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Marc Rosen Associates
One of the first things that strikes you about Marc Rosen—designer, president of Marc Rosen Associates and GCI magazine advisor—is his energy. He’s not new to this industry and boasts an impressive résumé, but that hasn’t stopped him from continuing to push frontiers, explore opportunities and potential, and foster new generations of designers and marketers while continuing the design work upon which he originally built his reputation.
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It is a striking list of attributes that fosters the future of the industry while leveraging its past. Before establishing his own firm in 1989, Rosen was senior vice president, corporate design and communications for Elizabeth Arden Global for more than a decade. He is well-known for award-winning fragrance, cosmetic and fashion packaging—having worked with Revlon, Estée Lauder, Avon, Karl Lagerfeld, Bath & Body Works and Victoria’s Secret, to name just a few brands—but has really pushed some unique collaborative efforts in recent years, notably The Art of Clarity project undertaken with the Eastman Chemical Company. For Luxe Pack Monaco 2010, Rosen and Eastman teamed with six international molders to create a futuristic collection of makeup packaging. “Rarely do designers have the opportunity to step outside the confines of the expected and pursue new aesthetic and packaging directions,” says Rosen, who, during The Art of Clarity reception at Luxe Pack Monaco, noted he drew design inspiration from vintage fashion and beauty products and looked to the future. The effect, using Eastman’s glass alternative material, creates a “new language of luxury.”
“Of all the designers Eastman has worked with over the past 10 years, no one has added greater value than Marc Rosen,” says Gaylon White, director, design industry programs, Eastman Chemical Company, at the event.
And brands remain in the forefront of Rosen’s mind in such efforts. “The results can be memorable if deployed as part of a larger branding initiative,” he says. “They can become signature to that brand, giving it a real competitive advantage.”
A professor at Pratt Institute graduate school, Rosen is active in the development of new talents, even helping create a scholarship for young designers, and is active continuing the conversations and development of industry veterans through various event panels.
He has also pushed packaging as an art form throughout his career. In 1979, he created “Cosmetic Packaging: A 20th Century Art Form” at the Fashion Institute of Technology, New York City and co-chaired the Fragrance Foundations “Scents of Time” exhibit (1986–87). In September 2002, he created an exhibit titled “Glass Houses” to celebrate the opening of Pratt Institute’s new graduate center in Manhattan. His designs are also represented in permanent collections at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, and the Musée de La Mode, Paris.
“Packaging is an art form,” says Rosen, who also recognizes connecting with the consumers is still the vital objective. “Our job is to create packaging and products that speak to consumers on many levels, and the wellspring from which we draw is based on our experiences as well as our imaginations.”
Calm and Scents/Bella Una
Great art is more than the right colors on canvas, the upward lilt of a melody or a few well-paced phrases strung together. In great art, each component intertwines, expresses itself in its individuality and, through that expression, engages and moves its audience in a way that is both universal and uniquely personal.
We’ll let time and you, the reader, decide whether the Bella Una fragrance fits this criteria, but, in the meantime, we are happy to celebrate the confluence of a moving concept, intriguing packaging, strategic marketing that focuses on making a deep connection with consumers, innovative retailing and a winning scent.
Kym Wechsler—a product developer, marketer and co-founder/president of Calm and Scents, a product development and creative service company—undertook the goal of creating a fine fragrance company with an individual, romantic and passionate nature. A strategy was developed by a simple question Wechsler asked herself: “How can I drive people to buy fragrance?”
The answer and outcome: the Bella Una brand is specifically meant to evolve, fostering excitement and engagement in scents through exclusive and limited fragrances designed to capture intimate times and evoke the wearers’ fondest memories.
Bella Una, the brand’s signature fragrance, is presented in a mulberry bark box. Inside, an envelope sealed with a handmade flower contains a handwritten love letter that Wechsler wrote to her mother, the inspiration for the scent. The simple glass bottle is nestled beneath. Each new scent will be assigned a female’s name and will have qualities that lend an idea of where the scent came from. Each “girl” will tell a tale and have a journey, and each “girl’s” story will help identify what is to come inside that beautiful bottle, intending to create a persona rich with romance and love for each creation.
