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It's a Matter Of... Conscious Living

Investing in Purpose and Founders that Care with Odile Roujol

July 27, 2021 BeautyMatter
July 27, 2021

Community is powerful but it's often very elusive. Real community exists to serve a purpose, creates value for all stakeholders and requires constant nurturing. Odile Roujol, Co-Founder of Fab Co-Creation Studio Ventures has an innate ability to build community. She discusses with Kelly her mission to invest in underserved needs, and amplifying the voices of female and minority founders.

Odile Roujol [00:00:12]:                Hi, my name is Odile Roujol. I’m the founder of Fab Ventures, Seed Stage and FaB Community. For me, it’s a matter of conscious living.

Kelly Kovack [00:00:28]:               The concept of community has become ubiquitous in the ecosystem of brands. I’m Kelly Kovack, the Founder of BeautyMatter. It’s a requisite box to check for marketing and fundraising, but community is powerful. It’s often very elusive. Real community exists to serve a purpose, creates value for all stakeholders, and requires constant nurturing coupled with a highly refined ability to listen. For charismatic leaders, it’s often a byproduct of how they navigate the world. There are tactics that can be deployed to build community. But success often requires an innate ability and generosity and spirit. For Odile Roujol, Founder of Fab Co-Creation Studio Ventures, creating connection within her vast network is second nature. Odile is the ultimate connector, and community building is just one of her superpowers.

                                                            So Odile, thank you so much for joining us today.

Odile Roujol [00:01:34]:                My pleasure, Kelly.

Kelly Kovack [00:01:36]:               Yeah. So, you know, I want to start a little with your background because your experience is really quite unique. You have kind of a depth of knowledge in both big beauty and technology, most recently as the former Lancôme CEO and former CDO of telecommunications leader Orange. And while beauty tech has become a growth sector, not many people have the ability to comfortably navigate these two worlds, which is interesting because it leaves a lot of opportunity on the table, I think. Can you share a little bit about your background?

Odile Roujol [00:02:12]:                Yes, with pleasure. I always say that I was lucky enough to spend nearly 20 years of my life, you know, in the cosmetic industry, and you learn from this industry to have an attention to details and at the same time, there is a pace of innovation and new products that is, I would say, pretty fast. Compared to that, I’ve been in the telco industry, and it’s more about tech, PI, platforms, data, and the pace of innovation is fast, but at the same time, with a lot of risk assessment. It’s more an in general thinking compared to NBS. And when you learn from both worlds, I think I’m obsessed by experience and the fact that people enjoy the products and are inspired by a brand: that’s what I’ve learned from Lancôme, Chanel, and Yves Saint Laurent, as one of the brands that I’ve been lucky to be an assistant level executive with. And at the same time, learning also to make sure that the knowledge of the customer serves them for the best, which is more detector that I’ve learned later.

Kelly Kovack [00:03:18]:               Yeah, so you know, I think that it’s interesting that you’ve decided to go sort of into the investment side of things rather than sort of leadership on the brand side, because I’m sure there’s no shortage of brands that would love to sort of have you at the helm. But what was the impetus for sort of making that pivot?

Odile Roujol [00:03:37]:                In fact, Silicon Valley, it’s five years now that I’ve been living in California. It has plenty of strengths, as you know, and especially the fact that there are a lot of VCs. But most of these VCs are obsessed by tech and SAS and not that much by consumer brands. And I had so many people asking me some advice and asking me some investment as a business angel that I was thinking maybe before the $2 million revenues in consumer brands, there is a place where I could add value to these people. And it’s not just mentorship that they need, it’s also the money to build what they’ve got in mind.

Kelly Kovack [00:04:15]:               So before launching your fund, you launched and cultivated the FaB Fashion and Beauty Tech Community. Without a doubt, from a tactical perspective, you could have bypassed this step and gone straight to investment. But knowing you a little bit, I have a feeling that there was a master plan behind that step. So can you share your thinking behind why building the community before launching the fund was so important?

