The Future of Beauty in 2018, with Anna Moine
Anna Moine combines an affinity for business with her passion for the spa industry to provide a comprehensive, strategic and motivated approach to the projects she undertakes. Overseeing the development process for a diverse group of clients, including Estee Lauder, Ralph Lauren and Michael Kors, Anna is hugely knowledgeable when it comes to helping businesses grow. Anna shares her insights into the ever-developing hair and beauty industry.
Why did you make the move from politics and middle eastern studies to beauty?
That’s quite a jump isn’t it. It’s actually a very good question with a straightforward answer. I graduated from University 30 years ago. 30 years ago the world was quite different and being a middle eastern scholar, my advisor said I should continue but I said there are two things in the way slowing me down. One was that I am a woman, and I am a Westerner. I was born and raised in France, a dual citizen with an American passport. Americans are not that welcome in that region. I studied it because I was interested in it, not because it was a viable career path.
My first job was as an FX trader, I was the second woman FX trader in Paris. I moved to cosmetics when I moved to New York. I answered a New York Times advert in the newspaper for a role as a PR manager for a new brand coming to the US from France. I’m fluent, so I helped launch the brand as the second hire and grew it from 100K to over 20M in a 10 year period. That was my entry into the cosmetics world, packing boxes or doing appearances even though I have had no training as a hairdresser or anything. I worked with a lot of the top hairstylists in New York and San Francisco.
What inspires you about hair and beauty?
In the professional industry, it is all about creating a beautiful experience. In the retail industry, it is all about beautifying —creating an experience and incorporating a lifestyle change. For me, I saw that there was much more to this industry, and it wasn’t solely superficial. It can create significant changes in your lifestyle.
What are your tips for salons and spas not selling retail?
They are losing a major share of revenue. Typically profit to margin for services is between 10-15% because you have to pay the practitioner, stylist or the beautician, overheads, etcetera. For retail, your profit margin is a minimum of 40% and you don’t have to train people. It is really easy to bring in added revenue. Have a dedicated person in the spa who really loves products. Identify that product junky and give them that responsibility, including participating in the selection process of what is going to be sold. Engage them by making them part of the decision making process. Also, limiting the number of skews, and taking the Sephora approach where you are focusing on hero products. If you have a significant product assortment, change up the displays every three to four weeks.
What are your tips on reducing stress for busy people?
Specifically for spas, many of the owners and managers don’t take part in their own services. If you have massage or relaxation services, or even wellness classes, then take them! Take a class, get a massage, and get a facial from time to time. Integrate a wellness approach into your everyday life.
What are some of the proudest moments of your career?
There are two.
The first was launching my first business at 25. I launched a PR and marketing company. I had signed four clients the day I opened.
The second was when I made the decision to become a consultant and put more emphasis on my work-life balance. I had a young child and was on the road 75% of the time and was an absent mother. I decided to put more effort into creating a better balance between work and my personal life. I think distinct boundaries need to be made and adhered to. As an entrepreneur I find myself working on weekends. But I have an entirely flexible schedule so if I want to play tennis on the weekday, I can move my schedule around. One of the disadvantages of the digital age is that we are never really completely disconnected and we have a tendency to check emails at all times of the day. Put a rigorous boundary is important. Do I do that all the time? No! For the vast majority, I really try to have work-life separation.
What is next for the personal care industry?
Consolidations are going to continue. Every small brand, it seems that their goal is to be bought by the bigger brands. There is less of an independent movement and more of a mass movement. Brick and mortar will always be around. The more successful brands are the ones that are more engaged with interactive media. You need a dedicated staff member who is going to be promoting your social message and doing it in a way that is going to be authentic, real, the younger generation just sees through it. Brand recognition and word of mouth is still relevant.
In terms of trends, I’m hoping there is more convergence between the medical and wellness fields. Where the modalities in wellness or spas might be incorporated into a healthcare regime, with the recommendation of a naturopath or a doctor.
Anna Moine runs a consulting company, ALM Consult, offering clients a comprehensive, strategic and motivated process to every client and every project.