PaperCity Magazine

May 2015 - Dallas

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BY REBECCA SHERMAN. PHOTOGRAPHY CLAUDIA GRASSL FOR THE PHOTO DIVISION. HAIR AND MAKEUP CARMEN WILLIAMSON. STYLING CARLOS ALONSO PARADA FOR ON SET MANAGEMENT, ASSISTANT STYLIST GABRIEL ORTIZ. ART DIRECTION MICHELLE AVIÑA. A t first glance, it might be easy to dismiss Jamie O'Banion as just another pretty face. According to her stats with the Kim Dawson Agency, where she has worked as a model for 10 years since age 23, she is perfection on paper: blonde, blue eyes, 5'8" and size 2 to 4. But, in a culture where women often find more currency in their sex appeal than their smarts, the former Miss Teen Texas and runner-up for Miss Teen America has charted her own course. And it looks more like Fortune 500 than Baywatch. At 25, she co-founded Organicare, a USDA-certified organic skincare line, with her physician father, Dr. Terry James, in 2008. "We launched at Henri Bendel New York, Nordstrom and Dillard's alongside other organic lines like Stella McCartney," O'Banion says. "Organics at that time were very new. Then the economy fell apart, and one by one the whole category fell apart." Others dropped their organics, she says, "but we were the last man standing, and we were thriving." In 2011, the Home Shopping Network reached out — not for their organics (they already had several products in the category, she says), but for new technology. "We were at the end of trials on a new retinol ingredient, which we'd patented with the idea of selling," O'Banion says. "Instead, we decided to launch it direct ourselves" under a new company name, Beauty Bioscience. O'Banion debuted the RetinoSyn-45 serum live on HSN. "I was unsure how the market would react to our product, so I only brought 3,000 units with me," she says. "We sold completely out in 24 hours." HSN's chief marketing officer, Anne Martin-Vachon, understands why. "Jamie had all three of the critical ingredients to be successful at HSN: a great product, a great story, and she's a great storyteller," she says. Since O'Banion's HSN debut, Beauty Bioscience has become one of the fastest-growing skincare companies in the country, pulling in millions of dollars in sales each time it airs on HSN, where it's had regular monthly slots for four years; her next appearance is scheduled for Friday, May 15. In July, the powerful L.A. marketing firm Guthy Renker purchased a stake in Beauty Bioscience. Renker, which also represents both Proactive and Cindy Crawford Meaningful Beauty, is known for its thoughtfully produced infomercials and marketing strategies that catapult emerging brands into moneymaking empires. Eric S. Deutsch, senior vice president of new business and product development for Renker, says, "We look for products that are doing well on the networks, and Jamie had been on our radar early on. She doesn't just have a thinly veiled understanding of her product. This is someone who is very knowledgeable and spent a lot of time in the lab doing the testing." By the end of 2015, Dallas-based Beauty Bioscience will roll out in the United Kingdom on QVC UK and Shopping Channel in Canada (TSC), with select products to be carried at Selfridge's and Harrods in London. The line now has 15 products, including skin-firming body and eye creams, but RetinoSyn-45 remains the company's bestseller. The turbo wrinkle reducer, which is applied for 45 days, twice a year, goes for about $200 on HSN. "Beauty is a very important category at HSN," says Martin-Vachon. "We offer choices in three categories: good, better, best. Beauty Bioscience is clearly in the 'best' category. It's one of the higher-priced skincare brands we sell." As O'Banion says, "We've helped open up the luxury market for HSN." Women go nuts when she peddles her line on air. They call into the show, sometimes in tears, to say how her products have tightened their skin, erased wrinkles and changed their lives. They snatch up two and three units at a time. "We've HSN STAR JAMIE O'BANION AND HER DALLAS-BASED SKINCARE LINE ARE POISED TO GO GLOBAL. BEAUTY BIOSCIENCE Jamie and Melbourne O'Banion at home in Highland Park. Novis dress, at TenOverSix. Melbourne wears a bespoke suit from Hadleigh's.

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