By Silvia Lourenço – An In-cosmetics Latin America exclusive News Story
It would have been an ordinary working morning for Sao Paulo born Patrícia Camargo and Luciana Navarro, creators of the cosmetics brand CARE Natural Beauty, had not been a call from Sephora’s office informing that CARE had been chosen to take part in an exclusive group of 15 companies, which would participate in Sephora Stands Accelerate 2019, an acceleration programme by the French giant which supports female entrepreneurs all over the globe, providing them with 6 months of immersion and mentoring of their businesses, as well as a Bootcamp week in San Francisco, United States.
After hanging up the phone, the pair that came together to create CARE in the end of 2017, got emotional: “ I remember the exact moment when I got the call: it was Women’s Day, in March. Our company was born from our need to promote more balance in the forms of consumption, and change lives, through something so endearing as beauty. We have officially launched our brand in November 2018, and being part of Sephora Stands Accelerate already was an unparalleled recognition and a sign that we’re on the right path.” – says Patrícia.
CARE was born in a moment when both Patrícia and Luciana were looking for changes in their lives. Patrícia, who is a lawyer, used to run the legal department of a cosmetics industry, but she used to feel unhappy, with a lot of concerns. Luciana, who used to be a partner in an event planning company, had a very busy life, and in 2017 faced health problems which led her to have chemotherapy.
According to the businesswoman, CARE Natural Beauty has caring for people, their skin, nature and planet, with organic ingredients and a 100% sustainable chain in their DNA. They have created the brand on the cornerstones of sustainability, performance, and social responsibility. “We intend to bust the myth that the products with organic and natural actives are necessarily craft made. We make use of a lot of research, study and technology, as well as test-proven performance. Those are makeup and skincare products that nourish and take care of the skin deeply.” – explains Patrícia.
In Curitiba, the Alcântara sisters (Barbara, Débora and Julia), have also welcomed with excitement the news that ORNA Makeup, the brand created by them, was one of the two Brazilian companies chosen to participate in Sephora Stands Accelerate. Julia, who currently lives in Miami, and was the one who participated in the Bootcamp Week in San Francisco, was also the first to hear the news: “The selection process for the programme was very extensive, there were several steps and interviews with Sephora teams in Brazil and USA. In March I got a call from Corrie Conrad, who is the Vice-President of Sephora Stands, and I thought that would be another step in the interview phase, but she surprised me with an invitation for ORNA Makeup to take part in the programme.” – celebrates Julia.
The businesswoman arrived in San Francisco for the Bootcamp Week in the second week of May, along with the other 14 entrepreneurs from several parts of the world: USA, Canada, Mexico, China, France, Brazil, and Australia, and during all the training, she shared the news with her followers in the social networks, after all, the “Alcântara sisters” have become known after having started a fashion blog in 2010, named “Tudo Orna”, and only years later, with an internet community building, they began to invest in other businesses.
The trio nowadays owns an accessory brand, a cosmetics brand – ORNA Makeup, a branding school which acts on the internet, and in 2018 they opened their first venture outside of the virtual world: the ORNA CAFÉ. ORNA Makeup has initially released a line of lipsticks but is seeking to expand its operations with the skincare line. Julia explains that the products are developed within the balance of two factors: nanotechnology and natural actives.
In the USA, Patrícia from CARE and Julia from ORNA, had a busy week with their schedules fully booked with: branding workshop; the opportunity to display their companies to Sephora’s marketing specialists and have their feedback; a visit to Sephora’s Lab; panels with women investors; marketing lectures, consumption and media training; as well as lectures with the YouTube team and a visit to Facebook’s office, to get to know the latest updates from these social networks. On the last day of the immersion programme, the entrepreneurs participated in panels about investment and sustainability.
Patrícia hopes that the opportunity will anticipate the expansion plans for CARE, which were initially thought to be medium and long-term. Julia believes that the 6 months of mentoring will be a unique opportunity for them to grow in an organized fashion: “We’ll use this experience as a kind of laboratory. I believe Sephora Accelerates will guide us through the best path with ORNA” – concludes the businesswoman.