Episode 224: Jill Scalamandre, CEO of Beekman 1802

In this episode of WHERE BRAINS MEET BEAUTY™, I had the privilege of sitting down with Jill Scalamandre, a seasoned industry expert with over two decades of experience in leadership positions at renowned companies such as Revlon, Shiseido, Prada, Coty, Fekkai, and Bare Minerals. As the current CEO of Beekman 1802, the world’s largest goat milk body-care brand, Jill shared her journey and insights on the beauty industry.

During our conversation, she talked about how her passion for fashion evolved into a thriving career in the beauty sector, the importance of having a “champion” in the workplace who supports and provides growth opportunities, the benefits of pursuing your passion over just a job title, and more!

Dan Hodgdon
Adriel PfaffHi, Jodi.
Jodi KatzHey, Adriel. Happy New Year.
Adriel PfaffHappy New Year. How are you feeling going into a new season?
Jodi KatzWell, I am just so excited to start a new year, new themes, new guests, new innovation. Podcasting is very fun with you.
Adriel PfaffYeah, I’ve loved it. We have some exciting themes coming up. Our first quarter is C-Suite Life. Do you want to tell our fans why we chose that as the theme?
Jodi KatzWell, you know, the idea between C-Suite Life is really very closely tied with the whole idea for the show, which was to pull back the curtain on what happens behind the scenes in our industry. And we have all these C-Suite people, COOs, CEOs, CFOs, other Cs, I guess. And I want to humanize them. And I want to make sure that I can learn from them and understand what their career journey has been like, the highs and the lows. So it just felt like a really good time to have a totally focused quarter on people in the C-suite.
Adriel PfaffYeah. I love that we focused in on this. They all are in similar roles but come from very different backgrounds and have different pieces of advice to give us. So, I’m just so excited for what we have coming ahead.

So, our first guest was Jill Scalamandre, who was really exciting to talk to because she’s worked at big and small companies, and just has a lot of experience.
Jodi KatzYeah. She’s obviously very passionate about the beauty industry. She never left, right? So, Shine Corporation, she’s worked at, smaller companies, she’s worked at, and she shares so much great journey insight for our listeners.
Adriel PfaffShe really does. Well, I’m excited to get into it, so without further ado, Jill Scalamandre, episode 224. Enjoy.
Aleni Mackarey Hi, everyone. This is Aleni, your executive producer of WHERE BRAINS MEET BEAUTY™ Podcast. I am so excited to introduce this season’s headline event partner, Beauty Tech and Innovation Summit, which happens this March 1st and 2nd in San Francisco. Attendees will discuss the latest science, innovations, and technologies that are revolutionizing the beauty and personal care industry. Learn from 40+ industry speakers and 200+ beauty and tech experts. Are you going? Find the link on wherebrainsmeetbeauty.com and use our code BASE10 for 10% off your registration fee.
Jodi KatzHi, everyone. Welcome back to WHERE BRAINS MEET BEAUTY™, and happy New Year! My team and I are so excited to be starting off another year of WHERE BRAINS MEET BEAUTY™ and can’t wait for all the exciting themes and guests that are yet to come. If you’re just joining us as a new guest this year, welcome. We’re so excited to have you. WHERE BRAINS MEET BEAUTY™ is a show deeply rooted in career journey. Every episode features wisdom, advice, and authenticity from the beauty industry’s top talent. Topics include work/life balance, how to hustle, and how to handle challenges, all discussed with great honesty and humor.

Each quarter of our year is based on a unique theme. Last year, we met with amazing guests that fit within the quarterly themes of Technology, Sustainability, Artistry, and Health. Our first quarter of this year is C-Suite Life. Our first C-Suite guest this quarter is an inspiring beauty executive and a seasoned industry pro, with over 20 years of experience in leadership roles at Revlon, Shiseido, Prada, Coty, bareMinerals, and now as CEO of Beekman 1802. Please welcome Jill Scalamandre.
Jill ScalamandreThank you. I’m excited to be here.
Jodi KatzJill, I’m so excited for you to be here. And I need to tell everybody why this is crazy meaningful for me right now and kind of a “pinch me” moment. And I shared this with you on our intake call. So I want to take people almost a decade ago. And I was at my first really big, expensive to attend industry event. [Both laugh] And I was really—this is such a crazy story. So I was just so excited to be there, and I was seeing some old friends and meeting a lot of new people, and kind of getting a completely different perspective on the industry. Before that moment, I was just doing and plugging away at what I do. And by about 10 years ago, I was starting to understand how the industry moves and how to navigate it, and working hard to find my way.

