Elise Saetta, Macy’s Fashion Beauty Director graduated from college in the midst of the Great Recession. With a dismal job market, no immediate prospects and little guidance on how to get a job in fashion, she moved home to Boston and picked up a retail sales position. But through strategic moves, pluck and moxie, she took that starter job and made it the first step towards her dream job, climbing the rungs of luxury retail and into the coveted role of fashion director in less than a decade.
In this episode, hear how a resourceful attitude and long view can be key to reaching your career goals. She also breaks down the inner workings of a department store—the different roles planners and buyers play, the differences in beauty versus fashion buying, and what a fashion director really does.
|Announcer||Welcome to WHERE BRAINS MEET BEAUTY® hosted by Jodi Katz, Founder and Creative Director of Base Beauty Creative Agency.|
|Jodi Katz||Hey, welcome back to the show. I'm glad you returned. This week's episode features Elise Saetta. She's the Macy's fashion director for beauty and she was our winner of our contest at the Fashion Group international event this spring.
If you missed last week's episode, it featured Carla Ruiz of Johnson & Johnson along with Alicia Sontag of Prelude Growth Partners. Thanks for tuning in and I hope you enjoy the show.
Hey everybody, welcome back to WHERE BRAINS MEET BEAUTY®. I'm so happy to be sitting across from Elise Saetta, she is the beauty director at Macy's. Welcome to WHERE BRAINS MEET BEAUTY®.
|Elise Saetta||Hi everybody.|
|Jodi Katz||I'm so excited that you're here.|
|Elise Saetta||Me too, I'm pumped.|
|Jodi Katz||I want to tell everybody how we met. So we at Base Beauty and WHERE BRAINS MEET BEAUTY®, we hosted a table at a Fashion Group International event, and we were giving away a spot on the pod, and people were just entering on our Google form, and you won!|
|Elise Saetta||I know!|
|Jodi Katz||And from the minute that we met you, we loved you.|
|Elise Saetta||Oh yay! I loved you guys too.|
|Jodi Katz||We're super fans, and your social is so great.|
|Jodi Katz||Will you tell people your Instagram handle?|
|Elise Saetta||Of course, it's @EliseSaetta. I try to keep it real real, you know?|
|Jodi Katz||You really do. You're so spirited and I feel like this is you. You're not putting on an Instagram act.|
|Elise Saetta||No. It's actually easier for me to be like this. Than a more polished version of myself.|
|Jodi Katz||Want to share a bit of the insides of our first conversation where we did intact call, which is our process of the podcast. And I was asking you to tell me about your career journey and so much of it was fashion. And in my head, I'm like, oh wait, we're 30 minutes into intact call and aren't we talking about beauty?
Give us the summary of how someone starts in fashion and ends up in beauty.
|Elise Saetta||Absolutely. I think for me it was actually a pretty natural transition because I worked at a department store that had beauty. Beauty is always such a huge area of business for these department stores, that it's, in my opinion, kind of easy to transition from fashion into beauty.
It's definitely a different business model and you have to really be up on your game with your storytelling to make sure that things that might not necessarily be new on the counter feel new every season, because we're not getting monthly deliveries all the time. I kind of got dropped into the role because I was doing men's wear fashion and beauty was just another thing that I was doing. I just really gravitated towards it.
|Jodi Katz||So we were talking about, you worked specifically for a very expensive brand, a very prestige fashion brand, and you were having this experience. I don't know what we called it, but basically, you get numb to the cost of things when something that's typically $2500 goes on sale for $700, all of a sudden it feels like a steal.|
|Elise Saetta||It's like free. It's so not cute but ...|
|Jodi Katz||But that really happens.|
|Elise Saetta||Oh yeah, you definitely start living the lifestyle, or at least you're trying. I was always trying very hard. One thing I really loved about working in luxury retail is, it really fine tuned my eye. I can see, when I look down the street, I know if something is made in Italy versus made in China. It was a wonderful way for me to train my eye, which I hadn't gotten that training before working in luxury retail.|
|Jodi Katz||So how did you start in fashion? What was the job?|
|Elise Saetta||I always worked in a store. My first job was in Banana Republic at the mall. I had a couple different roles. I worked at Abercrombie, and then back to Banana Republic. I also worked at Diesel, I was selling jeans for a while. But my first real fashion role that actually got me somewhere was selling handbags on the selling floor of a luxury department store.
