By  on October 5, 2007

IRVING, Tex. — Ricardo Fisas, founder of Natura Bissé luxury skin care, is passing the torch to his children just as the company is about to introduce one of its most unusual products.

"Natura Bissé was like an aircraft, and my daughters, son and sons-in-law have learned very well how to fly it," said Fisas, 78, during a visit here.

The second generation has long worked in the business, which Fisas started in Barcelona in 1979 on the theory that proteins improve the texture and appearance of skin. The company is now an international enterprise offering more than 600 treatment products with global retail sales eclipsing $90 million this year. Eschewing advertising, Natura invests heavily in research to develop innovative products.

"It's the only way we can compete with the big brothers," Fisas said.

There's already a buzz about the Diamond Magnetic body treatment bowing Nov. 1. The cream, black from bits of iron and sparkling with diamond dust, is intended to rejuvenate the body when a magnet passes over the skin, stripping the iron to create a negative magnetic field and leaving a twinkling sheen. It was inspired by ancient and modern theories of magnet and gem therapy.

The dramatic treatment was introduced as a perk for celebrities during Oscar week, followed by small previews with top Neiman Marcus shoppers that yielded 1,000 pre-sold units. Diamond Magnetic will retail for $270 for 9.5 oz. The concept is so new that the company doesn't have a sales projection.

Like most things at Natura Bissé, the succession decision was a family affair. Fisas polled his children and their spouses, who elected Veronica Fisas, the eldest, to assume her father's role as chairman, president and worldwide chief executive officer at headquarters in Spain.

For the past six years Veronica Fisas had been building business in North America as ceo of Natura Bissé here, with her husband, Joaquin Serra, serving as chief operating officer. Serra's new role in Barcelona is ceo of the Spanish market, where the brand has 6,000 doors.

Patricia Fisas, former director of marketing, moved to Texas last month to fill her sister's shoes as head of the U.S. operation. Her husband, Jose Borrell, shifted from chief financial officer in Barcelona to the same role in the U.S. division. The transition was seamless: Fisas, Borrell and their four children simply moved into the house formerly occupied by their relatives.

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