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Beauty with a Twist
By: Karen Newman
Posted: November 7, 2006, from the November 2006 issue of GCI Magazine.
Beth Ann Catalano and Tina Hedges
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From there she went to work in product development at Princess Marcella Borghese. Catherine Walsh was one of Hedges’ earliest bosses and mentors at Estée Lauder. “I know Tina quite well and for many years,” said Walsh, who today is senior vice president, American Fragrances, Coty Prestige Worldwide. “I hired her away from Christian Dior when she was in PR and I was looking for a head of product development for Princess Marcella Borghese.”
Despite the fact that Hedges had no previous product development experience, Walsh remembers that Hedges was confident that she could do the job. “So, firstly I would say she has a big mind and a diverse mind. She succeeded in the position with ease. We were a ‘start-up’ so to speak, as we were part of the team when Borghese was sold from Revlon.”
It was Hedges’ entry into an entrepreneurial environment, and Walsh believes that environment suits her quite well. After leaving Borghese, Walsh returned to Estée Lauder, and brought Hedges on board. “She once again excelled, and brought a number of breakthrough innovations to the market,” said Walsh, who was honored last month with an achiever award from Cosmetic Executive Women.
“In thinking back over the years, I believe Tina has had the necessary corporate experience to know that she is a true innovator and entrepreneur at heart. When she left Lauder and entered L’Oréal, she was able to bridge her love of science, technology and art. This position moved her even closer to her destiny, which was to start her own thing and really own her ideas. She has endless creative product ideas, as well as the stamina to start (a) company and stick with it.”
Hedges left her last corporate job in July 2004, and met Catalano that same month. Catalano recalls that while Hedges was very passionate about brands, she did not have the relationships at retail to get into distribution. “She didn’t know it, but she was looking for my skill set,” said Catalano.