In an unusually short span of time, the company has soared to remarkable heights, standing as a testament to the women’s unwavering commitment and the unique vision they bring to the industry.
Step into the world of beauty and innovation as we sit down with CEO Shirin, the visionary mind behind a truly unique organization.
Walk us through a typical workweek in your role as CEO of Mind the Beauty. Could you highlight one or two significant projects you’re currently overseeing?
Sure. On Monday’s I am usually in the office early to be able to take part in the team’s jour fixe. It is important to me to check in with all departments and get an idea of what the vibe is.
I am not a person who believes in micro managing but I do like to know how people are doing and whether they have everything it needs to go about their week successfully.
„I am not a person who believes in micro managing“
I have tried a few ways of being involved in different projects at a time and for me personally it works best if I work on one portfolio per day. That is how I am most efficient and concentrated.
At Mind the Beauty we make a point of really understanding how the client tics and what they need from us. So I need to be able to dive in deep and not get interrupted too much.
Of course it never works quite as clean cut as that as there are calls, decisions and meetings that need immediate attention but I am generally quite organized.
On Tuesday I will take care of a recent Influencer project. A well established German influencer is launching her first lipstick product with us in a few weeks. We are in the end phase of this project which is exciting as we already have a finished product in our hands.
On Wednesday I am diving in deep with the team working on a selective retail fragrance. I do enjoy working on a fragrance. It is a completely different world you have to navigate and manage.
Thursday is all about cosmeceutical products for clients in Scandinavia. I am closely collaborating with our chemist in Italy as I like to be involved in the creation of the formulas. There is usually a lot of testing going on too.
Friday is my home office day. I will catch up with what is left on my desk, do calls and check in with my two Co-Founders.
On a Friday I usually finish at 3 pm to pick up my daughter Allegra from school and then it is family time. With a 4 year old you don’t really have a lot of time to decompress and ease in to a relaxing afternoon with a glas of white wine.
Instead you are told to be a unicorn with a broken leg so that is what is happening right that minute. It is actually brilliant as it takes you out of your work bubble and into a child’s world of wonder and fairy tales within seconds.
„Over the last 3 years we have all seen that it is possible to do a lot of business digitally and I am making use of that.“
At the moment I am not traveling too much. I will go on a regular basis to our partnering labs in Italy and meet clients in Germany and Scandinavia. But I am really trying to keep it at a minimum. Over the last 3 years we have all seen that it is possible to do a lot of business digitally and I am making use of that.
Collaboration is key in any leadership role. Can you describe some of the key departments and individuals you interact with most during your week?
I check in with my Co Founders Giulia Sganga (COO) and Sabrina Santangelo (CPO) on a daily basis. Since we do take care of very different projects, sometimes in difference countries, it is important to keep on track.
It also inspires me to hear how the others deal with challenges and solve problems which is a big part of our job.
„There is a strong bond between all of us at Mind the Beauty.“
We really all do like each other and know what is going on with our families too. There is a lot of support and laughter too. We have managed to get together an extraordinarily talented and dedicated group of women (and one man;). There is a strong bond between all of us at Mind the Beauty.
In the dynamic beauty industry, adaptation is crucial. How do you stay updated on industry trends and ensure Mind the Beauty remains innovative and competitive?
I have a few very valued sparring partners in different parts of the world that I am close with and check in on a regular basis. They are entrepreneurs, creative directors and decision makers who I met over the years and who have become close friends. We share our experiences with each other, talk about trends and advise on important decisions.
Between all of us at Mind the Beauty we have a huge network across almost all industries. We are very well connected. Social Media, Trade Shows, Supplier Launches and in depth conversations with our clients are invaluable too when it comes to getting informed and staying on top of trends.
„Remaining competitive is a result of ensuring our clients have an exceptional journey with us.
Remaining competitive is a result of ensuring our clients have an exceptional journey with us. From the initial meeting to the actual launch of their new brand or product, we are committed to standing by their side, providing guidance akin to that of a trusted friend. This approach has proven successful, reflected in our clients’ returning engagement. That is all I can ask for as the CEO of Mind the Beauty.