Odile Roujol [00:04:43]:                In fact, to be honest, Kelly, you know me well, but that was the plan. It was more as a mentor because I had so many people asking me to improve their deck and to have insight that I was thinking that my impact was not huge, because a 30-minute conversation with a founder is not helping them to have a shift in their culture or to build something different and to help them that much. So I believed at that time that building on the Meetup app, in San Francisco, something where these people who are more obsessed with fashion, beauty, brands, if they would meet together, they would learn together.

And after three months, we had 400 people, and now, I think 7,000 founders have met in 15 chapters, because the beauty of the Silicon Valley is you’ve got people from all around the world. The idea is not founders pitching businesses, because there are a lot of meetings like that, as you know, in San Francisco and Palo Alto, but the reverse. More to say, we’ve got to have a conversation and we learn from each other and we respect each other, and we show it’s a long-term partnership.

So from time-to-time, we invite guests, such as the founder of Ipsy, Jennifer, it can be Diishan Imira from Mayvenn, it can be great people like Matt Scanlan of NADAAM in New York. But it’s also imaginative voices and new founders in seed stage that share what they’ve got as challenges and try to learn from each other. So that was not a plan, but I learned from that to listen to different voices and to see that in fact, people have super powers, but the best founders are the ones that are self-aware and build a strong team around them. So that’s pretty much like leadership in corporations, it’s quite the same.

Kelly Kovack [00:06:24]:               Yeah. You launched your fund, FaB Ventures at the end of July, right?

Odile Roujol [00:06:28]:                In May 2020 was the first closing.

Kelly Kovack [00:06:32]:               Yeah, so mid-pandemic. You know, and you’ve already made a number of investments, and your choice of investments is really fascinating to me and incredibly forward-thinking.

Odile Roujol [00:06:45]:                Thank you.

Kelly Kovack [00:06:46]:               Yeah, you know, everyone talks about how investors have a bit of a herd mentality where everyone is kind of throwing money at the same things, but in a short period of time you kind of have this very diverse portfolio of some ideas that are kind of really thought-provoking. So I’d love to understand your insight, or get some insight into your business thesis that has sort of driven your investment choices up to this point.

Odile Roujol [00:07:12]:                When I choose the founders, most of the time I try to see if they fix a big problem. So when I say that, that can be an underserved need that can be a very specific population, and they are the best at doing that. So most of the time, they have a community that they build before even launching products or services. So if I give an example, Get Stix, when I talked to them, Cynthia was telling me, hey, you know what? We are about fertility tests, ovulation tests, and pregnancy tests, and the insight is that I met my future mother-in-law and ex-boyfriend at the Walgreens. And when you learn that, you understand that all of the embarrassing problems of women can be fixed but you don’t want people to know that and to be aware, so the online business then is making sense. It can be [unclear 00:08:00] that is an activist and a protégé in America is about gender fluidity and is about to launch his new line, taking all of the insights of the Asian beauty and making it available for women and men. It can be about the True Clean beauty, because you know as an ex-executive in corporations, you know me, I’m pretty upset when I see some founders, even if they are authentic and sincere in their purpose, that are not listing in the right way their products, or for instance, as a young woman that is just having a baby, by the way, is building a movement of women in science, and she moved from there to help other founders to understand better what to do with the products. So all of them have something in common: they have a purpose and try to impact people’s lives for the better.

Kelly Kovack [00:08:47]:               I had a conversation with one of your founders recently and she commented that you’re all in when you make an investment and you bring far more than capital to the table.

Odile Roujol [00:08:58]:                I try. I try my best.

Kelly Kovack [00:09:01]:               Yeah, no, you know, literally we had kind of a ten-minute love fest about Odile. One of the things that she remarked on was that you’ve sort of put all of your founders together and created kind of a mini community among them.

Odile Roujol [00:09:16]:                That’s the beauty of the COVID plan, we use Zoom.

