SoftSheen-Carson, a subsidiary of L’Oreal USA, is a brand that African Americans have come to know and trust over the years. The company produces popular brands such as Dark and Lovely, Roots of Nature and Optimum Care. Angela Guy is the senior vice president and general manager of SoftSheen-Carson and has helped take the company to the next level during her tenure. Over the years, Guy has been responsible for expanded distribution, developing strong relationships with retailers and helping to solidify the organization’s position as the leading brand in the ethnic beauty market. Rolling out caught up with the busy executive to see what it takes to run such a successful brand. –christa e. jackson
Tell us a little about your background.
I earned my bachelor’s degree from Pennsylvania State University in psychology with a specialization in industrial organization that I believe has helped me to better understand what motivates consumers and my teams as well. I started my career in sales for Levi Strauss & Company and spent 19 years at Johnson & Johnson in several sales leadership positions until I left in 2004 and came to SoftSheen-Carson as vice president of sales. I was promoted to vice president and general manager in 2007.
What are some of SoftSheen-Carson’s best-selling brands?
Dark and Lovely is our biggest brand and [it] had the most brand awareness of any African American hair care products in the world. Then there is Magic Shave, which is over 100 years old and remains extremely popular.
How do you decide what is important in terms of innovation and new products?
Our focus is always the same — “what can we do from a technological standpoint to enhance our consumers’ hair and beauty experience?”
Where do you see the future of the black hair care industry going over the next decade?
I see the future being about celebrating your individuality. Relaxing is a choice women make because it’s right for them, so for those who choose this we want to make sure your hair is healthy and the process is painless. For those who want to be natural, it’s a process as well, and a matter of making the right choice when it comes to choosing products. We want to continue to innovate and stay on top of the trends in hair care.