First impressions from the WWD Beauty CEO Summit

Last night was the opening night of the WWD Beauty CEO Summit, an event that takes place at the Breakers in Palm Beach every other year. For the last four years, I have wanted to go. I kept thinking “when I grow up, this is the conference I want to attend.” While I am not yet all grown up (and neither is my brand), I decided it was time to see for myself what this is all about (thanks Dad for the early birthday present!). And if the rest of the Summit lives up to last night, this trip will have been well worth it.

First stop, of course, a blowout (with Chardonnay and my computer of course). Unthinkable to attend such an event with my usual low-maintenance hair!

Second stop, my room – with a view! Upon walking in, I immediately decide that even if the entire Summit is cancelled right this second, the trip will have been well worth it. I am already planning my next visit to the Breakers…

Third stop, opening cocktail reception and dinner. And here, the fun really starts. From finally meeting Jill Beraud, CEO of Living Proof and realizing how many people we know in common, to running into Cassandra Lappe, beauty buyer for Zappos (who, we realized then, had had her hair blown out right next to me earlier that afternoon), I realized once again what a small industry this is, and how fabulous the people in it are.

The keynote speaker during dinner was Frederic Roze of L’Oreal USA – but at my table, the keynoters were really the founders of GlamGlow, Shannon and Glenn Dellimore. I could not stop listening to them tell their amazing story. The fabulous and glitzy couple met on, ┬ánever meant to start a beauty company, created a product for their friend Keanu Reeves, and the rest, as they say, is history. Launched in 2010 with a single product (a mask at that!), they will end this year with $200-$250 million in sales (from 4 SKUs!). They are in 84 countries, and in all in the “leading retailer, in all their doors” and are looking to the spa, travel, and cruise ship markets to expand. Five years from now, they project being a $1B+ brand, and present in many categories beyond skin care (think hair, fashion, lifestyle…). ┬áLike a groupie, I asked question after question, but stopped just shy of asking if I could take a picture with them…

And now, on to Day 2!