“Clean” beauty is not just about what’s in the products, but also how products are produced and packaged. Modern beauty is joining in that more sustainable manufacturing approach, in an effort to reduce packaging pollution.
Beauty is integrating with wellness, talking about the importance of caring for your skin with what you apply on your skin and also treating you body well, through nutrition and lifestyle choices.
I had the pleasure of interviewing Valerie Grandury, a breast cancer survivor and wrinkle fighter. She was born and raised in Paris and lives in Los Angeles. Her wake up call was breast cancer and she realized that if she wanted to heal, she needed to change everything. She quit her job, went back to school to learn how to heal her body and set off to remove all the toxins from her life. She started blending custom-made skincare for private clients and herself. When word spread and demand grew, Odacité grew and people worldwide now use her products.
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?
My story could be titled: From Paris to LA, reinventing my life — and my career — after breast cancer.
Odacité came to life after I was diagnosed with breast cancer and I promised myself to never again expose my body to toxic ingredients, starting with the products that I was applying on my skin.
I knew that in order to heal, I would have to reinvent everything, and I did! I quit my job, moved to beautiful unpolluted Topanga — between LA and Malibu — went back to school to become a health and wellness coach, adopted a raw vegan diet, started yoga and meditation daily. It is through this healing journey that the idea for Odacité was born.
As most French women, I love skincare and I’m very serious about it! French skincare is all about concentration of actives and results … I wanted to marry that efficacy of French skincare with my newly adopted green- healthy California lifestyle, what I call the best of two worlds!
It is through this French-California fusion that Odacité launched in 2009, starting a new conversation about beauty, one that said, “When it comes to skincare you don’t need to sacrifice performance for purity, you can have it all.” Odacité was pioneering what is now known as the clean beauty movement.
Odacité currently sells through 17 countries around the world, including prominent retailers such as Nordstrom, Blue Mercury, SpaceNK, The Detox Market, Le Bon Marché, Lane Crawford, Harvey Nichols.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began your career?
When I launched Odacité our biggest challenge ended up being our biggest opportunity, and every day I’m grateful for it.
The standard for a skincare company is to hire third party labs to manufacture their products. I could not find a lab that could craft the way I wanted my formula to be made: completely fresh, in small batches, with absolute control on the sourcing, quality and purity of every single ingredient… so we built our own lab!
Having our own lab ensures that each bottle we put out in the world is bursting with fresh actives and can make a real difference on your skin.
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?
When we launched in 2009, the awareness about the toxicity of beauty products was very limited. We came with a very disruptive message that was shaking the status quo of this industry.
We easily convinced the early adopters and trendsetters, but it was far from a large crowd! People were skeptical that you could create completely natural skincare with high-performance. We then realized we had to focus on educating press and consumers on our clean beauty conversation, and explain how we focused on efficacy while removing all dangerous chemicals so often present in skincare.
This conversation started as a whisper to a few and as more and more joined on demanding clean beauty, it became a loud voice… However it took us 2 years to see profitability!
My lesson is if you are a visionary and start something very disruptive, know if might take some time to convince consumers.
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?
They are many people in my life I’m so grateful for! When it comes achieving success I cannot thank enough all the incredible farmers, grower and pickers who love ingredients as much as I do, without them there would be no Odacité. On my personal journey, if I had to narrow it down I would say my two sons… They have made my life so much bigger, so much more interesting and have always been my inspiration to thrive. I could not be more proud of the amazing adults they have become!
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?
When we launched Odacité 11 years ago we pioneered what the industry now calls the “clean beauty movement.”
We started a new conversation about beauty, one that said: “when it comes to skincare you don’t need to sacrifice performance for purity, you can have both.” This was super innovative and disruptive… we were seriously shaking the status quo of the beauty industry by creating high-performance formula free of toxic ingredients, vegan, cruelty free, organic and packaged in glass bottles to reduce plastic pollution.
