Authority Magazine
Published in

Authority Magazine

The Future of Beauty: Jeff Durham of GIMME Beauty On How Their Technological Innovation Will Shake Up The Beauty Industry

An Interview With Candice Georgiadis

Beauty can be more accessible. — Prestige brands and brands with premium and healthy ingredients are often only found in specialty and department stores. Our brand is designed for our global community in every walk of life. We want everyone to have access to quality beauty solutions in the place where they shop.

As a part of our series about how technology will be changing the beauty industry over the next five years, I had the pleasure of interviewing Jeff Durham.

Jeff Durham is the founder and CEO of Durham Brands — a family CPG company. The Durham’s have over 30 years of global design and sourcing expertise. The flagship brand is Gimme Beauty, which aims to eliminate bad hair days from the world. The Gimme brand specializes in custom hair accessories and tools distributed across multiple channels: Food, Drug, Mass Retailers, Extreme Value all the way up to Specialty and Department Stores.

Prior to starting Durham Brands, Jeff worked in innovation at Moen, a CPG leader in the faucet Industry. He holds an MBA from Case Western Reserve and a BA in marketing from Brigham Young University. He is also the founder of the CPGX forum, a group of CPG Brands and their Executives organized to network and leverage perspectives to collaborate in the brand-building effort. Jeff has 6 beautiful children and an incredible wife and that is his greatest joy.

Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?

Entrepreneurship is in the Durham Family blood. Mark Durham, Father & Chairman of Durham Brands is a color-blind oil painter that sees the world through a unique lense. He’s founded and sold companies. We’ve built and sold brands together. Years of global sourcing and connecting the dots between trend and market needs brought us to the beauty space and we’re here to disrupt.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began your career?

The stars aligned for us during the pandemic. We bet big in a year of chaos and injected millions into digital and influencer marketing bringing patented beauty & hair care solutions to consumer’s homes when many salons were closed. The bet paid off as we doubled our business last year and even were picked up by ULTA Beauty as they recognized the brand’s momentum.

Are you able to identify a “tipping point” in your career when you started to see success? Did you start doing anything different? Are there takeaways or lessons that others can learn from that?

Coming out of the pandemic, we see the masses jumping on the bandwagon, it is now up to us to welcome and nurture the community. This will be the tipping point. When you are blessed with success, you have to show gratitude to those that made it possible. We have BIG plans for nurturing and rewarding our community as we continue to accelerate our momentum. Brands that put revenues over community will never become household brands.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person to whom you are grateful who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

The list would be too long to share. I started a CPG forum a few years back to gather executives of like-minded brands to meet and discuss the challenges of CPG and retail. This network and the time invested has been the secret to getting further faster and magnifying our ability to compete and be a thought leader in our industry. At times when Target or Wal-Mart call to cut a new deal or restructure funding, it is priceless to be able to phone a friend that has similar experiences to navigate the deal points and design a fair outcome that will sustain. Relentless networking and going to lunches with someone new often is an under-utilized resource that comes at the cost of a sandwich but pays big dividends.

Ok super. Let’s now shift to the main part of our discussion. The beauty industry today has access to technology that was inconceivable only a short time ago. Can you tell us about the “cutting edge” (pardon the pun) technologies that you are working with or introducing? How do you think that will help people?

If you aren’t innovating, you’re dying. We are betting on beauty tech! As Tesla puts batteries in cars, we’re bringing wireless technology to the vanity. We have patents pending on hair styling tools that let dance moms do touch ups behind the curtain when outlets are unreachable. If you want to binge Netflix in your living room (not shackled to the bathroom), we’ve got disruptive solutions for that. We’re launching curling irons, wands, and flat irons with more wireless runtime than competitors. We’re launching a disruptive claw clip, brushes designed for unique hair types, and seamless hair ties that can withstand up to 70 pounds of pressure without snapping… The beauty world will look to GIMME BEAUTY for innovative hair solutions. #wetakecareofhair

Keeping “Black Mirror” and the “Law of Unintended Consequences” in mind, can you see any potential drawbacks about this technology that people should think more deeply about?

While making beautiful hair accessible through technology and innovation is our mission, an unintended consequence could be that cosmetic beauty is prioritized over inner beauty. Our brand aims to instill contagious confidence, to give people more time through time-saving solutions, to spend more time doing things that matter most. We want beauty outside to breed inner confidence. A good hair day can bring confidence and self-worth and empower women to stand taller and reach their potential in leaving their mark on their piece of the world. We’re also building into our model an opportunity to give back to the community as we scale. More to come on this in 2022.

