ML - Boston Common

2013 - Issue 3 - Summer

Boston Common - Niche Media - A side of Boston that's anything but common.

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Page 49 of 131

TALENT PATROL Jasmina Aganovic uses her bio-chem know-how to create superior beauty products. technology start-ups connected with MIT and Harvard, some of which involved skincare research. "Most people see the beauty industry as superficial and frivolous," she says. "But this was heavy-duty research. I thought, 'I could do this.'" After working with several beauty brands, she landed at NutraClick, a technology-enabled natural products company, headquartered in Boston, that creates products in-house and sells them via online marketing campaigns and retail partners. They wanted to get into the cosmetics game, and, in collaboration with the company, Aganovic began Reading now: formulating, branding, and packaging "Conscious something totally new. The result was Business by Fred Stages of Beauty, a skincare line formuKofman." lated by age. Stages saw overwhelming Role model: success, with 200,000 customers its first "My dad." year and rapid growth. For inspiration Aganovic wanted to know why. So I go to: "The Esplanade—it's she reached out to customers to ask my favorite place them. "Retail sales were up not just to take a walk." because it was a good product, but Best advice because there was a story," she says. She received: "Just started operating on commission for key keep moving." customers, figuring out ways to make their experience better. This inspired her newest line, Bona Clara, which pairs age-based beauty formulations with an entrepreneurial business model (think Avon and Mary Kay). She looked into the socialselling industry and realized how little it had changed over the years—and how much opportunity existed. "People aren't having Tupperware parties anymore," she says. "Avon still ships product to the reps, who then have to MIT GRAD JASMINA AGANOVIC ENGINEERS A NEW OLD-SCHOOL distribute them. Seems old-school in the APPROACH TO SKIN CARE. BY TERRI TRESPICIO Amazon age." The new-school version is both more direct and digital. Bona Clara mails products directly to the customers, controlling he story behind the SPF we slather on this summer goes much deeper the experience with attractive packaging. Individual brand reps still do the than we think, especially if it comes from the new Boston-based skin- selling, and Bona Clara assists them by building their websites and executing care line Bona Clara. Founder and CEO Jasmina Aganovic had no e-mail campaigns when new products, like this summer's sunscreen, launch. Then there's the line itself. Bona Clara is focused on finding innovative idea she'd end up building a skincare brand as she graduated from MIT, but she knew one thing for certain: She didn't want to work in a lab. The 26-year- approaches to beauty, whether it is skincare formulated by age, a makeup old daughter of Bosnian immigrants earned her degree in biological and remover that is actually good for your eyelashes, or an SPF that is almost chemical engineering, but she was less interested in being an engineer than water-like in texture. "We're just scratching the surface of what we can do," thinking like one. "As an engineer, you're taught to look at a problem, define she says. Founded in 2012, Bona Clara has grown to 1,800 reps to date. "I the variables, and the steps of solving the problem," says the New York City always thought the ideal metric would be creating a brand that sits on a shelf native. Her epiphany came when she found herself parsing research for in Sephora. But now I realize it's not about that at all. It's about people." BC INSIGHT T 48 PHOTOGRAPHY BY SETH OLENICK next-gen avon lady BOSTONCOMMON-MAGAZINE.COM 048_BC_SP_TalentPatrol_Jasmina_SUM13.indd 48 6/7/13 5:30 PM

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