Archive for the ‘Top Women in Focus’ Category

Top Women in Focus – Trish Lucarino

Tuesday, December 5th, 2006

Welcome to day two of Top Women in Focus. This series looks at four extremely successful women that each play a key role in todays beauty industry. Today, Trish Lucarino is “in focus”…

Trish Lucarino is the president and founder of Principessa. With gorgeously fragrant beauty products and pink signature packaging, they are a hit around the world.

When you were a little girl, what did you want to be?
A princess? No, seriously I didn’t really know what I wanted to be for the longest time. It wasn’t until I came up with the idea for Principessa that I felt I finally knew what I wanted to be when I grew up. It is so much fun and never feels like work.

Where did the idea for Principessa come from?

I have always been a huge beauty product junkie in search of the best products. I thought it would be fun to create them myself. But, it wasn’t until I thought of the name that the whole idea came together. My husband is Italian and he called me Principessa plus my girlfriend, sister in law and I had started a Principessa club. We would all go on trips together and go to spas pampering ourselves. The name just seemed so perfect for a line of indulgent beauty products.

What was the first product that Principessa produced?
We started with 6 products initially after doing a lot of research we came up with Bacio Me Lip Balm, Cattiva Diva Silky Hand Cream, Fresh Fiore Shower Cream, Dolce Dreams Whipped Body Lotion, Bella Booty Creamy Body Scrub, Bambina Bubbles Spa Cream Bath and our Bellezza Box Beauty Tool Kit with mini versions of all the products. All the names are half Italian and half English and we had so much fun coming up with all of them!

How did you develop your wonderful signature scent?
This was crucial for us as I am so sensitive to most fragrances and don’t like a lot of stuff on the market. My hubby and I traveled to Italy and I dragged him into every beauty boutique and apothecary and bought everything that appealed to us. Then we came home and worked with a perfumery here to develop our two signature scents. I was so picky and it was imperative that they were fresh, clean and not obnoxious or overpowering. We are thrilled with the response to the scents and apparently a lot of people feel the same way I do about them.

When did you first realize that Principessa was a success?
Honestly, I am not sure I do yet. We are still quite small but there have been wonderful points along the way such as being asked to be in the goodie bags for the Golden Globes our first week in business and getting an e-mail from Terri Hatcher saying she adored the products. But one of my favorite things is when we get phone calls or e-mails from customers who take the time to tell you how much they love the products or that they got accosted in the street by someone who HAD to know what scent they are wearing. It really makes you feel good and that you are doing something right.

What sets you apart from your competitors?
We call it the 3 P’s. Packaging, performance and perfume. We wanted the packaging to be uber feminine and so pretty (I found so many high end spa quality products to be very generic and non gender specific), then the scent had to be perfect and intriguing with the performance of the products to be amazing. I just found so many times you love the packaging but hate the scent, or if it smells good maybe it doesn’t work well or it’s greasy. I just thought “is it too much to ask for something that works and smells as good as it looks?”

What is your favorite Principessa product?
That is so hard as it changes all the time and I love them all but I think our lip balm is incredible and the best on the market. It’s super moisturizing without being greasy or sticky. I was always searching for the perfect lip balm and I finally found it.

What beauty staples do you use daily?
I use the Fresh Fiore or the Bellissima Bar in the shower everyday depending on how much time I have and the Bacio Me, Bianco Breeze and Cattiva Diva are essential. The other products don’t get used everyday I’m afraid and are more luxury items for the weekend etc. I should moisturize every day and I don’t always have the time but every time I use the Dolce Dreams I’m amazed at how easily it absorbs and makes my skin silky soft and smelling like heaven. The other day I was at Yoga class and I couldn’t stop smelling my arm! Water is also another critical beauty staple and while I don’t always drink enough I am trying hard to practice what I preach.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Hopefully, still doing the same thing with a more fully developed line up of products. I think Principessa has endless potential and we have so many ideas. Can you imagine a Principessa Spa?

Who are you influenced by?
Our customers! They’re the best.

What makes you smile?
What doesn’t? I am at a point in my life where I am feeling particularly blessed. La Vita e Bella!! I have so much to be thankful for and try to be grateful all the time and never take any of it for granted. It’s a lot of hard work and doesn’t come easy which is a good thing otherwise you might not appreciate it as much. I have my health, family, friends, husband and the best job in the world. Walking into our pink offices everyday makes me smile!

What keeps you going every day?
Passion! I love Principessa so much and although it can be really stressful some days it’s honestly the most fun and rewarding thing I have ever done.

Why do you like pink so much?
I have always been a huge pink fanatic. It’s so feminine and girly and it’s such a happy color. It wasn’t until I started doing research at the beginning of Principessa and I was looking for “pink facts” that I discovered that the highest level of serotonin is released in the brain when you see the color pink. Our brand new offices are all pink and absolutely no one can walk into them and not smile.