With the exception of Bella Una—Wechsler’s moving, personal story about its genesis and final fruition needs to be heard from her own lips—the brand will release new scents upward of four times a year in limited quantities, producing each just one single time, making each fragrance one of a kind—similar to the emotions that inspired it.
Wechsler, who holds a degree in art and human development, looks for creative combinations that result in unique products. Artistically designed printed materials, innovative formulas, cutting-edge components, and meticulous branding, it’s been said, define her. The artistic approach to packaging earned Wechsler and the Bella Una fragrance (her “labor of love”) the 2010 International Package Design Award at the HBA Global Expo, and her execution of creative combinations and acumen earned her a “Cosmetic Entrepreneur of the Year” award in 2002.
In addition to her work leading Calm and Scents, Wechsler has also worked for contract manufacturer The Color Factory as the vice president of product development. During her tenure there, she created more than 200 retail product SKUs. After that, Wechsler worked for Marietta, where she was recognized for her “outside of the box” creations, and during her tenure at both The Color Factory and Marietta, she pushed the boundaries of product innovation through brand concepts for numerous companies. (Marietta and The Color Factory clients include Unilever, Philosophy, Smashbox, Fashion Fair, Caboodles, Kimberly Clark, Stila, Hard Candy, Johnson & Johnson, Estée Lauder and L’Oréal).
Noting that “You have to stay excited,” Wechsler also developed a tween brand, Clarisma, set for launch in 2011. The comprehensive, 11-SKU collection, she says, has unique, first-to-market features and offers naturally derived skin benefits. Additionally, its products and packaging are designed to be both beautiful and carry an empowering message to girls.
Vice President and Divisional Merchandise Manager of Beauty
The sales and reach of Walmart and the fact that, according to a report by The Benchmarking Company, 71% of women shop for beauty and personal care items there every week, is alone enough to warrant the inclusion of the woman charged with overseeing Walmart’s U.S. beauty business, which has an estimated value between $2 and $4 billion, on any “people to know” list.
But, in addition, Carmen Bauza is well-versed in consumer behavior, continues to push to further understand consumer behavior and knows a little something about the power of brands.
In her quest to exceeding consumers’ expectations, Bauza is reengineering Walmart’s beauty message. Moving from solely a value-driven strategy to one that is consumer-centric and offering prestige beauty brands are among the steps being taken toward meeting this strategy.
Walmart’s Project Impact concept—an overhaul that includes widening aisles and creating a cleaner, more upscale look—has been implemented in only a handful of stores to date, but it does hint at what the world can expect from a retailer long-known simply for value prices: more brand imagery and beauty aisles, with enhanced navigation tools, angled toward store entrances. In fact, Bauza has said that consumers’ input has been embedded in these new aisles.
Bauza has been called a brand-builder and is quoted as saying, “Merchandising is storytelling.” So with the reach of Walmart, both new and established brands look to gain an enhanced and global opportunity to tell deeper brand stories.
Michael A. Bishop
President and Founder
Active Organics, Inc.
Among the leading innovators in the beauty industry, Michael Bishop has several patents to his credit and has also published a number of scientific articles. But when you visit Active Organics and meet Bishop, it’s not these achievements, as impressive as they are, that jump out at you—it’s the people-centric company and atmosphere that he’s created.
In speaking with Bishop, one gets a sense of calm and confidence built on knowledge and experience that has fostered the growth of a company, founded under the mission of sustainability that includes the commitment to individual community and global well-being, to become one of the largest suppliers of naturally derived cosmetic specialty ingredients.
As for the experience, after graduating from the University of California, with a Bachelor of Arts in chemistry and a Bachelor of Science in biological sciences, Bishop worked in exploratory development at Max Factor and later as a cosmetic development chemist for Redken Laboratories. During the late 1970s, he held the position of technical director of Life Laboratories, manufacturing pharmaceuticals and cosmetics.
