Portraits in Leadership:
2004 Portraits in Leadership
A company—and an industry—is only as successful as the leaders behind it. A good leader isn't satisfied with average results, but rather finds solutions for improvement. By initiating change, a leader helps facilitate innovation. The editors of CPC Packaging have selected six individuals who we believe are true leaders in the beauty packaging field and whose accomplishments helped to advance the state of the industry.
On this Web page, we take a look at what drives our 2004 leaders. They are: Rochelle Bloom, president of The Fragrance Foundation; Roger Caracappa, executive vice president of The Estée Lauder Companies; Deborah Fine, president of Avon Future; David Rohloff, director of animations for Sephora; Mark Rosen, founder of Marc Rosen Associates; and Essie Weingarten, founder of Essie Cosmetics.
While interviewing our subjects, we heard one tenet repeated: One of the most important keys to success is having a passion for what you do. The passion and creativity these individuals bring to their careers are clear. We hope that their stories are as inspiring to our readers as they are to us.
We extend our congratulations to each of these professionals on their accomplishments and look forward to seeing more of their work in the future.
In January 2003, Rochelle Bloom became president of The Fragrance Foundation. Since then, she has brought a new energy to the 54-year-old trade organization.
"When I first took on this job, I saw it as a challenge," says Bloom. "I think the Foundation had reached a plateau and needed to leap forward."
In order to modernize the organization's image and ensure that the foundation would better address the concerns of its members, Bloom first had it evaluated by an outside firm. "I'm a marketer, and I approached it as a brand," she explains. "We identified our goals, which included gaining a better understanding of the fragrance consumer. We knew we had to come up with different ways to reach out to consumers and inspire a better appreciation, understanding, and more-frequent use of fragrance."
Now, under Bloom's leadership, many changes have been successfully implemented that are continuing to change The Fragrance Foundation's role in the industry. Its members now enjoy more-exclusive benefits. The entire FiFi Awards show has been revamped, and the increased involvement of celebrities last June helped to raise its profile. More consumers than ever before were aware of the FiFis this year due to increased support and participation from department stores, consumer magazines, and even a television show.
Bloom explains, "I'm a big risk-taker, and everyone on The Fragrance Foundation's board has given me the chance to take calculated risks. This gave me more room to think of new ways of doing things."
More changes are being planned for next year's awards. The nominees are now scheduled to be announced earlier in the year to allow more time for promotion through marketing efforts and in stores. Fragrance Week was also moved to October this year in order to boost holiday sales.
In addition, Bloom recently established a junior advisory board. "It is meant to inspire more young people to become involved in the industry," she says. "Our hope is that they will bring with them bold opinions and a fresh approach to thinking and problem solving." There is also the possibility that The Fragrance Foundation will launch its own ad campaign geared toward consumers in 2005.
When asked about her leadership style, Bloom modestly replies, "It's a collaborative leadership—and one person never deserves all the credit for anything. I believe in team building and delegating in order to let others have the opportunity to show you what they can do. The more people that are involved in something, the more everyone is committed to making it happen."
Before taking the reins at The Fragrance Foundation, Bloom worked for The Estée Lauder Companies for 27 years, rising through the ranks to senior vice president/general manager of Estée Lauder International and to president of Bobbi Brown.
Bloom considers her greatest achievement to be gaining the respect of others by never compromising her beliefs. "I've always done things honestly and have been able to maintain my integrity," she says. "Those are the real important things that make me stand tall when I look back at my life."
Assuring us she has many more ideas planned for the near future, Bloom says, "We'll continue to grow and change as an organization, and move along in the right direction. This is only the beginning."
Roger Caracappa has devoted his entire career to The Estée Lauder Companies. Starting out by working in its factories, he was promoted throughout various departments, rising through the ranks.
For 25 years, he spearheaded all promotional marketing for Estée Lauder USA and Canada and oversaw marketing operations and merchandising for the company's makeup, treatment, and fragrance categories. During the past five years, he has led the company's entire packaging team as senior vice president of global packaging. And, as of July of this year, he has taken on a new position: executive vice president, global packaging, quality assurance, merchandising, corporate store design, retail store operations.
is a visionary who is always open to new ideas and who strongly
encourages innovation. He is dynamic and leads by example,
motivating others by setting high expectations while rewarding
those who strive for excellence. His team members have described
him as "a champion at empowering his people."
