NEW YORK — Angel investor Julie Macklowe is wearing a different hat these days — that of an entrepreneur set to launch her own beauty firm.
VBeauté is a skin care line targeting women between ages 25 and 55. A Web site, vBeauté.com, will go live Nov. 1, followed by a retail launch on Black Friday, first at Bergdorf Goodman and then at other specialty stores.
Macklowe just closed on her third round of fund-raising from angel investors for vBeauté. She declined to disclose specifics. The first round of seed funding closed in September 2010 and a second round was completed in February.
While her former life as a private equity investor and then as a hedge fund manager specializing in retail and apparel investments helps her understand financial and operational issues, the move to entrepreneur has her busier than ever, and she’s still mentoring Amy Jain and Daniella Yacobovsky, the two co-founders of accessories e-tailer BaubleBar. Macklowe is an angel investor in the site, which is positioning itself as the premier destination for fashion jewelry. She was also instrumental in introducing Erickson Beamon to BaubleBar, which is launching the Erickson Beamon + BaubleBar collection later this month as part of the site’s designer collaboration “Fusion” series.
Now she’s also chief executive officer of a startup herself.
“I just want to replicate myself. Instead of just seeing numbers on the balance sheet, now I get to see and do it live, dealing with all the nitty-gritty stuff. Now I’m the one questioning ‘Why is the Fed Ex bill $300?’” she said. “When I ran a hedge fund, it was intense from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m., but when I went home, I could stop working. Now I’m working 24/7 on my startup company.”
And she seems to like this side of the corporate boardroom better.
“Stocks don’t know that you own them. You could be the smartest person and get unlucky. Here, with my own company, the effort I and that of my team put in has an attainable end goal that’s real and correlated to our efforts,” she said. “Obviously you don’t know if what you’ve built is successful until the consumer not only buys them the first time, but also the second and third time.”
For Macklowe, her sole focus now is vBeauté. While she doesn’t expect to return to the investing world, she observed, “If I decide to go back in as an investor, I’ll be better at it after having run a company and working on its operations.”
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