Q: What exactly is beauty retail strategy?
Whenever someone asks me about my business, I get a lot of blank looks. My business (or field) is very unique and still relatively under the radar. Beauty retail strategy consists of helping brands understand and prepare for the social and political shifts in retail so that the buyer will listen. For me, it's the result of decades of experience working in every aspect of beauty, from sales to account management to training, and now, it’s a daily practice that relies on staying connected, never getting comfortable, and relying on my intuition.
Q: In an ever changing field, how do you keep up with the constant newness in beauty?
When it comes to retail, the key to real success is observation! Paying attention to what is going on in the stores, talking to the buyers, dialing into what innovations are hot, connecting with trend specialists, branding experts, visiting trade shows and learning about new technologies are my top priorities. And I tell you, with the way retail is constantly evolving, my brain is never fully at rest because there are simply too many exciting brands!
Q: How do you know when a client is the right fit for The Beauty Matchmakers?
Even before I speak to a potential client for the first time, I review their website, social media pages, person(s) behind the brand, where they are currently selling, price point and what makes their story unique. I extensively research the brand and founders, and look beyond the pretty 'package' to the heart of the company and the story it has to tell. If all of this is reflected in the quality and presentation of the products, and the brand overall, then I generally think the brand is ready to work with me.
Q: How do you know if buyers are going to fall in love with a product?
Before I present any brand to a buyer, I test EVERY product. This includes reviewing the consistency, pigment, scent, texture, components or primary packaging, and secondary packaging. For instance, if I'm considering a bath and body product, I want to know if the brand invested in shower testing, to ensure all labels will stand up to the humid, wet conditions of a bathroom and not disintegrate. I also look at the brand through the lens of the buyer and consumer alike, using myself as an internal check: does the product actually benefit the consumer intended? In this way, I'm able to really help brands fine tune the elements that are going to make the difference between a buyer "yes" or "no", and I believe my creative and critical review process is crucial to the success of a product launch.