On this episode of Behind Her Empire, JLo Beauty Co-founder and CEO Lisa Sequino discusses how she transitioned from her corporate career to a more entrepreneurial path.
In 2013, Sequino landed her dream job at Estée Lauder as the senior vice president of brands. It was then, during the height of her career, managing a team of thousands, when she felt the prickling desire to get back into business.
As a 40-year-old woman herself at the time, she began noticing the lack of beauty and skincare products targeted at middle-aged women.
“I started thinking like, what beauty brands are actually serving these powerful 40-year-old women?” she said. “And I was like, nobody.
That sent Sequino on a mission — to create something targeted at her age demographic that still felt fun.
"I wanted my company to reflect something that was fun, sexy, exciting and tailored not to the 18-year-old, but to this power 35-40 year old,” she said.
At the time, a friend of hers was already working on a project with Jennifer Lopez and suggested Sequino pitch her the idea.
“We both thought it was such an opportunity in the marketplace,” Sequino said of her conversation with Lopez. “She came from a very interesting perspective with an amazing track record, and I came with an interesting perspective, and we just gelled.”
In 2022, Sequino joined Lopez in founding JLo Beauty, an El Segundo-based skincare brand aimed for the 30 and up age group.
Sequino said she doesn’t take for granted the leverage JLo Beauty had from the jump being attached to a big-name celebrity. Her main focus - and something she learned at Estee Lauder - was ensuring the brand meant something to consumers as well.
“Even if people know who Jennifer is, I want them to know what our brand stands for, and what it means to them,” she explained. “I'd say we work even harder than most brands to make sure that we're really being efficient in how we spend and how we plan our business and grow it.”
Part of that growth comes from being very intentional in what the brand does, according to Sequino.
“For example, we launched our body line this summer, which was a raging success,” she said. “It was a natural progression, but we were very singular in the way that we did it. We launched one SKU, and then we came out with two more.”
Sequino is a prime reminder that it’s never too late to redefine yourself.
“What makes life exciting is making different choices and making different steps regardless of where you are in your life cycle,” she said. “I always tell people, if you want to do something, do it.”
dot.LA Reporter Decerry Donato contributed to this post.
This podcast is produced by Behind Her Empire. The views and opinions expressed in the show are those of the speakers and do not necessarily reflect those of dot.LA or its newsroom.
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