This month, Beauty Store Business celebrates the women in the beauty industry who have dedicated their careers to making the business stronger, better connected and more engaged with consumers and entrepreneurs alike. Each of the leaders profiled in the following pages has channeled her vision, energy and drive into taking the beauty industry to the next level.
These savvy businesswomen have been recognized for their achievements both within the industry and as business leaders in general. Their innovative, award-winning leadership has been recognized with numerous professional honors both inside and outside the beauty world.
Perhaps most impressive, all of these women bring their leadership and passion to projects beyond their title roles. They are also highly involved in charity organizations, industry associations, local communities and so much more.
Without further ado, meet the women who are poised to drive the beauty industry to even greater heights.
PAMELA JO BUSIEK
With a career spanning more than 35 years, Pamela Jo Busiek has had the unique experience of participating in the beauty business from nearly every angle. Before assuming her current role as president and CEO of the Independent Cosmetic Manufacturers and Distributors (ICMAD) trade association in 2011, she served as a retail buyer, brand developer and owner, and manufacturer CEO. She has also held positions on ICMAD’s board of directors, participating in regulatory and legislative negotiations that directly affect the industry.
ICMAD represents, educates and fosters the growth and profitability of entrepreneurial companies in the cosmetic and personal care industries worldwide. The trade association’s growing global membership base includes more than 700 cosmetic manufacturers and distributors in professional and consumer categories.
Busiek’s entrepreneurial background informs her leadership of ICMAD. Earlier in her career, she created and marketed her own international skincare and vitamin lines under The Solutions Company. She went on to become president and co-owner of CBI Laboratories, a private-label manufacturer for the professional skincare industry. During her tenure at CBI, Busiek received the ICMAD Cosmetic Innovator of the Year Award in 2008 for the company’s RosaCalm Skin Serum.
Today, Busiek is an international speaker. She aims to improve collaboration within the industry, increase benefits and services to ICMAD members and continue to grow the association.
IN HER OWN WORDS
Proudest achievement: I’m very proud of the diversity I have had the privilege of experiencing, as well as being able to completely understand the industry from so many points of view. The opportunity to be a catalyst for the success of others as president and CEO of ICMAD has been my favorite. Creating benefits and services to contribute to the success of others in our space of beauty, cosmetics and personal care—while growing an organization—is by far the top!
Best advice received: Surround yourself with the right people. Delegate, remain teachable and share your knowledge. Say “no” when you should!
Future goals: I’m excited about the growth in number of our member companies, global education opportunities and successful collaborations with sister organizations within our industry.
As the director of marketing for Cosmoprof North America (CPNA), Daniela Ciocan is responsible for keeping this leading professional tradeshow fresh.
At CPNA, Ciocan implements special initiatives each year designed to showcase consumer trends and develop opportunities for entrepreneurs. These programs include the Discover Beauty/SPOTLIGHTS Program, Discover Green, Discover Scent, Tones of Beauty, BOUTIQUE Sampling Concept, the TV Shopping Auditions Program and Beauty Pitch. Ciocan also personally selects the brands for the curated sections of the show.
Through unique programs like these, Ciocan seeks to create fresh value for the more than 30,000 attendees and 1,000 exhibitors at the Las Vegas tradeshow each year. Last fall, these efforts were recognized by Trade Show Executive magazine, which named CPNA the “Greatest Show of 2015” and honored Ciocan herself with the “Marketing Genius Award.”
In addition to her role at CPNA, which she has held for more than 15 years, Ciocan heads her own consulting company, Elixir Beauty. It connects brands and retailers. She chairs the Communication Committee and serves on the advisory board for ICMAD. Additonally, she has been an advisor to YouBeauty.com, a site founded by Dr. Mehmet Oz and Dr. Michael Roizen.
IN HER OWN WORDS
Proudest achievement: I take great pride in being able to create programs and opportunities for entrepreneurs and startups to establish and develop their businesses. Discover Beauty, a program within CPNA, is a perfect example. This year, 80 companies were involved with the initiative.
