Thursday, February 19, 2009

In her own words: Trae Bodge Napierala of Three Custom Color Specialists, Part II

In this article, I continue my interview with Trae Bodge Napierala, Creative Director of Three Custom Color Specialists:

What do you do as Creative Director?

I develop many of the products and concepts, work directly with our in-house publicist on strategy and I do all the copywriting for the brand.

What are Scott's and Chad's strengths and how do your strengths complement theirs?

Scott's strengths are design, marketing, operations and logistics. Chad's strengths are product development, sales and training. The PR and marketing often converge, so Scott and I strategize together in that area and Chad and I often work together on the product development front. All major decisions are subject to a majority vote, but ancillary projects are often run independently of each other. We keep each other in the loop so there is no overlap.

Your web site lists a number of special projects. How do you enter into the partnerships for these special projects? What role does the partner play in creating products for these special projects?

Every project is different, but often potential partners (makeup artists, tv shows, magazines) present us with an idea, or we may approach someone to work with us on something we are interested in pursuing that we feel they are well suited for. For instance, we developed the Mood Lighting Shimmer Cremes with makeup artist Dina Gregg because she asked if we made highlighters. She had ideas of what she was looking for and we had wanted to make them at some point, so the timing was right for us both.

Mood Shimmering Light Creme in On Fire

Partnerships generally evolve organically through relationships we've fostered over time or through referrals. Our relationship with the L Word and Showtime was through a referral from another indie brand who knew about our custom blending abilities.

The L Word lipstick collection

Tell us about your partnership with Juara skin care and Red Market Salon. How did Three Custom Color Specialists, Juara, and Red Market Salon come together? Why did Three Custom Color Specialists, Juara, and Red Market Salon choose each other for this partnership? How do you complement one another?

We were all introduced by a colleague, Nadia Yousef, who is a consultant in the beauty industry and also happens to be a really effective connector. Nadia, the owners of Juara Skincare and I were all out for drinks one night and the idea for an event came up. Nadia knew the owners of Red Market and thought it would be a great idea for us all to meet and throw ideas around. The 3 brands are very different, but all mesh on customer service, quality and forward thinking. We thought it would be interesting to create an fun environment where women could come and learn about skin, hair and makeup, while chatting, having cocktails and listening to good music. We also thought it would be a unique way to share clients and to expose our clients to something new and interesting.

What's next for Three Custom Color Specialists? What new introductions might we expect in 2009? Are you planning to increase the number of retail outlets?

We are always looking for great retailers so that is ongoing. In addition to the traditional high-end boutiques and spas we are exploring tv retailing, catalogs and other online sales ventures. We have many launches planned this year, I developed Whisper Lipstick and Lip Gloss for Spring, and Chad created a Seychelles collection that was inspired by his recent trip there. We plan to introduce a gel eye liner later this year, among other things.

What do you do outside your work as Creative Director for Three Custom Color Specialists?

On the work side, I also consult with other makeup brands helping them with product development, PR strategies, education, etc. On the personal side, I live with my husband and 2 1/2 year old daughter in Montclair NJ. I love to do work on the house, read, travel, cook, listen to music, enjoy the outdoors and spend time with friends. I have designed jewelry in the past and I would love to get back into that and find more time for volunteer work.

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