Welcome to the next instalment of the #beautyinsider Q&As, where you can find out who is behind some of your favourite beauty brands, what they are working on and how they got there. This month’s guest is Justine Lacaille, Senior Brand Manager at ADA, a company that partners with beautiful brands (we’re talking Elemis, The White Company, Penhaligon’s) to provide travel size toiletries to luxury hotels all over the world. Impressed with her beauty expertise and dedication to the job I recruited Justine to join the marketing team. Since then she has developed and launched some of the most luxurious body care ranges you’ll ever find in a hotel bathroom! I love getting restaurant recommendations from foodies and Justine is no exception as we share our latest finds in the neighbourhood, discuss the merits of our dance teachers and compare manicures.
1. Hi Justine, thank you for being my Insider Q&A guest this month. Let’s get started with your current role at ADA – what are you responsible for?
Hi Julia! I’m responsible for developing new branded products and ranges and I am manage our relationship with a portfolio of brands. I am currently responsible for Elemis, Penhaligon’s, Lalique and Bulgari. What I love about this role is that it is very hands on, from concept to creation of formulations, working with fragrance houses (which I love, I’m a bit of a fragrance geek), to then implementing the range on the production and all of this whilst keeping a very close eye on costs. The big difference that I discovered in the hospitality industry is that this is a very price sensitive industry and in order for a range to be successful it needs to be price competitive.
2. And what were you doing before this?
I was brand manager for a French fragrance house L’Artisan Parfumeur. Again as it was quite a small company it was a very hands on and varied role. I was responsible of the brand activation, creating the marketing plan with all the marketing campaigns, and then actually making them happen, so creating content (photography and copy), creating and implementing window displays in the boutiques, and PR for France and the UK. With this role, I was highly involved with fragrance development and that’s what made me want to focus more on product development.
3. What is the best and the worst thing about your job?
That’s a tough one, I would say the best is the international aspect of the company and my role. I work very closely with our head office in Germany, our factory in the Czech Republic, and our teams in Hong Kong and Malaysia. I love working with our sourcing teams across the world and closely collaborating with our sales teams. You feel you are really part of a team, even if we don’t work in the same physical location.
The worst would be the unpredictability of the industry, from one day to another we can receive a tender for a global deal and you need to turn things around VERY quickly.
4. What is the biggest project you are working on at the moment?
Currently I am working on the 5-year strategy for the Lalique hotel collection range. As we launched the brand recently, it’s interesting to think about where we want to take the brand and what needs to be done to get there. And once this is done, we need to get the brand on-board with our plan.
5. I hear you’re a bit of a beauty magpie… Tell us about your personal fragrance collection!
As I said earlier I am a bit of a fragrance geek… I wanted to be a perfumer when I was little but when I realised that you needed to have a bachelor in chemistry to even apply to the perfumers’ school, and given that I was not too keen on science… I chose to work in Marketing with fragrances. But anyway, I have a collection of maybe 15 fragrances which are variations of ingredients I love.
IRIS: Iris Silver Mist by Serge Lutens, Chanel n19
VETIVER: Vetiver Insolent from Miller Harris, Vetiver Fatal from Atelier Cologne, Timbuktu by L’Artisan Parfumeur
INCENSE: Vert d’Encens by Tom Ford, I had a huge crush on this fragrance I bought it in 5 minutes at the airport, it’s everything I love, dark incense and some green woody notes, then Agarbathi from Penhaligon’s
6. What would be your 3 desert island beauty products?
First of all I guess that being on a desert island would mean sun… so my number one would be a sun protection cream. I love the one from Clarins, I buy it every year. Then it would be the Amande Persane shower gel from Roger Gallet, and the Malin and Goetz Vitamin E face moisturiser.
7. And finally – what do you get up to when you’re not creating beautiful mini toiletries?
I love discovering new restaurants in London, especially brunch! Apart from this I love travelling, going on adventures: after doing the Inca trail to the Machu Picchu last year I am now going horse-trekking in Kyrgyzstan in June, so excited!!
If you have any burning questions you’d like to ask Justine why not leave a comment below? Or you can get in touch with her directly on Instagram.