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Kay S. Napier

CEO of Irvine-based Arbonne International

20 Women to Watch, continued ...Published: March 01, 2011

Hometown: Laguna Beach


 Daughter, Martha (26), and son, Michael (22)

Best beauty tip that you personally use:
It’s our own Arbonne Cosmetics Makeup Primer. It primes your face with vitamins and botanicals, and helps the foundation and other color cosmetics last longer.

First job:
When I was 16, I worked at a local pharmacy as a clerk and a fountain waitress. I wanted that job so badly that I applied several times until the owner gave in and hired me.

Worst job:
Working at my college library. I had to sort through reams of computer printouts, looking at data for errors. It was the type of work that computers now do electronically for us. That was a tedious, isolated job that required no people or problem-solving skills.

Biggest break:
I’d say my first break was being hired at Procter & Gamble and being in that dynamic business environment for 23 years. My biggest break has definitely been coming to Arbonne. I’ve had the opportunity to run a company that’s about giving people the chance to improve their own lives, and the health, vitality and beauty of their customers.

Secret to your success:
In a word, it’s “persistence.” Pursuing what you believe is right, even though others may not see it. A close second is a positive attitude – this goes hand in hand with persistence.

Advice to other women in business:
Be yourself. Be true to yourself and who you are. It’s most important to surround yourself with people who are truly good at heart, and who also work hard and have no hidden agendas. Also, trust your gut.

Napier successfully led Arbonne International – a direct-sales skin-care and cosmetics company – through bankruptcy last year, restructuring its debt and assembling a new management team.
“Our company has started to grow again over the last six months,” Napier says. “As a team, we have rallied around a five-year strategy that will get us to a much better place.”
With the heavy lifting done, Napier wants this year to be “more about excellence in execution,” including better interaction with the company’s independent sales consultants, a strategy that is “the clearest and fastest route to success.”


Readers Feedback:

totally agree...persistence but not pestistence !I love Arbonne.The primer rocks..
Comment at 3/8/2011
I like how she said surround yourself with people that are good at heart and have no hidden agendas. I live by this motto.
Comment at 3/15/2011
I met Kay Napier in Columbus a few months back. She is an incredible leader and we're so happy to have her as our CEO. What an inspiration!
Comment at 3/19/2011
A few years ago I worked in a service sector job that gave me an opportunity to have many interactions with Kay. What impressed me most about her was her ability to treat everyone with dignity, respect and genuine thoughtfulness. Arbonne is truly fortunate to have her as CEO, IMHO.
Comment at 4/22/2011
awesome; can this article be sent to me so I can share it with others?
Comment at 6/12/2011
Hey, that's powferul. Thanks for the news.
Comment at 11/6/2011