Taydra Mitchell Jackson, an alumnae of L’Oréal, P&G and Revlon who is currently Sundial Brands’ chief marketing officer, has always been guided by serving the multicultural beauty consumer.
“The first third of my career was in big beauty, getting great experience but doing intrapreneurial type of projects serving the multicultural beauty consumer. That’s been the through line,” she said. “I left Revlon and went to work for Dr. Susan Taylor, who was launching a prestige skin care line for women of color. That kicked off my 10 to 12 years working with smaller, women-led businesses.”
It wasn’t long before Mitchell Jackson moved to Sundial. It was life milestones with her twin daughters that precipitated that move. “I decided I want to be able to impact both women and consumers,” she said. “But I wanted to do it on a broader scale. And I was able to transition back into corporate, but working with the Sundial team on SheaMoisture is bringing together all the things that are so important to me in terms of overserving the underserved consumers.”
That’s still her jumping-off point when driving growth at SheaMoisture. “First, we recognize that we’re here to serve,” she said. “Coming from the mindset of serving the consumer and serving our end user. That’s the mindset of all of the teams and what I focus on. It sounds clichéd, but it’s always been about the consumer first — what are her needs, what are her desires, and what can we anticipate?”
Anticipation is also central to her ethos: speed and agility are part of her growth strategy. “One of the things I loved about working in more of an entrepreneurial environment was that you don’t have a lot of time, you don’t have the luxury of overanalysis, analysis paralysis. Being able to move quickly and nimbly, being able to respond and anticipate, is an art and a science.”
Mitchell Jackson acknowledged that beauty has become “highly personalized, highly customized,” but added that “somewhere, the pendulum shifts and swings back to the middle. I love where we are in beauty now, and as far as we’ve come, there’s still just so far that we have to go — many more voices and skin tones, hair textures, and all of that are just not at the table.”
One of the more heartening developments has been “looking at larger companies figuring out to expand,” she said. “Whether it’s a cosmetics business where they’re expanding shade ranges, or whether it’s a hair care business where they’re really homing in on textures. And we’re seeing indie brand founders take a seat at the table in powerful and meaningful ways.”
Mitchell Jackson expects solutions to become even more personalized, too. “Beauty tech is the new frontier, in terms of how beauty will be revolutionized. We’ve got a million and one shampoo offerings, and as many shades as you can get,” she said. “But the ability to have a customer and [know] how their needs are getting met through the use of tech, that means personalization and customization is where we’re headed.”