Kelly Kovack [00:09:19]:               Yeah, right? But you know, I think her point was that it was so meaningful to her and it felt like not only that you really cared, but that nurturing this sense of community is really important because a founder’s life can be really lonely at times.

Odile Roujol [00:09:38]:                True. There can be good days and bad days and you’re pretty much alone because you need to look good with your stakeholders and investors and employees or cofounders. So I try to make this meeting where they learn from each other, and you can have people super good on the supply chain, for instance, it doesn’t fail, but sustainable sneakers, you can learn from them, and at the same time, when you’re [unclear 00:10:01] and you have built your community and you’re growing even in China, you can learn from them about T-Mall or things that will happen to other founders. So we try to use the skills from each of us to try to learn together, which is pretty exciting, and we’re happy to be teachers. I’m happy to see you. The Zoom thing, the great thing is that we video and have the feeling that you’re seeing your friends, and we can build things together.

Kelly Kovack [00:10:29]:               Just from sort of a tactical position or comment, you know, when do you usually come in as an investor? It’s fairly early stage, is it not? And what are the sort of size of investments that you make? I think very often, a lot of conversations happen and there’s kind of a mismatch of the money and scale. And deals don’t happen that way.

Odile Roujol [00:10:53]:                True. So I invest $250,000 as an average and I can go to half a million. But most importantly, when people are ready to launch the products. So that means, for instance, I invested in Bubble, teenage skincare, before they launched, the same for [unclear 00:11:11]. But most of the time, what I see is making sense for me and is relevant, because I check very carefully that the products are done the right way, pretty obsessed by my past experience. So I will say earlier revenues, it can be $30k per month to $50k. So I could be perceived as a super business angel because most of the time when I answer, I try to check with my friend’s VCs who are bigger than me that could make sense later, because I want to make sure that when I invest, this founder, even if the obsession of raising money is not the right one, if they need money to scale, they will have the money to scale, and I can help them with connections. That’s very important for me. That’s part of the value add in addition to the skills I’ve got.

Kelly Kovack [00:11:55]:               Yeah, on that point of raising money or perpetually raising money, you’ve been pretty vocal on sort of the flawed unicorn business model: raising a boatload of venture funding, playing the valuation game, focusing on growth at any cost, and spinning the narrative that profitability is achievable with enough scale. I think that’s played itself out. You know, it always kind of defied logic to me, but you know, I am kind of a branding/marketing person, I’m not a finance person, so I thought maybe I was missing something. But can you share your thoughts on this? Do you really think this unicorn thinking is kind of in our rearview mirror, so to speak?

Odile Roujol [00:12:34]:                So as you know, there are not a lot of unique ones in any vertical, by the way, so it’s tough to be a unicorn. But some of the founders are building things that will become global platforms, so I strongly believe that they should belong to people that understand their community and leverage the data. I think the misunderstanding in the last four years, maybe, as you know very well the ecosystem, Kelly, is that maybe some of the VCs in SAS were excited by the beauty exits with big corporations such as Unilever or Proctor or [unclear 00:13:07] and thinking, oh, it’s easy. A little like when I arrived as a telco company with a lot of [unclear 00:13:13], they were all saying to me, “Oh, you are the CEO of Lancôme, that must be easy to develop some lipsticks and fragrances,” and they were a little despising me, and then finding, oh, she’s smart. So, it’s too much the same. They were thinking, oh, it’s an easy game. And I think they were the ones to put crazy valuations, because as you know, SAS business, even if you do $2 million revenues, you can have a valuation that is pretty impressive because you’re fixing things but there are not that many costs and not many things to fix. I think there were also a lot of people coming from food and beverages and thinking that the beauty and wellness category was a piece of cake.

Kelly Kovack [00:13:50]:               Yeah, I would agree.

