The entrepreneurial spirit behind some of our favorite beauty brands was honored by Cosmetic Executive Women (CEW) at the organization’s 37th Annual Achiever Awards luncheon held on Monday, November 12, at the Waldorf Astoria in New York City. The awards recognized the powerhouses behind Bond No 9, Fresh, and CoScentrix, as well as a Nordstrom executive.
“I love this event and everything it represents, honoring women from big and large companies, who have devoted their lives to the beauty industry,” stated Carlotta Jacobson, president of CEW, who spoke to a full house, even though the event had been rescheduled because of Hurricane Sandy.
Laurice Rahmé, president and founder of fragrance company Bond No. 9 New York received the Great Idea Award for Fragrance Innovation. The events of 9/11 were the catalyst for Ms. Rahmé to create the brand, which is inspired by and dedicated to the neighborhoods of New York. “I wanted to make New York smell good again by being courageous and creative, “she said.
Jill Belasco, founder and CEO of CoScentrix, a private-label home and fine fragrance company, received one of the afternoon’s three Achiever Awards. Her advice for anyone considering starting their own business is to know “what you love and want to—starting a business is not for the faint of heart.”
Alina Roytberg, co-president and co-founder of Fresh, came to the U.S. from the Soviet Union as a teen and followed her dream to enter the world of fashion and design, ultimately opening the first Fresh store in Boston in 1991. “I don’t believe in regrets. I think you have to take a chance even if you are going to fail,” she advises.
As executive vice president, general merchandising manager, Cosmetics, Nordstrom, Laurie Black has been accused of possessing superpowers, seemingly never needing to sleep. “I do sleep,” she said, and advised aspiring marketers to “do what the customer wants and you will have success.”
For its commitment to developing the career paths of women, L’Oréal USA received CEW’s 3rd Annual Corporate Empowerment for Women Award. Globally, 50% of L’Oréal’s 23 brands are headed by women, and domestically, 65% of the L’Oréal USA workforce are women. “Women have always had a very special place at L’Oréal,” said Frédéric Rozé, president and CEO of L’Oréal USA, who accepted the honor.
As usual the CEW Achiever Award presentation was inspirational and aspirational. As Ms. Jacobson said, “Let’s face it, women are the life blood of the cosmetic industry.”