Becca Cosmetics founder to talk at Cosmoprof Bologna beauty forum

The founder of Australian brand, BECCA Cosmetics, Rebecca Morrice Williams, is among three beauty industry entrepreneurs participating in the forum event, Unconventional Beauty: Women in Power, to take place at Cosmoprof Worldwide Bologna 2009 in Italy, on April 3.

Williams will join CND co-founder and style director, Jan Arnold from the USA and Nicky Kinnaird, president and founder of luxury beauty retailer SPACE NKapothecary, in the UK to discuss what it takes to build a beauty empire in today’s environment in an ‘open forum-style’ Q&A format.

Nicky Kinnaird single-handedly created a new type of store environment that allows small niche beauty brands the opportunity to get exposure to discerning consumers. Today, SpaceNK has 62 stores in the UK, 13 in the US, a growing spa presence and an online boutique. The brand launched in Bloomingdales in November 2008, and Kinnaird was awarded an Honorary MBE for services to the beauty industry in January 2009.

Kinnaird will present her company’s path to success as part of the “Alternative beauty retail: Space NK” and will address topics including: How does one start on the retail journey as a shop keeper? Where does a retail store owner find inspiration for creating the right assortment mix and ambiance? And, How can a retail store owner be sure their concept will strike a chord?

Jan Arnold formed Creative Nail Design, now CND, with her brother, Jim, to capitalise on a revolutionary patented discovery of their father, Dr. Stuart Nordstrom. The invention led to the development of a company that offers a broad spectrum of more than 300 professional products sold in over 8000 salons and 50 countries around the world.

As a result of Jan’s visionary touch, CND started collaborating and bringing high fashion to nails by becoming involved with fashion labels including Betsey Johnson, Alexander McQueen, Givenchy and Louis Vuitton.

Arnold will talk about putting the nail category at the forefront of fashion with “CND: The FashionAble Nail Brand”. She will cover topics including: How does one find “innovation”? What consumer research can today’s entrepreneur utilise to get feedback and reinforcement? And, What are the image-building tools that can propel a brand?

Frustrated by her own inability to find the “perfect foundation”, Australian makeup artist Rebecca Morrice Williams created a range of “skin-perfecting” products to make it possible for all women to achieve a flawless, radiant complexion. The BECCA brand was launched in London in October 2001, opening its first flagship store in London in 2005. It is now available in prestige department stores and beauty emporiums in 22 countries.

Williams will introduce successful branding in selective prestige markets as part of “BECCA Cosmetics: The Inside Story”. Her presentation will cover: The role of frustration and how that fuels an entrepreneur to find a “niche”, What is a “normal” product development process and how does it differ when innovation is involved? And, How does one convince retailers to take a chance on a new fledging brand?

Williams said of the role frustration plays: “[It] forces you to think of the problem and seek out a solution. It’s really that simple – recognising the opportunity. The possible difference between an entrepreneur and the average person is that the average person will just keep on looking, whereas the entrepreneur senses the business opportunity and – with great determination – works to make it happen.

“As a makeup artist, it was a natural progression that I would either want to find it or create it myself. So really from my own needs I was able to meet the needs of many other women who I discovered along the way had exactly the same frustration.”
Cosmoprof Worldwide Bologna takes place from April 3 to 6 in Bologna, Italy. For more information, visit

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