So, I was speaking with a woman at the event, and we were making conversation, and you were there. And I think you might have been speaking at the event. And I don’t remember what brand you were at there, but at that moment, it was very high profile, wherever you were working at the time. And I asked this woman, “Would you introduce me to Jill?” And I was really proud of myself for asking and putting myself out there.
Jill ScalamandreI’m so embarrassed.
Jodi KatzThis isn’t your thing to be embarrassed about, though. Wait, you have to—everyone has to keep listening. So I was really proud of myself. Maybe it was years of therapy for me to be able to get to this point where I asked a stranger to make an introduction for me at a work event. And I was really proud of myself for asking. And then the woman responded, and she said, “No.”
Jill ScalamandreI will get the name out of you one day.
Jodi KatzNo, I’m never telling. I’m never telling you.
Jill ScalamandreI will take you for a drink, and I will pump you with wine, and you are gonna tell me who that was, because that is so not who I am. I actually pride myself on making myself accessible to people in mentoring and just conversation. I do that with CEW. So, when you told me that story, I was like, “I’m gonna find out who that person was.”
Jodi KatzOkay. Well, you’re not gonna find out because I don’t drink, so you can’t get me drunk. [Jill laughs] And it doesn’t matter who it is. The point is, for me, what a full circle moment, right?
Jill ScalamandreUh-huh. Thank you.
Jodi KatzWe saw each other in Florida at the Women’s Wear Daily Beauty Summit in the spring. And now I’m in a different place where I don’t have to ask somebody for help. I can just go introduce myself and shake a hand, right?
Jill ScalamandreAbsolutely.
Jodi KatzSo, that shows my progress, and that’s why this is so incredibly meaningful for me, because it was crazy to be on the receiving end of a “No” after working up all that courage. And now I don’t need that middle person.
Jill ScalamandreWell, you need to know, I’m really excited to be here, so. This is like an honor for me. So thank you.
Jodi KatzI’m so excited. And I think the lesson to everybody is, you don’t need another person, right? You don’t have to rely on other people. You can just try to forge ahead. And if I had known that then, I would have approached you myself, but I didn’t have that courage. I was very, very much—I lived in self-doubt all the time, Jill.
Jill ScalamandreOkay.
Jodi KatzIt’s been a lot of therapy and business coaching to get me where I am now. But I definitely thought everybody knew the toolbox, and I wasn’t allowed to have the toolbox.
Jill ScalamandreYeah, yeah.
Jodi KatzI just felt like such an outsider.
Jill ScalamandreAnd also, to believe in yourself and to never give up. Find a way. When someone says no to me, I take that as a challenge. I say, “Okay, hm. I’m not gonna accept that no. Let me figure out how else I can do it.” And so.
Jodi KatzWell, I took that no to therapy. [Both laugh]
Jill ScalamandreWell, it was probably a little expensive, but you know what? Here we are 10 years later.
Jodi KatzThat’s right.
Jill ScalamandreAnd I’m the one who’s saying, “I’m so excited to be here,” so.
Jodi KatzWell, I’m excited, and I’m so happy to share your journey. Everyone should have your LinkedIn because you’ve had a fascinating career in beauty, and it’s just literally getting started. But let’s go to our first question.
Jill ScalamandreOkay.
Jodi KatzThis is a question we started asking in honor of our podcast fifth anniversary, so that was last year. But now we’re starting our sixth year. But I want to keep this question going because it’s so fun to talk about career journey from the perspective of going back to being 11 years old and daydreaming about what your job is gonna be. So, if you can tap into your 11-year-old self, Jill, what do you want to be when you grow up?
Jill ScalamandreSo, I never had a specific job or role in place. What I did know is I really love to travel, and I want to travel, and I want to meet people from different cultures. I want to learn languages. So, that was my passion and my desire, but I didn’t really know how to funnel that specifically into a job. So, what ended up happening was, I went to school, I went to college. I ended up going to France, living there for a year. Worked in a fashion house as an intern. And when I came home, I’m like, okay, when I graduated, what am I gonna do? Someone suggested beauty, because I loved the fashion piece of it. So, someone suggested beauty, and I said, “Yeah, that makes sense.” Honestly, as serendipitous as that. And I looked, and I applied, and I got a job at Revlon, and I fell in love with the industry.