And through that I was actually able to make some really great connections with my buyers. What's great about working in a luxury department store is, a lot of times they only have 40-50 doors in the country, so the buyers are actually very very into the sales associate's feedback, and you get a lot of great face time with them, either on the phone, or sometimes we actually used to travel to New York to see them.
That was really kind of the way that I got into the fashion industry. The real way. But yeah.
|Jodi Katz||What's the not real way?|
|Elise Saetta||It's not that there's not a real way, but for me was a goal to work in a corporate setting with a fashion house or something like that. I really wanted to not work on the weekends. I know that that's whatever, but I really didn't want to work on the weekends.
I majored in fashion merchandising too, so buying was a huge focus for me. I had an internship in college, but I didn't really know what to do. I didn't have many internships, I didn't have anybody really guiding me on how to get a job afterwards. Then I graduated in 2007 when the world was ending, so I had to move back to Boston with my parents and really just work with what I had. Which was Newbury Street in Boston which is maybe, this big, and has all the stores, but there's no corporate headquarter for any fashion house there.
|Jodi Katz||So you got at retail.|
|Elise Saetta||Yeah, so I got a job at Saks.|
|Jodi Katz||Was it hard to get a job?|
|Elise Saetta||Not really, because I had a ton of retail experience. I didn't necessarily have luxury retail experience. But ... I guess I sold myself in order to sell two, three thousand dollar handbags. I was like, yeah, sure I can do that.|
|Jodi Katz||I do get the sense of confidence from you. Are you? Do you move through the world just feeling really at ease?|
|Elise Saetta||I try to come off that way. There's definitely ... I question a lot of things that I say. I have kind of a louder personality and I like to make people laugh. So sometimes when I'm trying to entertain them, I'll look back on our conversation and be like, did I really have to take it that far? So ...|
|Jodi Katz||Do you think that you are ... I am. I'll tell you, I've always been the sort of diarrhea of the mouth type of person. I just talk and talk and talk and talk and talk and talk. And I watch people around me who are the opposite, they just stay quiet. And they let someone like me talk and talk and talk and I feel like, that's the power position. The keeping quiet minimizing words.|
|Elise Saetta||The stealth one.|
|Elise Saetta||Yeah, I know. Like running shit from behind the scenes.|
|Jodi Katz||Yeah I really do practice this, obviously not on the pod because my job here is to talk. But in the world and in meetings, even with my kids, just letting them talk, and then waiting for my opportunity to say whatever I need to say.|
|Elise Saetta||Yeah, for sure. I think that's a very powerful practice. I would love ... I think it's a practice that I could practice as well sometimes. Sometimes when I get nervous I just talk. I don't know why.|
|Jodi Katz||Right, and there's other people who don't say a word because they're nervous.|
|Elise Saetta||Exactly, yeah. It's a lovely pairing.|
|Jodi Katz||Let's talk about retail because I do a lot of mentoring of young people who are in college and they're ready for the next step and they always ask me, how do I get that job, at a brand. I say, well if you can't get the job at the brand, then go to retail. Go work at Sephora, go work at a department store. Go do something. If you're passionate about beauty then it's going to shine through. Don't just not do anything.|
|Jodi Katz||Is that the advice you would give?|
|Elise Saetta||Absolutely for sure. I know a lot of makeup artists that have started at a retail store. Actually, my friend Romero Jennings from MAC. He's the global fashion director there.|
|Jodi Katz||He lives in my town!|
|Elise Saetta||He's amazing! He, I believe, started at Macy's as a makeup artist. He's been at MAC now for maybe 20 years. He's been there since the very beginning. He was able to move up the ranks. I started in retail on the selling floor, and I was able to move up through the ranks and I think if you ... I feel like the mall stores are a little bit more of a different story. If you're at a GAP, or at a Banana Republic, or an Abercrombie or something, there's so many stores that the buyers aren't necessarily super into each one. But if you do go a little bit more luxury, or luxury department store, or even like a MAC or Becca or something like that, those buyers are into what is happening at that store.