Additionally, I was able to get Beauty Pitch off the ground. This special program for beauty entrepreneurs is a mini “Shark Tank”-like project, which granted [the cosmetics company] 100% PURE a one-year mentorship with famed billionaire Mark Cuban and helped connect beauty startups with potential investors.
Best advice received: Fresh out of college, I started my career in marketing in the beauty industry. My first boss, Tomio Nagaoka, then distributor of Awake Cosmetics (Kose Corp.), stressed the importance of not burning bridges and being honest and genuine because eventually people find out what your core essence really is. This advice helped me in my career in building a large and diverse network, which has been instrumental to the success of CPNA.
Future goals: Our goal at CPNA is to bring the most value to entrepreneurs and show attendees, thus helping the industry move forward. Right now, we’re just scratching the surface, as there’s so much opportunity in the marketplace. We’re excited about the future activations that CPNA will bring to allow entrepreneurs to maximize their business potential and connect with both trade and consumers.
YouTube sensation and professional makeup artist Jaclyn Hill has the magic touch. With more than 3.7 million followers on YouTube and 3.4 million on Instagram, the 26-year-old’s beauty tutorials not only show fans how to create the latest looks, but also which products to buy. More than once, this trendsetter has “broken the internet” when too many eager followers tried to purchase a limited-edition beauty product from one website at the same time.
This happened most memorably in fall 2015, when Hill partnered with Becca Cosmetics to launch the limited-edition Champagne Pop Shimmering Skin Perfector highlighter. It sold out almost instantly. According to Allure, a record-breaking 25,000 units were snapped up in just 20 minutes.
A soft white gold with pinky-peach undertones, Champagne Pop held broad appeal because of its ability to work well with nearly every skin tone. The instant favorite is now a permanent part of the Becca x Jaclyn Hill Champagne Collection, available at Sephora.
In addition to producing trendsetting videos and fashion photos, Hill is currently developing her own brand, Jaclyn Hill Cosmetics, which is expected to launch early this year. Hill’s fans can hardly wait. At press time, the brand already had more than 47,000 followers on Instagram (@jaclynhillcosmetics)—and that’s without a single post!
IN HER OWN WORDS
Proudest achievement: That would definitely have to be having a product in Sephora. Several years ago, I wasn’t able to afford anything in Sephora. I would walk into the store on my lunch break and imagine being able to buy all the makeup there. I actually applied for a job there six years ago and was denied. So, being able to walk into any Sephora nationwide and see a product I helped create is unbelievably surreal and humbling.
Best advice received: Never compare yourself to others. It’s a dangerous and slippery slope. I stay in my own lane and remain in competition with only myself. I allow myself to learn from others but never compare. It’s way too easy to get caught up in comparison, but no one has true success when competing with others.
Future goals: I am launching my own cosmetic line. It has taken years to perfect my first product, and I am ridiculously anxious to release it. It is going to feel so rewarding to launch something that is 100 percent mine. I am just so excited for the world to see what I can do and express myself through my products.
MARLA MALCOLM BECK
In 1999, Marla Malcolm Beck and her husband, Barry, set out to create a friendly neighborhood beauty store that offered expert advice, professional spa services and amazing products. Since then, Bluemercury, which was acquired by Macy’s in 2015 for $210 million, has grown to 120 locations in the United States. The unique model for these specialty stores helped give birth to prestige beauty care.
Beck, who started the company at age 29, serves as CEO. Inspired by customer feedback about natural products, she also cofounded M-61 Laboratories, which has launched two brands: M-61 Skincare vegan, paraben-free cosmeceuticals and Lune+Aster vegan cosmetics.
A recipient of many professional awards, Beck is often invited to share her entrepreneurship, branding and innovation expertise. Bluemercury’s human resource model has been the topic of numerous books, and Beck has been a frequent guest on television talk shows.