Odile Roujol [00:13:52]:                I believe that beauty is about inspiring people, making sure that there is an experience between the online and in-store, and it’s tough. It’s a little like founders like Air BnB would say they took a lot of months and years to fix the experience before scaling. So that’s more my point, and I believe in the founders that are not obsessed with raising, they are just raising what they need to scale their company. And when they’re ready to do that, they’re in the right mind, because normally when you build a company, you are not obsessed by the exit, you’re obsessed by how you impact peoples’ lives, and then if you do a lot of money, good for you. But first and foremost, you try to do something good for the world.

Kelly Kovack [00:14:31]:               Yeah. I mean, I don’t know about you, but very often when people approach me and the first thing they talk about is their exit strategy before they even have a name or something in a jar, it’s a massive red flag for me because it is just too hard to build these businesses.

Odile Roujol [00:14:47]:                I think you’re right. We’re here in the long-term. It’s more people that believe in you. Like a couple in life, a partner in life, you don’t choose the person to have great moments just in a few months, but it’s for years. So I believe that the best strategy for investors and for founders is to think hey, if we see each other in 15 years, even if they are around maybe in seven years, we should be good.

Kelly Kovack [00:15:11]:               I know that you sort of have that long-term approach, sort of a seven-to-ten year perspective on your investments, which I think is much more realistic, and even if you take a historic perspective, a lot of those indie success stories like It Cosmetics and Bare Essentials, they weren’t overnight success stories. And they also didn’t sort of raise a ton of money to get there comparatively to kind of what’s happening today. How do you think brands should be thinking about fundraising in your opinion, kind of in this current environment?

Odile Roujol [00:15:44]:                We come back to what’s going on at the moment, especially in this COVID period. If you build first your community and your brand with a unique tone of voice and territory and have great products that people repurchase because they like them, then all your fundamentals are healthy. It can take more time for some founders compared to others because you need a magic touch that is virality at the moment, especially with the cost of acquisition that are crazy on Facebook and Instagram. But at the same time, if you manage that your community advocates, that helps people to be educated, to learn, not only have products, but have a concern that they can share, then you should grow and find a way. So we come back to fundamentals. If we talk about brands that have been built during many years, Charlotte Tilbury, Anastasia, Beverly Hills. I remember when the Deputy [unclear 00:16:36] joined the US in 2003, we were already talking about how she was building the corners. So if you’re very good at doing something, then people see it.

Kelly Kovack [00:16:47]:               Yeah, and I would also say community is one of those words that gets thrown around a lot. It’s kind of one of those boxes people feel like they need to check. But building a community, it’s a lot of work, and you can’t purchase a community, it’s actually about relationships. But I think one of the interesting things to me, in this time, is that community, if it’s built correctly, also future-proofs your brand because the brands that are kind of making it through this kind of financially very difficult time, their communities are behind them. Their communities are committed to their success.

Odile Roujol [00:17:27]:                That’s funny what you said, because I invested in Brightly, Eco-Conscious Marketplace, and in the beginning I was hesitating because they have a beauty and wellness and fashion, but they also have home, food and beverages. But I was very impressed by both of them because they have a huge community on TikTok and Instagram, but they’ve got also their scouts, what they call their “scouts” is ambassadors that test the products and give them reviews and their concerns. And the way they also did it was a clubhouse meeting that they did as a conversation about conscious beauty and fashion, and it’s amazing to see founders like that because they are exactly doing and executing what you said. They’ve got this north star that is about what do I build for this community and how do I educate the people? And by the way, I can help them to choose the products that are right for them.

Kelly Kovack [00:18:16]:               Yeah, and it becomes more than a transaction, more than selling people products. I think brands today need to create value for – I don’t even want to call them consumers, for sort of these people that love what they do. And we went through this period of, I don’t know, call it fast beauty if you will, where everyone was kind of obsessed with speed to market, and there was kind of the quality and the time it takes to get a product right kind of went out the window for a period. And now I think we’re kind of back to kind of a more traditional way of brand-building, which is truly building a brand, and that’s thinking about all of the touchpoints but also making sure that your product proposition is right, the formulas work, the packaging works, that it’s not just this iterative in and out of SKUs.

