Q&A with Jean-David Schwartz

Arbonne celebrates their 40th year in 2020. Recently, I reached out to CEO Jean-David Schwartz to get his thoughts and impressions of his first two years at Arbonne.

How would you sum up your first two years as CEO?

My first two years at Arbonne have been inspiring. Our community is so passionate and dedicated to our brand, and to meaningfully impact the lives of others in a very positive way. Their welcoming response to me came as a delightful surprise—it’s been a pleasure being on this journey with them.

How has your company vision evolved from Day 1 on the job to today?

The Arbonne DNA is steeped in the desire to create better options for people and the planet. This legacy is something that drives the Arbonne business forward and that has guided my vision from day one. Our journey to becoming a B Corporation brought about a change of mindset—one that will inform all our business practices moving forward—from the guiding principle of living wages, to the way we select vendor partners. We know it will effect change not only internally, but externally too.

What does success look like for you as CEO?

Success to me is marked by a flourishing community. Our mission is to empower people to flourish with sustainable healthy living. If we can do that through our offering and community then that would be success. Of course, results are important too and I’m happy to report that we’ve grown nearly 20 percent two years in a row. This growth has helped move our mission forward.

How are you delivering on your goal of working to evolve and expand the Arbonne brand?

We believe in a holistic approach to beauty, health and well-being, focusing on the whole person to help them flourish inside and out. As such, we are working on innovations and services that expand our current offering.

“Our mission is to empower people to flourish with sustainable healthy living. If we can do that through our offering and community—then that would be success.”
When it comes to the company what are you most proud of?

I’m proud of so many things at Arbonne, chief among them would be our community. We have a passionate and inspiring community—our Independent Consultants, employees and expert partners that we work closely with—make me proud every day.

What are you planning to do in 2020 to celebrate your 40-year anniversary?

We kicked off our 40th anniversary with our B Corporation certification announcement. This has been a journey for us and an achievement that we know we must work at every day to do better. We will continue the celebration throughout the year with activations, events and limited edition product.

What are you doing to strengthen the customer and representative experience?

We are working on a new digital ecosystem that will be unveiled later this year. It’s a massive undertaking and something our team is working hard on in order to deliver a better experience to our Consultants, Preferred Clients and Clients. Better tools to help our Independent Consultants drive their business and make their communications more seamless is another area we are focused on.

Please share with us your sustainability efforts that are making a difference.

As I mentioned, we recently became a B Corporation which is something that now informs all our business practices. We continually work to reduce our carbon footprint and earlier this year, we launched a recycling program in the U.S. called ArbonneCycle. Developed in partnership with TerraCycle to ensure that hard-to-recycle products are re-purposed into something brand new.

Can you share how your brand focus ties into the mind, body and skin?

Our philosophy embraces the connection between a healthier mind, stronger body, and more beautiful skin. We are currently innovating more products and services that align with this focus.

What are you doing from a training and onboarding perspective?

Our Independent Consultants are our lifeline and as such, we listen to their needs and continue to work on how we onboard, train and supply them with the tools needed to be successful. In order to maintain a consistent message across all Consultants we provide our field with resources and material which enable them to thrive in their business. We ensure that all our content is localized for each country’s needs to ensure each nation’s voice is authentic while monitoring the integrity of our brand.

What are you laser focused on this year?

We have three key focuses this year—product, technology, and sustainability. First, we will continue to innovate—bringing to life products that are formulated with plant-based ingredients, grounded in science and clinical research with high standards of safety. From a technology standpoint, we are in the process of revamping our website for a better user experience. Lastly, we will continue to build upon our sustainability efforts—becoming more purposeful in everything we do, including championing integrity and transparency in order to become a more sustainable business.

What are we doing well as a channel, and where do we need to improve from a customer acquisition standpoint?

We strongly believe in this business model. As people engage more and more on social media, we see the potential to share the business opportunity. We hope that by leading the way with integrity we can help cultivate excitement for the brand and how we operate. There has been a significant shift in our Consultant demographic as we see millennial Consultants enter the field due to the social selling format. We believe this new wave of Consultants will only strengthen our business as more and more people engage online.

How do we continue to compete going forward against the likes of the gig economy and Amazon?

Our business model is unique in that we have a two-sided connection between the end consumer and the Consultant versus just the consumer and a corporation. This distinct factor of bringing a human connection to business is something that makes us different and what we want to build upon. Having an authentic relationship that goes both ways is special and fits into our purpose-driven point of view.

We will also continue to innovate and offer products and services that consider the whole person.

What are you most excited about going forward?

I’m most excited to see our brand continue to evolve with our newly updated mission. We believe that by filtering everything we do through the lens of our mission and values that we will change the way we are doing business and continue to innovate in order to make our mission of empowering people to flourish with sustainable healthy living truly a reality.

What else would you like to share about Arbonne?

In current uncertain times, where we are concerned about the planet’s future, a fragmented society, and the wellbeing of our families—Arbonne is a safe and welcoming community where people are prioritized.

As corporate companies, we all have a role that goes far beyond short term results. We have the responsibility to put people and the planet first, and to encourage our industry to do the same.