So, it really was able to sort of combine two things that I love—my love for travel and different cultures, and then my love that developed for the beauty industry. And I became a global brand builder.
Jodi KatzSo, you had this taste of fashion. Why do you think your body didn’t push you in that direction? Why were you willing to say yes to beauty?
Jill ScalamandreSo, what you said a while—I really don’t—I can’t draw. I’m not a designer. But I love creativity. And so, when I went to Revlon and realized that there’s so much creativity, as well as business, in the beauty industry, that I just fell in love.
Jodi KatzIt is so fun, isn’t it?
Jill ScalamandreIt is. It’s a great category. And I don’t look at it as a vanity category. And then people are like, “Oh, you’re in makeup.” Yes, but I’m in confidence-building. I know, through all the research I’ve done over the years, I know that makeup and skincare and fragrance make women and men feel more confident and empowered. And I love to see that transformation, where people just feel better about themselves. And that’s why I love this industry.
Jodi KatzIt’s a really healthy boost.
Jill ScalamandreYes.
Jodi KatzI see it as a healthy boost.
Jill ScalamandreAbsolutely.
Jodi KatzMaybe when I was growing up, it was very single-minded beauty.
Jill ScalamandreYes.
Jodi KatzBut it’s just not like that anymore.
Jill ScalamandreWell, it used to be—as a marketer, it used to be us telling women what lipstick to wear, what the new enamel is. And that is so not true anymore. It’s about consumers telling us what they want, and us following their dictate. It’s much more exciting and much more challenging.
Jodi KatzOh my gosh. I kind of long for the days when I started in the industry, where marketing was just planning a print ad campaign, and the same print ad ran in the same magazines every month for six months, and that was the extent of it.
Jill ScalamandreYes. And a display, and then you’re done. Sample, display, print, and TV. That’s it. You’re done. It’s so different now.
Jodi KatzOur brains have to be so busy with problem-solving and innovating now, it really is sometimes—sometimes my heart is a little too race-y. And also, I own an agency, so I’m doing this for 10 different clients, right? Sometimes I need a real break from it. And I can’t go to the places that other people go to get a break from their job because they usually go to beauty to get a break from their job. [Both laugh]
Jill ScalamandreYeah. I read. I read. I would say that the industry, the complexity of the industry is so different today. And so, it’s so much more complex because there’s so many channels, and this whole world of omnichannel and the social sphere really makes it much more complex. Exciting, but much more complex. And anyway, on the other case, I read. I take solitude, and I read, or I go out with girlfriends. I have a close group of girlfriends, and we meet every week, and we go out, and we talk. And they’re girls from the industry, so. And we just talk. We talk about our love lives and our families and our work. We talk about everything.
Jodi KatzOnce a week is amazing dedication.
Jill ScalamandreMm-hmm. Yes.
Jodi KatzHow do you all really make the time for it? How do you keep focusing on it?
Jill ScalamandreSo, it’s Sundays that we do it. And so, I work all week long. I stay very focused. My weekend is the time for me to recharge. And I do—Sundays is my day I pamper. I go for a massage, or I get my nails done. Again, it’s my me time. And then we go and have dinner with our husbands, with my girlfriends. And it’s just a great—it’s a great rejuvenation day for me. Sunday was always the day for me. Saturdays was errand-running, right, because you didn’t get anything done during the week, so.
Jodi KatzI love that you have a ritual with your friends. That’s really nice. I want to try to—I don’t know that it’s the year, friend-building for me is gonna be 2023. I feel like it’s still the year of business-building. But I really do long for it. It takes time and work.
Jill ScalamandreIt does.
Jodi KatzAnd I mentioned I don’t drink. It’s hard to make friends with people right now who don’t want to drink and drive. Not that I can’t be around it, but I don’t—I can’t invest my time in people that only want to do that, you know? So it’s been really hard to actually make new friendships.
Jill ScalamandreYeah. Well, meeting for coffee, that’s something I also do, because not all my friends drink. And for dinner, and some will have a glass of wine, some won’t. So, it’s important, I would say, though, Jodi. It really—it rejuvenates me. And I actually feel better and stronger. And then I can go into the week feeling recharged. But my friends and family are my sort of recharge button.