Odile Roujol [00:19:10]:                That’s funny because I was thinking of Bloomi, Rebecca Alvarez, she’s about sexual wellness. And at the beginning, as my generation as vitriol, we’ve got a lot of taboos, we don’t talk that much about it. And she convinced me because she said to me, “If you can read my mail about the masturbation month, then you can invest in my company.” So I did, and I was thinking, “Oh, I’m okay.” So in a way, she was saying to me, it’s not just about sex fashion, because she’s got this CBD massage oil and the rose oil that is their own brand and the marketplace has many things. But she’s about self-care. And she was convincing me because she was saying to me that there are a lot of people single in this COVID period and having a lot of mental health issue, and the path where you take care of your body and yourself, again, you go back to the education, because she was saying a lot of people who have any concerns about their body very early in their life and don’t know a lot of things, and the fact that they have a real focus on helping people to find a way to communicate is, again, something super important. And beauty is about self-esteem and self-confidence and they play that role. Again, I come back to education. I think communities, it’s sharing concern and helping each other. There is a lot of solidarity and to have the relevant concerns for us as a person and a human being.

Kelly Kovack [00:20:37]:               Thinkers. Innovators. Experts. Generating ideas for the business of beauty. BeautyMatter has built its reputation as a must-read resource for beauty industry insiders, delivering future-focused insights and actionable solutions. With the speed of innovation and increased competition in the category, access to the right analysis and intelligence is more critical than ever. Make an investment in yourself and unlock a competitive edge with a subscription to BeautyMatter. Head over to BeautyMatter.com to check out our content. And as a listener to our podcast, use the code UNLOCK25 for a 25% discount.

                                                            You know, I don’t know about you, but I think beauty and wellness have kind of – they’re almost merged. I think they’ve become synonymous, almost, in kind of language and messaging. And we have forms like supplements that are on beauty shelves, and it’s accepted now, which, you know, that wasn’t always the case. But I think that the next phase of this that interests me is how the health space, like the hardcore health space, is being reinvented to look more like beauty and personal care. You know, when I think about it, I think of what’s happened in oral care, where you have kind of Tend reinventing what a visit to a dentist looks like, and it looks an awful lot like a millennial D-to-C brand and sort of teeth straightening, and kind of taking healthcare and almost deconstructing it and turning it into a branding and marketing like a consumer good. And I think if we’re healthier, obviously it solves so many kind of bigger problems. But I don’t know, I would love to have your take on it because I know that you invest in a lot of wellness and technology.

Odile Roujol [00:22:43]:                I was lucky enough to, to come to your point, to meet Jill Angelo, the founder of Gennev, and she’s about menopause and about having gynecology doctors. So she’s got a subscription model with products, but first and foremost, they’re coaching the person coming as a customer on their platform. So I’m about to invest. I can’t say the name because it’s not yet with the press release with one less company, a well-being company with traditional Chinese medicine and they’re Asian-American, Chinese-American, to be precise, living in California. They’re all about clean beauty, which is exactly what you described. They are building a platform that is not only adding the products but also using the power and knowledge and wisdom of traditional Chinese medicine doctors to help you on your path to beauty and wellness, which can be the diet, sleep – there are so many people not sleeping well, practice a sport, feeling connected to yourself. And I love this exciting period, Kelly, about exactly what you described: this holistic approach of beauty. Not just I’ll put on a skincare product, or I put on my makeup and I try to fix my hair, but more saying hey, what do you to you as a person and how does it help you to be connected to the world and to be connected to others? I’m a user of the Calm app, and I think the future could mix, I would say, tech companies, more like apps and the mindfulness sections, but also people as experts helping you and then livestream and connecting with others to have fun, for instance. There are a lot of exciting things coming in the beauty category, so it opens the mind, and we can’t now be in the mindset of having a product just fixing one thing, it needs to be about the people, customer-centric for real.