It's a really great way, especially if you shine, and you're making your sales, and you're doing the damn thing, they're going to notice you, and they're going to get to know you, and that's really all you need to get your foot in the door.
|Jodi Katz||So how does one sell a $3000 handbag? Does it require selling if someone's interested?|
|Elise Saetta||Kind of ... if somebody's in Saks looking at that, it's not like I'm cold calling them. Luckily we didn't ... although sometimes back in the day, we used to have to kind of cold call clients, which I hated.|
|Jodi Katz||Do we call that clienteling?|
|Elise Saetta||Yes, we call that clienteling. But I used to call it cold calling, because I was like, I don't want to do that!
I was an email girl. If they're in there and they're looking ... what I would always do was, I would just start a conversation because I ended up being quite passionate about handbags anyway. I used to really like to teach them about how it's made and why you have to have it and that kind of thing. And that's sometimes how I would sell it.
|Jodi Katz||Did you feel like there was a path for the opposite of a hard sell? Is it just like, if you're not interested, okay, goodbye? What is that kind of strategy?|
|Elise Saetta||Oh, like if somebody's like, no I don't want it, what would I do then? Honestly, I would just wait for the next. Or, clienteling is a big part of selling in luxury as well. Once you become a trusted style advisor for somebody, those types of clients, they want to work with you because they trust your fashion sense.
Also, if something goes on sale, you have to think to yourself, what do I want to sell to this person full price, and then what do I want to treat them with that I know that they've been looking at that's now on sale.It's kind of gaining their trust and also guiding them down their road to fabulous closet.
|Jodi Katz||Tell us about how gain the fashion office's trust in terms of beauty. Right, so spending so much time in fashion. Tell us about that switch.|
|It definitely was a big switch. I've always really liked beauty. I've always loved makeup. I've always loved skincare. So those were things that I always had a passion for naturally. Then working on the selling floor, I was always on the beauty floor. Always trying on makeup, always getting my makeup done, always buying really expensive skincare and haggling for samples. Not cute stuff.|
|Elise Saetta||There was shifting in my position and I just kind of inherited beauty.|
|Jodi Katz||So you didn't ask for it.|
|Elise Saetta||No, I actually didn't ask for it. I was actually kind of scared when I got it, because it was totally different animal, because I have a fashion background. It is a totally different animal. It definitely took me a good couple seasons to see what ... the market is totally different, it's very event driven, they're very ... what's nice about it, for me at least, is it's very creative, but on a business standpoint, it's still very analytical, which is what I had been doing in buying and planning a lot.
We're always trying to make up for last year's biggest launch, so you have to get creative in the story telling, and then also line up your ducks so you are hitting those big days that you hit those big days you hit last year and anniversarying those sales numbers.
They were parts of it that I got and there were parts of it that I needed to get, and there were parts of it that I just fell in love with and I didn't even really know that it was my calling.
|Jodi Katz||When you're a buyer, it's all, Excel sheets, right? It's all math?|
|Elise Saetta||Like kind of. Yeah.|
|Jodi Katz||So I've never done that job, can you summarize what that is?|
|Elise Saetta||Yeah, so, I always like to say that if you are awesome at math and you went to school for accounting, and you love fashion, you go be a buyer, because you are going to kick ass. Buying is all about math, it's all about running a business, and yes, you get to go to market and you get to pick the product, but you're doing that four times a year. It is a big part of what you do and you have to make sure that you're picking the right product, but you're not just going into the show room being like, oh my god this is awesome! I like this, and this, and this, and building outfits and then leave.
