It’s always a huge pleasure to read the daily diary of the female entrepreneurs who have contributed to the LLG A Day in the Life strand over the past six years or so, but I was extremely pleased when the legendary Sylvie Chantecaille agreed to take part.
With more than 30 years of beauty experience, Sylvie is the creator of Chantecaille and a beauty industry innovator, in both skincare and cosmetics. The family business includes Sylvie’s daughter Olivia who, as Creative Director, develops all of Chantecaille’s products and drives the company’s vision across public relations, advertising and social media. Her daughter Alex is Vice President of Sales and Promotions, traveling the world creating, planning and executing Chantecaille’s sales and promotional strategies. As director of Media Productions, her son Phillippe creates the brand imagery and videos and last, but not least, Olivier Chantecaille, Sylvie’s husband, serves as the company’s Chief Financial Officer.
Chantecaille is also notable for creating a philanthropy platform which shines a spotlight on global environmental issues and supports conservation efforts around the globe. Each season they produce a palette that highlights a particular conservation cause, from dolphins to bees. This fall their twentieth palette, called Save the Forest takes mountain gorillas as its inspiration, and supports their habitat through a partnership with the Rainforest Alliance.
I do think that Chantecaille products, with their focus on active botanicals and anti-inflammatory and soothing ingredients, are wonderful: from the legendary Future Skin Foundation to the Healing Emulsion, which really does seem to both calm my rosacea and improve the texture of my skin, they are both efficacious and lovely to use (although not cheap). I think it’s also important to note that Chantecaille products are free from Phthalates, Sulphates, Detergents, Mineral Oil, Petrolatum, Palm Oil, Synthetic Colors, Synthetic Fragrances and GMO, and are Cruelty Free.
Over to you Sylvie:
First thing in the morning, my husband who I have trained well for the last 45 years, brings me a cup of tea. Then I grab my phone and my iPad and check my emails right away for at least an hour. After that I jump in the shower. If I don’t have an international conference call with Asia or England, then I get dressed. I munch on some fruit, leave my bedroom and head to the office.
I live in Midtown by the park, so I get my shot of green in the morning – a full view of the most wonderful trees at the most gorgeous angle of central park. Then I have a quick chat with the doorman and off to the Chantecaille office in Soho. The ride downtown usually gives me another 20 minutes in the car for quick phone calls and more emails.
My goal is to have arrived at the office and already have dealt with my most urgent emails. At the office, I have a lot of meetings and am immediately grabbed by so many people— retailers, scientists, visitors, all sorts of exciting people . It’s a very lucky day when I’m able to have a long lunch at Sant Ambroeus— our favorite cafeteria to have conversation with our friends and colleagues.
After 2 pm, I am booked back to back with meetings until 6 pm. I typically meet with my architect as we are designing installations all over the world.
We just finished our first freestanding boutique in Hong Kong! It’s a new thing for Hong Kong as it looks like it came out off a chic boulevard in Paris. During this time we also hop on conference calls with our builders and developers.
At 3 pm, I meet with our product development team and discuss the progress of new launches. We’re always receiving new submissions from our labs, and we discuss the next step to perfect the product. Each member of my team receives product to test and we discuss the evaluation. We talk in depth about the efficacy and texture. This all needs to happen before we can send a product that is still in evaluation out for clinical testing.
Certain days I devote myself to skincare, some days are focused on makeup and others are for fragrance. Later in the day my husband and I sit with our controller to review financial results.
After that I end the day sitting with my creative team in the back of the office. It’s the most fun department— they have a great sunset view, and by the time the sun goes down these guys still have three hours of work left. They have tons of fun and their creativity is contagious.
Then we rush out to dinner. We love Le Bilboquet. It’s the only place I will eat chicken! We’ve known the owner for 30 years and every time we go we run into friends. For me it’s the best way to unwind in NYC after a workday with great food and a terrific atmosphere.
Then we walk home. I usually have another call with a team member in Asia. I try to shut off my phone by midnight. My husband and I love reading in bed and that’s our relax time. I’m currently reading The Spy Who Loved, it’s the story of the first female spy used by the British during WWII. I never go to sleep without spritzing myself with our Pure Rosewater. It’s my signal for sweet dreams!