Drew Barrymore On Acting, Brand Building & Being Authentic

Drew Barrymore has been a movie star for decades and now she’s out to build a beauty brand with the same kind of staying power.

The actress — who has spent the last four years growing her Flower beauty label — sat down with her father-in-law Arie Kopelman, the former Chanel chief at Financo’s CEO Forum 2016 on Monday. Barrymore talked about what she has learned so far and future aspirations for her brand.

On taking a break from acting: “[Right now] I don’t want to be on a film set from 5 a.m. to midnight. I can be a businesswoman who wakes up with my kids, and has some free days here and there and spends the weekends with them…When my kids are 16 and slamming the door in my face, maybe I’ll think about going back to film. It’s been so good to me and the power of film goes back to storytelling. You’ve got one life and it would be great to live a couple of different lives.”

On creating brand loyalty: “It really does come down to the product. You try to invite them in through the images and packaging. Women are tactile creatures. We do know the difference. Reviews are important, social media, creating a good marketing campaign. It really comes down to the formula at the end of the day.”

On being authentic: “The word authentic has become a dirty word. In the 2000s, it was organic. Everyone hated organic. But authentic is the best word to describe when someone is being themselves and being personally invested. You can see that with things like the Honest Co. or Gwyneth Palthrow with Goop. You can tell it’s not celebrity name-slapping.”

On deciding not to attach her name to her brand: “Putting your name on something is dangerous business. It might work initially but a woman probably gets more lost in something than someone. Eventually, I would love for other girls to step into the marketing.”

On the importance of listening and learning: “Learn from the pioneers you admire. Velcro yourself to them and figure out how they did it. Be inspired by them.”

On her exclusive partnership with Wal-Mart: “It’s been a very good relationship and we’ve spent our time trying to get it right there. It’s an incredible opportunity to launch a business in 1,600 doors. Now we’re in 4,000. It’s very difficult to find that kind of support and platform elsewhere. Now that we have e-commerce [separately] and will start to go internationally, we’ll start to expand as the years go by. But I didn’t want to screw this up. I wanted to get it right in the world’s biggest retailer. It’s like a marriage – you try to figure out what they bring to it and how they function.”


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