Forbes Women: Passionate for Natural

Chiara Scudieri is passionate about research and development and the search for new ingredients. In 2002, along with Jorge Rubin, she started I.C.O.N., a company that has revolutionized the hair care industry. Today it is a global company, present in more than 36 countries, and has received prestigious awards such as the European Business Awards 2021.

FORBES: How did the idea of creating I.C.O.N. come up?

CS: We wanted to create a product brand that treats hair with ingredients that add strength and structure. The results would be instant, and the consumers would see and feel the difference in their hair. Using high-end ingredients that are paraben free, vegan, natural, and organic, with a strong focus on technology and science along with my in-depth product development experience and
desire to innovate, I.C.O.N. was born. Still today, I’m proud to say that some of our top sellers are the first products we launched.

FORBES: What has it meant in your life to be an entrepreneur woman?

CS: Jorge inspired me to take on the challenge, and I was eager to put in the effort and commitment required to make it a reality. As an
entrepreneur, I am passionate about motivating and empowering individuals to chase their aspirations and make them a reality. I continue to
work with influential people and bring successful, innovative ideas to life. For me, it is not a job or work but rather a lifestyle.

FORBES: What is the key to success in the hair care industry?

CS: The quality of products, education and values are fundamental for success. Our professionals are committed to ensuring that each raw
material is of the highest standard. We use comprehensive compounding, filling, and in-house salon-lab testing to guarantee every product. We strive to deliver quality products; our dedication to providing value and integrity sets us apart. We are proud of offering customers products they
can rely on.

F: What strategy do you follow in favor of sustainability and the environment?

CS: We carefully blend the right raw materials to ensure that our products are vegan and made with natural and organic ingredients to achieve the
desired results. We uphold our sustainability commitments. We have partnered with labs that are powered by solar energy and have implemented water recycling systems to reduce our environmental impact. Additionally, we have a strict “no animal testing” policy. Our packaging is PCR, glass and recycled paper. To further reduce our plastic consumption, we launched our Refill program, which uses 85% less plastic.

F: With headquarters in Los Angeles and Vigo, how is work distributed?

CS: All of the creative energy comes from LA: the photo shoots, the art direction and ultimately, product development. I work with raw materials, labs, chemists and our testing team to create luxurious hair care products. Once each project is completed, it is sent over to my team in Spain where the work continues with my direction. Across the world, Spain works on business, education, distribution, advanced academy training, salon development, logistics, and the growth of our international presence.

F: What are your inspirations for new products?

CS: I have an undeniable obsession with discovering and experimenting with innovative ingredients and what is achieved when blending them with
science, whether it be a new peptide blend, collagen, H.A.s, N.A.D., exosomes or the latest technology offers. I’m constantly searching for
ways to improve hair care. It’s inspiring to see the effect that certain ingredients have on the hair and, of course, the reactions from the
clients. I’m truly addicted to this field. I will rework a formula repeatedly. There is no stopping until I get it right.

F: How long does the process of researching and creating a new product take and how is it carried out?

CS: It starts with an idea. I might have come across a new ingredient, traveled to a new destination, or even found inspiration through something
I experienced or ate. I always bring it back to a product: How will it affect our hair, I ask myself. Then the process starts, researching the benefits of each raw ingredient. It is vital to take the time to thoroughly test the product to ensure that it will perform to my expectations. We have a Salon Lab Studio where our products must undergo standard and consumer tests before launch. This process can take anywhere from 1 to 3 years but is essential to guarantee that our products have the quality our consumers expect from us.

F: In an ever-changing world, how do you think new technologies will affect the hairdressing industry?

CS: I welcome technology as it has allowed us to use raw materials in ways that we were never able to in the past, the blend of nature and science to me is the most exciting of all. I will be able to create products that not only nourish and treat the hair but possibly change the entire DNA of the hair.

F: How do you envision I.C.O.N. In the future?

CS: Our proyection for the upcoming years is to focus on consolidating the brand in the countries where we are already present and negotiating
possible opening in other continents. In the European Community, we still have 6 countries to open and we plan to complete them in the next 2 years. In the United States, Canada and Mexico, we are growing at a good pace and positioning the brand to gain consumer recognition. As for
Latin America, we are currently negotiating with 3 countries, in order to be able to start next year.
The Asian market is difficult due to its regulations, and we would need to find the right partner(s) to be able to go hand in hand and make sure we have a good implementation of the brand.