Elite Careers: Achieving Beauty Around The World

by Anonymous

Since 1980, Repêchage has been passionate about helping clients achieve beautiful, healthy, skin and hair at the finest spas and salons around the world. Pioneers in seaweed based products and treatments in the US, Repêchage continues to develop collections to benefit a variety of skin conditions and concerns.

Freshly harvested seaweeds that are processed utilizing our proprietary method to maintain all the rich vitamins, minerals, trace elements and amino acids are the hallmark of our formulations. Our luxurious collection will rejuvenate, nourish, hydrate, re-balance and purify the body and soul.

Name: Shiri Sarfati

Company: Repêchage

Position: Executive Vice President

Age (optional): Ageless Darling!

Number of years with company: 10 years

College, Graduate school (plus Major and Minors, if applicable): I hold a Masters Degree in Cosmetics & Fragrance Marketing and Management from The Fashion Institute of Technology and a B.A. from Columbia University. I spent a semester studying abroad at Sophia University in Tokyo, and speak Japanese and Hebrew.

What does your day/week/month usually consist of? Give us the run through of a typical day (if there is one).

I don't like to sit behind my desk. I enjoy working with people. Whether developing the next product launch,  developing a further understanding of our client's needs, directing a photo/video shoot, running through web analytics, planning our next big event, meeting with our Public Relations agency, having a Skype call with our UK office, greeting estheticians at our skin care academy, interviewing a potential new hire, or meeting with our finance team on profit and loss statements – I have my hand in everything. That's the fun part about working in a family business – you have to wear many hats and it definitely is never boring!

How did you become interested in this industry?

I was born into the spa industry. I've been getting seaweed facials since I was 3 years old! My mother was coined the “Queen of Seaweed,” a pioneer in seaweed based products and cosmetics in the U.S. She started her career as an esthetician on Madison Avenue in NYC and created Repêchage as her own line of spa treatments and products in 1980.
My early childhood memories consist of mixing scrubs, naming lipsticks and practicing the perfect pedicure. Today, I continue the legacy working with research and development, marketing and sales, as well as our salons and spas around the world.

What was your first job in the field? How did you get it/what was the application process like?

I graduated in a tough job market. I remember handing out my resume to everyone I would meet. I went on numerous interviews, and that's when I learned I wanted to be in beauty PR.(Boutique Public Relations/Marketing Agency) HWPR was my first job out of college. I worked on beauty accounts including Guerlain and Charles Worthington. I had a fabulous boss that took me to the next level. When she decided to go in-house at Avon, she set me up with an interview at the agency that would represent Avon BeComing. I then made my career move to Trachtenberg & Co. where I represented brands such asStila, Sephora and Dr. Hauschka.

What is the best business/career advice you've ever received?

Have fun, but also have a sense of urgency. You have to love what you do. When I used to work at Trachtenberg & Co., I would literally jump up and down for joy whenever I got one of my beauty accounts in a national magazine or on TV. It's a thrill for me to see what I set out to do get accomplished! I remember the girl that sat in the cubicle next to me thought I was insane – she just didn't get why I was so excited. She filed her placements into her monthly updates and couldn't care less. She quit shortly after and never returned to the beauty industry. It just wasn't for her. I think you need to know what gets you excited – really excited – and do it. If the industry you're in now doesn't give you that rush, find another field.

What do you suggest to 20-somethings aspiring to get involved in your field?

It really is about networking and getting your foot in the door. The beauty industry is small. Recommendations are everything. Internships are also a great way to discover what you LOVE to do.

What is the most important thing to know about your job?

The professional salon and spa market is a very passionate industry and we care about our clients as if they were family – We don't just sell skincare products, we give salon and spa owners the tools they need to be successful business owners. It is incredibly rewarding. In addition, we are extremely passionate about developing and manufacturing our own products right here at our corporate headquarters in Secaucus, New Jersey. It is incredible to be a part of the life cycle of a product from inception to distribution. Knowing that our products are made in the U.S.A. gives me great satisfaction.

What is the biggest misconception about your work?

That we just sit around and get facials all day!

Are there perks to your position/job? Any downfalls?

Tell us about it! One of the biggest perks about my job is that I have the opportunity to work with my parents. We are all our biggest cheerleaders and I am very lucky to work with such incredible role models. My least favorite part about my job is creating budgets and working within budgets. It is a family business, so every dollar counts. It's a challenge, but sometimes it's exciting to know that you can create something fabulous with a limited budget.

Are there internships/entry level job openings currently available at Repêchage? Where can readers find more information?

Yes, they are listed on our website, Interested candidates may send their resumes and cover letters to

Anything else you'd like to add?

This year I created my best product – my son! He is such a delight in my life and provides me inspiration every day. As both a new mom and an executive, it is a challenge to balance it all, but I'm lucky to have such a supportive work environment. And who knows … perhaps even a baby line is in the future for Repêchage!

Stay up to date with Shira Sarfati on her website. And be sure to follow her on Twitter and Facebook.

Hilary Sheinbaum | Elite.