Ever wonder WHO the faces are behind the awesome brands you know and love? Well, now's your chance to meet them! In this Influenster series Behind the Brand, we'll sit down and chat with some of the amazing women who keep our favorite companies going. These amazing women bring products and services from concept straight to the shelves.
Kate Mohan, director of marketing at Fromm International, is an energetic and driven Chicago professional specializing in business development, marketing and consumer insights. She joined Fromm in the summer of 2014 as a category manager and quickly rose to director of marketing in the spring of 2015. Kate’s love for the beauty business is rooted in the power of making someone feel more beautiful and confident.
So, ready to hear all of her secrets to success, get a sneak peek inside Fromm beauty, AND hear what's coming next for the brand?! Read on!
The worst job you've ever had?
Caddying at a Pro-Am Golf Tournament in 90+ degree heat when I was in high school! I’m a big golfer, and was even co-captain of the girls’ varsity golf team, but what seemed like a dream job turned out to be far less than fun. It was a terribly long day and our all-black uniform made the heat even worse.
The cherry on the cake was watching the rest of the caddies get tipped and not receiving one myself. Although I’d never want to have that job again, it taught me that not all dream jobs are as great as they seem!
The best job you've ever had?
My job at Fromm is definitely the best job I’ve ever had. I love that I am able to take all that I have learned over the past eight years during my career in marketing, brand management, and business development to help change and set the tone for a company that has been creating innovative beauty tools for over a century!
We are constantly partnering with interesting brands such as Bright Pink, WWD, and Mercedes-Benz, and to top it off, I’m surrounded by a team of smart women who are extremely passionate about beauty and their careers, which keeps me motivated and inspired every day!
How did you land your current job?
After my past experience with Paris Presents, where I helped to launch the EcoTools brand, I decided to take a slightly different path in my career and venture away from the beauty world. I took a position focusing on innovation and development for new business extensions within a multi-billion dollar company.
While that was very interesting and it was an invaluable opportunity, I quickly realized that it was not for me and that I longed to be back in the beauty industry. At just the right time, a recruiter reached out to me regarding an opportunity with Fromm. After learning more about the company and their passion for “finding better ways to create beauty,” I knew this was the job for me. I truly believe everything is meant to be and works out in the best way possible.
Is your career what you expected it to be?
I have always been interested in the psychology of retail and consumer behavior, as well as fashion and beauty. To appease these interests I studied marketing in college with a minor in apparel; I quickly began dreaming of becoming an editor or working for a well-known retail company.
Lucky for me, the first job that I landed after college was as a marketing assistant at Paris Presents, which creates amazing brands such as EcoTools and Real Techniques. I took the job, moved to Chicago, and began an amazing journey where I had a hand in the entire process, from creating products to helping the brand grow.
To prep for an interview, someone should always....
This goes without saying, but you should always research the company, have an updated and intriguing resume, and be prepared to convey why you are the best person for the job. Along with the basics, one thing that is sometimes forgotten is to make sure that you really want the job and know what you want to get out of the interview itself. While the hiring manager is looking at you to see if you are a fit for their company and the role, you need to interview them as well. Is this role a fit for your life? Do they offer team-building activities? Is the atmosphere structured or flexible? Your career is such an important part of who you are and takes up so much of your life, it has to be right for you.
What is your favorite part about your job?
I love being able to bring Fromm’s new and innovative products to the market. From our 1907 by Fromm Copper Core Thermal Round Brushes to our Zero7 Lightweight Air Dryer, our products are second to none. It is a great honor to be able to conceptualize creative launches for these items. It goes without saying that creating a new beauty product takes lots of time and hard work, so to see our items on the shelf at top retailers such as Ulta or Beauty Brands is really exciting, as it is definitely a team effort.
Any words of advice for women who want to work in marketing or the beauty industry?
I think to be a good marketer you have to first and foremost be a shopper and consumer. Getting in the mindset of what your consumer wants and needs is so important. From noticing packaging to keeping up with social media campaigns, it is vital to immerse yourself in these aspects to be able to recommend marketing plans and the proper positioning for products and services.
For the beauty industry specifically, it is so important to truly love beauty products and be knowledgeable about them! Knowing the latest trends and new product launches, cult favorites and indie brands is crucial. I spend A LOT of time reading blogs and magazines, watching YouTube videos and researching product reviews to see what people are loving or hating in order to incorporate new ideas and feedback into my plans.
How do you handle setbacks - whether it be a missed opportunity, something not turning out your way, or disagreeing with a co-worker?
It sounds so cliché, but you just have to make the best of the situation. You can’t stress over something you cannot change, but you have to dust yourself off and come up with a new plan of attack. Think about your presentation or pitch – was this part of why didn’t achieve your desired outcome? Reflect objectively about what you need to change for next time. If all else fails, and you are really feeling down or frustrated, step away from the project and head out of work when you can. I think it’s vital to come back to the plate with a positive outlook, so treat yourself to ice cream or a bubble bath to unwind. That usually works for me!
What's the most valuable lesson you've learned from working? When and where did you learn this?
Everything happens for a reason. From not getting what you thought was your dream job to falling into a position that you never thought you’d have, things always seem to work out in the end. One thing to note, though, is this doesn’t mean you can sacrifice work ethic and dedication. Stay determined and humble, and you will get to the point you are meant to reach, even if it wasn’t in your original plan!
So, we have to ask - what's the BEST Fromm beauty product of all time? Is there a Fromm beauty product you're excited to launch, or anything we should be watching out for?
Our 1907 Zero7 Lightweight Air Dryer is my all-time favorite! Launched just last year, it weighs less than a pound and has an easy-to-use ion switch which creates a frizz-free finish in no time at all. A must-have for my thick, unruly hair, its motor is super powerful, yet unbelievably quiet. It’s so quiet, in fact, I can even tackle my early-morning blow dry without waking my husband!
SPOILER ALERT! Later this year we will be launching our second product in partnership with Bright Pink and more exciting and innovative tools, so be sure to follow @frommbeauty to learn more!
So, are you feeling inspired? Have any career tips you'd like to share or questions you want to ask? Tell us all about it in the comments below!