Sunday, 22 March 2009

The Beauty Spot: Ido Leffler


In the spotlight: Ido Leffler, Founder of Yes to Carrots.

What is Yes to Carrots and what is the philosophy behind the brand?
Yes To Carrots is a brand that was designed first and foremost to make people happy (and beautiful too). The Yes To Carrots, Yes To Tomatoes, and Yes To Cucumbers product lines of face, body and hair care products were born out of the desire to produce unique, high-quality products that make your hair and skin glow, naturally. Yes To Carrots is committed to creating paraben-free products by utilising nature’s best kept secrets: rejuvenating Dead Sea mud minerals, combined with the antioxidant and youth-enhancing properties of Beta-Carotene, a natural form of Vitamin A. All products in the range are derived from organic carrots and other fruits and vegetables, so they are 100% natural and packed with goodness.

Yes To Carrots is also about the experience - the ingredients are efficacious and easy to understand, the website and packaging are bright and cheery, whilst the products themselves are innovative. Our main philosophy at Yes To Carrots is that we do not take ourselves too seriously. For example, the directions on our Pampering Carrot Juice Shampoo are: “Shampoo daily on wet hair while singing.” Who doesn’t love a product that makes them smile or sing?!

Another thing we pride ourselves on is our charity philosophy. When the brand began to take off we wanted it to not just be successful but to make a difference to peoples lives, so we set up the Yes To Carrots Seed Fund. A percentage of all sales go into it, and all proceeds from the Fund help to provide under-served communities to create self sustaining organic food sources. Some of our most recent projects have included creating a 24 plot vegetable garden at a housing network facility for mentally and physically disabled women in New York and also building a green house for a homeless shelter in Chicago. It’s a very satisfying feeling knowing that the success of Yes To Carrots has helped so many people.

Why did you decide to set up the brand?
We decided to set up the brand because store managers in Israel came to us asking for a line of products that contain Beta Carotene because of its amazing free radical fighting power. Our formulator, Uri, said no twice. He said “Yes” the third time and the brand was born.

Hero products in the range?
I know as the CEO I am a little biased but they are all great. Particularly the Shampoos and Conditioners, Body Butters, Eye Cream, Hand and Nail Spa, Lip Butters. A very popular choice for us across the board are the Body Butters.

Who else or what other brand do you admire in the beauty industry?
I admire all natural brands - especially the originator brands like Burt’s Bees. They have helped pave the way for the growth of the natural market in general. We view all of the natural brands as friends - not competitors.

A day in your life…
5:30am – 6:30am
: Wake up with my baby daughter, Zoe. Change her diaper and give her undivided attention until she is ready for her feeding.
6:30am – 7:30am: Dress in my orange outfit of the day, drink a protein fruit smoothie, do an interview or call with the European Team, head to Carrot Capital (office) by bike, car or bus- check emails on Blackberry if mode of transportation allows.
8am – 9am: In office...
catch up with Carrot Lovers on Yes To Carrots Facebook page.
9am – 12pm: Meet with each Yes To team leader. Brainstorm new funky ideas, review customer ideas and discuss new "Yes To Carrot Seed Fund" projects
12pm – 5pm:Head to the airport and catch a flight to NYC or wherever I am scheduled to be next. Call my wife as soon as I land. Head to hotel and check-in. Check emails on BB en route or have a conference call/interview/meeting (sometimes at the same time).
5pm-7pm: Meet with one of our retail partners (usually with a conference call enroute).
7pm: Dinner w/ colleagues.
10:30pm:Back to hotel, late night trip to the hotel gym (check BB while on treadmill), call wife and say goodnight, back on computer with West Wing episodes on in the background.
5am:Wake up and start again... Here we go - Back to airport as the next country awaits…

Greatest achievement to date?
My baby daughter, Zoe (it used to be that my wife said “Yes” when I proposed!)

Hopes for the future?
That Yes To is able to grow to the point where I can dedicate all of my time to the Yes To Carrots seed fund projects.

Do you like carrots?
Are you CRAZY? I love carrots. My mom recently revealed to me that as a baby I would actually crave carrots and couldn’t get enough of them. Today I love all things carrots - carrot juice, carrot cake, carrots in sushi…

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