Jaunique Sealey has led a varied and exciting career. She is currently (since 2013) the CEO of luxury skincare and cosmetics brand Cosmedicine, which specializes in anti-aging treatments that seamlessly marry beauty and benefit. She is an attorney and engineer who, in addition to her corporate achievements, has also assisted in the launch and management of The Adventures of Ai, a global philanthropic transmedia endeavor created by Craig Bouchard, former CEO and Chairman of the Board of Real Industry Inc. She also authored the book “Piece of the Fame: Rockstar Social Media Marketing Strategy for Everyone to Ignite Your Business, Career and Personal Brand.”
Sealey has worked with numerous blue-chip entertainment companies including Infospace Mobile and Universal Music Group, amongst many others. She has worked with such as people and brands as Lady Gaga, Mindless Behavior, Sony Pictures, and Barneys New York. Sealey is a graduate of Duke University Pratt School of Engineering and Harvard Law School.
But now her major focus is making Cosmedicine the first company beauty customers turn to. During her tenure, the company launched the Gold Standard Collection, which includes intensive anti-aging skincare. For the key goals that weve achieved at Cosmedicine, weve always started out with a very targeted and directed plan for that objective. We execute on that plan and in the process continue to relentlessly refine and focus on feedback, whether positive or negative. Weve accomplished a lot, but theres more to do. We have a very big vision for the company, notes Sealey.
For Sealey, brand-building and maintaining a brand is key to a company’s success. Building a brand for most entrepreneurs is a marathon, rather than a sprint. Most will not have the budget for wall-to-wall television advertisements that are still part of the branding exercise for most traditional brands. This said, my most important piece of advice for brand building is to never take your eye or attention off of your target audience. It is critical not to be so focused on pushing messaging that you dont center your efforts on creating a quality product, experience or service that actually means something substantive and positive to your target customer, says Sealey.
Being a very successful female executive, Sealey is accurately aware of how the wage gap still exists. I feel that wage gaps exist across various demographics and we all owe it to ourselves to really investigate why that is from all sides. Its a complex question. I do see a growing number of companies encouraging women and minorities to seek and assume leadership and senior management roles within their ranks. Perhaps as the makeup of management and leadership starts to shift at a senior level, the business culture will shift as well, including sensitivity to closing inequalities where they exist and are resulting from insufficiencies in corporate culture, she says. I also feel, at least when it comes to women in business, that we have to develop the skill set of asking for what we want, not just in terms of compensation, but also relating to professional development opportunities.
There are few Black female CEOs of major companies. To rise to the helm of a major company, you need a combination of hard work, access, visibility and Im sure, some lucky breaks. When you dont have very many black females in the pipeline to the top, the odds are much lower for all of these elements to work in concert. Beyond the lack of Black female CEOs there is also a dearth of Black female representation on major corporate boards, who ultimately make the CEO hiring decisions. I think that there is room for improvement in the business community at large on both of these issues relating to Black females: improving the pipeline to senior management as well as increasing board of director representation, explains Sealey.
As far as the most important business lesson Sealey has learned over the course of her career, she says, The most important business lesson Ive learned is how to fail productively and to use those lessons to strategically inform an efficient path to success. It is inevitable that somewhere along the course of building a business that things will not go according to plan. Learning how to productively navigate those moments is the key to the tenacity of never giving up and ultimately how to arrive at those goals of success that we often celebrate.
What advice does she want to pass on? Its inspired by a conversation Sealey once had with the late music icon Prince. I had the incredible life fortune of working with the late and legendary artist and business genius Prince. In my time with him, he would often ask me what do you want to do? And it baffled me because I really thought I had a defined role. It took me some time to realize that what he was doing was trying to dial in to my strongest talents and passions and find ways to utilize them, Sealey recalls. So now, its a question that I ask myself almost every day in earnest. What do you want to do?”
She continues, “If there is a part of that answer that is not aligning with what I am currently doing, its my signal to reevaluate and make an adjustment, because I know Im leaving some aspect of my skills and/or talents in the balance. Doing what Im most passionate about has been the factor that has allowed me to dedicate the time, energy and focus required for success. Letting your passion and intuition play a role in the unfolding of your career is not something to take lightly or ignore.