You're in there armed with sales plans, you're in there with last year's selling, you're in there with an entire strategy from your planner, on how many tops to buy, how many bottoms to buy, where's it going to go, how many doors it should go in, what the sizing should be. It is broken down to a point where it's almost flawless.
|Jodi Katz||So the planner's job is even more math-y?|
|Elise Saetta||Yes, yeah. So the planner's job is extremely math-y. They're the ones that are actually mapping out your season to make sure that you're being profitable. And they're also helping you manage your inventory. You want to make sure that you're getting out of inventory that's not necessarily moving. Everybody just wants to be profitable. So if your margin is negative, not cute! But if your margin is positive, so cute! If your margin is on target, that's okay. But you know, there's room for opportunity.|
|Jodi Katz||So planner says, you need a lot of jeans, but we don't need any tops, or whatever.|
|Elise Saetta||Yeah, there's always a balance, because making sure that you can build outfits within your assortment is obviously very important, but a lot of times, they look at this thing called Stock to Sales for example. So if we put too much money into buying too many jeans, and it wasn't matching the sales, like if the inventory wasn't matching the sales, then the planner would advise you maybe to step back on some jeans and put that money somewhere else, like maybe in tops. Maybe we didn't buy enough tops, the sales were exceeding the inventory type of thing. super math-y.|
|Jodi Katz||Is the whole planner/buyer scenario the same in beauty?|
|Jodi Katz||So, instead of jeans and tops, it's skincare versus color versus sparkle or something?|
|Elise Saetta||Yes. In my opinion I think, now I never actually worked in buying in beauty, but I do see what they're doing, and I do see how the businesses are similar and how they're different. They're similar because, obviously your planner is guiding you in terms of being profitable, but they're probably playing a bigger role, too, in terms of inventory management. In the beauty world as opposed to the fashion world, there are not that many markdowns. So there's not that much opportunity to sell off inventory that's slower. The planner has to be super super smart in negotiating RTVs with the beauty brands-|
|Jodi Katz||What does that mean?|
|Elise Saetta||That means return to vendor. The vendor would either buy back something that they're discontinuing, or give them a discount on it or something like that.
The planners also have to be super savvy on how we're going to anniversary big launches from last year. If say, there isn't a big launch this year. Usually the brands are pretty good about that. When you go into market they'll show you what they did last year and they're showing you how they're either offsetting stuff or anniversarying stuff, or including more stuff to do even better than last year.
|Jodi Katz||Because they had to anniversary themselves too, they have the same pressures.|
|Elise Saetta||Exactly. For sure. There are similarities, and then there are differences. I think there's not as much ... you know when you go in to market at a beauty brand, as opposed to a fashion brand, you're in their showroom, say, but you're sitting at a long table. The entire team has flown in for it. It's super formal-|
|Jodi Katz||Wait, whose team?|
|Elise Saetta||So, the vendor's team, and then usually the buyer will go from the department store, and their DMM, who's their boss, and their GMM or GBM, in my case, who's their boss. So it's kind of like one side is the vendor and then one side is the department store. And they have this whole marketing presentation that they show you up on a screen and they tell you all the new products that are there, all the new eventing that they're doing, how they're going to ... oh this is always a conversation, how they're going to improve turn on the selling floor because there's a lot of movement on the selling floor.|
|Jodi Katz||You mean say turn, you mean sell, like actually selling product?|
|Elise Saetta||That, and also associates. So switching of associates. Because a lot of times, great makeup artists, they'll get poached. Or if they're not really into their management, they'll leave. If you have somebody with a big book that leaves, that hits your business hard.
