You have had a very successful career as a beauty industry executive working for such companies as Estee Lauder, Avon, Shiseido and others. Now you have “ROARed” into a completely new direction as Chief Executive Officer of Grace de Monaco. What led to the decision to make this professional pivot?
In some ways it’s a new direction, but in other ways, this new role at Grace de Monaco feels like the natural next step in my professional journey. Everything about this opportunity excites me! Growing up, I considered Princess Grace a role model and a style icon. She’s always been the epitome of elegance and sophistication and over the years, I learned more about her philanthropic spirit which truly touched me.
Throughout my career, I’ve had the opportunity to organically weave philanthropic causes into brand work, however it feels humbling and rewarding to now be part of a brand where giving back is the essential pillar of the DNA created by a legend. Not only that, but I was intrigued by the unique business positioning: a luxury-for-good maison, with the highest quality craftsmanship and artistry, completely dedicated to its philanthropic purpose. From both a personal and professional lens, this CEO role felt fulfilling, and I knew I had to seize the opportunity.
Tell us more about the mission of Grace de Monaco and what some of the plans are under your leadership?
Grace de Monaco is the first of its kind luxury brand for good. A wholly-owned subsidiary of the Princess Grace Foundation – USA, Grace de Monaco was launched in 2021 as an important new, recurring revenue stream dedicated to the important mission of supporting excellence in the arts, which was a passion of Princess Grace. GDM offers unique luxury products in fragrance, home, beauty and accessories with 100% of all profits going directly to support the Princess Grace Awards Program in the form of grants to emerging artists in theater, dance and film.
At the core of our brand DNA is a humanitarian purpose, intended to support the legacy of Princess Grace and her impact within the arts & entertainment industry, through our fundraising efforts.
I have spent my first few months as CEO observing, listening, and learning. I am so impressed with what our team was able to create in such a short time, building a beautiful brand around a singular mission. Our future is full of exciting new product collections as we build out our portfolio, establish new retail partnerships, and explore design partner collaborations…the list is long! The main thing I am determined to do is keep the core of the brand intact: we will always be driven by our purpose of doing good as we honor the legacy of Princess Grace.
What advice would you give someone in their 50’s or 60’s if they are reticent about a career pivot into a new area but want to make a change? What have you learned on your journey?
First, I would say whole-heartedly, go for it! If your gut is telling you something, trust yourself, your experience, and your capabilities. Secondly, tap into your network. Reach out to mentors, friends, past colleagues, people you admire. Share your story and emphasize how your previous experience, though slightly different from your journey to date, will serve as a unique strength in this new path. And do read Michael Clinton’s ROAR – I’ve gifted it to many friends and colleagues, because he’s right: we have so much energy and so much to give at this age. Approach your new chapter with purpose and meaning and follow your passion wherever it takes you.