Jodi KatzI love that. So we talked about, Jill, your dedication to beauty, years and years in the industry. But I know you’ve been wooed by other industries. So, this is really fun, I think, for people to hear about. What other industries tried to tap you and steal you away from beauty, and why didn’t you leave? What made you stay in beauty?
Jill ScalamandreI think the roles when people called me that I found most interesting are the roles where I do have a passion for, because for me, in my career, it’s always following my passion and then putting my skill set on top of that. So, fashion lured me. And I did work when I was at Prada, and I did beauty, but I was very close to fashion. And that was very exciting for me. And Miuccia Prada taught me so much. She’s a visionary. And then wine, the wine industry thought that beauty marketing has relevance with wine marketing, so they came after me. And then a pet company came after me, too. So, when the whole pandemic came, where you wanted to upscale your dog’s food and clothing, etc. So, it’s been—but I just have such a heart for this industry. I love it. It never bores me. I see it as so uplifting, and I see it as helping people, so I don’t know. I just love it. I’ve done beauty my entire career. I never stepped out.
Jodi KatzWell, okay. So, let’s go way back. Let’s go to Revlon. Let’s go to the beginning. So this is one of your first—it was your first job in the industry. How did you find a mentor early on at that time, and how was that pivotal for you?
Jill ScalamandreIt’s a great question, because I feel mentorship is so important. But I’ll be honest, I began with a champion first. And I differentiate a mentor and a champion. So, a champion is someone who’s actually within the company. A mentor doesn’t have to be. Can be in the company, but it’s someone who’s offering you guidance on the side. Where a champion is someone within the company who is recognizing you, pushing you to achieve, and giving you the opportunities.
So, I had a great boss. And I had a great relationship with her. And it was actually her boss who became my champion, as well as she did. And I think that they just—they saw that I was hungry, I was curious. I was like, “I’ll do anything. I’ll do anything, even in another department. Just ask me. I’m here.” And they saw that hunger and the passion, and they took me in under their wings and championed me throughout my career. And I actually have had four or five major, I’m gonna say mentor champions, in my career. And I am still in touch with every single one of them today. And I still see them socially.
Jodi KatzYou mentioned something that I want to go back to, which is that you were asking for more, right? You were saying, “Give me more. I want to learn more.” It makes me think of this quiet quitting trend, or whatever people want to call it. What kind of advice would you give to people at any stage in their career if they’re feeling like they dislike their job so much that they have to kind of stomp their feet in a silent way, I guess?
Jill ScalamandreSo, I would say if they’re so unhappy, they should leave. You don’t want to work—you really want to work with what you’re passionate about, so. And which is what I did. So, I was passionate about beauty. And then I wanted to stay in beauty, but I wanted to always be challenged. So, I would say if you’re not happy, if you’re not feeling challenged or motivated, it may not be the role for you. But you have to think about then what is, what does make you excited? What makes you excited to get up out of bed every day and motivated to sort of break through and do fun and exciting things?
Mine, I found it in beauty. But however, there were times where I felt like, okay, I feel like I need to learn more. And so, I would ask—I started in product development, then I asked to go into business development, because I wanted to learn some of the business strategy. And then I went into marketing. And that was all at Revlon in the mass world. And then I went to the luxury world at Prada because I wanted to learn the luxury space. And this is my more and more. And then I went into—after that, I went to Avon to really learn direct-to-consumer and global markets, right, and really go after the global, because they were in 43 countries. And after that, I went to Coty and learned really about global skincare.
So, I felt as though every step I was going, I was pushing myself to learn something new. So, my advice, back to you original point, is find your passion, and don’t chase a title. Chase an opportunity and a dream.
Jodi KatzI love that advice. Don’t chase the title. I was actually with a friend, an industry friend, having this conversation about finding that right fit, especially after being in the industry for a long time. You see a lot, and then you figure out what you want to do. And for some people, heading the CEO route is the right path. .But for some people, they don’t want to be the CEO. And she was commenting that she didn’t want to be the CEO anymore. She wants to be VP Marketing again. That’s where her happy place is. She didn’t jive with—there’s a lot of CEO responsibilities, right—
Jill ScalamandreThat’s so funny.
Jodi Katz… that are maybe not as pleasant as marketing. And that she was getting a lot of flack from people in her network, that that felt like a step down.
Jill ScalamandreOr she wasn’t ambitious enough, or—
Jodi KatzRight, exactly. There was so judgment around it.
