Meet some of the top female executives leading the fast-growing skincare brand toward its goal of 300-plus locations by 2026.
Skincare franchise Heyday just celebrated its first franchise anniversary, and in the past 12 months the brand has already hit goals on par with those of a five-year franchisor, having signed 115 franchise agreements for new locations across the country with countless more on the way in 2022.
With a mission to provide expert skincare that empowers its members to be their best selves, Heyday is blazing a trail in personalized, affordable skincare, changing how we take care of our skin and redefining the future of the skincare industry for the modern consumer.
All with a workforce that’s 88% female, including all Heyday location and corporate team members.
Since March is Women’s History Month, we’d like to highlight some of those women — top female executives at Heyday who play instrumental roles in the brand’s present and future.
Nandhita Kumar, Head of Product and UX
Nandhita Kumar came to the U.S. from her native South India in 2010 to pursue a degree in human-computer interaction from Carnegie Mellon University. Since graduating, her career has been a mix of technology, psychology and design, much of it focused on user interface (UI) and user experience (UX) for lifestyle e-comm brands and, most recently, a cryptocurrency forum.
Kumar came to Heyday in February 2021, where she was the first dedicated member of the product and tech team. Her goals, she says, have included organizing client data so clients can have a true omnichannel experience, and streamlining the client-skin therapist relationship.
“Our clients have these amazing conversations and experiences in the treatment room with their estheticians,” she said. “So what we want to do is to provide clients with those same insights, recommendations and touchpoints from their experts outside of the treatment room to create a deeper, more accessible, more meaningful experience.”
This includes the next big step for Heyday: launching a client-facing iOS app that can soon be downloaded from the app store.
Once the app is launched, Kumar and her team will continue working on another big project, building tools for Heyday skin therapists to use within the treatment room, allowing them to better maximize their time with clients to provide the best experience possible.
“Each one of our skin therapists is passionate about the relationship that they're building with their clients and the efficacy of the advice that they're giving,” Kumar said. “And it takes a lot of time to have those conversations to give that advice. We want to remove all the clutter and make their time as efficient as possible while still maintaining the integrity of their relationship with the client.”
Much of what Kumar and her team do is geared toward improving the client-Skin Therapist experience, which is what Heyday hangs its hat on. But for Kumar, it’s the overall experience of working with Heyday that has been special.
“Heyday has probably been the most diverse workplace that I've been at,” she said. “There are a lot of women here that know so much and have such deep subject matter expertise in what they do. And there are so many disciplines within the company — there's education, there's shop operations, product, merchandising — so many different things happening within such a small company. So I'm able to work with a lot of brilliant, brilliant people here with very different backgrounds, which is just as empowering as it is fun”
Rachel Lubin, VP, Finance & Strategy
Rachel Lubin is a new addition to the Heyday team in her VP of finance and strategy role and comes from a heavy startup background. She started at Living Social, eventually rising to director of revenue optimization. Then she was one of the early employees at Framebridge, an online custom framing company, before co-founding her own company, The Lane — a social club determined to prove that family time can actually be fun, for the whole — in 2019.
Before all that, she really came from hospitality. And it’s the hospitality piece of her, she says, that had her loving the Heyday opportunity.
“I was immediately enamored with the brand and really excited about it,” she said. “The way we're approaching skincare is so different than what you’d typically see in the wellness world before, and it’s meant to be this sort of empowering concept of really living your best life. And there was something just really pure and delightful about that.”
Lubin’s role at Heyday includes overseeing everything from finance and strategy to customer experience to merchandising and inventory and working with Heyday’s learning and development teams.
“I'm so excited to be a part of this team and to help what we call ‘the support office’ to really grow and support its franchise partners and its owned-and-operated shops in striving for excellence in delivering skincare,” she said. “We’re really coming at skincare from a hospitality perspective and personalizing a program for the clients that come through the door all while building a longstanding relationship with those clients. Nobody else is doing that.”
But it wasn’t just the concept or the work that excited Lubin, who is a mother to two young girls.
“I love not only that I get to work within this group of people and be surrounded by such impressive people and women, but that my girls get to see that too,” Lubin said. “At any moment, I’ll be on a call or in a meeting and on my screen, my girls will see a diversity of faces and a number of women, not just a bunch of men. That means a lot. That’s something I really care about.”
Arielle Mortimer, Chief Operating Officer
Another new addition to the Heyday executive team is Arielle Mortimer, who joined the brand late in 2021 as its COO. She began her career in e-commerce with companies like Groupon and Jet.com, largely focusing on customer and supply operations. These experiences were followed by a stretch at Kindbody, a venture-backed women's health and fertility clinic that is reinventing the way women interact with healthcare.
As for Heyday, Mortimer began as a client herself.
“I just loved the ease, the accessibility, the price and the actual experience itself,” said Mortimer, who was a Heyday client at one of the New York locations. “It was just so easy -, easy to book, easy to fit into your schedule. And then once you were there, it was very relaxing. It wasn’t a dog-and-pony show like a spa where you feel like you're there for three hours and you feel like you’re being sold on something. It's just a very pragmatic approach to skincare and something that you can put into your lifestyle on a frequent basis, and that’s what I loved about it.”
“I fell in love with the business,” she said. “I knew that I already liked the brand as a consumer, but when I started to really peel back the onion on the business model, I was super impressed with what they had built. The membership portion of the business — having 50% of our clients come back month over month and really loving the experiences — is really easy to grow from a business perspective and an operations perspective. I think it's absolutely incredible.”
What really sealed the deal for Mortimer was that Ross and Pollak were looking for someone to help take the Heyday concept that they had incubated in the original company-owned shops and set up the systems, tools, and infrastructure to bring it to scale.
“That’s my bread and butter,” Mortimer said. “That’s what I do, and it’s what I love to do. I love to build processes, build teams. And that’s what I’m so excited about for Heyday — to take us to the next level and really cement ourselves from a national footprint perspective as the leader in skincare.”
With so much to be excited about at Heyday, for Mortimer, being a female leader amongst other female businesspeople and entrepreneurs is the icing on the cake.
“I lean on other women for advice, for mentorship, for support and for their unique backgrounds and experience,” Mortimer said. “Really powerful females can accomplish so much when they work together. And that’s something that I really want to foster at Heyday. It's important to have those partners in crime as we build the business. Together, I think there's nothing that we can't do.”
Heyday’s startup costs range between $574,000 to $755,500, depending on which market the store is located. Other factors like design, configuration and labor costs will also impact the total investment. Click here to see the full cost breakdown.