Kelly Kovack [00:24:30]:               And you know, how important for you when evaluating a potential investment is purpose? Because I think that it is again, like community, one of those boxes that people check off. It gets thrown around a lot. But I think during this period of COVID, it’s been clear that people, especially sort of Gen-Z, expect brands to show up and do their part and make the world a better place. And you know, I think we’ve seen businesses who really filled the gap where government kind of was failing us. And I think these purpose-driven businesses, I have to believe that you can run a profitable business and do right by the world and people who work for you and your community and your investors at the same time. I have to believe that’s possible.

Odile Roujol [00:25:24]:                I agree. I wouldn’t do what I do. So, at the beginning, it’s funny, because David Yi, for instance, is an activist, and from time to time, I was challenging him, even during the Glossier period because I admire a lot Forerunner Ventures and Emily Weiss. I was saying, “Are you sure of what you do about the [unclear 00:25:42]?” He was saying, “Yes, there was an investigation and I’m pretty sure of what I do,” and then Emily Weiss apologized, etcetera, and they fixed what’s going on. So when I said that, I think now what is amazing with founders is they’re authentic and they share what they think, their beliefs, they’re active in the world. So you always come back to that, during the elections, doing products to try to help Biden. For French people, politics and beauty has nothing to do, so for me, I learned a lot from them, when we talk about the meetings, because they educate me to see things in a different way and to say that finally, we don’t have one cap where it’s professional and the other cap where we see our friends and we talk about things. So I never position FaB Ventures as being female founders and minority founders as a first cohort thesis of investment. I believe it’s more exactly what you said, about being about conscious beauty and conscious fashion and trying to impact the world for the better, to protect the planet, to protect the oceans, to protect our health and wellness, exactly like you described, to be aware that there is a broken picture in the U.S. and that we need to take care of our cognitive biases and to make sure that we try to respect each other, and I strongly believe in that. For instance, [unclear 00:27:00] when she convinced me, it was not just about the line and the fact that she was on the TransAsia Platform that is private when she was having a lot of traction and a great community, it was because she was investing in self-care and mental health for teens. And she was already, exactly like you said about Gen-Z, obsessed by what she could do to fix things, and that’s not just about skincare and acne, it’s about to feel good about who you are as a teenager, and it's tough in the COVID period.

Kelly Kovack [00:27:29]:               It’s funny that you say politics and beauty don’t mix, I think I would agree with that. And I think it’s also kind of made it very difficult for more traditional brands to navigate this past year because it’s not easy, but when you know what you stand for, it’s very easy to navigate a difficult situation because you trust your gut and you tell the truth and you have honest conversations. And I’m so inspired by these kind of more activist brands, and we don’t have a lot of them in the beauty space. This was when we still did things in person, I was at a big conference and it was across verticals and there was a beauty vertical and then there were a bunch of other verticals as well. I went from one room, where it was Patagonia and Ben & Jerry’s talking about suing the president, and then I went to the beauty room and they were asking, “Well, you know, what’s your version of wellness?” and I’m like, oh my god, I’m going to go back to where they’re talking about suing the president. What are we talking about?!? Brands like Dr. Bronner’s, you know, these activist beauty brands don’t really exist, but I’m seeing more and more sort of younger brands that politics and what they believe are fully engrained in their DNA.

Odile Roujol [00:28:48]:                True. But it can be also small things, you know, for instance [unclear 00:28:50] at the beginning of the COVID, they were just doing a donation online, and if you tag a hairstylist, you could receive a donation to try to help them. And at the same time, it was smart because not only they were doing good, but there were a lot of hairstylists saying, “Hey, I like your products. Send them to me.” And then they become advocates for them. Actually, it’s smart for the business, but first they did it not for a business purpose, they did it because they were feeling so bad for salons being closed and hairstylists being out of work. So I think each of us, we can make a difference, I would say. And when I choose the people, I come back to the authenticity, exactly what you described. If I feel this energy and this true belief we can fix things, then I can invest.