Can you share 3 things that most excite you about the “beauty-tech” industry?

With the advancement of so many technologies, the fruit becomes more low-hanging every day. You can decide to be the 100-year-old beauty brand that does things the way their mothers did beauty OR you can embrace the future and elevate beauty. Fail fast and lead quickly. We may not be perfect today, but we are adding more value and refining novel concepts through tight consumer feedback loops day in and day out. We listen harder to the consumer. We watch trends and forecast color. We are passionate about telling our story and love our community. Beauty tech is viral in nature and is exciting. This is an angle that will accelerate our mind-share grab in a noisy lipstick red ocean of beauty and hair care.

Can you share 3 things that most concern you about the industry? If you had the ability to implement 3 ways to reform or improve the industry, what would you suggest?

1 — Beauty can be more accessible.

Prestige brands and brands with premium and healthy ingredients are often only found in specialty and department stores. Our brand is designed for our global community in every walk of life. We want everyone to have access to quality beauty solutions in the place where they shop.

2 — Brands are too exclusive.

We at GIMME = INCLUSIVE (all are welcome and every hair type is celebrated)

3 — Education can be accelerated through technology

Technology can be leveraged in products, but also to bring high-value education to the masses in convenient, virtual, authentic, and personal ways. We are building a technology road map to disrupt education related to hair care and health.

You are an expert about beauty. Can you share 5 ideas that anyone can use “to feel beautiful”? (Please share a story or example for each.)

1 — Invest in your hair. GIMME products are available in most channels. Don’t settle for value solutions that will damage your hair. Damaged and broken hair from bad hair ties is unacceptable!

2 — Try natural care and scents. We recommend our lavender night-time-routine dry shampoo. You’ll wake up feeling fresh. Feeling clean is key to feeling beautiful — especially if you’re a fan of 4-day hair ;)

3 — A high ponytail with real volume using a hair tie that is customized to your hair type will help you feel powerful. No one likes a saggy ponytail.

4 — Find beauty in friendship — we encourage sharing products and trends with friends. We’re starting a movement and believe in community surrounding #nobadhairdays

5 — Strive for balance in life to find inner beauty. Wireless tools on the go can save you time and allow for touch ups in critical moments (interviews, presentations, recitals, etc) Brands should support your life goals. That is what is beautiful about our cause!

You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. :-)

I have dreamed of a movement to turn capitalism into an engine for good. I’ve sat on boards where we raise funds from those with abundance to further a cause. That is one way to make a difference. Begging for money will never be as effective as building a profit engine with a commitment to a cause. I’m building a community that will attract members that care. As they spread the word about the brand, they enable us (and them) to give back in perpetuity. No begging required. It also doesn’t have to be a single cause. It can be a million micro-causes and it can be funded through innovation.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

Give more in value than you take in payment (Credit — the Go Giver Bob Burg & John David Mann) As I network, my goal at every lunch is to ask, “How can I give you value?” Without any doubt, I know that any value I give will come back in 18 months or less bearing a return on that value invested. I hope to end my career by calculating my net worth as the total value I created for others.

How can our readers follow you online?

The best thing to do would be to join our community. It’s not about me — it’s about building this brand to make a bigger difference. (https://gimmebeauty.com/pages/community)

Thank you so much for joining us. This was very inspirational.

--

--

--

In-depth Interviews with Authorities in Business, Pop Culture, Wellness, Social Impact, and Tech. We use interviews to draw out stories that are both empowering and actionable.

Recommended from Medium

Americans Strongly Favor Additional Small Business Relief

Top Insights from the 2019 Adobe Summit

Apple vs Google vs Tesla, who has the best ecosystem?

Getting it Right: Servicing Japanese Clients as a New Age Indian Start-up

SoftBank disrupts Venture Capital

I for Innovation, M for Models!

Last Monday night we held only our third ever Dublin PropTech event.

Everything about FBA (Part 1) — How-to-use and Rules

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Candice Georgiadis

Candice Georgiadis

Candice Georgiadis is an active mother of three as well as a designer, founder, social media expert, and philanthropist.

More from Medium

An Italian Blacksmith’s Legacy

Electric Planes: The Future Of Travelling? 10 Advantages You Need To Know

Reset: How School Leaders Can Address Equity Gaps Right Now

When it Comes to Climate Action, We Can’t Be Too Cool for School