Jennifer McKay Newton

Founder & CEO


Why is CEW membership important to you?

My CEW membership has been vital in keeping me updated on what’s happening in the beauty industry. The webinars are always relevant, insightful, and informative on a variety of industry topics. As a female founder, I feel CEW has been a supportive community that prioritizes highlighting female founders and their achievements. It has been a brilliant way to meet and connect with other professional women and men in our industry.

The Awards platforms have been instrumental in getting our brand and products out into the beauty world, exposing us to decision-makers, and the beauty audience, directly helping us grow DefineMe.

Do you have any tips for getting the most out of CEW membership?

Sure, my tips would be to sign up for the webinars that speak to you. Join in the discussion panels if you have questions or are looking for resources. I would also highly recommend the mentorship program if you need a little advice and guidance. If you have an exciting new product, the CEW Beauty Product Awards is a wonderful way to showcase it and get it out into the world!

What do you love most about working in the beauty Industry?

What I love most about working in the beauty industry is there is something magical about it. In 2015, when I launched my brand DefineMe, I literally knew no one, had never launched a fragrance, let alone a beauty product, and knew nothing about the beauty industry. All I wanted to do was create something meaningful, empowering, and beautiful that would bring a little happiness to people. That desire and passion manifested into a clean, organic, vegan and cruelty-free, fragrance line called DefineMe, which is all about defining yourself in a positive way. In the beginning, I was called crazy and told I was out of my league, and I couldn’t compete with the big corps for shelf space. I felt a lot like David, of David and Goliath. But I stayed focused on my brand and our mission, and I kept showing up.  I was accepted and supported by my peers and buyers, and I was able to find opportunities to get DefineMe noticed for the good and meaningful work we were doing. I have met so many generous people along the way that gave me a shot, believed in what I was doing, and offered advice and direction along the way. I will forever be grateful for that.

What advice would you give someone who is inspired by your career and one day wants to be in a similar position?

My advice would be, be sure your product or service is relevant to what is happening now and in the future. Being a pioneer in something new is hard, be prepared to hear a lot of no’s and to hustle. Think about scalability…ask yourself, “Can this product or service scale in a big way?” You will need to spend the next several years of your life dedicated to making it work and so make it something worth your time and energy. Create something empowering and beautiful that makes people happy!

What do you feel is the most important quality for someone to possess in order you have a successful career?

Not all of us have MBA’s from Harvard, and I certainly don’t…the single most important thing you need is to believe that you are worthy of success. Once you have that down, be passionate about what you’re doing, stay laser beam focused, work hard, have confidence, and success will surely follow.