Matthew started his career in the Executive Training Program at Saks Fifth Avenue following university in 1991. He then worked as a Cosmetics Buyer at the family owned Barneys New York. Three years later, he was approached to oversee global sales development for the then family-operated Kiehl’s. After six years and Kiehl’s sale to L’Oreal, Matthew moved to Prada to develop and manage fragrance licensing with P&G. By 2002, Matthew and Andrew Goetz started a business plan for MALIN+GOETZ, launching the brand in March 2004.
For ten years preceding the launch of MALIN+GOETZ, Andrew worked as Marketing Director for family-owned Vitra, a Swiss-based design manufacturer. Andrew’s responsibilities included identifying and cultivating the architects and industrial designers for which Vitra is known. Both the New York flagship MALIN+GOETZ store design and graphic team behind the packaging were organic extensions of previous collaborations and relationships. In addition to using his creative expertise for MALIN+GOETZ, Andrew has also established himself as chef for a monthly dinner party that Food & Wine Magazine call one of Manhattan’s “best.”
How did you get into the beauty industry?
I sort of volunteered – it was not my industry; I’m from the Design world. Matthew is officially – or perhaps was the doyen between the two of us. He began his career with at Saks, and then went on to become the Apothecary Buyer at Barneys when it was still a family owned business and their flagship store was still on Seventh Avenue. He later went on to head global sales for Kiehl’s when they were still family owned. When they were purchased by L’Oréal, I had the idea that it would be great start a family owned business that focused on providing skincare for those with sensitive skin – like Matthew’s; combined with a “designed” aesthetic.
What partnerships/marketing strategies have you implemented that have attributed to the success of M+G?
I think we’ve implemented a lot of things that can be attributed to our success. First and foremost, we make really great products that just about anyone can use; especially those with the sensitive skin. Not only do our products work really well, but they also look beautiful in your bathroom and/or home. We’ve also created a unique assortment of stores that are truly special. Each store has its own unique design; we are not fans of the McCooky Cutter design. So in addition to offering great products that do what they say they do, we also provide an authentic shopping experience to our customer. We’ve also partnered with wonderful specialty shops like Barneys New York and Liberty of London, and with great hotels like the Morgan Hotel Group. Our products are also offered on Business Class on Delta. So our customer has lots of unique ways to enjoy our products. And of course there is good fortune; luck should never be discounted.
How do you come with the names and ideas for such great products?
We are very straightforward on how we chose names. There is nothing baroque about the process for us. “Less is More” is our mantra when it comes to product naming. For example, our Grape Fruit Face Cleanser simply uses an extract of Grapefruit to help mildly exfoliate and scent the product. In fact most of our products are named after the natural extract that happens to be a key ingredient in the product. Like us, decidedly not fussy.
What are your best selling products and why? What are your favorite products?
We are most definitely known for the quality of our face products. So our Grapefruit Face Cleanser and Vitamin E Face Moisturizer are real staples in our sales. Our Replenishing Face Serum , Acne Treatment and Glycolic Pads also are very strong. But we also have best sellers in other categories, our Eucalyptus Deodorant is one of our best, as is our Vitamin B5 Body Moisturizer. Our Peppermint Shampoo and Sage Styling Cream are also extremely successful for us. And our Dark Rum scented products (Hand Wash and EDT) fly off the shelves. Personally, it’s always difficult for me to pick my personal favorites – as I honestly love everything we make. So I have staples from all categories (Face, Body and Hair) that I would have a hard time doing without.
Your advice for an aspiring entrepreneur?
Be prepared to work long and hard. There is no down time. Most importantly, love what you do – you have to believe in the concept more than anything else. And make sure you’ve done your research.
What is your biggest success as a CEO and mistakes, how have you learned from them?
Our biggest success is in fact our success – as a brand. It’s not easy to create something from nothing. We are both extremely proud of having created such a successful company. And we have course made many mistakes – that’s how you learn. So we never get too upset when we’ve made a mistake, but we also make sure to never make the same mistake twice. That always devastates me if that happens. Fortunately, it is extremely rare.
Still working on that one…
Daily workout and beauty regime?
I like to get up fairly early. I need an hour to myself with the Times, coffee and a light breakfast. Then I like to work out for an hour – I run or cycle for about 45 minutes and lift a little weight. Then it’s back for breakfast No. 2 which usually consists of fruit, yogurt and often a soft boiled egg. My beauty regimen always includes our cleansers followed by our moisturizers. Depending on the weather or season, I often follow up with our Replenishing Facial Serum. And of course our Eucalyptus Deodorant.
Who is your rolemodel?
This is a difficult question, because different aspects of life inspire different role models. But if I was going to use the design world as a metaphor for life, my role model would be the Industrial Desgigner, Dieter Rams. Everything about his designs are about clarity and elegance; never exclusive.
Favorite travel destination?
Also a difficult question, because I like so many different places. Tokyo would certainly be high on my list for favorite destinations. I also love Positano for completely different reasons. And having spent a good deal of time in Amsterdam – it’s always one of my favorite destinations.
What literature is on your bed stand?
A lot! I’m an excellent reader of the Times Book Review Section, and subsequently buy quicker than I can read. Currently I’m just about to finish off the Gold Finch by Donna Tartt.
What's next for Malin + Goetz?
We are always working on new products – and we have quite a few coming down the pike. Stay tuned…