Caracappa is proudest of having the opportunity to lead the packaging team, which is regarded in the industry as a highly talented and respected group. He firmly believes his team comprises the very best talent in the world. "Our team's technical performance is superb," he says. "The team members' attention to detail is what sets us apart from the competition."
Caracappa's new responsibilities involve ensuring quality is consistent regardless of where manufacturing takes place. He explains, "New technologies are emerging in both packaging and product formulation. There are also new regulatory standards to meet in both packaging and production every year. I now have the opportunity to make sure we are prepared to face these new challenges from a quality standpoint."
One of Caracappa's goals in his new position is to provide an opportunity for every brand to be maximized in a global market that is constantly changing and evolving, sometimes on a daily basis. "It is important for us to continue to satisfy our brands while, at the same time, maintaining corporate standards—a responsibility from which we can never deviate," he says.
Caracappa served on the industry advisory board for the Fashion Institute of Technology's Cosmetics and Fragrance Marketing and Management program for nine years. He also continues to participate in its student-mentor program. Recently, he accepted an appointment to the advisory board of FIT's Department of International Trade and Marketing. He also serves on the advisory council of the International Package Design Awards competition. In 2002, he was named Packaging Executive of the Year by HBA. In 2004, he was inducted into the New Jersey Packaging Executives Club Hall of Fame. He is an active member of the Cosmetic Industry Buyers and Suppliers organization, and even finds the time to participate in New York City's Principal-for-a-Day program.
Looking back on his career, Caracappa says there was never a doubt for him about where he was meant to be. "I knew very early in my career that there is a special magic at Lauder," he says. "Any young person starting their career looks for a company that will provide opportunities for growth and an environment conducive to learning—as well as an atmosphere that fosters open communication and innovative thinking. Those were the qualities that existed at Estée Lauder when I started 30 years ago, and they still exist today."
Deborah Fine, president of Avon Future, leads all of the company's global business efforts for its new brand, mark. Along the way, Fine has successfully helped invent the process of direct-selling to a new, younger consumer.
In 2001, the Avon Future division was established in order to launch the mark brand in August 2003. Fine describes the mark project as hugely fulfilling. "I have been given the privilege of being asked to reach the next generation of Avon customers, and that is truly extraordinary," she says. "Starting from a clean slate made the process equally challenging and full of unlimited opportunity."
Fine oversees all aspects of the business, including strategic brand and product development, sales, marketing, advertising, and public relations. Under her leadership, mark became one of the top five trend brands in the United States in 2003. It achieved $28 million in retail sales in just four months.
Fine describes her leadership strategy this way: "I surround myself with top talent and team-building leaders, establishing reciprocal working relationships. Above all else, I try to spread a contagious passion throughout everything we do."
The mark brand consists of more than 300 products and is scheduled to launch in other markets outside the United States in 2006. The meet mark magalog (a magazine-style catalog) and the Web site meetmark.com both take direct-selling to another level. Employing young women as retailers is one of the brand's goals, and new mark representatives have been selling the product in various places, such as at "social beauty parties" and in college dorms.
One unique aspect of mark's packaging is how key items are completely customizable. For instance, Hook-Up is a system of dual-ended components containing a variety of different products such as lip gloss, concealer, and eyeliner. Each part is interchangeable, and 900 different combinations can be created by the consumer.
"A package that gets noticed will be purchased," says Fine. "Packaging has a huge effect on sales. It's an opportunity to connect the dots of each discipline so that everything, from the advertising to the Web site, always reflects our brand's voice."
Before joining Avon, Fine spent 23 years in the magazine industry, most recently as vice president and publisher of Glamour magazine. "My childhood dream was to run a women's magazine," Fine says. "I was a magazine junkie and worked as an intern at Vogue when I was 18 years old. Now I feel like I have come full circle. The irony is that mark's magalog has become the largest print vehicle for women, with more than 6 million produced each month."
Fine's numerous awards include the Washington, DC, American Legacy Foundation's Award for Corporate Leadership in November 2003; the Best Executed Launch Strategy Award from Women's Wear Daily's Beauty Biz; and the Avon Pathfinder Award for Leadership in Brand Development in February 2004. This May, Fine received the 2004 Direct-Selling Association Award for Innovation. This October, Fine was a recipient of Cosmetic Executive Women's 2004 Achiever Awards.