So those are the type of things that we talk about at market. But then my favorite part is when they take all of the new stuff that they're going to give us for the season, we get to play with it, and we talk about how we're going to event it, what we're going to do for social media and all of that stuff.
|Jodi Katz||So you're doing this as the department's routine for all the brands on the floor?|
|Jodi Katz||So you have like 100 or more of these meetings?|
|Elise Saetta||Not that many meetings. A lot of times, like the smaller brands, they'll come to us and they'll show us in a less formal way, they'll show us what they're offering for the season.
But the big brands like Estée Lauder, Lancôme, Clinque, those guys, Chanel, we'll go to. Most of them are based here in New York. Those guys at least. So we'll go there and we'll have their meetings there. I'm actually going to L.A. and San Francisco for more of our trend brands like Urban Decay, Smashbox, Too Faced, Tarte, those guys. They're all based in L.A. So we'll do the same thing that we do here over there.
|Jodi Katz||So we talked about what the planner does and what the buyer does, so what are you doing?|
|Elise Saetta||So ... I get this question everyday. People are like, what do you even do? The answer to that is I guide the buyers pretty much on the story telling for the season. So I'm the one that's telling them what the mood of the season is. That goes back to what our forecasting team at Macy's has come up with as the fashion point of view for the season.
I come up with a beauty mood that goes into ready to wear so that we're all speaking the same fashion language. So I do that.
I also scout new brands. So I'm always on Instagram. I'm always all over the place looking at new brands that we could bring in. I'm also always talking about trends, what to look out for, what are ... every season we do an It List, so what are the It looks that you have to have for the season and the It products.
Honestly, I do a lot of people connecting. If we're having an event, or if we want to have pop-up situation come in, I'm kind of the one ... I kind of major in ... it's funny with the fashion office. It's kind of like a blessing and a curse. You're involved in almost everything that's going on. Eventing, stores, and merchandising. But you're not necessarily an expert ... at buying or advertising.
It's good and bad. It's great because I get to experience all these things, but it's also bad too, because fashion director rolls are far and in between, so you have to be kind of lucky to get into a roll.
|Jodi Katz||So you have this job and it's not like, there are so many of these jobs.|
|Elise Saetta||Correct. Yeah, it's a pretty coveted role, for sure.|
|Jodi Katz||It sounds kind of like the best job you could have.|
|Elise Saetta||It kind of is.|
|Jodi Katz||Someone else is now doing the math.|
|Elise Saetta||Yeah. Shh! It honestly is the best role. Because you're kind of just overseeing, and really kind of guiding the fashion point of view of ... I basically guide the fashion point of view for Macy's beauty.
It's a big responsibility but-
|Jodi Katz||It sounds like a little scary. What if you're like, it's all about glitter and then for the customer it really isn't all about glitter?|
|Elise Saetta||That's literally what I don't sleep ... that sometimes doesn't make me sleep. Because, yeah, a lot of times I can get behind something that's like insane, like glitter for example. I'm talking to buyers, and planners, and my DMM and GMM, and they are very analytically focused. They're creative, but they're definitely more analytically focused. They want to hit their sales goals and want to make their bonus, and they want to make sure that their business is healthy.
I come floating in and I'm like, you guys! You have to buy like glitter! Glitter is everything right now! They're like, first of all, you need to shut up and come down from the clouds. And then you have to literally show us a strategy as to why you think glitter is the next big thing.
|Jodi Katz||So how do you support that vision?|
|Elise Saetta||One thing that we talk about is this thing called the trend curve. It's actually a map of how a trend grows. Which is great. This is actually the first time that I ever spoke this specific language, and it's so lovely, it's as if the buying team and the fashion team are now both speaking English. It's lovely.
This fashion trend curve, it goes from incoming post-peak, peak, ... oh sorry, incoming, pre-peak, peak, post-peak, and then outgoing. So it's like a...
|Jodi Katz||And you know where your Macy's customer likes to live on that curve?|
|Elise Saetta||Yes. I would say the Macy's customer is kind of ... they're kind of like right on that bell. They're definitely interested in pre-peak, they're all about peak. That's really where every store is like exploding things out.
