“Why don’t you meet me at Ibirapuera Park?” Cristiana had said when I spoke to her on the phone. “We can enjoy the greenery and talk at the same time. When I’m in Sao Paulo I want to stay in touch with nature as much as possible.
“Sounds great,” I told her. After I hung up, I took my iPad to look up directions to the park. And at the same time, I thought, I could quickly Google Cristiana to learn more about her work.
But as soon as the search results appear, I see that “quickly” learning more about Cristiana won’t be possible: as a super successful businesswoman who started her career in the 1980s, she has launched a variety of cosmetic companies and brands and become one of Brazil’s most popular media personalities focused on beauty and well-being. She appears regularly on TV and radio and has published several books on health and beauty.
“This is going to be an interesting meeting,” I think as I get to the park and head for the Museu de Arte Moderna where we have arranged to meet. Cristiana is waiting for me on a bench, an elegantly dressed woman. “Nice to meet you,” she says with a radiant smile. “Let’s walk to the lake, that way.” As we stroll along, Cristiana tells me about her work.
“Even though I trained as a dentist, beauty was always my passion,” she says, “the different companies and businesses I established all focused on beauty and cosmetics.”
“I was reading a little about your work online, I tell her, “it seemed to me that sustainability and environmental awareness have often been an underlying themes in the products and brands you have created – is that right?”
“Those are definitely themes I care a lot about. Over time, I have focused on many aspects: recycling, environmental protection…” She stops to look out over the lake and then continues: “And the products I have developed use natural ingredients, more recently also organics. I think you can say there’s a holistic aspect to my vision on beauty and I’ve always tried to integrate health consciousness into my beauty products. Beauty is not only about looks and the exterior, it’s also about inner beauty and wellbeing.”
“Right, I noticed that, especially in your latest brand line: beauty’In,” I say as we cross a bow bridge over the lake.
“Exactly,” Cristiana says with a proud smile. “Beauty’In is a unique innovation, combining the pleasure of food, the healthy aspects of vitamins, and new cosmetic technologies. So far, we’ve launched seven product lines including drinks, candy bars, tea and chocolate, which all contain unique ingredients that have cosmetic and health benefits.”
“I’d love to try it! Where can I get the products?” I ask.
Cristiana laughs. “Well, all over Brazil. And it’s also been launched in the UK at Selfridges.”
“Great!” I say, “so you are going international, are you?”
“That’s my new challenge!” says Cristiana with a determined smile, “building a successful global beauty company from within the brand. The products are a big success, now it is time to turn the product fans into brand fans and expand.”
After our meeting, I take a taxi back to my address in Morumbi, where a parcel has been delivered for me with the beauty’In® logo on it. I quickly open the bag and find a selection of beauty drinks, bars and even a slab of chocobeauty. I open the attached note: “Enjoy! Let me know what think! Abraco, Cristiana.”
© 2013 CoolBrands – Around the World in 80 Brands
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