057 – Annette Rodrigeuz of Warburg Pincus – Investing in Beauty

Annette Rodriguez

Global growth equity investing in the beauty sector…

Annette RodriguezAnnette Rodriguez, managing director at Warburg Pincus (a leading global private equity firm focused on thesis-driven growth investing at scale) joins Karen Moon, Regina Gwynn, and guest host Kelly Kovack of BeautyMatter (Episode 24) in the MouthMedia Network studios powered by Sennheiser.

In this episode:

  • The investing landscape in beauty, where one fits into the ecosystem
  • Warburg Pincus as a global growth equity firm, across life cycle, size, stage
  • Growth equity at scale
  • A lot of money going into more tech enabled beauty businessesAnnette Rodriguez
  • The need to spend time finding the right partner, mutual respect and trust
  • Defining what you’re looking for
  • Investing in a whole company not just a product
  • Considering who is the team you’ve built around you
  • Building a platform
  • Have your story really straight, the big picture
  • Rodriguez’s career progression, why become an investor, got lucky and fell into it
  • Challenges/opportunities as a woman investor, more of a recruiting challenge

Rodriguez is based in New York, joined Warburg Pincus in 2008, and focuses on investments in the consumer sector. Ms. Rodriguez works closely with and serves on the boards of Gabe’s, a leading off-price retailer in the mid-Atlantic; Glansaol, a global beauty and personal care company launched in partnership with Warburg Pincus; and Outset Medical, a pioneering medical technology company. She is also a board member of New York Professional Advisors for Community Entrepreneurs (NYPACE), a non-profit consulting organization assisting entrepreneurs from under-resourced communities. Ms. Rodriguez previously served on the boards of TriMark, the #1 distributor of foodservice equipment and supplies in North America, and Wencor Group, a leading designer, repair provider and distributor of aftermarket aerospace components. She was involved in the firm’s former investments in Neiman Marcus and Scotsman Industries. Prior to joining Warburg Pincus, Ms. Rodriguez worked at JPMorgan Partners (nka CCMP Capital), the private equity arm of J.P. Morgan, as a Generalist. She received a B.S. magna cum laude in economics with concentrations in finance and accounting from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and an M.B.A. with distinction from Harvard Business School.

056 – Nu Dao of Skin Allies – Clean Beauty, Dermatology, Technology

Nu Dao

Nu DaoOne-stop shop for discovering clean, high-quality skincare products that work best for your skin, tailored for you by world-class dermatologists and estheticians, with Nu Dao of Skin Allies…

Nu Dao, Founder/CEO of Skin Allies, addressing the universal friction in the modern skincare, joins Karen Moon, Regina Gwynn, and guesthouse Kelly Kovack in the MouthMedia Network studios powered by Sennheiser.

In this episode:

  • Augmenting data-driven recommendations with dermatologist input, personalization with service
  • Like a three-sided marketplace
  • Vetting emerging beauty brands, high quality and clean products
  • Working with experts including dermatologists and estheticians,
  • Helping experts do their jobs better providing pre-vetted products
  • The right ingredients to treat certain skin conditionsNu Dao
  • Content pieces interesting, Glossier, creating community based on content, product development
  • Most people don’t know how to take care of their skin properly
  • Consumers inundated with misinformation, most pople don’t have resources to consult with pros on a regular basis
  • How branded content fits in from ecommerce standpoint
  • A cool bra startup, merchandising on steroids, used data for bras merchandising, and difficulty forecasting due to holding of inventoryNu Dao
  • Being not a subscription box
  • Getting hit with so much info from potential investors, team, partners, customers, synthezising all of that and going into a fundraising meeting and confidently pitching is difficult
  • The on-demand trend
  • Investors should come to the table with more than money
  • Opportunities for experts to be influencers and thought leaders
  • What’s in a gender-based name?

055 – Caroline Fabrigas of Scent Marketing Inc – Boundless Beauty Possibilities

Caroline Fabrigas

Getting attention and growing brands, a fresh idea of fragrance, why sensing a brand matters, how audiences can grow organically, and a case study of going to market in a huge retailer…

Caroline FabrigasCaroline Fabrigas, CEO of Scent Marketing Inc. & Co-founder Scent Invent Technology, and an entrepreneur dedicated to empowering brands, joins Abby Wallach in theMouthMedia Network studios powered by Sennheiser.

