All in the family: Mother and daughter team up to conquer the luxury spa line

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THERE is something powerful and unique in a mother-daughter relationship; it becomes a formidable force when they team up in the business world. Together, June Jacobs and her daughter, Rochelle, have built a spa collection empire, particularly in luxury hotels, that now spans the globe.

It was in the mid-1990s when June, who used to work with plastic surgeons and dermatologists at their clinics in New York, noticed that there was no luxury spa distribution channels for high-end beauty products. So, she thought, why not start one herself?

That was when June teamed up with a friend, Peter Roth, and started what is now known as Peter Thomas Roth Clinical Skin Care in 1993 — the sister line to the June Jacobs Spa Collection.

Later Rochelle, who was working at Lehman Brothers and then at Viacom decided that her mother could not possibly manage an entire company on her own. So, Rochelle, armed with the knowledge she amassed in managing operations, left the corporate world to help her mother.

“My mother was inspired by remedies and recipes that were passed down from mother to daughter through generations, and that became the basis for our spa collection today,” said Rochelle at the launch of the June Jacobs spa collection in Kuala Lumpur recently.

Based on high concentrations of carefully selected botanical extracts recognised for their soothing and restorative powers, the June Jacobs Spa Collection combines age-defying science with luxury.

“We have always believed in creating all-natural products. Natural means different things to different people. In the June Jacobs line, it is the absence of parabens, preservatives, sulfates, dyes, petrochemicals, and artificial fragrances,” said Rochelle.

The Collection caters to all manner of skin problems. It consists of some 100 professional and retail products that comprise powerful antioxidant blends of white, red and green tea extracts combined with goji berries, pomegranates and grape seed extracts to neutralise free radicals and protect skin from environmental toxins.

June Jacobs is not new to the cosmetic industry with some 30,000 hotels around the world, primarily those of Grand Hyatt, choosing the brand for their shampoos, soaps and creams.

The Collection features three global skincare lines, including those that address blemish-prone, oily and ageing skin.

All its products ranging from cleansers, scrubs, toners, serums, moisturisers, eye creams to perfumes and those for healthy hair are formulated in its own labs, the June Jacobs Labs.

“When we first started, we were facing a lot of problems with the testing and development of products because we were relying on outside labs. So, my Mum and I decided to have our own lab facilities in order for research to focus solely on our products,” said Rochelle.

Many of the June Jacobs formulae are now awaiting patents, a testament to how successful its lab has been in producing formulations that work.

With society becoming more health-conscious and increasingly aware of the harmful ingredients that are added into cosmetic products, among others, companies like June Jacobs pride themselves in manufacturing products as natural as they can be.

The June Jacobs Spa Collection was previously only available at spas and hotels worldwide, but now in the United States, customers can order their favourite products from the June Jacobs website.

“We realised that there was a huge untapped market for us that we hadn’t yet explored. Hundreds of people were searching for ‘June Jacobs’ on Google, presumably after using our products at a hotel, or going to a spa that used our products, and were not able to purchase our products from stores,” said Rochelle.

“So we thought, why not make the June Jacobs Spa Collection available to the general public as well?”

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The Collection is now available at Beauty Focus at 3 Jalan SS18/1B, Subang Jaya in Selangor. There are plans to expand into retail stores nationwide in the second quarter of 2015. June Jacobs signature spa treatments are also available at the Grand Hyatt Kuala Lumpur. Facials are priced from RM400, and body treatments from RM340.

This article first appeared in The Edge Financial Daily, on November 17, 2014.