H2O+ Beauty is a leading brand of premium, water-based skincare products. A subsidiary of the Tokyo-based Pola Orbis Holdings — one of the world’s leading beauty companies — H2O+ recently rebranded itself with new performance-based product lines being the end result. The look of H2O+ products may have also changed, but the quality of H2O+ remains consistent.
Prior to joining the H2O+ Beauty team, Chairman and CEO Joy Chen was the CEO of Yes, To, Inc. Before that she was a Vice President and General Manager with Clorox as part of a 17-year tenure. Aside from these major corporate titles, the San Francisco resident has been active in the non-profit world, sitting on the board of Junior Achievement and working with the Network of Executive Women. In turn, it is not surprising that Joy — who holds an M.B.A. from Harvard University — was awarded Most Admired CEO of the Year in 2012 and Most Influential Woman in the San Francisco Bay Area in 2013 and 2014.
How did you first become involved with H2O+ Beauty? Was it related to your work with Yes To, Inc.?
JC: I like to work on businesses with a great deal of potential. I found that to be true about H2O+ Beauty and Yes To. What is very special about H2O+ is its strong history and I am super-excited about the brand’s potential for growth behind our recent brand relaunch.
Do you have a favorite product from H2O+ Beauty?
JC: My go-to is always the H2O+ Oasis Hydrating Treatment, which I put on every few hours to keep my skin hydrated when traveling.
What makes H2O+ Beauty different from other brands?
JC: We did some brand soul-searching last year and realized we were really ripe for change. There were a few areas that led us to this realization…
Our Customer: She is extremely savvy with access to so much product information. We started by listening to her, and it pushed us to think and take action on how to better serve her by being more and results-driven.
Our Brand Spirit: We were founded by a young woman who wanted to do things differently in the beauty space, so she dove in and started her own company. Encouraging our customer to define beauty on her own terms, and working with members of our community to realize their power, are values we hold near and dear as a company.
Product: We wanted to streamline our product lines to maximize efficacy and go back to basics with performance-based formulas that leverage the infinite advantages of our planet’s most basic compound without all those unnecessary additives.
What’s coming up for H2O+ in the near-future? Any partnerships? New product lines?
JC: We have some exciting new launches coming out in January 2017 — new product innovation and we are additionally venturing into different categories all together…focusing on some of the trends that we anticipate being big in the future.
As a subsidiary of the Japan-based, Pola Orbis Holdings Inc., how much of H2O+’s branding and direction comes from Japan?
JC: Pola Orbis provides resources and best practices when we asked. However, they have been very hands-off on the H2O+ branding and direction given our team’s extensive experience.
Do you have a professional accomplishment you’re most proud of?
JC: I am extremely proud of the businesses that I have grown and turned around, and all the awards we have won together. But my proudest accomplishment is when I make an impact upon someone’s future. I always ensure that for every business I work on, there is a social mission.
For H2O+, we have a Making Waves Initiative, where we as a team contribute time and money to help underserved women to accelerate their careers through better education. Finally, I make it my personal platform to increase diversity on my teams. I was fortunate enough to work on diverse teams where we are able to deliver breakthrough results. Every team I have built since then had great diversity in gender, ethnicity and experience.
Do you remember the first time you saw H2O+ products in a New York store?
JC: Yes! I remember the cool looking water images, and I was drawn to the store. I remember loving the body products and of course the oasis hydrating treatment!
When not busy with H2O+ or your causes of choice, how do you like to spend your free time?
JC: For fun, my husband and I love adventure travel. On our list this year is Iceland and Madagascar. We have been to over 75 countries. When I have time on the weekends, I always turn to a nice long walk around the city of San Francisco. Usually a seven-mile walk, which includes several San Francisco hills, and my favorite is Coit Tower.
When in New York on business, do you have a favorite restaurant in New York?
Finally, Joy, any last words for the readers?
JC: I am really excited about H2O+’s future. But what really makes this journey memorable for me is the extremely-talented and incredible team I get to work with everyday. None of this is possible without them.