He founded Active Organics in 1981, with a quest to break new ground in natural personal care products. Bishop remains a strong supporter of creating cosmetics formulated from natural, clinically effective ingredients, and captains his team in its pioneering of the latest advances in renewable and sustainable business practices and in the environmentally compatible harvesting, manufacturing and distribution of its natural products.
In addition, Bishop has served as a lecturer in cosmetic science at several leading universities, including five years at UCLA.
Even with 15 years of experience at Luxe Pack, Nathalie Grosdidier is still fascinated by packaging, and her passion for bringing together its key players—those creating packaging and those utilizing packaging to connect with consumers—remains.
Hired as a sales and marketing director in 1995, Grosdidier helped oversee the launch of Luxe Pack New York in 2003. When conceptualizing the new show, Grosdidier and her team invented a new generation of events, and the outcome was an atypical event that served the needs and goals of both supplier and brand owner bases. In 2005, Grosdidier was named Luxe Pack’s deputy general director. Under her direction, the event continued to evolve, always striving to bring stronger seminar content and compelling exhibits to its audience. With the natural development of this worldwide market, the event expanded again in 2007 when Luxe Pack Shanghai launched, utilizing the same business model as Luxe Pack New York.
The overarching philosophy, shepherded by Grosdidier, is that the biggest achievements are the result of face-to-face meetings, and the concept created specifically to bring talents together has become a powerful tool to help every participant reach individual and collective goals.
Jonathan Gross and Derek Harvey
The story of Jonathan Gross and Derek Harvey, co-CEOs of Fusion Packaging, paints the ideal picture of entrepreneurship. Fusion Packaging was born in 2004 out of the pair’s lifelong dream to start their own business.
Longtime friends, dating back to their college days at the University of Arizona, Gross and Harvey had a vision for beauty packaging, and after many years of industry experience and working together, they saw an opportunity to fill what they saw as a void. Stepping out of the box, they took a leap of faith and built Fusion Packaging.
Since launching, Gross and Harvey have led Fusion to double-digit growth and gained industry-wide acclaim—including HBA Global Expo’s 2010 International Package Design award for the re-packaging of RE9 Advanced by Arbonne. Saying even more about the company and what it’s been able to accomplish in less than a decade, many global brands have come to rely on Fusion for their packaging needs.
Success, too, has been facilitated by complementary skills—Gross is strategic with his focus on manufacturing and operations; Harvey has the keen ability to drive sales and marketing. But a customer-centric outlook, dedication to quality, flexibility, and recognizing and acknowledging people assets are the pair’s shared approach that is the company’s foundation for long-term growth.
According to a company source, dedication to quality and service has been instrumental in the success of Fusion Packaging. The customer, not internal activities and constraints, has always come first, and customer satisfaction is seen as the company’s highest priority.
“Being able to change directions quickly and adapt to a customer’s needs and market demand is key,” says Gross.
Gross and Harvey, too, learned very early in their careers that the biggest asset in a company is its people. They have always put a premium on hiring the best and brightest for every position in the company, and this premium was recognized by the Dallas Business Journal for two consecutive years, naming Fusion Packaging as one of its “Best Places To Work.”
“Dreams of growing the company have certainly come to fruition in just a short period of time,” says Harvey. “We look forward to continued growth over the next several years.”
Vice President, R&D
Sun Deep Cosmetics
Sundeep Gill began his career in the beauty industry in 1987 working for Carme Cosmetics in the quality control lab, and soon worked his way up to become a research chemist.
Here, he learned the infinite possibilities of creating natural products based on science-driven ingredients, and within a few years, the private label manufacturer Sun Deep Cosmetics opened its first manufacturing plant, allowing Gill to put his creative skills into motion and develop some of the most popular natural beauty products available.
Armed with a technical background (Gill is a doctor of pharmacy who has published several articles on pharmacotherapy and drug delivery, and has assisted in several clinical studies involving topical drug delivery and chemotherapy), he has a clear talent in telling the claim-based stories behind products and ingredients that will connect with consumers, leveraging his knowledge of the science and an inherent talent for the good marketing story to build viable and sellable products.
