Jennifer Aniston's beauty brand, LolaVie, named after an old second-hand car, generated over €15 million in sales in its first year. And it has also helped her get rid of the frustration of brands that only wanted her as an image.
None of the Friends actors should ever have to work again. In royalties alone on reruns of the series, each of them has pocketed more than 130 million euros from 2004 to date. And, of all of them, no one needs it less than Jennifer Aniston. She charges between five and ten million euros per campaign for her image, has set up a successful production company whose main product is herself – Echo Films, which co-produced The Morning Show for Apple TV, where the actress pocketed one million per episode – and her personal fortune is estimated at over 315 million euros. But since September last year, she has launched a successful hair care brand: LolaVie. A name she has been trying to give to a product since 2010, when she collaborated with Elizabeth Arden to create a perfume that was briefly called LolaVie before flooding the shops, but for fear of confusion, ended up with its own name.
The name and Elizabeth Arden are important. It was through this collaboration with the brand that the actress met her current partners, Joel Ronkin and Amy Sachs, executives with long careers in the cosmetics world. She convinced them with the same mission and frustration she told WWD in an interview a few months ago: "I've worked with a few brands putting my image forward with minimal involvement [like L'Oréal]. But I got sucked into the industry. I had more things to do, more ideas, and more products I wanted to create."
Countless hours of work
This led to her working with Living Proof, a brand she became a co-owner of after joining in 2012, and which she sold her stake in 2016, following the sale of the company to Unilever for an undisclosed amount. The frustration came from Jennifer Aniston's dream of developing her own hair products, hand in hand with technicians and laboratories. A dream that the departure of Living Proof could not completely fulfil. Because "and few people know this", says the presentation of her brand, "she is obsessed with scientific publications, technological advances and innovations in cosmetics".
After several years of "countless hours of work" in product oversight, marketing and creative direction, LolaVie has finally taken off, with estimated sales of $15-20 million in its first year. That's about what you get in a good year of Friends rights, but it's a good start for a brand as young as it is ambitious. The goal of Jennifer Aniston, whose hairstyle as Rachel Green entered the pantheon of iconic haircuts decades ago, was to have just a handful of products replace the entire shelf of serums, oils and the like. It all stemmed from a personal concern because, as she said in this interview, "I've always had problematic hair". The proposal has not only worked but is growing, with Jennifer Aniston peppering her Instagram with posts showing her as a guinea pig for her own products.
The best of science and nature
Before launching each new product, Jennifer Aniston and her team talk to her customers to make sure it's really necessary. And the entrepreneur is getting more involved with the brand every day. She's also chosen her ground very well: high-end, sustainable, eco-friendly hair care ("the best of science and nature", the entrepreneur boasts on her website) is one of the sectors that has fared best during the pandemic and, for the time being, doesn't seem to be affected by the ups and downs of inflation.
As for the name, it's another sign of the ambition that has always guided Jennifer Aniston's career: when she moved to California, she told People, she bought her first used car, which she decided to nickname Lola, after the Sarah Vaughan song, What Lola wants, Lola gets. "So every time I'd walk by, they'd say, "There's Lola!" And that was sort of the nickname they gave me every time I appeared somewhere."
Written by Michael Zippo
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