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20 To Know

By: Karen A. Newman, Jeff Falk, Leslie Benson
Posted: January 7, 2009, from the January 2009 issue of GCI Magazine.

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In the 1950s, French stylist Rene Garraud launched an eponymous line of skin care and makeup in an effort to bring total beauty to his customers. Today, Garraud Paris enjoys a following among French beauty professionals, and a new management team is working to expose this legacy to a global audience. Under the direction of Jean Pierre Guay, president, and Lydie Hayek-Rocque, vice president commerce and marketing, the brand has been restructured for the modern market while remaining true to its heritage.

At the root of the reorganization is a marketing strategy allowing maximum flexibility for retailers and win-win partnerships with the professional market. “This approach is the cornerstone of our corporate philosophy,” say Guay and Hayek-Rocque, “as breaking into new territory is not an easy task given the complexity of today’s ever-evolving distribution profiles.” The effort to take Garraud Paris beyond its current borders is being undertaken by a multicultural and multigenerational team.

The line is organized around five categories including antiaging, prestige skin care, hydration, sensitive skin care, intense nutrition and men’s care. New to the line in 2008 were Garraud Evasion, skin care inspired by ancestral beauty rituals from around the world; Garraud Parfumer, offering three fragrances developed by Drom Fragrances International, in bottles designed by Alain De Mourgues; and Garraud Lab, an antiaging, nutricosmetic dietary supplement with marine collagen.

The goal of expanding distribution to a global audience takes a step closer to fulfillment when Garraud Paris becomes available in the U.S. and elsewhere in 2009. “We will continue product development in the domain of nutricosmetics and in our endeavor to bring professional spa products—our legacy—to consumers who expect the best of French savoir faire, quality, integrity and product performance,” say Guay and Hayek-Rocque.

Linda Walker, Founder and CEO, CoValence

Founded in the late 1980s as a scientific-based professional skin care manufacturing company, CoValence has grown to become an ingredient technology leader under the guidance of founder and CEO Linda Walker. The success of this evolution was fostered, in part, by two underlying initiatives: Understand and adopt the philosophy of the client, and constant focus on forward-thinking strategies.

“The success of CoValence and our clients does not lie with just me. It is a collaborative effort with every one of our employees,” she says. “We have had brilliant ideas from individuals in every department. If the idea will help our clients, we will implement it. We will continue to put our clients first and, ultimately, give them a competitive edge—which everyone rightfully deserves.”

She understands that a client’s competitive edge is forged in partnership and by assuming the onus of developing products that suit the philosophy of the client. For example, it means understanding whether clients are science-driven or have a natural focus, and then guiding them to choices that best suit their individual philosophies.

“It is up to us, the manufacturer, to diligently research ingredient and marketing trends in order to understand the concept of a product so our clients can concentrate on their strengths,” she says. “In an effort to give our clients a big competitive edge, we have added our own proprietary ingredient development initiative. We understand that, as a personal care contract and private label manufacturer, the path toward success is to continue with our new technology research and implementation, as well as perfect all of our services that set us apart from other manufacturers.”(Note: In 2008, the company was a finalist for Cosmetics & Toiletries magazine’s Best New Technology award for the creation of Mitoprotect.)

Robert Dowdell, Contract Manufacturing, Sales Director, Dermazone Solutions