Jill ScalamandreI understand.
Jodi KatzBut you really have to just do what’s right for you. Who cares what the title is?
Jill ScalamandreRight. And it took me time to even accept the CEO role, because I wanted to make sure that I didn’t get lonely at the top, right? Because I love doing and creating. But then I recognized the empowering fact of when you do—when you are the CEO, you get to lead such a big team. When I say a big team, I don’t mean a number. I mean an expansive team, meaning in every department. And you get to motivate and influence. And that’s where I am right now in my career. I want to motivate and influence others to excel. And in that CEO role, you can.
Jodi KatzThink back to the CEOs that were in charge of the companies you worked for when you were junior. Can you believe that that’s you now?
Jill ScalamandreNo, no, I know. Because you know what? My dream wasn’t—again, I never chased a title. My dream was never to be a CEO. My dream was to keep learning and doing what I was doing, and expanding. But it wasn’t necessarily, “I want to be in that CEO seat.”
Jodi KatzI want to talk about your passion for travel, right? You mentioned it before. And there’s a lot of opportunities in some of the larger companies that you’ve worked with to take on a role outside of the US, right? Move for two or three years. Were you ever presented with these opportunities?
Jill ScalamandreYes. Yes. Many times.
Jodi KatzAnd then did you want to take any of them?
Jill ScalamandreWell, I thought about it deeply, yes. And the reason why I ended up not doing it is because I have a very, very tight-knit, close family. And my family is my center, right? And as I said before, my family and my friends recharge me. So, I wanted to stay close to home, but also be in a global role where I would travel at least 25% to 30% of the time. That, for me, was my balance, that I could still go and see many cultures. I loved the global job, because I was in Latin America, in Brazil one month, and I was in Japan another month, and then in Italy another month. So I was able to learn numerous cultures.
I maybe would have liked to have done a stint abroad. But I just—it was never the right time for me. And my family and friends were like a magnet for me. So, I chose not to.
Jodi KatzSo, speaking of others judging our career choices, do you think that some people in your network or some of your champions or mentors were critical of your decision not to take those opportunities?
Jill ScalamandreNo. It wasn’t—other people at senior levels may have been. And judging me as, “Well, is she not ambitious?” And that is so not true. I was always very ambitious about learning. But my mentors always knew, it was always a discussion I had with them. And they led me to the answer. They understood, you have to follow your gut and your dreams, and do what’s going to make you happy. And I probably—I thought I would be miserable not close to my friends and family.
Jodi KatzSo, what advice would you give to somebody who is, anyway, at this moment in their career where they’re getting presented these incredible opportunities to have amazing jobs in incredible places, but they just don’t want to go? What can they do to continue to advance their career in that organization and say to their bosses or whoever’s offering them this role that they are committed, they are ambitious, but this isn’t the right personal move for them?
Jill ScalamandreExactly what you just said is the conversation to be held with the supervisor who offers you that. And then offer to say, “I’ll travel globally. I’ll do whatever it takes here. But my personal situation doesn’t warrant me right now living abroad. I’ve got some personal matters that I need to be here.” And they have to understand that. I think in today’s day and age, they probably accept that more. I think when I was growing up in the industry, I think I was maybe criticized for that. But I think today, I think employers are very conscious and aware of the balance in people’s lives. And I think balance in life is critical.
I did achieve it, and that’s how, because I did choose to. But I had a family, and I’m married for 38 years. But I chose not to disrupt that balance by moving away. And I think everyone has to be honest with themselves and with their employers.
Jodi KatzLet’s move on to giving back and helping shape other’s careers. You’re very involved with CEW, which is our amazing industry organization. I’ve been a member for a very long time.
Jill ScalamandreA great organization.
Jodi KatzIt was literally the only game in town for most of my career to see people and meet people.
Jill ScalamandreYes, yes.
Jodi KatzSo, you probably talk to a lot of people at all stages in their career, as I’m sure your phone and your email are ringing off the hook. What are the questions that people ask you the most of, and then what is your response? What are you hearing from a lot of people these days? What are the questions they’re coming to you with?
Jill ScalamandreSo, I would say the true mentorships that I do, because there are a lot of people who try and get close to you for mentorship, but they really want a job. So, there, you have to sort of decipher what they’re looking for and what they’re needing. But I’ve mentored several people. And I think the benefit of mentoring is, I like to say, “What keeps you up at night, what motivates you?” They come to me with issues that they’re having, maybe with a colleague or something that’s troubling them. And I love to sort of help them figure it out, right? Give them guidance and help them figure it out so that they can get through. I find that so rewarding, where so many people are in situations, and they figured it out, and they got promoted or were recognized for something. It’s important for me now.
