BeautyView: Mara Segal, Founder & CEO, Utique Inc.

Mara Segal is changing the face of beauty distribution. I like to think that her idea for vending machines that sell beauty and care products (displayed behind her in her head-shot), in both travel and full retail size, came from an altercation with an FAA agent who forced her to throw away a bottle of shampoo. I know I have been in that situation before… but it took Mara to come up with the concept of Utique. I admire Mara – I admire her work ethic, her resilience, her determination, and her art collection! Next time you forget your moisturizer, or your body lotion gets taken from you, remember to look for a Utique!

AP: What city were you born in? MS: Rochester, MN.

AP: What city to do you live in? MS: San Francisco, CA.

AP: What is your middle name? MS: Clair.

AP: What is your astrological sign? MS: Sagittarius.

AP: What is your favorite thing about the beauty industry? MS: I love packaging design and the spectrum of colors that changes each season.

AP: Least favorite thing? MS: It is overcrowded and complex, making it difficult for consumers to navigate. It also often takes itself too seriously in advertising tonality and can feel intimidating for consumers.

AP: What is your most prized possession? MS: Assuming we are limited to material goods: music and my random art collection. My latest acquisition is a neon orange Qi Guangci bunny sculpture that I picked up in Beijing – I love looking at it every day.

AP: What is something about you most people don’t know? MS: I was pre-med in school before I fell in love with architecture and design and switched my major.

AP: Do you wear a watch? If yes, what model? MS: ToyWatch; it was a gift from a dear friend.

AP: Diamonds or pearls? MS: Depends on the presentation!  Check out Solange Azagury Partridge: she can make anything beautiful and provocative!

AP: If you could have dinner with the person of your choice, who would it be? MS: Diane Von Furstenberg; she is a brilliant, progressive woman and pioneer in so many ways.

AP: What is your secret to work/life balance? MS: I think this is the hardest part and something I am still working on it. Balance likely rests in a strong team that has your same standards of execution so that you can truly get away with peace of mind.

AP: What are your three top tips for travel? MS: 1. Pack light/have travel-sized versions of the regulars to reduce packing/unpacking time. 2. Be in the moment. 3. Find a local or someone who knows a local via your network – always invaluable for insights.

AP: What is your favorite book? MS: I cannot commit to one!

AP: What is your cocktail of choice? MS: Gin with different fresh accents like cucumber, mint, or basil.  I have also seen more hot chili infused drinks recently and love these – I am slightly addicted to spicy food and drinks!

AP: What is your #1 beauty secret? MS: Sleep.

AP: What fragrance do you wear? MS: Malin and Goetz, Lotus Root.

AP: Botox or not? MS: Not.

AP: Hair color: natural or not? MS: I go back and forth, mostly to mix it up.  Right now I am experimenting with balayage, which is supposed to be less harsh on the hair.

AP: 3 songs on your ipod right now. MS: Video Games by Lana del Rey. Clair de Lune by Alexis Weissenberg and Something Good Can Work by Gotye.

AP: Quote to live by. MS: Eleanor Roosevelt is my favorite source of quotes and inspiration:

“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”

“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.”

“What you don’t do can be a destructive force.”

“You have to accept whatever comes and the only important thing is that you meet it with courage and with the best that you have to give.”

AP: Who is your mentor? MS: I cannot cite one…  I have learned from all of the entrepreneurs and risk takers I read about and those I am lucky enough to come into contact with.

AP: Words of advice for young women starting their careers today. MS: I see a lot of young adults place pressure on themselves to have the final career solution with a first or second job… I encourage open mindedness and the strength to make a change when something feels stagnant or you lack passion for it.  You learn just as much about yourself and your career desires by doing a job that doesn’t suit you!  Also, always rationalize your fear and define the downside of taking a risk with something unknown…  It is always better to have tried!

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