Then we have a few that are kind of on the post-peak area as well.
|Jodi Katz||I think I might be a post-peak girl.|
|Elise Saetta||Girl, you are not! You are not. Trust.
What's interesting is once I was given that language it was actually really great because I could place the trends that I'm talking about on a timeline for the buyers. What we want right now, we want to really be looking at things that are incoming. But just kind of looking at them. We're not a Barneys. We're not a brand incubator. We're not like that.
|Jodi Katz||So the Barneys would be part of the pre-peak process. They would be making the peak happen, right-|
|Elise Saetta||Those types of brands are kind of like the trend setters. So they're the ones that are like the street style people of the fashion industry. That's where I would say most incoming trends start. Like street style industry people, influencers, that type of thing. I actually used contouring as an example of this, because I feel like it has lived its full life.|
|Jodi Katz||Let's hope.|
|Elise Saetta||Right, let's hope! But think about, and I used Kim Kardashian, obviously, as the example, but think back to when Keeping Up with The Kardashians came on 10 years ago. And you were like, why does Kim's skin look so flawless all the time? And you're wondering, what is it, what is it, what is it? That's an incoming trend. You notice it, you don't know what it is and you're super intrigued by it.
Then, she starts posting these pictures of her with all the lines on her face and that whole thing. That's now and incoming trend because she's like let us in on the secret, it's a trend, people are staring to post about it, do little Instagram tutorials about it. Then it goes into peak, so that means we got it, Sephora's got it, every brand has a contouring pallet. Every influencer has a video up on YouTube, it's everywhere. We still want it ... your mom knows about it and is asking about it, asking if she's too old for it. You're like, I don't know, probably not. There's probably contouring for you.
That's peak, so everybody knows about it. Right now, I personally think that contouring is on its way out. I think we're in the post-peak area.
|Jodi Katz||But where's the consumer? You feel like it's on its way out because you're thinking ahead, is she still in it?|
|Elise Saetta||You know? Honestly, I think she's sliding down. I think she has peaked it. I think she's like on the top of the Bell Curve, and she's kind of ready to slide down. Because if you think about brands, like Milk, Flesh Beauty that just came out. And what was the other one ... there was one, oh! Glossier. Everybody's all about embracing the real you.
And we just had a meeting, I think NPR.. I forget, that's a big trend agency. They talk about all the trends that are happening. You know skincare in itself is gaining so much of the market share of beauty these days and it just goes to show that people are much more concerned about their skin, whereas contouring is kind of all about accentuating, chiseling your face, but it's also about covering up. That foundation is super super covering.
Anyway, embracing you, you wearing makeup instead of makeup wearing you, is kind of where the trend is coming. That's incoming, that's pre-peak right now.
|Jodi Katz||So we're pre-peak on that. So let me challenge that. I'm not a fan of contouring, and I'm also not a fan of layers and layers and layers of makeup, which is really what the influencer loves to show. So those popular YouTubers ... I feel like there's 20 layers of product and they haven't even gotten to the actual like now let's put on blush, right.|
|Elise Saetta||Let's put on our eyeshadow now.|
|Jodi Katz||So, I think they like to do that because they can talk about a lot of brands, right, they can get a lot from a lot of brands, they can be perceived as somebody who has a lot of product. There's a lot of ... business reasons and ego reasons why they would love to use a lot of product.
If they walk away from this, they walk away from relationships with 20 brands, so say, okay, I'm just going to focus on skin and my blush, and look rosy? That's two brand. So will the dynamics of the influencer marketplace allow us to let this idea of contouring the nonsense of the makeup die? Can it be post-peak?
|Elise Saetta||I'm not exactly sure if contouring will ever die, in the same way that I don't think people will never stop using foundation. I think it's just something that people will use more during certain times and decades and use less during certain times and decades, and certain ages, too. I know that this whole, you wearing your makeup, rather than your makeup wearing you, that's a young thing. That's for people with young skin.I don't think it will ever necessarily die, but there's definitely a whole emerging influencer thing happening now, too. I think a lot of people are kind of bored with that super aesthetic driven, super edited-|
|Jodi Katz||Right, we call it Instagram Face.|
|Elise Saetta||Yes, Instaskin. I think people are kind of over that. Because everybody knows what is behind it. Everybody has the Photoshop app, everybody knows how to achieve that, everybody has Facetune, everybody uses it. It's not a secret anymore. It's not necessarily ... it's still aspirational, but it's attainable.
