The Business Of Beauty

Apr 9, 2012
  |  by Andrew Hamilton

Hendershot was born and raised in São Paulo, called Brazil’s “locomotive” state because it boasts the country’s highest economic production. It was the perfect place to develop an interestin business. Her mother owns a clothing store, andHendershotfrequently helped with the family trade. She always knew she’d work in the style industry. “I was a very girly-girl,” she says today from her home in Brooklyn,N.Y.But she had a serious side, and she wanted both parts of her personality to shine.“I’ve always been very business-oriented,” she says.“I wanted to do something related to business but also fun.”

So Hendershotlearned about business—all at once—by working in her mother’s shop, earning an undergraduate degree in marketing and landing a management opportunitywithAvon,where sheworked as an assistant brand manager until graduating in 2003. She then changed directionbymoving to Israelto volunteer as a coordinator forthe Bahá’íWorldCentre,the administrative heart ofthe independent Bahá’í faith.Abrave move, but she didn’t see itthat way.“I wanted to have international experience,” she says matter-of-factly.“My mother always said she didn’traise her kids for herself; she raised them forthe world.”
Hendershot met her husband in Israel, and the two moved to theUnited States in 2007. They landed in Raleigh,N.C., where she began working as a retail assistant managerforAveda Institute.In 2008, she decided to earn her MBAat StrayerUniversity—“I wanted to have more leverage”—after securing a business development position with a software company
Today, Hendershot works for Estée Lauder, an international company thatincludes more than 25 brands, such
asClinique, M.A.C., La Mer and Bobbi Brown. Her days managingClinique’s LatinAmerican activities include approving all LatinAmerican merchandising and marketing efforts and working remotely with other managers who represent Brazil, Mexico,Chile, Venezuela,Colombia, Ecuador andCentralAmerica.
She does everything from reviewing print ad translations for message accuracy—she speaks fluent Spanish along with Portuguese and English—to making sure that retail managers are ordering the right products and displaying them correctly.Consultingwith the global merchandising team inNew YorkCity, Hendershot ensures thatinternationalregions stay true to the brand’s original message, while also allowing for cultural differences. Forinstance, though much oftheU.S. marketing forClinique’s threestep skin care system focuses on dry skin, LatinAmerican marketing draws attention to the formulation for oilier skin.Why? It’s warmer abroad—which is also why Hendershotreviews marketing plans for products expressly developed for LatinAmerican countries, such as a “mattifying” skin hydrator and waterproof mascara intended for a more humid climate. Even after all ofthe back-and-forth emails, long-distance phone calls and extended hours, she relishes herrole. “What’s importantfor me is to work for a company that Itrust,”the StrayerUniversity alumna says.And since she is selling not only products but also aspirations (it’s the beauty industry, after all), every marketing decision counts, whetherit’s for TV, print, direct mailers or in-store promotions.
At 31, she is organized yet busy, but she doesn’tlet her questfor perfection consume her, even though her Brazilian cosmetics region is experiencing the most growth in the company and requires immense attention. “We strive for excellence,” Hendershot says of her employer.But she also secures itfor herself.“When you’re passionate about what you do, you will be successful.”




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