In April 2017, Ricardo Quintero resigned as chairman of Movado Group, the global watchmaker, after taking what he considered one too many business trips that took him away from his family.
“After this trip, I felt that I didn’t want to travel all the time,” he recalls. “I didn’t want to be in meetings all the time – I wanted to take a different path.”
Prior to taking over as CEO of the Movado Group in 2014, Quintero spent four years at The Estée Lauder Companies Inc. as Senior Vice President and Global Brand Director Clinique. He was interested in returning to this industry, but in partnership with his wife Pilar.
“Even though she didn’t work in the beauty industry, her ideas in terms of products, in terms of product use, in terms of marketing and ideas were amazing,” he continued. “So we thought, ‘Why don’t we try to launch a brand together that takes advantage of all the new technologies available to everyone?’ We wanted to combine harnessing digital technologies and starting our own e-commerce business. »
For Pilar Quintero, the leap into entrepreneurship was a bold step in a new direction.
“I was a stay-at-home mom,” she said. “I was pretty much the one holding the fort while Ricardo was working and seeing him pretty much on the weekends before he got on the next flight to China or Europe.”
The Quinteros are originally from Mexico, but for Pilar, the seasonal changes in their Greenwich surroundings haven’t always worked in her favor.
“In Mexico City, we don’t have those seasons, so this dry air and going from air conditioning to heating really took a toll on my skin,” she said. “I would sit down with Ricardo and say, ‘I don’t understand how you can’t tell me exactly what my skin needs and then tell me to use 10 products. I don’t have time to use all these products and I want something simple that will work.That’s when we decided to start the business.
Ricardo contacted a colleague from his Clinique days to help them formulate the product line and the couple visited several labs before settling on the facility to manufacture their Care Skincare product line.
“We boiled it down to the basics: having a good cleanser, having a good moisturizer, and having a good anti-aging product that would really target the signs of aging,” Pilar said. “We created five multitasking products, meaning one product would do part of what two or three other products would do.”
Quinteros’ Care Skincare product line includes a cleanser and toner, three moisturizers – one gel-cream, one water-based and the third as a ‘repair’ product with peptides and antioxidants – and what Pilar described as an “eye and lip cream that works for your skin around your eyes and around your mouth.
The product line also includes a retinoid serum to use at night to promote cell renewal and a pack of biodegradable wipes.
Care Skincare had a soft launch among friends and family of Quinteros in December 2018 before being released to the general public in January 2019.
Ricardo admitted that “it takes time for the brand to become known in a very competitive market“, but 2020 turned out to be a “fantastic” year as the Covid-19 pandemic found consumers newly confined to the home discovering their product. But despite occasional digital glitches, including changes to Facebook’s advertising algorithm, Care Skincare has found a receptive audience.
“We have a very loyal and very solid customer base,” said Ricardo. “We’re very proud to have 35,000 customers and a very high repeat rate, which means customers have not only tried the product once, but want more.”
Ricardo added that Care Skincare also maintains a storefront on Amazon.com, but he does not plan to expand into physical retail “because that requires another set of costs and we would have to sell our products at a much higher price. . ”
Looking ahead to 2022, Quinteros are looking to expand their product line to include sunscreen – early products tested failed to meet their standards. And although Care Skincare advertised in Spanish, the couple have no immediate plans to market in their native Mexico or anywhere else in the world.
“Eventually we will see if we expand to Mexico or Europe or other countries,” Pilar said. “But right now the United States is a big enough market to focus on.”