Whereas now, this idea of having perfect skin and glass skin, and this whole K-Beauty thing, and whatever. That's a little more aspirational, a little more interesting. So, no, I don't think contouring will ever die. I'm pretty sure that every single brand will always have a contouring pallet, but I think in terms of trending, I think it's on its way out.
|Jodi Katz||Is there room in a department store like yours for mini trends, or micro trends, or niche trends? I don't know what I want to call it.
For example, you mentioned young people can just go for the like, I'm wearing moisturizer and a little blush and I'm fine with it. And then there'll be women maybe my age and older who are like, well I'm not going to leave the house without foundation.
Can we have a micro trend for women like 40-something that maybe wouldn't be as enormous, but could also travel on the same curve simultaneously as the young skin/glass skin thing is happening?
|Elise Saetta||Yeah, I think so. I think everybody of all ages are really paying attention to their skin and I really love that. I think it's great. There's also that whole wellness thing that's kind of hand in hand with beauty right now that I really love. I feel like that really spans all ages, and especially, Goop is a brand that marries those two together so nicely, and represents not necessarily a 19 year old, definitely like a woman who's over 30 who has kids and has all that.
I think once you tie the wellness into it, that's a great way to ... it's kind of a micro trend right now. It's probably a little bit bigger than that. I definitely see it growing. And wellness and beauty continuing to be hand in hand down the trend curve.
|Jodi Katz||My last question on this is for Macy's, where there's a ton of stores and you have a wide range of customers, age, location ... can a store like that, and your team ... Can you support these little trends? Or are you really thinking about what are most people interested in and that's what we're going to focus on.|
|Elise Saetta||We definitely want to zero in on some more niche trends like that, and kind of think a little bit more generationally. We have a very wide range of customers and we have customers who are kind of shifting out and new customers that are coming in. We always have to be very cognoscenti of what our demographic is, and how that's moving.
It's a challenge for all department stores, especially in a traditional beauty floor where you have the case lines, and everything is real estate, and it's very hard to move around. With certain mobile fixtures, and also online, we have a platform called The Edit, which is all about trends, that's where our trend talk is. It's kind of in those areas where we will shine on the micro trends. And it's seasonally too. I want to make sure we're getting credit for things like tons of foundation shades. That's super hot right now. We're going to make sure that that's in our marketing and that we're talking about it online and stuff like that.
