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Welcoming Deborah Bell to the Powered by Flossie board!

New York based for the past 4+ years’ Deborah (Deb) Bell, originally from New Zealand has joined the Powered by Flossie board.

Deb brings her global wealth of experience to the team spanning 10+ years as an investment banking professional advising companies on a wide range of strategic situations, predominately M&A transactions.

Her career journey started at New Zealand’s Cameron Partners / Rothschild before moving to Gresham Partners Australia. Most recently with Perella Weinberg in New York, Deb focused on advising clients in the consumer goods space. Examples include KKR on its US$4.3b acquisition of a majority stake in Coty’s Professional Beauty and Retail Hair businesses including Wella, GHD and OPI brands. Beverage maker SodaStream on its US$3.2b sale to PepsiCo and German consumer goods company Beiersdorf in connection with its US$550m acquisition of US sun care brand Coppertone.

“Deb has joined our team at precisely the right time, as our new Powered by Flossie offering takes to the global stage. I’m excited by the experience Deb brings in strategic partnerships within our industry, and we bonded over a mutual appreciation of the future of the ecommerce of services that is upon us,” Jenene Crossan, CEO/Co-Founder.

A Kiwi at heart, Deb is a passionate sports fanatic. No doubt her return to our shores and her involvement in scaling Powered by Flossie will result in much more than her just cheering from the sideline!

- What bought you back to NZ? How are you feeling about it?

I boarded a plane in mid-March with one suitcase of summer clothes to attend a friend’s wedding, just as New York City was preparing for working from home and complete lock-down. It was never my intention to stay for longer than a few months but as the global pandemic evolved it became clear that New Zealand is the best place to be right now. It feels serendipitous. One of my biggest challenges is that chasing my dreams takes me far away from many people and the country I love. While I thrive being out in the world with the opportunities and challenges it presents, the ability to take time for simple joys such as cheering my nephews on at motor-cross, attending rugby games live (from the All Blacks, to Wellington Hurricanes to Hawkes Bay magpies) and dining with my oldest girlfriends is an unexpected blessing for me.

- Why did you want to get involved with PBF?

Upon my return to New Zealand I immersed myself back into the New Zealand business community and was introduced to Powered by Flossie founder and CEO, Jenene Crossan via my cousin, mentor and friend Janine Manning who is active in the start-up space. I knew Flossie from their app connecting consumers with beauty salon providers to book appointments. What I did not know until I met with the Flossie team was how they were pivoting the business to provide a powerful API that aggregates availability data for professional hair product companies, essentially a way for product companies to have a more sophisticated, data driven relationship with their fragmented salon network and effectively their end customer — WOW. I had just completed a deal in the professional beauty space and understood that this product solves a technically difficult strategic pain point for product companies. As a consumer I also understood how the platform had significant potential to digitalize the complete consumer experience in a sophisticated manner. From that initial meeting I understood their value proposition and passion for the business and wanted to be involved in the Powered by Flossie journey. It is my privilege to join the Board.

- What do you see as the biggest trends / opportunities for the business?

The complete digitalization of the professional in-salon consumer experience. In our ever-evolving digital world, the professional in-salon consumer experience is lagging and ripe for disruption. Every day as a female consumer I experience this. Just the other day I was getting my nails done with a friend in Auckland and we both loved the color I got. It is hard to tell from the samples and bottles how it will look on you so when you nail the color choice (excuse the pun) you want to record it so you can get it elsewhere at another salon, or simply share with a friend. My only option was to take a photo on my phone of the bottle to record and share this. Five years ago, when I moved from Sydney to New York City, I wrote on a piece of paper the color codes for the hair coloring combination I use, something that often takes multiple trial combinations to get right. I then had to search myself in Manhattan for a salon that used the same products and once found share the color combination written on a piece of paper with them. In this digital world, there must be a better way. Powered by Flossie has a solution to digitally transform this industry, through partnering with the product companies to provide a better system for their salon networks, ultimately benefiting the consumer.

- What’s the super power you’re bringing to the team?

The unique combination of experience in and understanding of corporate finance, business strategy, M&A and capital markets (areas still dominated by men) while also being a female consumer. Women drive ~75% of all consumer purchasing, how many women have a seat at the table required to influence this industry? Food for thought. Time to make change, exciting stuff.



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