I also do a lot of connecting. I connect people. I don’t always have jobs available, but I want other people that maybe could also mentor them and give them guidance, or maybe they have a role. So, connecting and guiding for me are the two things that I do care a lot about, and it’s time for me to pay everything I’ve learned forward.
Jodi KatzI love that you said connecting, because about, I don’t know, six or seven years ago, when I wanted to meet you, I didn’t understand what networking was. I thought that meant looking at you like a piece of steak, Jill, and attacking. I just had no idea. [Both laugh] And then I started working with a business coach, and he’s asking me to network. I’m like, “I don’t want to do any of that. I don’t even know what that means.” And some new friends in the industry explained to me, “Jodi, it’s just about meeting you like and then kind of cataloging them in your brain, and then creating opportunity for them later on.” And it put it into a perspective that I could understand, that I’m like, “I can do that. That’s fun.”
Jill ScalamandreExactly.
Jodi KatzThat’s literally the best part of my job every day is connecting people together.
Jill ScalamandreI love that.
Jodi KatzAnd it’s the most rewarding.
Jill ScalamandreIt is the most rewarding. I love when I can connect someone with someone, and there’s a click there. And I would say, I grew up with CEW. And I’ve been a member for most of my career. And it was always a place for me to go to network. But I didn’t know the word then either. But I was meeting people, either in my role in other companies, or in different roles. And again, it’s a way of learning about how is it at your company, and what’s your role, and what’s your scope, and what’s your challenges? I find it all so enriching for people. And CEW is a great organization. I have to just do my little commercial call-out, because it does care about promoting the next generation of leaders through connection, achievement, and recognition.
Jodi KatzI have another, a better CEW story. So, back when I was learning about networking and what that meant, and connecting, my coach said, “Jody, you have to go to events. You have to meet people in real life.” [Both laugh] I’m like, “I don’t want to do that.” He’s like, “You have to go.” So, of course, CEW’s the obvious place to do that. And I remember being at events, and I’ve gone to so many CEW events, and just feeling like I don’t belong. I didn’t work at a Coty. I didn’t work at a Lauder. I didn’t work at any of these big organizations. Early in my career, I worked at L’Occitane en Provence. We were kind of this small kind of oddball company. And I always felt like the wallflower, and the self-doubt just flooded over me.
But before one event, I just decided to google how to meet people. [Both laugh] How to meet people at a work event. And I googled it. And then I read the article, I internalized it. I walked into the room, and I did the job. The job said, “Do not try to go talk to a group of people that are all standing together, three or more people. You cannot do that. You can’t access that. Look for the one or two people in the room that are standing by themselves.” So I took a deep breath, and then I saw this other woman standing by herself, and I just went over and introduced myself. And now she’s someone that I see everywhere. And we tell this story and laugh about it.
Jill ScalamandreIsn’t that great?
Jodi KatzBecause it feels like a million years ago. But she was in a similar position. She sort of felt not part of these groups and these kind of corporate centers. And now we have this amazing bond together, so.
Jill ScalamandreThat’s such great advice, actually. What you just said is really great advice for people who are maybe shy to walk up and approach someone. But you were right. I mean, back, I want to say, 10 years ago, the composition of CEW was mostly big companies. Now it’s completely different. It is maybe 30% big companies, and it’s 30% indie companies, and then it’s 30% people from other industries, like publishers, bankers, investment bankers, private equity people. So, it’s a great composition of, really, the industry now. But 10 or 15 years ago, it was mostly big companies. And I think the staff at CEW has done a great job at expanding the universe of beauty.
Jodi KatzYes. It was very formative for me. But now, when my team goes to events, whether it’s networking or learning, and there’s or more of them—I mean, more than one of them going, I tell them, “You cannot sit together. You have to spread apart. You have to go and be uncomfortable and meet new people. That is your job. I’m not permitting you to sit at the same table.” And they don’t like it.
Jill ScalamandreIt’s hard. It’s hard, even for me today just to be in a room full of people I don’t know. It’s like...
Jodi KatzRight. But this is our opportunity.
Jill ScalamandreIt’s hard. But it’s great advice.