|Jodi Katz||And you're the person in the system who's going to be the loud person, say like, guys, we have 700 different shades of foundation here, you need to talk about it on marketing.|
|You're the one who's always going to be pushing that.|
|Elise Saetta||Yes. I'm going to be pushing that to the buyers and then I'm also going to be the voice in the marketing. Which kind of hasn't phased me yet. I'll be on little things in the stores with my quotes, talking about, and really kind of be the beauty voice of Macy's.|
|Jodi Katz||Second to last question: should brands that are interested DM you?|
|Elise Saetta||Yes. Girl yes.|
|Jodi Katz||Final question, is a statement. Your baby daughter is adorable.|
|Elise Saetta||Thank you!|
|Jodi Katz||So adorable and she's featured on your Instagram quite a bit, and she's awesome.|
|Elise Saetta||Thank you! She's pretty cool. I really love her. Being a mom is what's up. I must say. And honestly, going back to the confidence question, I've literally never felt more confident than after I delivered that baby. Anything can happen to me in my career, and I can get nervous about anything, but that is truly the one time that I felt like I was really confident.|
|Jodi Katz||Thank you for sharing that. I would like to tell you that in my life and work, I am close to a basket case often-|
|Elise Saetta||Yeah, me too.|
|Jodi Katz||I really suffer from self-doubt, I consider that my disease, but what I've noticed as I've made a lot of progress in my work in that, in resolving that, I've never had those concerns being a mom.|
|Jodi Katz||Even when I mess up, I just turn to my kids and be like, sorry I screamed at you.|
|Jodi Katz||And I don't sit with it, I don't wake up in the middle of the night worrying about it, I'm so at ease being a mom and navigating mom-ness. And having fun with it and being joyful, and it's such a contrast to my professional life, where I feel like I'm always like, well what are they doing, why am I not doing that? Or like, we don't have a lot of money, why is our bank account low? I'm always so fixated on the negative and I'm just the opposite as mom. It's so beautiful to have that in my life, to know that all of me is not self-doubt, there's so much of me that's not.|
|Elise Saetta||Absolutely, and I think in life, it's the most important role. If you feel confident in that, it trickles down into everything that you do. It's quite powerful.|
|Jodi Katz||I watch my daughter, who's seven now, own her emotions in a way that I only hope I could eventually get to. I've always been a bottle it up, not really understand with the time, fixate on them, sit on them, you know, suffer through them, and she's just, if I'm mad, I'm going to tell you I'm mad, I'm going to slam the door, I'm going to go to my room and do whatever I do. Then she comes out and she's resolved it.|
|Elise Saetta||That's awesome!|
|Jodi Katz||And I hope to learn that.|
|Elise Saetta||Me too! I think you should have your daughter on your podcast. Invite me, clearly. So she can educate us.|
|Jodi Katz||Pearls of wisdom from her, a seven year old. Who actually doesn't talk to strangers. Thank you so much Elise for being so open with us and sharing not just life in your business world, but life beyond. I know our listeners are really excited to hear your wisdom and also the nuts and bolts of how your business works.|
|Elise Saetta||Yeah for sure! I'm super honored to be here, and I'm sorry I cried.|
|Jodi Katz||You know what? This is a safe place.|
|Elise Saetta||It's a safe-zone, right?|
|Jodi Katz||It really is. And that's-|
|Elise Saetta||My friends are all going to laugh at me, and they're going to be like, really? Again?|
|Jodi Katz||This is why people listen to us because there's other places to go to talk about your amazing sounds and your incredible bla-bla-bla, but we need more real human stuff.|
|Elise Saetta||I absolutely agree with you. I think that my journey would have been a lot easier, and I would have suffered less from all that self-doubt if people were just a little more real with me.|
|Jodi Katz||The whole point of the show is to be human.|
|Elise Saetta||Yeah, I love it.|
|Jodi Katz||Because I suffer when I see people on stage be like, everything's fabulous! Well it's not for me.|
|Elise Saetta||I know, exactly.|
|Jodi Katz||It's hard.|
|Elise Saetta||I know, it is hard, it is really really hard. I think women especially need to band together and really lift each other up, and I'm not just saying that in a way like, we're posting on Instagram about it. I mean in a way like Macy's hired me 8 months pregnant. I mean in ways, like solid ways like that.
You can wear a shirt that says everybody should be a feminist, and then ignore the fact that people have families, or you can really embrace women and be like, you're really talented, I know you have a family, and you're probably not going to be here 24/7, but I believe in you. And you should believe in you too, and that's why you work for me.
|Jodi Katz||Thank you for sharing that.|
|Elise Saetta||Of course!|
|Jodi Katz||For our listeners, I hope you enjoyed this show with Elise, I know you did. Please check us out on Instagram @wherebrainsbeetbeautypodcast and subscribe to us on iTunes and tell your friends.|
|Announcer||Thanks for listening to WHERE BRAINS MEET BEAUTY® with Jodi Katz. Tune in again for more authentic conversations with beauty leaders.|