On February 4th, 2008 I joined Astral Brands as the Director of eCommerce. Astral Brands was a small but growing health and beauty company based in Atlanta. They have three cosmetics brands in their portfolio: Aloette, Pur Minerals, and Cosmedix. The move to Astral Brands was a huge cultural change compared to working at The Home Depot! It was a small, nimble, and entrepreneurial organization that felt a lot more like my work at Gardner’s Supply and Burton Snowboards.
As the Director of eCommerce I had full ownership of the eCommerce P&L. The digital marketing team reported to me and I oversaw all online marketing activities including email, paid search, organic search, affiliate, and social media. In addition to marketing, I also led the customer experience and product management for the eCommerce sites. I worked closely with the eCommerce development team to define and implement all new features and functionality on the site.
The New PurMinerals.com Site
In May of 2008, we successfully launched the new PurMinerals.com site and saw significant increases in revenue and conversions on the new site. To help drive more traffic to the site we implemented social media campaigns that dramatically increased customer engagement. At the time, YouTube “how to” product videos were starting to get very popular. We partnered with key influencers to help promote our brands on YouTube and Facebook. One of the bloggers we worked with was Michelle Phan, who currently has 9m subscribers on YouTube! She went on to become one of the most influential beauty influencer in the world!
Unfortunately my time at Astral Brands was short. The 2008 financial meltdown hit them hard and on January 31, 2009 I was laid off along with 30% of the entire company! It was an uncomfortable position to be in, but like most things in life it had a silver lining. Two weeks after I left Astral I joined Case-Mate as the Director of eCommerce!
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