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Stila Founder Lobell, Tractenberg Form Consultancy

Makeup artist Jeanine Lobell, who founded Stila, and publicist Jacquie Tractenberg have teamed up to form On Trac, a beauty consulting venture.

Makeup artist Jeanine Lobell and publicist Jacquie Tractenberg have teamed up to form On Trac, a beauty consulting venture.

This story first appeared in the April 23, 2009 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

“What we’re offering is an opportunity to get advice on how best to build a beauty business — what is the right direction to be going in with your brand, who you should be working with, how to tweak your packaging, what to spend money on and what not to bother with,” said Lobell, who in 1994 founded indie brand Stila, which was later sold to the Estée Lauder Cos. Inc., then to Sun Capital Partners Inc. and acquired this week by private equity firm Patriarch Partners LLC. Tractenberg did Stila’s public relations for a number of years. “Especially in this economy, people need to spend their money very wisely. Need to find a supplier with lower minimums or advice on how to get into certain retailers? We can help with that.”

On Trac is a separate venture from Tractenberg’s eponymous public relations firm, and its fees are not covered under Tractenberg’s standard PR contracts. As well, On Trac clients are not required to be Tractenberg public-relations clients.

“We were always making the most with very little,” said Lobell of the early days of Stila. “It’s tough to know what to do next sometimes — but the one thing that’s universal is that you have to stay true to your own vision. If you’re trying to second-guess what the other guy is doing rather than trusting your gut, you run the risk of having a look-alike brand.”