Jodi KatzIt’s that one or two hours where you’re gonna walk away knowing someone, “Oh, we share the same yoga studio,” or “Oh my god, this is a vendor that I’ve never even known that existed, and I’m so glad to have their card.” You just never know who you’re gonna meet. And you will walk away with one amazing new connection, if not more. So, yes, I very much love asking my team to stretch themselves. And this is one of the ways that we do it.
Jill ScalamandreThat’s great. Good for you. You’re a good leader.
Jodi KatzOh, thank you. How cool is it that I just had a podcast with you and you told me that? That’s so sweet. [Both laugh] This is gonna be about your current role. And I think my team just really wants to know the answer.
Jill ScalamandreOkay.
Jodi KatzTell us about the science of goat milk, and why it is so motivating for you to lead this company.
Jill Scalamandre[Laughs] Okay. So, it’s Beekman 1802, which you said in the beginning. And there’s two ingredients that make up Beekman 1802. It’s goat milk and kindness. And so, let’s start with goat milk, because I have been using milk on my face for over 20 years, whenever I’m either burnt, or if I get an IPL at my derm, my derm always says, “Go home, take a rag, soak it in milk, and put it on your”—milk, cow’s milk it was at the time—“and put it on your face.” And I would say, “Why?” And he said, “Milk is very healing. It has lots of vitamins and peptides and lactic acid in it, and it’s really good for your skin, and it’s healing.” So if you are red, or from my little IPL, whatever, if you have blotchy, go for this. And it worked.
So, when I saw Beekman 1802 when I had met some of the people in the private equity company, I was like, “Oh my god, yes. I am a firm believer in milk for your skin.” And then I learned about goat milk, which is different from cow milk. Goat milk gets into your skin, absorbs better, because it has the same pH as skin. It has lactic acid, it has Vitamins A, B-3, it has omega fatty acids. It has one ingredient that is a macronutrient. It has so many good healing ingredients for your skin. It’s amazing. And the clinicals that the team has prove how it can really transform sensitive skin.
So that was the first reason, okay? I signed up for goat milk because I was like, okay, firm believer. Second is, the pillar of the brand is kindness. And where the culture’s about kindness, and the DNA of the brand is kindness. We give kindness grants. Kindness is a very big piece of the culture. So, we even took a kindness test to see how kind we were as an organization. We put $100,000 in research with kindness.org to measure kindness in other companies that we just—we went to Ulta and measured their kindness quotient. We went to several companies.
So, the kindness thing attracted me because my leadership style that I always try to achieve was to lead with humility and will. And humility is about being kind, not dictatorial, and being a good listener, and listening to your team. The will is about, I’m super consistent, persistent, tenacious. [Laughs] And so, those two ingredients, I had read in Jim Collins’ Good to Great. Those two ingredients are what has influenced me and my leadership style. And kindness just flowed right into that, so. Anyway, long-winded answer.
Jodi KatzWell, Jill, it’s meant to be that we’re talking today, because one of our core agency values is kindness.
Jill ScalamandreOh, yay!
Jodi KatzAfter being in a lot of places, working for a lot of people, it was time to establish a different type of culture. So, kindness and respect is how we lead internally and externally as well.
Jill ScalamandreThat’s great. That’s great. And that’s what the world needs now, is a little bit more kindness and respect and empathy, and it’s critical.
Jodi KatzYeah. I mean, even after all these, some of my team members around my age, we still have these PTSD moments, a situation what happened with a client.
Jill ScalamandreOh yeah.
Jodi KatzAnd I’ll see it in their eyes, and I’ll be like, “It’s okay, because we’re different. We’re going to handle this differently.” But it comes up. It gets really stuck in those bones and joints and stuff.
Jill ScalamandreIt happens. Yeah, it does. And I say—I hope I can curse on your podcast. But I always say, “It’s okay, guys. Shit happens, okay? It’s how we react and how we move forward,” right? And that’s really what you have to focus on.
Jodi KatzWhat a beautiful way to end. That’s gonna wrap up our interview, everybody. And Jill, I’m really grateful for your honesty today. I’m so grateful to you. Like I said, so full circle for me. You’re lovely, and I hope we get to spend time together in real life.
And this concludes our first episode of the year. Thank you so much for joining us. And as always, make sure you’re following us on Instagram to stay up-to-date on the upcoming Lives and all the fun we have along the way.

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