Lori Jacobus has done it all: from marketing, product development, clinical education, and advertising, to media and public relations. She is a forward-thinking strategist with a proven record of building and growing best-selling beauty brands.
She launched iconic brand StriVectin and served as Chief Marketing Officer at Murad, and as a speaker and mentor at the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in Los Angeles.
After joining Athena Cosmetics in 2017 as Chief Marketing Officer, Ms. Jacobus was appointed President and Global Chief Marketing Officer in January 2019. Widely known for their brow and lash enhancement serums under the Revitalash Cosmetics brand, Athena Cosmetics has, under Ms. Jacobus’ direction, expanded to include makeup tools and a range of skin and haircare products, now in more than 64 countries.
Her vision and expertise lie in driving profitability and expansion into new markets and channels for the brands.
Wendy Lewis: Who were some of your mentors?
Yes, mentors can have an immediate impact on you, but some mentors stay with you and you’ll draw from them well after you’ve moved on—even decades later. At the first advertising agency I’d ever worked for at the ripe old age of 18, I was fortunate to have had a fabulous mentor in the president of the agency. He was an engaging, charismatic, bigger-than-life personality, and an expert in helping to guide companies to success; it was a gift, really. He made it his business to be the best, and people came from all over the world to seek his advice. He always made himself available, gave sage advice, acknowledged everyone no matter what their title, and made you feel heard and supported. After speaking with him, you just wanted to do and be better.
I observed the way his style affected the way people felt, including me, and created positive change for them. I knew that I too wanted to affect positive change for others, and I’ve held tight to that mission ever since. It’s an unattainable goal to fill his shoes, but I strive for that in his memory and can only hope I’m half the leader he was.
WL: How did you get your start in the aesthetics field?
I was VP at an ad agency, with a client interested in launching in new categories, including skincare. They had no experience in traditional skincare but had a skin-based body product in the nutritional market, specifically formulated for use on stretch marks, so it seemed a good place to start.
After many discussions, a few starts and stops, and commitment from some amazingly talented folks, StriVectin was born and launched. Within six months, it was ranked number one in the skincare category by NPD, the leader in market research reporting. Suffice it to say, I learned a lot, and I learned fast. Days were dense, the pressure intense, and stress levels were at an all-time high, but I knew we were making history and I am so grateful to have had that experience and been a part of that talented team. It was kismet and the type of thing on which case studies are written. I’m proud of the work we did and what we accomplished.
WL: What advice do you have for women who are rising stars in this industry?
There are many things I want to say based on lessons I’ve learned and the wisdom I wish other women in the industry would have shared with me. Work hard. Do your homework. Hone your emotional intelligence, the value of which cannot be underestimated. If you don’t know what emotional intelligence is, stop reading this right now and look it up; it’s that important. Be of service to others, hold yourself accountable to the highest standards, stay humble, treat everyone with the same respect you would want, and never forget where you came from. Remember that nothing is owed to you, and nothing feels as rewarding as earning the successes you achieve. In the end, all we can do is try our best to be our best, remembering that others are always watching.
WL: How would your colleagues describe your management style?
I would guess as a mix of Deepak Chopra, Tony Robbins, and Dog the Bounty Hunter.When we work together, united around the same goals, and all row in the same direction with an aligned intention, incredible things will happen. I get excited at the opportunity to make positive change, whether that be with the business, an individual and his/her role in the organization, or the consumer—and I can’t help but cheer and support everyone through change and development. That said, they would also say that I have very high expectations; I expect that everyone will bring their A+ game every day, including me. And I try to inspire that desire in others.
WL: Name a quote or quotes that best describe your philosophy
It may sound cliché, but Nike (or their agency at the time, Wieden + Kennedy) really hit the nail on the head with their “Just Do It” slogan. I find that we have a tendency to get in our own way much of the time and if we can remember that simple slogan and put it into action, we can get back to making things happen without all the distractions. I am also a believer in the Golden Rule: Treat others the way you want to be treated. Lastly, I like the quote typically credited to Henry Ford, “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t, you’re right.” Why not believe that everything is possible, and all is well?