Today as awareness is growing about toxicity of personal care products, the clean beauty movement has become the fastest growing segment of the beauty industry, this is the future of beauty, and I’m so happy that Odacité was one of the pioneers of this movement.
Can you share 3 things that most excite you about the modern beauty industry?
For me the most exciting thing about the modern beauty industry is that it is cleaning up its act.
- Formulas are getting cleaner, as consumer request more ingredient transparency. Even large beauty groups are now removing ingredients like parabens — the most commonly used preservative — from formulas.
- “Clean” beauty is not just about what’s in the products, but also how products are produced and packaged. Modern beauty is joining in that more sustainable manufacturing approach, in an effort to reduce packaging pollution.
- Beauty is integrating with wellness, talking about the importance of caring for your skin with what you apply on your skin and also treating you body well, through nutrition and lifestyle choices.
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?
In the last 10 years the beauty industry is being remodeled by many exciting changes and if I had a magic wand I would implement:
- No more single use plastic containers.
- Stricter legislation for ingredients permitted in formulas.
- More inclusivity: age, race & gender.
You are an expert about beauty. Can you share a few ideas that anyone can use “to feel beautiful”?
If I could put confidence in a bottle, I’m sure all women would feel beautiful ☺
There is an evident skin care and self-esteem connection. Skin care is a tool in your “confidence tool box,” helping you to create skin that gives you confidence.
So talk to a skin expert to build a good skincare regimen, adapted to your skin specific needs — every skin is different. You can schedule a free video consultation to speak with one of our esthetician, she will help you with all your concerns and build a regimen that will give confidence-building glowing skin.
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.
- Have passion: You will need it in your “not so much fun times.” My passion has been my life-jacket in so many challenges.
- Be a visionary, you can hire everybody else… Vision is not something you learn at school. There is a lot of competition in the beauty industry so come with something innovative.
- Create a perfect customer experience: While it starts with having exceptional products that deliver the results you are marketing, a bad customer experience can destroy everything. Optimize your website navigation, hire exceptional customer service, set up your shipping to rival Amazon.
- Prepare for the Unexpected and be flexible: while having a business plan and a strategy is an absolute must, we live in a digital era where changes happen very quickly, not to mention the Covid pandemic we are going through right now. Unpredicted factors will arise, be ready to tweak, improve and sometimes alter your plans, do not procrastinate and be absolutely unafraid to make those changes quickly.
- Prioritize: I find there is never enough time in one day to finish my to do list. For many years I have been using the Steven Covey method of ranking to prioritize my do list, I find it super helpful.
1/ Urgent+ important: Do now
2/ Not urgent but important: Plan and do not procrastinate
3/ Urgent but not important: delegate to others
4/ Not urgent and not important: don’t do
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’m often inspired by this legend: One day a terrible fire broke out in a forest. Frightened, all the animals fled to the river. Every one of them thought there was nothing they could do about the fire, except for one little hummingbird.
This particular hummingbird swooped into the stream and picked up a few drops of water and went into the forest and put them on the fire. Then it went back to the stream and did it again, and it kept going back, again and again and again. All the other animals mocked him, one of them shouted, “What do you think you are doing?” And the hummingbird, without wasting time or losing a beat, looked back and said, “I am doing what I can.”
I would love to develop an App called “Do What You Can” on the Uber model, connecting and inspiring people to help in any small way they can! Imagine how the world would be if we all did “What we can?”
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
“It is not because things are difficult that we do not dare, it is because we do not dare that they are difficult” Seneca
Just this week I was speaking with my younger son to congratulate him on the extraordinary work he is doing at connecting communities, despite the pandemic. I was sharing with him how I admire his talent to take ideas that seem impossible, and turn them into reality. He reminded me of that quote that I had put on our fridge when they were growing up and how it has always inspired him to dare.
How can our readers follow you online?
Thank you so much for joining us. This was very inspirational.