Building a brand – One Ladies Story

Susan Campbell currently sits on FIPI’s board as International PR Director. She owns and runs G & P Cosmetics, an Italian company, specialising in the production of own Label and Private Label hair cosmetic products. Susan is also a passionate Colour expert and recently achieved Master status with City & Guilds with FIPI. Here she shares her career journey in her own words.

My first contact with the image consulting industry was as a consumer participating in a personal colour consultation with an image consultant around 1983. A bespoke service which opened up a whole new world to me and changed completely my perception towards personal image projection. No longer was my personal clothes choice a subjective casual decision but was conditioned by the knowledge of what was right and wrong based on pure objectivity.

“Sometimes something happens in life and things are never the same again”.

My professional career as marketing director of Alberto Culver, international hair care company, took me from the UK to Brussels and then to Milan and so this new found knowledge remained a personal treasure.

In 1990 I took up a post as marketing manager in Canada.

Finding myself on the other half of the world starting a completely new life having left friends and family, I had a lot of free time on my hands and so enrolled myself into a 40 hour evening class course in a reputable image consultancy school in Toronto. This company at that time boasted 300 franchise outlets in Canada. My objective was to deepen my knowledge in colour analysis, intending to apply this knowledge not only to individual consumers but to training in the corporate world.

I returned to Milan in 1992 and opened a studio in a loft above a beauty salon, working two days a week by appointment, whilst working three days a week on marketing consultancy in the hair care business. My curiosity towards this powerful weapon of image consultancy deepened as I saw its potential applied to the corporate world as a tool to enhance personal brand development. I pursued this passion through follow up training.

I joined TFIC as an associate member in March 1996. Since returning to Italy in 1992 until 2002 I operated as marketing consultant for most of the major hair companies in Italy until I subsequently started my own business.

Founded in 2002 I am co founder of G & P Cosmetics, an Italian company, specialising in the production of own Label and Private Label hair cosmetic products. G & P Cosmetics has it’s productive site and it’s directional headquarters in Sansepolcro (Arezzo), situated in the heart of Italy near the source of the river Tiber between Tuscany and Umbria and it’s legal office is in the heart of Milan employing almost 100 passionate people. Its major brand named SENS.US is expanding rapidly through the world, now operating in all continents.

The company, in addition to its core business of commercialization and production, compliments its business through conducting training courses and workshops to prepare hairdressers, distributors and wholesalers worldwide in the beauty business. Whilst my full time role as Global Marketing Director is demanding, I run training courses mentoring and coaching to hairdressers on personal image impacting and courses specifically to enable them to offer a service of distinction in their own salons.

I also collaborate with the Italian Chamber of Commerce conducting workshops and seminars for their associates on personal image impacting and personal brand building.

How the City & Guilds Masters with FIPI Helped me

I decided to participate in the masters in image consultancy in order to align myself and my way of working with specific standards. I trained with so many people over the year in different countries all with their own style and methods, a bit like a patchwork quilt. I felt it was the right time to prepare for an exam which calls for a specific approach, in this way I was simply polishing my own services and knowledge to the accredited City & Guilds and FIPI Standards. In doing so my services are more streamlined. In addition I am also now versed in the methodology of the Masters in order to share first hand knowledge in assisting other international image consultants in taking their Master’s exam. I also now sit on FIPI’s board as International Public Relations Director and am passionate about building new alliances and knowledge about the power of the Masters and what it has given me and my business.

Hope you enjoyed my story – I loved sharing it!

Susan