Julie Macklowe is not one to shy away from a challenge.
The onetime leading hedge fund manager and Vogue-dubbed “It Girl” left finance in 2010 to pursue investments in multiple start-ups. One of those ventures was motivated by personal experience: Frustrated by a lifetime of managing sensitive skin with ineffectual products, in 2012, Macklowe launched vbeauté, a Swiss botanical skincare line designed to bring powerful efficacy to all women, everywhere.
In addition to spearheading vbeauté, Macklowe sits on the Director’s Council for the Whitney Museum of American Art as well as the Couture Council board for the Fashion Institute of Technology, where she currently serves as part of their nominating committee. In addition, she is a board member of VHI’s Save The Music Foundation, and sits on the friends committee of the Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum Of Art. She is also an investor and advisory board member for Baublebar.com, an online jewelry retailer. (That’s all when she’s not spending quality time with her husband and daughter.)
Here, Macklowe takes a break from her busy schedule to remind us that fear, not failure, is our greatest obstacle:
Live The Process: Were you always very driven and entrepreneurial?
Julie Macklowe: If having the most lucrative lemonade stand in the neighborhood at age 7 is any indication of being driven, then I’d have to say, yes.
LTP: From where did your interest in skincare evolve, both from a business and personal perspective?
JM: I’ve always had extremely sensitive skin, so finding products that were effective but didn’t cause breakouts was just about impossible. After countless years of disappointment and thousands of dollars wasted on serums and creams, I decided to create my own skincare line. I saw a huge opportunity in the marketplace: If I couldn’t find products that worked on my sensitive skin, then millions of other women also had to be dealing with the same issue.
LTP: What separates vbeauté from other skincare lines out there?
JM: Our entire vbeauté line is formulated in Switzerland with some of the most rare plant life on earth. I’m talking about plants so resilient that they not only survived the Ice Age, but also literally die every winter and rejuvenate again each spring. We work with Switzerland’s top molecular biochemists to create powerful age-delaying botanical formulations that work on a cellular level for all skin types—including sensitive skin like mine.
We could easily charge what some of the most extravagant skincare brands do, but it’s our mission to make luxurious anti-age skincare available to every woman, everywhere. The name “vbeauté” stands for a woman’s “Victory Over Time.” As far as our hero product is concerned, it differs from woman to woman, but I’d say it’s a combination of what we refer to as “the perfect threesome”: Undercover Agent, Buying Time and Eye Never.
LTP: You’re obviously a very busy woman. How do you personally keep yourself feeling healthy and balanced?
JM: All of the above—and whiskey.
LTP: What does happiness look like to you?
JM: I’m the happiest when I’m spending time with my family and friends, laughing and enjoying each other’s company.
LTP: What does it mean to you to “Live The Process” and how can we all do that more each day?
JM: For me, living the process means living with purpose and possibility, recognizing that obstacles are really just opportunities in disguise. We, especially women, are so powerful, but all too often allow fear of the unknown to hold us back from making real change, not only in our own lives but also in the world at large. Living the process means knowing our worth and seeing the greatness in ourselves and in everyone around us. It’s not about what you would do if you knew you couldn’t fail; that’s bullshit. It’s more like, what would you do if you knew you could fail, but would still do it anyway? Live fearlessly and always in gratitude.