In this episode:

  • Fabrigas as Wallach’s partner in business
  • Being an innovator, executive, and entrepreneur in the beauty industry
  • On the beauty skincare front
  • How there has never been more boundless possibilities in beauty
  • Ingredients that couldn’t have existed before
  • Holographic formulas
  • The merging of categories, hybridization
  • Packaging and how products being delivered, looking for multipurpose
    Caroline Fabrigas
  • Retail experience
  • Can a business not be global and do well?
  • Helping big brands to be successful is important for the business, while augmenting what they are doing with new technology and categories
  • Skincare is having a moment, driven by the “natural” trend
  • The conversation of “what is natural” is new
  • Things that are special drive consumer wants more, what’s reliable, but moments and experiences are huge as well
  • Helping spearhead behind the scenes, Scent Marketing Inc., which Fabrigas inherited from her late husband, scent branding, signature scents for brands, created loyalty, and emotional attachment to hotel or retail store
  • Transformative products
  • A case study often opportunity to help co-create the brand Farmacy, and bring to Sephora
  • The world is moving in direction of organic eating, understanding the origin of food, and “all natural”
  • With that mandate, if the world needed a skincare brand in the natural realm, what would resonate
  • Farm fresh, hand picked
  • Partnering with Sephora from the beginning, partnering on a routine basis, going from idea to venture
  • How the key was identifying a whites pace, a patented ingredient to tell the tale
  • Moving fast, looking for innovative forms, and a presentation that had an emotional connection
  • Creating a winning business model, and being conscious of it at every step, focus groups and feedback, adjusting
  • Launching in 143 doors, and moving toward success

054 – Gail Sagel of Faces Beautiful – The Beauty of Building Beauty

Gail Sagel

Gail SagelHow a tragic accident inspired Gail Sagel to make a move from Wall Street to a new brand, Amazon Beauty, a magnetic makeup organizer and accessory, and an innovative beauty concept store combining beauty services and upscale retail cosmetics…

Gail Sagel, Founder/CEO of FACES Beautiful (focused on making women’s lives and beauty routines more convenient and creating beauty products that solve problems for women, products that simplify life and are healthy) and Creator of Face in a Case (an answer to a woman’s need for organization and is formulated with carefully chosen, healthy vegan ingredients), joins Karen  Moon and Regina Gwynn in the MouthMedia Network studios powered by Sennheiser.

In this episode:

  • How Sagel started on Wall Street, and found it was not her calling
  • When she was hit by a car riding her bike home, and it became an “ah-ha moment”, realized how unhappy she was
  • Watching Natalie Wood movie and being compared to Natalie Wood, leading to dying her hair , had to change colors, discovered difficulty finding the right cosmetics
  • How Sagel got a job freelancing for Laura MercierGail Sagel
  • When and why she launched FACES Beautiful
  • How she had to procure other lines
  • Originally built on a range of other products
  • Pre-ecommerce and website selling
  • Focuson beauty that mattered to the consumers, mix services and retail (hair, color/cuts, aesthetic, facials, makeup, eyebrow services)
  • The origins of Face in a Case
  • One retail  location that had these services and sold 60 different brands, then a recession came, no online store yet in 2009, decided she needed to create her own brand to have her company surprise
  • Apples every day
  • As an artist you always are refining, so prototype took a long time
  • How the manufacturer took a while too, put first one together herself, then after prototype undertook process for protection of IP name, process, utility purpose of magnetic makeup case that functions as a wallet
  • The process of getting on and optimizing Amazon
  • Considerations when hiring someone to represent you
  • Amazon has own search engine, and the power of so many consumer products searches
  • Amazon live shows like QVC, but on the web onlyGail Sagel
  • Collaborations with designers, influencers
  • Dreaming of a partnership with Kylie Jenner
  • A white space that can be explosive
  • Best Maryland crabcakes at Kocos Greek dive pub
  • Keeping an ear tuned to what’s new in technology

053 – Marta Wohrle of Truth in Aging – Aging Gracefully Through Science, Art, Innovation

Truth in Aging

Natural anti aging skin care for women…

Truth in AgingMarta Wohrle, Founder of Truth In Aging (an online forum where she and her team of consumer journalists offer truth and unbiased guidance to people seeing to improve their physical health and appearance through skincare, hair care, health and beauty products, and beauty and health tips on how to age beautifully, gracefully and truthfully) joins Abby Wallach in the MouthMedia Network studios powered by Sennheiser.

Support for today’s episode comes from luxury footwear brand Tamara Mellon. Visit tamaramellon.com today to receive a $100 gift toward your first order using code BIYB!

In this episode:

  • Marta Wohrle on exciting information from the world of skincare and what you’re seeing in content world of anti agingTruth in Aging
  • Coming at it from a digital business perspective, how it lowers barriers to entry, getting in front of consumers in a way that wasn’t previously possible
  • Many indy brands are doing exciting innovation and small players are coming out of medical innovation
  • Microchondrion (energy inside cells) is one of keys to anti aging, how a company developed molecule that can target microchondrion, and put that power in skin care products
  • Anti-aging – how get ingredients where they need to go
  • Cosmetic Industry Research Board vs. Environmental Working Group
  • Skin-care ingredients, expectations have changed
  • Community of women all over the country who look for guidance and information
  • Why Truth in Aging always carefully checks thingsTruth in Aging
  • Truth in Aging has been around a decade
  • Touching and sensory experiences are important
  • Considerations of purchases, especially what penetrates the skin
  • What is increasing conversation and average order value on a website

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