses a combination of those, and BOTOX and fillers may be a gateway to larger procedures
  • How a Middle Eastern country is double the rate of Brazil for per capita for plastic surgery for women
  • Makeup videos as entertainment and education
  • Beauty and appearance as a part of mainstream culture
  • Being a boss lady

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


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


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


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