She holds an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School, an M.P.A. from Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government and a B.A. in Economics from the University of California, Berkeley. In 2014, Beck received an appointment by Harvard Business School as an Entrepreneur-in-Residence.
IN HER OWN WORDS
Proudest achievement: My greatest achievement in the beauty industry is the creation of Bluemercury, which my husband and I started back when you could only purchase cosmetics at drugstores. I didn’t love the experience of purchasing cosmetics at glass counters at department stores. I wanted to create my dream store where you could find the best beauty products and consult with expert estheticians and makeup artists in the comfort of your local neighborhood. We now have 120 locations across the country and are fulfilling our dream of being the best at giving beauty advice.
Best advice received: Break the rules. We created a radical human resource model that everyone said would never work. When we started in the cosmetics industry, the majority of employees were part-time workers. We gave our staff full-time, year-round work, benefits and a true career path. We put our people first, and they are our enduring secret weapon. By breaking industry rules, we created a better experience for our staff and, therefore, for our customers.
To build an enduring, scaleable company, you also must keep finding growth. You cannot rest on your laurels. The pace of business and competition is faster than it has ever been. We are continually seeking out and creating new revenue and value streams by observing and listening to our customers’ needs.
Future goals: We want to continue to revolutionize the beauty industry by creating new services, new products and new ways to engage with and purchase cosmetics. We are just getting started.
Known as the “First Lady of Nails,” Suzi Weiss-Fischmann made her mark on the beauty industry in 1989 by creating the first 30 OPI nail lacquers. The color-savvy designer went on to develop thousands of iconic shades, including “I’m Not Really a Waitress,” a beloved red hue that was inducted into the Allure Beauty Hall of Fame.
Over the next 25 years, the OPI cofounder and brand ambassador continued to set trends for the nail industry, such as adding real diamond dust to nail lacquer and mainstreaming nail art. Weiss-Fischman also pioneered the development of OPI partnerships, including collaborations with Hollywood films, celebrities and America’s most iconic corporations, such as Coca-Cola.
As brand ambassador, Weiss-Fischmann serves as the voice of OPI and the go-to authority for beauty editors and fashion designers alike. Fun fact: Every seasonal OPI promotion features a shade named in Weiss-Fischmann’s honor, including “Suzi Has a Swede Tooth” (Nordic Collection) and “Where Did Suzi’s Man-go?” (Brazil Collection).
IN HER OWN WORDS
Proudest achievement: I am proud of the way OPI rebranded the nail category. We made nail lacquer relevant to women. We made it fun, sexy and aspirational. With nail lacquer positioned as an accessory, we gave women permission to use their nails as a form of self-expression. OPI has graced the hands of women on their most memorable occasions, given them self-confidence and supported the causes they care about. Today, OPI has become more than the sum of its parts. Our name, logo, unique bottle and incredibly colorful contents have become a messenger of beauty and inspiration.
Best advice received: There are three things I have found to be crucial to my professional life: passion, patience and humor. Passion, for obvious reasons, is key. When you feel strongly about something, you’ll be able to trust yourself and your decisions. Patience is considered a virtue for a reason; it goes a long way in the world of business. And finally, laugh out loud—especially at your mistakes. Humor will give you grace and can help alleviate the stress that often accompanies business.
Future goals: I am most excited to see OPI continue to dominate the color category and set trends. It’s important that our consumers look to us as experts. I am also excited to see OPI’s ongoing commitment to its brand DNA—the professional industry. Look for new things to come in this category!
As a digital pioneer, Michelle Phan trailblazed her way in the world of fashion and beauty on YouTube. With more than 8 million subscribers, Phan’s award-winning online tutorials have been viewed more than a billion times, making her one of the most-watched talents in the digital space.
Phan produces, directs, stars in and edits all of her own work. Since 2007, she has released more than 400 videos, published a book and even launched her own online comic titled HELIOS: FEMINA.
