For this weeks BOSS series we have one of the most literal beauty bosses in the industry, Jillian Wright. I really admire woman that create, innovate and evolve. And for me Jillian Wright is the ultimate example of this. She took her skincare background as an aesthetician and spa owner and didn’t just stop after creating her skincare line, she saw a void in the marketplace and had the foresight think bigger and co-founded the Indie Beauty Expo. I went to the first Indie Beauty Expo in New York and from what it started as and to what it is today just shows the growth in this category and the outstanding need for a tradeshow like this! Plus they are taking over the world and have since expanded into LA, Berlin, Dallas and London. It’s no secret that indie beauty is one of, if not the fastest growing category in beauty and she’s a big part of making that happen and giving these small brands a chance to meet buyers, press and beauty lovers to take their business to the next level. The expo has also connected me to so many incredible brands ahem Dope Naturally, Bawdy Beauty, Raw Spirit, Love Sun Body, and so many others… Plus I always look forward to hitting on their videographer. Let’s learn from the master, here’s our interview with Jillian Wright:
1. Tell us about yourself and how you got started.
I was a spa owner and skincare expert for 18 years and relied on the unique and hard to find beauty to fill up the white space in my retail environment, which made the assortment interesting and exciting for my clients. About 10 years into my career, I decided to launch my own luxury indie skincare line. The word “trade show“ wasn’t even in my universe. I realized very quickly that in order to attract buyers and press, I needed to get out there and meet people, but didn’t know where to begin. I started doing research and wasn’t satisfied with my options. Out of frustration, I approached my then facial client Nader Naeymi-Rad and asked him if he would help me produce a show specific to independent beauty. Without any hesitation, he said yes. Six months later, we launched the Indie Beauty Expo at the Altman Building with 80 brands, all who were in the same boat as me.
First, we extended IBE to two days so there was more time for attendees to interact with exhibitors. Then we branched out to Los Angeles and Dallas, and now London in October and Berlin, March 2019, enabling more local brands, buyers, press and shoppers to participate at IBE. We then launched Beauty Independent, our digital publication, to provide a voice to all the great entrepreneurial stories out there. We then launched BeautyX, our educational and networking summits, because we saw so many brand founders stumble because they didn’t have reliable sources to help them navigate key business questions and issues. Finally, with our Retail + Buyer Relation function, we now actively help buyers find the right brands and then help those brands onboard with the retailer.
2. What inspired you/How did you become involved in the Indie Beauty community?
When we started IBE, we had a simple mission: showcase great independent brands in a way that honored the hard work and innovative spirit their founders brought to the table. That was it. After our first show, and all the feedback we received, it became clear that independent brands were going to play a big role in the future of beauty and wellness, but that there were many obstacles and unmet needs that had to be addressed. So we started to systematically go about building platform to help independent innovators succeed. I teach, lead, write and prevail, all because I didn’t have a platform to do serious business with press and retailers.
3. What is your best time management tip?
I write everything down and make sure my commitments are in my google calendar. I work hard to not overschedule myself and maintain a disciplined day to day pace. Since I live in NYC, I try very hard not to spend a lot of time in the car or public transportation, preferring to walk. The stress of traffic and commuting can be bad for productivity and creativity. Not only do I manage my schedule, but I also have manage my kids, so, getting enough sleep and preparing for tomorrow’s tasks the night before are important ways to ensure I make the best use of my time. I approach our lives as a team effort. We are in it together and this also helps my kids and husband cope with my crazy schedule. I allow myself time to process things and this is important for health and longevity.
4. What is the deal with CBD? I’ve seen incredible reports about the benefits for everything for autism to epilepsy, anxiety and muscle relief but the Internet seems conflicted on if it actually does anything dramatic for your skin or is it just a fad?
It has been proven that CDB is an effective treatment for anxiety and epilepsy, now early studies are even showing it may be used to fight cancer and slow the progression Alzheimer’s disease. Depending on the strength of the CBD product—researchers say CBD creates anti-inflammatory and pain killing effects-—using it for small aches and pains on the forearms, knees, neck or elbows, one can feel a difference racially overnight with the right blend! In beauty, it’s being used alone and coupled with other ingredients such as frankincense, Korean herbs or Vitamin C. We went from