To lead a team to success, Fine employs a philosophy she calls "the three A's": hire adults, provide autonomy, and expect accountability. Fine names her greatest business accomplishment as "building a village of colleagues and partners who have shared in this journey we call our careers."
As the director of animations for Sephora, David Rohloff has been the leader of the company's visual merchandising team for nearly seven years. Rohloff was the 18th person hired when the company decided to cross the Atlantic, expanding its stores from Europe to the United States. He is responsible for the design and implementation of monthly themes for the look of Sephora stores, using graphics, props, and products. His responsibilities also include overseeing packaging, in-store graphics, and merchandising. Together, Rohloff and his team have helped set the standards that inspire changes in beauty retailing in the United States.
"The most fulfilling part of my job is seeing ideas I come up with in the morning over coffee become a reality [in Sephora stores] nationwide," says Rohloff. "I pretty much scribble my ideas as bad sketches on a napkin and—poof, they happen—with a lot of work from my team, of course." Rohloff says that he was proudest when he, along with his team, managed to prepare for the July 1998 opening of New York City's Soho store in just three months.
Another one of his achievements was designing an innovative way to sell a gift card. Sephora's comes tucked inside a mirrored compact. His idea of a great package is "one that makes you feel as though you have to have whatever is inside it."
Rohloff's list of qualities that he feels are important in order to successfully lead a team are innovation, passion, expertise, initiative, teamwork, respect, and balance. "I like everyone to play a role in the creative process," he adds.
The look of Sephora stores has been extremely important in defining the brand. In the beginning, Sephora France was in control of all aspects of Sephora's look worldwide. It wasn't long before the U.S. division broke away from that mold, trying to push the envelope in terms of creativity. Now, not only is the U.S. division doing things differently, it is also inspiring other branches around the world.
"Last year's was the first holiday season for which Sephora UK and Sephora Italy went with our vision, which was very exciting," says Rohloff. "This past year, Sephora France has incorporated several of our animation components into its windows. Realizing that we are not only having a tangible effect on an already-established business, but also impacting a 15-year-old French company, is both inspirational as well as incredibly motivating for me," he says.
In an open-sell environment, the outer package is extremely important. One of Rohloff's pet peeves is white cartons, which he feels are too common. "Your package needs to clearly communicate with customers," he says. "If customers walk up to a skincare line and they cannot tell the difference between an acne cream and a moisturizer [because of the secondary packaging], we've got an issue."
Rohloff has been striving toward making the experience inside every Sephora store feel consistent to customers around the world. "Of course, you can always recognize a Sephora from the outside, but my goal is to make every store consistently beautiful, unique, and pleasurable—whether you are on the Champs Élysées in Paris or Powell Street in San Francisco," he says. "We must always exceed the expectations of our customers and constantly provide surprises along the way."
Marc Rosen is well known for being an award- winning package designer. With the launch of his own fragrance, Shanghai, last January, he is also the first package designer to have his own perfume.
Rosen has led his own design team at Marc Rosen Associates for 16 years. In 1996, when he recognized a need in the industry for well-designed, matching stock components, he formed Prêt-à-Porter Custom Standards, a collection of stock bottles, caps, and collars that Rosen designed and supplies. In 2001, he created accessMR in order to use his networking skills to further his clients' businesses.
Most recently, Rosen, along with business partner Gerald Tsai, formed Horizon Beauty to manufacture his fragrance. In 2004, Shanghai retailed exclusively at Saks Fifth Avenue's U.S. stores. It has just launched internationally this fall and will be sold in other specialty stores throughout the United States beginning in February. Always one to celebrate lavishly, Rosen announced Shanghai's international debut with a party in Cannes in October during the Luxe Pack show.
Rosen is an industry leader whose creative ideas keep flowing. "It's flattering to be told I'm a leader," he says. "I guess my style and work ethic has been to just show the real passion I feel for this industry. That is what propels me. The work becomes sort of a catalyst—the more I do, the more creative and involved I feel."
