I believe, to succeed, you need to be a Swiss Army Knife of beauty, equipped with knowledge and awareness about every aspect of the business from product concept to customer service. In today’s world, every part of the business is exposed to the public in some ways. Customers demand more transparency. They want to where and how their favorite products are made. They want to be ensured the work force is diverse and that everyone is treated fair and equally.
As a part of our series about “Five Things You Need To Know To Succeed In The Modern Beauty Industry”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Ulli Haslacher, the inventor of patented Climate-Smart skincare and the Founder & CEO of Pour Moi Skincare LLC. Recognized as one of TIME 100 Best Invention of 2020 Changing How We Live, Pour Moi Climate-Smart skincare is formulated specifically for the distinctive climates you live in and travel to. This groundbreaking, patented concept has been five decades in the making. Ulli brings more than twenty-five years of domestic and international entrepreneurial experience, including product development and IP filings, manufacturing and logistics management as well omni-channel marketing and sales.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Before we dive in, our readers would love to learn a bit more about you. Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?
I’ve been in the beauty, health and wellness industry for over 20 decades in various roles. One day I was asked what I would do if I could do anything. I answered I would start my own skincare line because I had an idea that would give me my own swim lane in the overcrowded pool of beauty. The next day we started on drafting the concept for the word first climate based skincare.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began your career?
There are so many interesting stories as I’ve met many interesting people and travelled to many interested places throughout my career but when it comes to Pour Moi Climate-Smart skincare, I believe the most interesting story is that I sacrificed the look of one of my hands for evidence sake to proof the results. I use Climate-Smart skincare on the top of one hand and a traditional moisturizer on the other. Dermatologists have told me that now my hands look generations apart. Whenever you disrupt a traditional way of thinking where the consumer is not aware that there is a problem in the first place, it’s always difficult to convince them that there is a better way to do it. What I learned is that I had to not just pile up on the evidence with studies but show them something they can believe in.
Are you able to identify a “tipping point” in your career when you started to see success? Did you start doing anything different? Are there takeaways or lessons that others can learn from that?
The beauty and wellness industry has always been full of copycats. Any reasonably good idea is immediately taken by other brands, dilute sales and opportunity. Once I figured out how to better protect my ideas and methods, I got the opportunity to “put my ducks in a row” and started to see success. Take Pour Moi, it took me five years to get my first US patent for the method of climate based skincare but the payoff was big when we were named 11 months later by TIME as one of 100 best inventions of 2020.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person to whom you are grateful who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
My dad is that person. When I was a small child, I traveled the world with my dad who was introducing a new technology in paint that resisted climatic stressors called powder coating. So, at 7 years old, I already knew that different climates affect a surface differently. Fast forward as an experienced beauty expert and a serial entrepreneur, the disruptive concept of local environments affecting skin functions and formulas’ efficacies differently started to become a topic of medical research. I jumped on it when the first studies were published in the early 2000s showing the overwhelming huge impact of climatic conditions on skin and topical solutions. The industry was waiting for more data to come over the next 10 years. However, I had the confidence in this groundbreaking concept that it was a white space in the crowded industry of skincare, and I went for it.
Ok super. Let’s now shift to the main part of our discussion. The global beauty industry today has grown to more than a half a trillion dollar business. Can you tell us about the innovations that you are bringing to the industry? How do you think that will help people?
Climate-Smart Pour Moi is the world’s first and only climate based skincare. Since the 1950s women and men have been purchasing and using skincare the same way. Let’s take as an example buying a moisturizer. Traditionally, you only make one decision at point of sale, conventionally about oneself (skin type, age, gender) and then you use this particular moisturizer that matches your skin type or age daily, anywhere in the world. Pour Moi works totally different. Think of the new way of buying skincare sort of like choosing your moisturizer by your zip code, selecting not just one climate-specific moisturizer but two or three depending on the different local climates you live in and traveling to. Then you rotate between these climate-smart moisturizers depending on the actual daily weather. You dress your skin like you dress yourself. We’ve seen extraordinary results from independent studies and from what our customers tell us. They say that Pour Moi Climate-Smart skincare helps them to finally get the youthful, glowing skin they hoped for.
Can you share 3 things that most excite you about the modern beauty industry?
Of course.First, I am most excited seeingwomen of all color and ages being a major force in transforming the beauty industry culture by either owning their own brand or taking the reigns in companies. Secondly, I am exciting seeing the beauty industry taking a leadership role in environmental responsibility from clean energy manufacturing to responsible ingredient sourcing and sustainable packaging solutions. And third, I am excited to see the beauty industry moving into the digital D-to-C space selling directly to the customers.
Can you share 3 things that most concern you about the industry? If you had the ability to implement 3 ways to improve the industry, what would you suggest?
My biggest concern about the industry has always been that there is a lot of “fake” claims and information about products. I would suggest a bit more regulations in the industry to protect both, the consumer and brands.
You are an expert about beauty. Can you share a few ideas that anyone can use “to feel beautiful”?
I think the pandemic, has changed our collective definition of Beauty. Prior to lock-down how many of us would not even get the mail without mascara. How many of us felt naked without our daily masks of color cosmetics? In time, the pandemic adjusted our beauty priorities. Instead of covering our skin we yearned for healthy glowing skin. Instead of lipstick and blush, we got our daily color from our daily walks. Honoring our health has made us feel beautiful. Inhaling and exhaling a painless breath is a beautiful honor.
Here is the main question for our discussion. Based on your experience and success, Can you please share “Five Things You Need To Know To Succeed In The Modern Beauty Industry”. Please share a story or an example, for each.
I believe, to succeed, you need to be a Swiss Army Knife of beauty, equipped with knowledge and awareness about every aspect of the business from product concept to customer service. In today’s world, every part of the business is exposed to the public in some ways. Customers demand more transparency. They want to where and how their favorite products are made. They want to be ensured the work force is diverse and that everyone is treated fair and equally. Also, you have to be a great communicator and encourage communication within the company. At Pour Moi, we have weekly “Moi Talks” where team members of different departments take turns and talk for 5 minutes about one single issue, idea, concern or procedure they believe is important for all to know. These talks have become employees’ favorites and have helped in a fun “Ted-talk” inspired way to best possible meet customers high expectations.
I also think it is important to know that today’s customer is getting better informed by the minute. The days of “white washing or green washing” are soon to be gone. Many modern brands marketing is solely based on the concept of “clean beauty” or “natural beauty”. While making a very big deal of ingredients that are less than 0.001% in the formula, they never talk about the ingredient that is 70% to 90% in the formula: the local water. If the products are manufactured in a state or country where you wouldn’t drink tap water from the sink because of chemicals that are put into the water to achieve drinking water quality (purification is trying to take the chemicals out again which only works partially), you certainly don’t have a clean or natural beauty brand anymore. At Pour Moi, we only manufacture in the Rhone Alp region in France, using the mineral-rich, pure Alpine water to ensure that our customers get the best results with Climate-Smart formulas.
You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
I believe I already had the big idea that triggers change with Climate-Smart Skincare. That’s why we were chosen as one of TIME 100 best inventions of 2020 “changing how we live”. Beauty is a non-threating way for people to understand that the effect of local climates cannot be ignored any longer.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
It’s from my grandma. She told me that patience is the most important virtue in raising successfully anything- kids, plants, animals, and yes, businesses. I found that to be true.
How can our readers follow you online?
Thank you so much for joining us. This was very inspirational.