With over 30 years experience in the beauty industry, Colleen Rothschild brings a level of expertise to her craft that’s enviable for many startups operating within the space. To coincide with her special event at Neighborhood Goods, we sat down to discuss her journey so far, and discover how her tried-and-true ingredients are combined with modern scientific methods to create beauty products that actually deliver on their promises.
“Beauty has been my whole life,” Colleen tells us. “For the first part of my career I worked behind the scenes, in the lab and manufacturing, which provided me a wealth of hands-on experience developing formulas and the understanding of what ingredients and methods that would stand the test time — and which ones were the fad-diets’ of the beauty world — and, most importantly, what it took to create a product that had great staying power because of genuinely great long-term results.” Colleen and her husband Stan — a serial entrepreneur and the man running the company, while Colleen focuses on the creative — formed a retail-based beauty business, which they ran for 10 years before selling the brands to a competitor. Colleen Rothschild Beauty is their latest venture, founded four years ago in Plano, TX, making them perhaps our neighbor-iest of neighbors.
CRB’s commitment to staying up to date on the latest technology and science has led to the creation of an exclusive technology they call Level E3, which, Colleen explains, “helps enhance the active ingredients to make them work harder and smarter”. These delivery systems can help sometimes irritating and unstable ingredients like Retinol, Vitamin C, or Alpha Hydroxy Acids, be more skin-friendly. “It’s all about combining the classics and the new together,” Colleen says. Having learned about the power of plants and botanicals from earlier in her career, she wanted them to play a key role in her own products — again, combined with some of the newer science.
“I put a lot of thought into the 360-degree, sensorial experience you have when you use our products,” Colleen explains. “No detail is left unturned. When creating each product, I think about the person holding the jar in their hands — does it feels luxurious and substantial? The way it smells — does it make me feel like I’m in a spa, like I’m having some well deserved ‘me’ time?” She says that this thought process is so that customers feel excited to take care of their skin. “If you’re not motivated to do it, you won’t do it,” she explains. “At the most basic level, what’s going to make me want to wash my face? If it smells good, if it feels good in my hand, if it does something aesthetically to my skin. These textures, these aromas, everything comes together — just like the botanicals and the science.” It’s easy to understand that the brand’s motto is “everything you need and nothing you don’t”.
Colleen explains that she attempts to curate a collection that’s very simple and very easy to use. “When I was training the sales associates at Neighborhood Goods, I explained that our skin collection is like a wardrobe capsule — you know, like your white t-shirt, your black blazer, your denim jeans — plus just a couple accessories.” She explains that rather than offer multiple variations in her products, they’re kept intentionally simple. “Your skin condition can fluctuate — travel, hormones, the weather,” she says. “We don’t have specific products for oily skin, or dry skin, because sometimes that can vary day-by-day. We make it simple to easily adjust to your skin’s ever-changing needs.”
CRB, like many of the brands at Neighborhood Goods, is digitally native, and our store represents the first physical spot for Colleen beyond a handful of pop-ups. She says she loves the face-to-face interactions with her customers but also explains that social media has been hugely liberating for her, a self-described “tech junkie”. “What I love about e-commerce is, although there’s a computer between us, I can get on social media and communicate with people, and have that human connection,” she enthuses. “It’s about brand authenticity: here’s the actual person who created the products and who’s passionate about the products.” She also says that she loves working with influencers because “it’s not me telling someone how great my product is, it’s someone else telling others how much they love it”.
Asked if operating in such a competitive space ever seems intimidating, Colleen says that she doesn’t worry about the competition. “There’s plenty of space in the world for everybody,” she explains. “I like to look at this as my form of art. Can you imagine telling a painter not to paint because there’s another artist down the street? It’s my art and I hope that my art makes people happy. I can’t not do my art because there are bigger more popular artists out there. We don’t want the entire market share of everybody that buys skincare; we just want people who love our product. We respect our competition and I’m happy for them because they’re getting to do their art.” It’s an admirably positive and inclusive outlook, and Colleen channels that into her advice for younger companies: “If you want to start a business — any kind of business — put on your blinders and just do what you love. That’s what I tell my children.”
Colleen is an inspiring lady who you really should come and meet in-person to experience her energy — and, of course, her amazing products. Come and meet her along with fashion and beauty blogger Courtney Kerr this evening at Neighborhood Goods in Plano, TX. Full details can be found on our events page.