Will you share an example of a challenge you recently encountered as CEO. How did you approach it, and what was the outcome?
A few weeks ago there was an incident where we lost a whole delivery for a client due to theft. I couldn’t have imagined the dimensions of problems you have to face if it wasn’t for this incident.
The production took about 7 months. Our clients were ready to launch when the delivery was due. There isn’t a storage unit we can go to and just load up another delivery truck to be sent. You can imagine the magnitude of it all.
Maintaining a work-life balance is often challenging for CEOs. How do you manage to balance your professional commitments with personal time, family and well-being?
First of all I don’t necessarily believe in that concept of a life-work balance. I think it’s more about integration. I try to integrate things into my life that I really love. My job included. That doesn’t mean it will never get stressful but it’ll be easier for me to deal with it. Because I know why I am doing things. I find meaning in it.
„I try to integrate things into my life that I really love.“
I am also now at a stage of my career where I can say I have seen, done and tried a lot. I am aware that everything is a phase. Great times, challenging times, big wins, boring moments – it all comes and goes and comes and goes again. So no point in getting too stressed about most of the things.
After a full day at the office it takes me about an hour to get back home in my car. This is one hour that is just for me. I like to listen to music and enjoy the ferry ride to the other side of lake Zurich.
Could you describe any daily routines or habits that contribute to your personal effectiveness and overall success?
I am actually no creature of habit at all. I don’t draw energy from regular routines. The only thing that I do almost everyday is drinking my coffee still in bed while reading the news and checking my emails.
„I want to work with people who can make decisions on my behalf and who are good ambassadors for Mind the Beauty.“
When it comes to success I strongly believe in a good team where people can trust each other. I want to work with people who can make decisions on my behalf and who are good ambassadors for Mind the Beauty.
Another pillar for success are our clients. We are very careful who we are working with. We have to be partners in crime because once involved in a project we are spending a lot of time together. The chemistry has to be right. Then we can truly work as a team and find the best solutions.
Leaders often draw inspiration from various sources. What motivates and inspires you to lead your team and company with passion and vision?
I am always on the lookout for things that interest me and I am aware that these things are not only found in my particular beauty bubble.
It can be a play at a theater, a well composed song playing at a restaurant, a photograph from a far away place at a gallery.I try to draw on inspirations from all areas of my life.
„I try to draw on inspirations from all areas of my life.“
I value my independency and I love being creative. Those are strong motivators for me in my role as CEO of Mind the Beauty.
How do you integrate your personal preferences and beliefs into the company’s brand identity?
I am someone who won’t compromise when it comes to what I believe are essentials – such as quality for example.
Just as I like to eat organic and clean food I will also always source the best ingredients for any of our formulas
I am not one to give you a cheap product with terrible components to achieve the best possible margin. Thats not what we do.
I am also a quite responsible person. I will take care of the people around me and that includes our clients.
„For me integrity stands as the cornerstone of a thriving workplace.“
For me integrity stands as the cornerstone of a thriving workplace, fostering an environment built on trust and credibility. Upholding integrity not only ensures ethical decision making but also cultivates enduring relationships that form the bedrock of happiness and success.
Could you share a memorable moment or experience from your career that deeply impacted you as a person?
One of my first jobs was with Kanebo Cosmetics. I started as a treatment & product trainer and ended up as the Head of European Salon & Spa division after a few years.
Working for such an iconic Japanese company offered an unparalleled experience of precision and excellence, where attention to detail is not just a norm, but a way of life.
I loved the politeness and the loyalty that is deeply ingrained in the companies values. The strong emphasis on teamwork and a harmonious work environment fosters both personal growth and collective success.
Last but not least can you share with us your number one beauty product at the moment?
I don’t really have one go to product. I usually try what we currently develop to understand how the product works. But in general I am a chemical peel and mask fanatic!