In 2011, Phan cofounded ipsy, an online destination where beauty devotees can network, try new products, watch videos and create and upload beauty tutorials.
The community is centered around the award-winning Glam Bag program, a monthly beauty-sampling service with more than 1.5 million subscribers. Each month, subscribers receive five curated beauty products designed to create a specific look. They can then log on to ipsy for exclusive tutorials by Phan and other content creators that demonstrate how to use each product. Through its content and sampling, ipsy reaches more than 30 million women each month and is a leading source of influence in the beauty industry. Its overwhelming success helped land Michelle on the Forbes 2015 “30 Under 30” list in the category of Art and Style.
IN HER OWN WORDS
Proudest achievement: I am extremely proud of the growth of ipsy and the ipsy community. What started as a vision has continually expanded to provide tools and resources to other creators so that they can create beautiful videos, share with like-minded beauty devotees and connect with the world. I feel so fortunate to have the opportunity to nurture creativity and inspire others to change the way we see beauty. It’s been an incredible adventure so far, and this is only the beginning.
Best advice received: Have unwavering passion for what you do, and do not be scared to fail. Failure is a compass that can show you where you need to go if something doesn’t turn out the way you hoped, and it can open more doors than ever before. When I was a student in college, I applied to several different department store beauty counters and was rejected because I didn’t have sales experience. Instead of letting this discourage me from pursuing what I loved, this defining moment inspired me to find another opportunity within the beauty world and begin my YouTube channel.
Future goals: I’m definitely excited about being more involved behind the scenes. I want to help build new talent and mentor future creators and inspire them to learn, share and create. I want to pass this knowledge to the next generation and be more involved in technology. This means creating new tools, apps and products in the 3D-printing world and creating more jobs and opportunities for future passionate creators.
MARY N. DILLON
As chief executive officer of Ulta Beauty, Mary N. Dillon helms the largest beauty retailer in the United States—and it continues to grow rapidly under her leadership. Dillon, who assumed her role in 2013, is leading an ambitious expansion effort to open hundreds of new store locations over the next few years. At press time, Ulta Beauty reported 949 store locations and 30,000 employees throughout the country.
During Dillon’s tenure, Ulta Beauty has achieved record sales and earnings. With a five-year compound annual growth rate of 22 percent, the company reported $3.9 billion in sales for fiscal year 2015.
With three decades of experience leading consumer-driven brands, Dillon has a passion for using consumer insights and customer-focused strategies to build brand engagement and boost profitable growth. This consumer focus has been instrumental in growing Ulta’s e-commerce platform. By adding major brands, providing a successful sampling service and offering improved distribution, Ulta Beauty has made online shopping more attractive to its customers. In 2015, Ulta.com reported $221.1 million in sales—a 47.5-percent jump from the previous year.
An active member of the Chicago community, Dillon believes strongly in giving back as a mentor to other female business leaders. She serves on the board of directors for Save the Children and the Ounce of Prevention Fund, among other charitable organizations as well as the Starbucks Corporation board.
Fortune magazine recently featured Dillon as #3 in its 2016 “Businessperson of the Year” top 50 listing.
IN HER OWN WORDS
Proudest achievement: I am extremely proud of the strong corporate culture we have built at Ulta Beauty. One of the first hires I made was bringing in Jeff Childs as the chief human resources officer. Together, we set out to make sure we created a culture based on putting our associates at the center of everything we do. We knew that would help to create a clear path to overall success, and it has.
Best advice received: Advice that has served me well throughout my career is to build the right team and empower them to lead. In my leadership team, I look for people who:
1. Are functional experts at all levels and fully versed in their individual disciplines;
2. Don’t think narrowly in terms of a solution that might be optimal for their function, but find one that is optimal for Ulta Beauty in total; and
3. Can collaborate and believe that we’ll have a better solution when we talk issues through as leaders.
Future plans: Our goal during the next few years is to double our market share, grow our store presence by 1,400 to 1,700 locations in the United States and build a billion-dollar e-commerce business. We are pleased with our growth, but we’re still only 4 percent of the beauty market in the United States. I see a lot of potential for us to explore new and innovative growth opportunities.