When speaking with Sun Deep’s clients/partners, Gill listens for the story that will set a finished product/brand apart, looking to apply efficacious technologies that support the essence of a brand.
Director of Marketing
Cosmoprof North America/ SoGeCos Americas
Charged with keeping the Cosmoprof North America trade show fresh and new, Daniela Ciocan initiated Discover Beauty—a program and floor space now entering its fifth year—designed to match new beauty brands with national and international retailers and unveil unique new products to the current marketplace.
The positive outcomes of the effort have not been limited to the show floor or solely to the brands involved. “These brands bring excitement and new innovative concepts to the industry that can then trickle into more mainstream brands” says Ciocan.
Based on her experience overseeing all aspects of product brand management for Awake Cosmetics and other lines, Ciocan realized the need for such an effort by both start-up brands and retailers.
“I thought if we could bring together the retail buyers seeking innovation and newness and the entrepreneurs with fresh ideas, it would be a win-win all around,” she says. “In the course of a few hours, the buyers get to see what trends are developing and the brand [owners] can get invaluable advice. This type of access is very difficult and costly, both financially and from a time perspective, to a new start-up business entrepreneur.”
Daniel H. Maes, PhD
Sirtuins and Beyond
As senior vice president, R&D at The Estée Lauder Companies, Inc., Daniel Maes oversaw all aspects of skin biology, biochemistry, cell biology, microbiology, analytical chemistry, raw material administration, public relations, polymer technology, physical chemistry and the external research program in the U.S., as well as in Europe. In short, Maes did a lot for the creation of many well-known, high sales products—including Estée Lauder’s Advanced Night Repair.
Now retired and an industry consultant, Maes remains devoted to the development of new antiaging technologies for cosmetics, leveraging a career that spans more than 30 years and his deep-seeded knowledge of product development.
And Maes’ place in the industry does not rest solely on his ability to develop cutting-edge technologies (though he has been regarded as an authority on DNA repair, glycation, collagen synthesis and skin barrier function). He has also earned a reputation for understanding consumer needs and communicating discoveries with great passion and clarity.
In January 2009, Maes was awarded the prestigious “Prix Recherche” Award for his work on Lauder’s Perfectionist [CP+] wrinkle-correcting serum, as well as for his work in research during the past two decades, at the annual Marie Claire “Prix D’Excellence de la Beauté” Awards held in Paris, France.
In addition, Maes is known for championing the idea of “aging as an inflammatory disease” that should be treated by slowing down the aging process and controlling oxidative and inflammatory reactions.
Lisa M. Crary
Being hired to pull a business back from the brink of bankruptcy might not be the ideal way to enter the market, but it’s something Lisa M. Crary made work for her company, Sanitas Skincare, since taking over in 2003.
“The company actually was on the brink of bankruptcy when I was approached to work with it,” says Crary, whose background is based in finance and investment. “Sales were declining, vendor and customer relationships were strained, and the company was saddled with a significant amount of debt that was growing.”
Crary had been hired in an effort to curb the failing company, and, as it turned out, the company was unable to even pay her. In that void, however, another option presented itself—turning the business over to Crary in lieu of payment.
Though she had reservations due to the company’s financial state, Crary soon came to see Sanitas’ potential. “As I really looked at the product line and the Sanitas message, I began to see the true growth potential of the brand,” she says.
In spite of the rocky ground on which she began, Crary also understood the strong points of business that gave it a footing she could build from, and she had confidence in the product and her ability to rebuild relationships with customers and investors, but there was much work to be done in bringing the brand back to its trusted name.
“The brand already had a very loyal following, so it made the task of reclaiming the confidence of our existing customers a bit easier,” Crary explains. “What surprised me the most was how natural and energizing the creative aspects of marketing our products were for me. I found it began by simply being attuned to what the consumer is really looking for in a skin care line.”
With most of its consumer base in Colorado, its home state, Crary realized she needed to expand the brand’s target markets and tuned the marketing strategy.
“The market impact of our new branding strategy has been enormous,” Crary summarizes. “Our sales have quadrupled, and we have managed to penetrate many major markets where we previously only had a handful of accounts.”