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Meet Caroline Hadfield, Rose Inc’s CEO & President

As a seasoned beauty executive, Caroline Hadfield was looking for a way to innovate in clean beauty back in 2014. She’d already been on the inaugural team that launched Sephora in the US, Japan and Canada, and spent years as an SVP at both The Body Shop and LVMH when she met John Melo, CEO of a company called Amyris. 

“It was all a bit of an experiment,” Caroline recalls about her first meeting with the San Francisco-based exec. “At the time, Amyris’ core focus was biotechnology and sustainable, renewable delivery of key ingredients in the flavors, fragrance and cosmetic industries. John had a vision of building a brand around one of the key ingredients that they had managed to develop and scale: a new, vegan alternative to squalene, called squalane.”

Caroline was already very familiar with the ingredient: The number of sharks killed every year to produce the popular oil was a dark secret in the beauty industry, so her former Body Shop team had used a version of squalene made from olives instead. A more sustainable version, this time made using fermented sugarcane, sounded a lot like the future of clean beauty she wanted to channel her efforts into.

"Having that engagement actually lifts you up from feeling a bit overwhelmed [by work]..."

By Ulysses Ortega
By Ulysses Ortega
By Ulysses Ortega

9:30 a.m.: A video call with creative is next to review assets for holiday and our next big launch this year. One of the most impressive things about Rose Inc is that we developed and built a team and a brand, all through COVID. We literally started in November of 2019 and by the middle of March, we were all on Zoom. It’s given us the ability to take talent across the globe, and we've got a team in London, New York, San Francisco and L.A., which, of course, brings its own challenges. 

10:55 a.m.: The creative assets the team presented are absolutely stunning and the 360-degree launch plan is really coming together beautifully. [My executive assistant] Allie [Tracy] brings me more espresso between meetings. 

11:00 a.m.: Another video meeting. As a leader, if you come in intense [on a video call] it means probably everyone else is feeling [the same] intensity. The only way to get people engaged is to create openness and have some humor. Going into meetings with more of that levity and asking individuals how they are, about their children going back to school, things like that, because that's actually so gratifying. Having that engagement actually lifts you up from feeling a bit overwhelmed [by work].

“Proving our products are effective is just the beginning.”

By Ulysses Ortega

12: 00 p.m.: I tend to have one-on-one meetings with my direct reports, like Mimi Lu. Today we’re focused on some clinicals she just got back on our eye cream and I am really getting very excited to see the results. Proving our products are effective is just the beginning: Now we must put the results into a framework that can be marketed, amplified on the site and through PR and build out a plan. 

12:45 p.m.: I quickly meet with our PR team to discuss a few recent beauty awards. We’re up to 15 awards in one year: Cream Blush was awarded in Elle; Concealer won in Cosmo; Glamour gave one for the Eye Cream; Bazaar picked the Tinted Serum for a win. …The recognition from the publications is just the most fulfilling thing, because there's so many things for them to choose from, and also just our community, voting and buying and now seeing people repeat purchase on shades and colors. 

1:35 p.m.: Allie and I have a working lunch to review some travel plans. We’re in the office today, but because we work from home and remote quite often, it's also important to actually have that travel so that you can go in and work with the team. As a leader I’ve committed to making that time and giving my energy to travel. We've got a big partnership with Space NK and a new office in London, so the UK has taken a lot of my travel time.

By Ulysses Ortega
By Ulysses Ortega

Motivate with Caroline Hadfield

The soundtrack to a day in the life of the esteemed clean beauty CEO.

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