012 – Lindsay Knaak Stuart of Meant – Simply Meant to Be

Building a body care product brand with Meant…

Lindsay Knaak Stuart, Founder & CEO of Meant (hardworking, multipurpose body care products that nourish your skin and simplify your routine, and are made with natural, organic and certified organic ingredients – (bio)) joins Julie Fredrickson (Co-Founder and CEO of Stowaway Cosmetics) , Regina Gwynn (Co-Founder/CEO of Tressnoire), and Stephanie Betzler (Digital Strategist of Trendalytics) for an interview about starting a brand in the beauty industry.

From fashion to beauty, starting a brand, and bar vs. liquid soap

Knaak Stuart reviews her background as a top notch apparel executive for major brands (such as Senior Director, Global Brand Marketing Strategy for Kate Spade & Company, Director of Marketing for Ann Taylor, and Director of Franchise Marketing & Public Relations for Gap Brands) and why she decided she wanted to work for herself. Looking at white space, researching, and looking inward, focusing on beauty health and wellness as a passion. Deciding to beautify cohabitation, so we take a moment in our showers and start the day clean fresh and minimized which sets the tone for the day. How Meant focused on body, why Knaak Stuart got away from the crowded skin care space, considering acne issues, how the products are multitasking (such as hair mask and shaving cream). How the packaging is more feminine but not so feminine that men won’t use it. And the bar soap vs. liquid soap debate. Plus, a birthday-themed snack!

Packaging, sustainability, and digital marketing strategy

The design process, considering genders, how coming from fashion was beneficial, the way Knaak Stuart briefed the product as if it were fashion and wanted to do something apart from the apothecary look, with attention to complimenting the marble and silver common in bathrooms. Putting scrub in a tube to avoid glass jars in showers, and confining the coffee based scrub for convenience. Initial learnings for the entrepreneurial path, how it is very scary, how she learned a lot in packaging, consideration of very high order minimums, how most money goes to packaging so one might as well innovate around it. Focusing on the look and feel and sustainability of packaging vs. actual packaging. Knaak Stuart’s goal to be 80%+ sustainable in packaging, as a core belief. Simple and beautiful, and the value going minimalist in the bathroom. The marketing strategy driven by bandwidth, why she’s not on Twitter, the surprising value of LinkedIn and why it works for Meant and the ideal strategy, and targeting Millennials. Plus, advertising on business sites resulting in high conversion.

Adding off-line, green beauty, and Jem

Partnering with big retail and moving into off-line channels, looking at the strategy for retail and wholesale distribution with consideration to brand ethos, and positioning in luxury and organic. Making the best of green beauty having a moment, and the better brand decision of partnering and not getting funding, even with slower growth. Personal questions during Hitting the Pan cover the importance of the TV show “Jem”, Star Trek (shocker), to like or not like director Justin Lin, spending time with kids, the term that Knaak Stuart won’t accept, feeling the business in your bones, and entrepreneurship in your forties.


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