Jane Iredale celebrates 20th anniversary with London event

Educating both professionals and consumers and increasing brand awareness are key focuses for the mineral makeup brand, founder Jane Iredale said at a 20th anniversary event for the company in London yesterday. 

Speaking at the event at London’s The Dorchester hotel, Iredale explained that educating therapists has always been an essential part of the brand philosophy. “We have a very strong education department, that focuses on not only teaching therapists how to put makeup on, but also on teaching them how to sell it, something they can be very tentative about,” she explained. 

The brand has been quick to embrace online tools, with an active social media presence, and Iredale also stressed the importance technology now plays in educating both the industry and the public.  

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“Of course the classroom side of things is important, but it can be difficult to get the entire team together to do training, she commented. “However, the technology and the fact that we now live in a digital world makes it possible to make training much easier. You can use compelling videos, for example, that they can watch on a break or in their own time” 

Educating the consumer is equally crucial to the brand concept, with Iredale commenting that: “Therapists need to be able to share their knowledge with clients, so that they can then carry on what they have learnt in the spa, at home. The homecare side of things is very important, because most consumers only see a professional once every few months – once a month if they’re lucky.” 

The brand, which started in Iredale’s home in 1994, now has a presence in 46 countries around the world. A new headquarter, located on the same street in the small Massachusetts town of Great Barrington on which Iredale also lives, is set to be ready for her and her team to move into in October. 

Iredale said she is amazed at how far the company, for which she conceived the idea after watching busy models and actresses struggle to look after her skin during her years as a casting director, has come in the 20 years since it was set up. Among its many high profile spa clients around the world  are now Canyon Ranch, the Mandarin Oriental and the Ritz-Carlton, to mention just a few. 

The brand has its roots in the professional market, with plastic surgeons being the first to really embrace its mineral makeup concept and this, Iredale said, is the market it will continue to focus on. 

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“We are going to stay with the professional market, that’s our DNA. Why would we leave a market that has supported us so well?” she commented. However, while this market will remain core to the brand, Iredale believes part of supporting professionals means building brand awareness among consumers. 

“We want to do more to build band recognition, so that consumers walk in and ask for our products, rather than the professionals having to do all the selling,” she explained.. As part of this, the brand, which already has a presence in a few “nice little boutique pharmacies and beauty boutiques” is set to grow its retail presence in the future. 

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The US, to which the British Iredale moved many years ago and where the company was founded, remains the brand’s key market. However, Europe is also a strong market, with Iredale explaining that “the UK is always either our biggest, or second largest, overseas market.”

Continually expanding, Iredale added that: “we have only just started in the Middle East, but that’s also going really well,” and with several new product launches on the horizon in the second half of 2014, Iredale shows no signs of resting on her laurels. “Well,” she said, “you do want to see the brand grow, because that’s how you stay healthy.”