JAMIE KERN LIMA
When former TV anchor Jamie Kern Lima accidentally wiped away her brow product on air, she didn’t despair. Instead, the cofounder and CEO of IT Cosmetics was inspired to create problem-solving beauty products for women everywhere.
Having spent much of her adult life trying to conceal severe hereditary rosacea and hyperpigmentation, Lima found that every available option fell short. So, she partnered with plastic surgeons and dermatologists to formulate innovative makeup to solve women’s beauty concerns.
What began as a personal mission to empower women everywhere morphed into a global phenomenon. L’Oréal acquired IT Cosmetics in August last year, for a cash-purchase price of $1.2 billion, one of the largest beauty deals in 2016. The prestige brand will become part of L’Oréal’s Luxe Division.
IT Cosmetics is QVC’s top-selling color cosmetics line and is also available at Ulta Beauty and Sephora.
IN HER OWN WORDS
Proudest achievement: My proudest personal achievement within the beauty industry is building a brand that does things differently. The goal is to make products that are life-changing for every woman who tries them. Many of our customers call themselves IT Girls—and we live and breathe for them! We truly believe every woman is beautiful and deserves to feel her most beautiful. I am so proud to spread this message through IT Cosmetics.
Best advice received: Avoid letting the word “no” translate into doubt of your dream and your mission. The biggest hurdle in building IT Cosmetics was hearing the word “no” from just about every retailer—and I decided that it just means “not yet.” All of our most important partners said no to us initially. We kept focusing on developing life-changing products, and women everywhere started spreading the word about IT Cosmetics. Eventually, we got a “yes” from every retailer!
Future goals: We will continue to work with plastic surgeons to develop game-changing products. We just launched into Sephora in Malaysia, Thailand and Singapore and look forward to continuing to grow internationally. We believe you’re an IT Girl the moment you try IT, and we are so excited to meet IT Girls around the globe.
As a leader in the beauty industry, Carlotta Jacobson has held a series of key positions, including beauty editor of Harper’s Bazaar. She currently serves as president of Cosmetic Executive Women (CEW), a nonprofit membership association of global executives in the beauty, cosmetics, fragrance and related industries.
During her tenure, Jacobson has transformed the organization through tremendous expansion—from fewer than 800 to more than 8,000 members—developing a prestigious board of governors and spearheading the creation of programs, such as the annual Beauty Insider Awards. She has also initiated successful partnerships with major beauty companies and retailers. In 2001, Jacobson launched the CEW Foundation’s first independent initiative, Cancer and Careers, which provides work-related support for cancer patients and survivors.
Jacobson also served as chairwoman of Women In Need, a charitable organization for homeless women and children.
IN HER OWN WORDS
Proudest achievement: One of my
proudest personal achievements is launching Cancer and Careers. This national nonprofit has become the recognized authority on work-related support for cancer patients and survivors. I’m proud of the work our team does in providing expert advice, interactive tools and educational events to empower and educate people with cancer to thrive in their workplace.
Another proud achievement is CEW’s annual Achiever Awards, which recognize the accomplishments of women leaders in the beauty industry. Recognizing women’s achievements and empowering each member’s professional ambitions is in CEW’s DNA, so these awards are an important part of CEW and the beauty industry as a whole. We honored seven exceptional female executives at our 41st Achiever Awards on October 21.
Best advice received: I have been fortunate to work with a board of the most successful women in the industry. I am like a sponge. I listen to how they run their businesses and apply it to running CEW. The impact of working with highly successful women has made me think more strategically.
Future goals: I’m excited about the future of CEW. We have ambitious goals in our current three-year strategic plan, most notably to increase the valuable benefits we offer our members. We’re going to be adding more professional development, webinars and business content.