Cosmetic Executive Women in the UK, aka CEW(UK), honored a bevy of inspiring leaders in beauty at its 11th annual Achiever Awards on November 4. Presented in a packed ballroom of The Jumeirah Carlton Tower in London, the event recognized the honoreesâ€™ inspiration, humanity, and willingness to teach others the ins and outs of the industry. It was an event not to be missed, and I came over from New York to attend.
â€œI feel strongly that helping women to feel pretty damn good is one of the biggest things a beauty brand can offer their customers,â€ states Achiever Elizabeth Fagan, marketing director of Boots UK. Ms. Fagan has worked at Boots for more than 20 years, and assumed her current position in 2007. It is so good to see a woman on top at this revered British company.
From Clinique to retreat, Achiever Tracey Woodward, commercial director of spa, salon, and product company Urban Retreat Ltd, began her career at a Clinique counter in Craydon. Tracey’s story was particularly heartfelt. Her advice: â€œgreet everyday with eyes wide open and do what makes you happy.â€
Achiever Julietta Dexter, founding partner of The Communications Store, attributes her love of beauty to her grannyâ€™s Rose Geranium smelling bathroom. Committed to learning from others, she says the best advice she ever received entails â€œlearning from everyone around you, not just the senior people.” John Frieda, her longtime client and friend, introduced her. It was indeed a great pleasure to hear him.
Tom Ford, David Beckham, George Clooney, and Coco Chanel would be at the dream dinner party, and hopefully interview, for Achiever Sue James, editorial director of Woman & Home magazine. She began her career at the tender age of 14, working for Vanity Fair. Sue is known as one of the hardest working gals in publishing and her achievements surely prove her commitment to quality. Over the years, I have been proud to have been quoted in W&H by the lovely Jo Glanville-Blackburn, Tessa Hilton and Lynn Cardy.
The evening included one more honor, the presentation of the 2013 Special Industry Award to Sean Harrington, managing director of the sumptuous British brand Elemis. He shares his passion for the beauty industry with a love of sailing.
The lovely evening brought together UK industry members including many of my British beauty buddies, Alice Hart Davis, Kate Amarasinghe, Beatrice Aidin, Imogen Matthews, Jennifer Burner, and more. The organization also graciously recognized the 2013 Membersâ€™ Achiever Finalists: Jamila Askarova, co-founder of Gazelle Skincare; Charlotte Knight, founder and creative director of Ciate London; and Christina Moss and Julia Yule, co-founders and directors of Bloom & Blossom. Also on this list is Bella Blissett, beauty columnist for YOU Magazine of the Mail on Sunday, where I was fortunate to have written a Q&A column answering readers’ queries about cosmetic treatments a few years ago.
Congratulations to all the wonderful winners, and to Caroline Neville for always being such a gracious host.