Kelly Kovack [00:29:38]:               Yeah. So, you know, to say that we’re living in interesting times would probably be a monumental understatement, but I started hearing a lot of people talking about a new roaring ‘20s, and personally I think we’ve got some rough times ahead before that might manifest itself, but I’m incredibly optimistic and excited about the creativity and innovation this crisis has spurred, and you’re working with a lot of these young founders that are kind of just rethinking how brands are built. What’s your take on the future of the beauty category, both in the short-term and the long-term? What do you hope will change? Where do you see the opportunities?

Odile Roujol [00:30:20]:                I was reading this morning an article about the entertainment industry and Access was mentioning that a lot of US people are now using content from Korea, from France, from Canada. I believe in beauty, it’s the same. Seeing this FaB community now in the COVID period where we can have people from Berlin or Shang Hai at the same time as people in Madrid or Austin, you can see the energy and the collective intelligence we’ve got that is far bigger than what happened in the past. When I entered in the industry as a VC five years ago, they were pretty local. New York was investing in New York, San Francisco in San Francisco, and LA in LA. Now, if you ask people, for instance, [unclear 00:31:04] that I mentioned is in Philadelphia, David is with Michael in New York. I invest in companies that are in San Francisco and LA. So I believe the future will be multicultural leaders helping each other and different skills. Korea is pretty good, as you know, on devices. Germany is very liberal and very obsessed by organic, pure organic. France is very advanced in their way to develop products. And I think if we take all of that, we can learn from each other. So I believe the future champions will be exactly like me traveling in the past, 135 markets, maybe not, but at least Asia, Tokyo, Seoul, America. I believe that people will be very obsessed by understanding better the other cultures and not just where they live.

Kelly Kovack [00:31:52]:               I agree. I have one sort of last question and it’s very timely and I’m asking because I know that you’re very active on the app, and that’s Clubhouse. So, listen, I don’t know whether it’s here to stay or not, but I do think that we’re seeing the beginning – you know, I think it started with podcasts, but I think audio as sort of a format for communicating is just getting started. So I’m curious about your thoughts on Clubhouse and sort of what it represents from a larger perspective, because I think the traction that it’s getting also is indicative of people’s desires for spontaneity and real conversations. So I’m really curious about your thoughts on the platform and audio but also what your experience has been.

Odile Roujol [00:32:50]:                Interesting, as you said, I’m addicted to Clubhouse. It’s two weeks on. Before I was thinking, oh, it’s a little snobbish with all of my VC friends talking to each other, but at the end, it’s not just that. But there are two trends on Clubhouse. I would say they’re trends of [unclear 00:33:07]. I was yesterday listening to [unclear 00:33:10], the founders talking to 5,000 people. It’s amazing, but at the same time, it’s more like radio but just for you. The most interesting thing is exactly what you describe: when you take a topic and really do a deep dive on these topics and you’ve got the expert talking on this and people participating and asking questions, and then you learn a lot. I believe it’s more interesting than just people talking to each other, doing the same thing. I see a lot of the French mafia, for instance, doing meetings where they see each other and they talk to each other. I believe it’s more interesting to learn a lot about curly hair in-depth, or makeup artists, how to work in this COVID period. And then you can have a deep dive on something and learn. So I’m pretty excited, like you are, about the future, but I believe, which you have invented with the podcast, by the way, is also here to stay is the conversation that is casual, because you don’t have the replay, you don’t have things that are more difficult to prepare, and except, like your team and you, not all people can do that. So it’s outreach for many people and easy for many people. So I believe it’s here to stay.