Rosen's extracurricular activities include participating in The Fragrance Foundation, teaching a graduate course on perfume bottle design at New York City's Pratt Institute, and organizing the annual Pratt Scholarship Fund Dinner. He also creates seminars for the Luxe Pack trade shows in both Monaco and New York City every year. "I hope these discussions bring up new ideas," he says. "Sometimes, all it takes is hearing a certain word and you can be inspired creatively."
The point at which Rosen chose his career path came in graduate school at the Pratt Institute. He designed a children's shampoo bottle for a class project, and his professor urged him to show it to a cosmetics company. Terrified, he says, he called Avon. Avon ended up buying his design for $3000. With that, Rosen bought his first car—a Volkswagon Beetle. "At that moment I knew this was the path for me," he says. "I was having so much fun designing and couldn't believe I was getting paid for it."
Rosen's first job was working with Charles Revson at Revlon when he was 23. Next, he worked for 13 years at Elizabeth Arden, where he had the opportunity to redesign the brand's signature line. He calls this a life-changing experience.
Rosen explains: "My work is very emotional for me. It's not just a job because fragrance creates such an emotional connection with the consumer. I feel like I've grown up in this industry. In the future, there will be new leaders. I hope to inspire them to feel the same passion I do and realize that it's not about just making money or selling product. It is a wonderful opportunity to be able to create something so special."
Rosen says his proudest moment was the support he felt during the launch of Shanghai. "To hear others say I've made a contribution makes me very proud," he says. His final words on what makes a great fragrance bottle: "The tactile communication is most important. It's what makes you want to pick up that bottle. If you can design something that the consumer feels they must hold, then you've done something."
Essie Weingarten founded Essie Cosmetics in 1981. Since then, her entrepreneurial spirit has steadily driven her company to international success. The brand, which includes more than 200 shades of nail polish, is sold in more than 50 countries, as well as in over 50,000 salons and spas in the United States. Known from its inception for its trendy shades, Essie Cosmetics, under Weingarten's leadership, revitalized the entire nail industry. In October, Cosmetic Executive Women presented Weingarten with its 2004 Achiever Award.
"The most important asset you can have is a passion for what you do, and a team that shows the same passion," says Weingarten. "I give 100 percent, and I expect the same from everyone I work with. In the end, it comes down to how much you enjoy your work. When you really like what you do, it shows."
Weingarten describes her leadership style as "very hands-on," and adds that an open-door policy is what she finds works best. "Anyone can come into my office at any time," she says.
Weingarten's experience in fashion merchandising and color expertise has greatly contributed to the success of Essie Cosmetics. "When I first started, I began creating sheer, translucent shades that I loved and couldn't find on the market," she says.
Weingarten chose Las Vegas as the place to launch the line, betting that everyone from showgirls to dealers would be interested in having well-groomed fingertips. She began selling her first collection of 12 colors in hotel beauty salons and spas. Five of those original shades are still selling today, including Baby's Breath and Black Cherry. One of her most popular pale pinks, called Ballet Slippers, has become a classic staple on manicurist stations all over the world.
Essie's nail polish became so well known that it was successfully sold in unmarked bottles until 1991. In 1993, Weingarten trademarked her signature bottle, which she designed. It is square on the outside but rounded on the inside so no nail polish settles in the corners. Without even a label to advertise, marketing efforts for the bottle relied solely on the nail polishes' unique colors, unforgettable names, and the performance of its nonchip formula. "I always want the product to speak for itself," says Weingarten. "I always believe that you can only fool people once. If you give customers a quality product and great service, you will have a customer for life."
The year 1999 marked a milestone for the company when the Essie name appeared on the bottle for the first time. It was a crucial step in marketing the product worldwide. "I learned the importance of the marketing aspect and branding much later on," says Weingarten. "Once I did, it made a huge difference. We have grown dramatically since we put our name on the bottle." Instead of simply using silk-screening, Weingarten worked with her glass manufacturer Arrowpak Inc. to put the name right into the bottle mold, and "essie" was etched in lowercase letters onto the glass.
Essie Cosmetics continues to expand and includes more treatment products such as Nail Wipes, Nail Pads, The Nail Corrector, The Cuticle Pen, and The Crystal File. New polish colors continue to be introduced every 90 days. When asked about her proudest moment, Weingarten replies: "When Her Majesty's hairdresser called us to say she needed nail polish for the queen of England."