Star quality comes in many forms: You could be declared the sexiest man alive by People magazine; have millions of fans flock to your movies; or, in the case of the pro-beauty industry, cultivate and guide salon brands that resonate with the heart and soul of salon owners and stylists. One such beauty talent is Vince Davis, CEO of Macadamia Professional, whose career continues to eclipse even his own stellar achievements.
HOT Editor-in-Chief Jeryl E. Spear recently met with Davis for a tete-à-tete about his plans for Macadamia Professional, his team-building criteria and more. Here’s what he had to say:
You became the CEO of Macadamia Natural Oil in January 2014. Within a few months, the company’s name was changed to Macadamia Professional. Why is this significant?
For our team, the name change represents our commitment to beauty professionals. It also signals a new beginning and a more accurate description of our company. To better serve salons, we’ve expanded our styling line to embrace all textures. We’ve also repackaged the entire brand to reflect our company’s heritage and our evolving personality. Many more new and updated products will be released between now and the end of 2015, which will embody state-of-the-art formulations and target a wider range of textures.
New products and formulations? Give us the scoop!
When I joined the company nine months ago, my impression was that it was a care-based brand built on oils and masks, one shampoo and conditioner, and a handful of stylers that were formulated for curly or unruly hair. We’re expanding the brand by creating products that are still texture-based, but address everything from baby-fine and fine hair to coarse and curly hair. Our first rollout was September 1, when we launched five new stylers that are designed for all hair textures, have a control factor of 1 to 4 [strongest], are color-safe and cruelty-free, and contain Pro Oil, our proprietary blend of macadamia and argan oils.
You’re also taking Macadamia Professional in a new direction with regard to social media. What can we expect from the brand on platforms like Facebook and Instagram?
Macadamia Professional’s freshly refined personality is being brought to life on Instagram and Facebook through compelling visuals and stories. We’re focusing on the young, chic spirit and lifestyle of 20-something fashionistas who are beautiful, relatable and destined for success. We also wrap our product messages around everyday life like “Monday Struggles”—Mondays can be a struggle for any Muse—as well as fashion events that feature well-executed and cool styles. As a result of refreshing our brand personality, our meaningful interactions with users are increasing exponentially.
You’ve shuffled and grown your management team over the past few months. What are your criteria for a cohesive and effective group of managers and leaders?
There are always a lot of specific criteria that are tied to any position, but here are some “musts” that I look for in all people we hire or promote: They must have the ability to let go of the past and embrace what our company is doing today and planning for the future; look at challenges from the perspective of how to get them done, rather than whether they can be done; be true team players; support and engage the people they manage in terms of day-to-day duties and specific company goals; and treat everyone with respect.
You’ve led major brands with a lot of zeroes at the end of their annual sales figures. Macadamia Professional is tiny by comparison. Why did you decide to join a smaller company?
I worked for TIGI for 16 years, with the last few years as the General Manager of TIGI Americas. While TIGI has become a major force in the pro-beauty industry, when I joined the company, it was a small, family-run business with more creative ideas than money, balanced by a wealth of salon experience. When the Mascolo family approached me, I was working for Bristol-Meyers, a huge corporation with deep pockets and no idea about the beauty business. The difference between the two companies was like night and day. The first year I worked at TIGI, we grew from $16 million to $32 million, and the numbers continued to grow until it was sold to Unilever in 2009 for over $300 million. While I enjoyed my time at TIGI, I started to miss the pioneering and creative spirit of a smaller, privately held company. That led me to join Macadamia Professional, a company owned by individuals who have the same aspirations I do: Build a business that’s based on a solid foundation and guiding principles; surround ourselves with like-minded, qualified professionals who are 100 percent committed to the success of our company; create brands that stylists and clients are passionate about; and grow our business into something that will be far greater than even we initially imagined.