Growth, Expansion and Tennis.
5 Questions with Suelyn Farel, CEO of Julien Farel Group
Webber Kerr’s President Adam Lloyd meets with Suelyn Farel, CEO of Julien Farel Group, to talk brand growth and expansion.
The Julien Farel Group is a French American company based in New York that delivers transformative products and services in the luxury beauty and wellness industry.
AL: Suelyn, congratulations on your recent salon opening at the Loews Regency Hotel, NY. After joining the Julien Farel Group in 2007, where did your growth strategy for the brand start?
SF: My growth strategy began with where we felt our brand could best expand by catering to our target clientele. That meant tennis (fans are known to be lovers of luxury) and then hotel! We wanted the global traveler to find us, not only to build brand awareness but to also cater to a client base that would understand and appreciate the nuances in our approach to luxury service.
AL: I read your mother had a career in Marketing and HR with IBM. Did this have any influence on how you hire and grow businesses today? What are some keys to hiring in such a niche space?
SF: My mother has been a tremendous influence on my success, as a role model as a working Mom, when there were so few, but also with ongoing support and advice. Her HR background guides me when it comes to three areas:
- She is one of the most amazing listeners I’ve ever met and then responds based on that.
- She is very fair.
- She taught me to always have compassion, and caring and to treat everyone with kindness. It sounds so cliché but many people move up the corporate ladder, they forget about being nice.
I’m certainly not perfect, but I strive to treat our team with the utmost of respect. I think we’ve been able to have such incredible growth because people genuinely like where they work and love being part of the global beauty brand we’re creating. It’s not about Julien and I, but about the strength of our team.
Our hiring philosophy is simple: we hire the absolute best talent we can find, in their area of expertise, as well as ensuring they are like-minded with our vision. We’re dreamers, and it’s critical our team is looking for that little bit of magic, too!
AL: As consumer disposable income continues to increase, do you see future growth aligned more closely with your organization’s product line or in salon services?
SF: Both. Being a vertical organization we are fortunate to see growth in both areas. I do, however, anticipate our product company will grow exponentially compared to services as we develop globally.
AL: Having led multiple companies, are there any consistencies in how you have developed a winning brand? Anything universal, organizations of all sizes should be aware of?
SF: There is no replacement for hard work.
AL: One of your successes has been the exclusive partnership between Julien Farel Group and the U.S. Open. As a tennis fan, I have to ask. Who do you like to win the U.S. Open this year?
SF: Many of the players are our clients (Nadal, Djokovich, Azarenka) so I must plead the Fifth, it wouldn’t be smart for me to choose a favorite!