Kelly Kovack [00:34:20]:               Yeah, I do too. I’m in the learning phase of Clubhouse. When it first kind of got on my radar, my first reaction was like, oh my god, another thing to do. And I’m really curious, but I’m also cautious. So a friend hosted a room. I was like, okay, let’s do this together and let’s figure this out, and it was really just the two of us because we didn’t promote it, we were kind of dipping our toes in. But a friend of mine who is a jewelry maker saw that I was on and doing this with another friend, and it was just the three of us, and there were two people that popped in and out, but the interesting thing was it was as if I was walking through SoHo, stopped to get a coffee, and ran into my friend Karen and also happened to run into my friend Amy, and they met, and that literally happened on Clubhouse. Amy was given Karen advice, and now Karen is going to Chic Studios to get her headshot done. It was just this spontaneous moment that, like, you just don’t have them right now. It was cool.

Odile Roujol [00:35:24]:                Yeah. I miss that!

Kelly Kovack [00:35:27]:               I know!

Odile Roujol [00:35:29]:                So, by the way, welcome. We’ll try to do that format with our community, there is one about growth and one about fashion companies and sustainability in March 19 and 25, and welcome. I think we’re trying things, exactly like you said, and the most interesting thing is to see if people are interested and then adapt to that.

Kelly Kovack [00:35:50]:               Yeah. So do you have any predictions sort of for the next year ahead? It’s still early and it almost feels like, someone used the example I feel like 2020 had five quarters because not much has changed, but kind of in the short-term, what are some trends you are seeing and some predictions you might have?

Odile Roujol [00:36:11]:                I would say the good thing in the difficult times for entrepreneurs is they come back to build their community and to make sure that the experience is great, so I pretty much believe in what we said: fixing problems, self-care, self-confidence, trying to have a mix of knowledge, services, and products, and the holistic approach of beauty we mentioned. So it’s pretty much what I would say about the future.

Kelly Kovack [00:36:35]:               Well, Odile, thank you so much for spending your time with us today and having this conversation. I always enjoy talking to you because you know, so many times I feel like when we do these things, people come with an agenda, and with you, it’s just like I’m here, I just want to have a good conversation, and what are we going to talk about? And it’s so refreshing.

Odile Roujol [00:36:57]:                Such a pleasure.

Kelly Kovack [00:36:59]:               And I always learn something.

Odile Roujol [00:37:01]:                Thank you for the invitation and for what you do because I strongly believe in belonging to something, and you create a lot of friendship, professional friendship, and you’re very loyal in all of your relationships. I remember when I talked to you five years ago about an article, I love the fact that it’s a long-term relationship.

Kelly Kovack [00:37:19]:               Yes, I agree, and we actually never met in person, but yet we still have this relationship and hopefully we can change that on the other side of COVID. Yeah. Thank you, Odile. We will definitely stay in touch.

Odile Roujol [00:37:35]:                Thank you Kelly, my pleasure.

Kelly Kovack [00:37:38]:               For Odile, it’s a matter of conscious living. Investing in underserved needs and amplifying the voices of female and minority founders has become Odile’s mission. Her big business background sits uniquely at the intersection of beauty and technology, giving her a unique edge at spotting the next founder with a disruptive idea and a scalable concept. Three years ago, she founded a community, helping founders meet founders and investors that share the same vision. The FaB Fashion and Beauty Tech Community began with 90 entrepreneurs and VCs across 17 nationalities and a culture for paying it forward. Odile believes we can all make a difference by sharing learnings, insights, being smarter together, and raising our voices. She’s creating a space for sharing ideas and investing in change makers that are building our future. So in the end, it’s a matter of conscious living, and that’s what matters. I’m Kelly Kovack.

Odile Roujol [00:38:46]:                I’m Odile, and to me what matters is conscious living. Conscious living is founders trying to fix problems and having in mind how we impact the world and how we impact our health and wellness.

Kelly Kovack [00:39:04]:               It’s A Matter Of is a production of BeautyMatter LLC. You can find more content and insights on www.BeautyMatter.com and follow us on social media @BeautyMatterOfficial.

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