Meet Nannette De Gaspé
We caught up with Nannette de Gaspé to chat about entrepreneurship, empowerment, and her industry disrupting skincare line. Appropriately named, NANNETTE DE GASPÉ BEAUTY is our latest obsession and we think you will agree, the results speak for themselves!
How did you go from working in corporate finance to becoming a beauty entrepreneur?
I began my career in corporate banking and corporate finance. For several years, I worked in private equity and venture capital. During that time, I was presented with an investment opportunity in a biotech company that had created a revolutionary technology in the delivery of active ingredients to multiple layers of the epidermis. It had also developed a process to dry print the formulations onto textiles. I became Executive Chair of the company and launched my brand, NANNETTE de GASPÉ, to bring this ground-breaking wearable skincare technology to the market.
What was the hardest part about making that shift? Can you share the highs and lows?
When I initially decided to launch my brand, I was told that I did not know anything about the beauty industry, that it was a highly competitive space and I would likely fail. If I had heard that 5 years earlier, I would have allowed fear of failure to overtake me and would have been too attached to the outcome. Despite this, I really believed in the technology and had studied the clinical results from its use. I was determined to bring to the market a science based, natural skincare that was truly reparative and restorative.
Some of the greatest highs for me were launching the brand initially at the iconic Selfridges in London, followed by Colette in Paris, and Barneys in NY. At the time of launch, NANNETTE de GASPÉ was called the disruptor in the beauty industry by WWD and Vogue. We were written about in top magazines all around the world and within the first year won WWD Beauty Inc. “Product of the Year” in skincare. Since the launch, the brand has won 14 beauty industry awards.
One of the biggest challenges in building the business has been to maintain the culture upon which I founded the company, while not being forced into playing by the traditional rules of the beauty industry. In addition, remaining innovative, nimble, flexible and open to needs of the ever-evolving consumer is a constant focus.
Your line is so innovative, tell us more about your ‘wearable technology’ and the science behind it.
Our skincare collections are empowered by an advanced active ingredient delivery system, Biomimetic MicroVectors™ (BMV™). These vectors slowly and steadily penetrate the skin’s layers as they progressively dissolve and release active ingredients.
Unlike traditional skincare which is on average 85%+ water and glycerine, our products feature active ingredients and emollient concentration upward of 80%+. Due to biomimetic lipidic components, the instant that BMV™s make contact with the skin, they merge seamlessly with the skin’s structure and begin the prolonged release of actives. As each individual’s skin profile is unique, BMV™ technology creates an epidermal reservoir to store, under the skin, actives waiting to be absorbed. Working with the skin’s fundamental needs, actives are fed to the skin only as required. This prolongs and enhances the effectiveness of the active ingredients. The significant results in our clinical studies demonstrate the power of this groundbreaking technology.
What’s the best customer feedback you’ve had?
Earlier this year, I received the following message on LinkedIn from Ilyanne Morden Kichaven, Executive Director of the SAG-AFTRA LA (Screen Actors Guild). When I read it, my heart swelled! I asked Ilyanne if I could share her message.
“Love your products! Chere Nannette. I met you at the IWF conference in November and purchased your products and have repurchased them since. Wow! What an amazing difference in my skin and appearance. Everyone says I look refreshed and younger. Just want to thank you for introducing me to your line. Merci!”
What do beauty and empowerment mean to you?
I love to see women at their best. When we take the time to care for ourselves, it makes us feel amazing. It brings confidence and makes us feel more willing to express ourselves. Feeling beautiful makes us feel empowered within our lives. This is why I do what I do! I truly feel happy and fulfilled knowing that my collections can help bring lightness to a woman’s day and a smile to her face as she looks into the mirror.
What advice do you have for other women who are considering entrepreneurship?
When I was younger I did not have the confidence to listen to myself. I allowed others with stronger voices and opinions to impact my decisions. This did not serve me well. When I started NANNETTE de GASPÉ, though I was open to listen and learn, I followed my intuition. I let go of my fears, stopped second guessing myself and moved forward, not attached to the outcome yet fully believing in the process. I made the decision to surround myself with people that understood my vision and believed in what I was trying to achieve and had the courage to distance myself from those who approached life through a negative lens.
What is your recipe for work/life balance?
I work very long hours and have learned that I must step away to nourish and replenish myself. I also learned not to feel guilty about this. I focus on fitness, meditation and nutrition. This helps me clear my mind, and remove the seriousness of it all.
What are you reading now?
The World According to You!: How Our Choices Create It All by Carla Picardi. The book addresses how every relationship, event, and drama in our lives reflects back to us who we are being. When we are capable of seeing ourselves clearly and recognizing that our choices create our lives, we can begin to understand that we actually have a role in creating what happens to us.
What is your guilty pleasure?
My guilty pleasure is wine. I have a few glasses every night with dinner because I absolutely enjoy it. I am often told that it is empty calories and that I would sleep better if I didn’t drink but, as they say… everything in moderation!
You have 5 minutes to shop on TheSeptember.com, what’s in your cart?
Paris Texas – Fushia Python Print Boot – to add some pizazz to my life! Veja – Campo Ulta Violet Jaune Fluo sneakers – to relax in after strutting my stuff in the Fushia Paris Texas’. Marion Parke - Bree Camel Leather Block Sandal – easy and comfortable. White + Warren - Cashmere Travel Wrap – I am always cold and am never without a fabulous wrap. Paige – Hoxton Ultra Skinning – Pearlized Stone Coating Jeans – so very cool!
Favourite spots in Montreal?
#1. Being in my home having wonderful dinners with my family.
#2. I love to have dinner on the terrace of Beatrice. It is one of the most beautiful terraces in the city and its food is delicious.
#3. Mont Royal Park. It was designed by the famous landscape architect that also designed Central Park in NY, Fredrick Olmstead. I love to walk around the park and run its many stairs. It energizes me!
When you can travel again with ease, what’s your bucket list destination?
I would like to take a trip to Morocco with my husband and sons. I visited a few years ago but did not experience it the way I believe it should be experienced. I would like to really explore Marrakesh, Fez, Casablanca, spend time in the Medinas, hike in the Atlas Mountains, take our sons to the Sahara, etc…
What’s next for Nannette de Gaspé Beauty?
By continuing to uphold our reputation of being the disruptor in the beauty industry, we will introduce new and innovative products through much time and effort devoted to product development. We are currently launching a nourishing and anti-inflammatory face oil and a very reparative hand cream to combat our over sanitized and over washed hands.