How do you juggle a career and a personal life?
Hmm, not so much. The first three years of Principessa have been like having a newborn and it has required constant nurturing and attention. We are finally getting to a point where I can have a bit of a life again and I am getting back into exercising. I love yoga and running with my i-pod cranked (sometimes singing at the top of my lungs)

How do you keep up with beauty trends?
Magazines the internet and trade shows are a good resource but we really try to listen to our customers too. They will tell you what is hot and what they want. For example we recently launched our award winning hair and body powder, Bianco Breeze after listening to our customers telling us they wanted us to create this item and we can barely keep the stuff on the shelf.

What advice would you give to someone wanting to start their own business?
I think you have to have endless love and passion for what you are doing because it can be very difficult and trying sometimes. I am not sure I would have the wear withall to withstand some of the stress sometimes if I didn’t absolutely love what I was doing. Also, I know this is a terrible cliché but you really have to trust your instinct and listen to your gut. I have made some big mistakes not trusting mine and vice versa.

What part do you think blogs play in the beauty industry?
I think blogs are so fun, informative and a great way to keep up on all the latest trends. I think blogs along with the internet are becoming increasingly important and I’m not sure what we did before them…

Thank you to Trish for being part of this series and letting us understand the passion you have for your business.

Please visit us on Wedneday for a chance to get to know Jennifer Massaro from Janine Gordon Associates. See you then!

Top Women in Focus – Sarah Bancroft

Monday, December 4th, 2006

This week we take a look at four extremely successful women working in the beauty industry. We have the editor, the business owner, the public relations executive and the CEO. How did they get to where they are today and what makes them successful? Follow this series over the next four days and find out!

Sarah Bancroft is the editor-and-co-founder of Vitamin V, Vancouver’s largest on-line lifestyle magazine, that covers beauty, fashion, culture, travel and dining.

When you were a little girl, what did you want to be?
I wanted to be the person who put the little swirls on top of the chocolates at the candy factory. Obviously I hadn’t considered the hairnet.

Why did you get into journalism?
I was trying to find a way to read Vogue and Vanity Fair and actually be “working.”

What was the first story you ever reported on?
I did a profile of architect Bing Thom for Vancouver magazine when I was an intern there in 1997.

Where did the idea for Vitamin V come from?
We felt there was a need for a daily, online service covering new restaurants, store openings, and culture that was a true style authority and always got there first. Turns out we were right.

When did you first realize that Vitamin V was a success?
Every time we get a letter from a reader saying they discovered something fabulous, went on an amazing trip, or got the very last one of something, I am thrilled. We now get dozens of such letters a day.

What makes you successful?
Integrity and hard work, I think.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Hopefully helming a web empire, but not an evil one.

Who are you influenced by?
Self-made female entrepreneurs who don’t take themselves too seriously. Nigella Lawson, not Martha Stewart.

What makes you smile?
My one year old daughter, who points at a picture of Saddam Hussein in the newspaper and says “Daddy!”

What keeps you going every day?
See above.

How do you juggle a career and a personal life?
In many ways they are one in the same, but that is by design. If you can make a career of your hobby, then you are set.

What education should you have if you are interested in becoming a magazine editor?
Usually a liberals art degree, or maybe fine arts. I did Political Science. An internship is also essential these days to get a foot in the door.

What advice would you give to someone wanting to enter into journalism?
Read widely, be curious, absorb culture, travel lots, and make interesting friends.

How do you keep up with beauty trends?
Everytime I interview a make-up artist I rummage through their kits. You’d be amazed what you find in there. Also, is a great cheat sheet for runway trends.

What are your favorite beauty products?
I get sent hundreds of products to test, but these are the ones I keep buying:
L’Occitane Gentle Face Buff
Lancome Flash Bronzer self tanner
Linacare face moisturizer
La Roche Posay sunscreen SPF 60
M.A.C eye pencil in “Powersurge”
L’Artisan Parfumeur perfume in “Chase au Papillions”
And Chanel blush because it smells like roses.

What beauty products do you use everyday?
Dermalogica tinted moisturizer SPF15
Physicians Formula mineral bronzer
Cover FX Concealer
Eminence Organic Sundefence mineral powder in Honey Apple

Bobbi Brown Shimmerbrick Compact in Apricot (as blush and eyeshadow)

What magazines are currently sitting on your desk?
FASHION Magazine, which I am also the Western Editor of.

What part do you think blogs play in the beauty industry?
There are so many expensive beauty products out there that don’t do what they say they will, so it’s very important for people to spread the word about what does work in a forum where there are no big beauty advertisers to influence editor’s choices.

A big THANK YOU to Sarah Bancroft for agreeing to be interviewed for this series and do return tomorrow as we will be getting to know Trish Lucarino of Principessa Beauty.

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