My NativeAdmission Statement: I feel like change is my middle name, having moved countries 15 times and homes 34 times in my life. I can get by in 8 languages (only 3 fluently). Professionally, I have explored a host of different activities, from teaching tennis, to working in an investment bank to creating four startups, two of which failed with style. Thus, I can say that I am a jack of all trades and master of none, except perhaps for storytelling. I am the author of three books and produced an award-winning WWII documentary that has been shown on national television in North America, Australia and New Zealand. I love to connect dots, patterns and people. Connecting my own dots, the theme of my life has been to seek consciously to elevate the debate. I want to be known for being a storyteller who moves people, by connecting ideas, patterns and people, and always seeking to elevate the debate. It’s both a personal and a professional ambition.
How did you get into the industry?
I worked in the cosmetics industry for L'Oréal – in the division serving the professional salon hairdresser -- for the largest part of my career (16 years). I entered L’Oreal right out of INSEAD business school. The whole purpose of going to business school was to change country (I wanted to move to Europe), to enter a new industry (fashion/beauty) and change métier (marketing). It was a tall order to change all three aspects at the same time. L’Oreal and Louis Vuitton were my first two choices. L’Oreal hired me before LV even answered my application letter. How did I get the job? Once I got an interview, before the appointed day, I spent a full day in a local hairdressing salon, learning all aspects of the business. I discovered a world I had never properly known, how a salon works, the incredible passion of the hairdresser and the importance of the products. It was the human experience of the salon that seduced me most.