The Manor had the opportunity to sit down and interview one of SCAD’s newest professors Meloney Moore, teaching in the new major The Business of Beauty and Fragrance. She has definitely become a fascinating topic of conversation among SCAD students, having been rumored to hand out Tom Ford lipsticks and other cosmetic goodies from her PR closet. She is also one of the most hands-on professors, integrating makeup and skincare workshops into the course curriculum.
We met at Art’s Cafe, following her debut at the Majors and Minors Fair. Professor Moore, being born into a military family, spent most of her time growing up in New York and Orlando and credits her outlook on the world and jet-setting attitude to her travels, both as a child and adult.
“I love people,” Moore admits, “When I say that, I am not being casual. I really do love people and cultures and exploring different areas of the world. I think it made me a good marketer. Empathy is one of the most important traits of a marketer.” We all dream of travelling and professor Moore has definitely lived that dream. She has worked for Estée Lauder for the past 7 ½ years. “I traveled all over the world.” she says, “There were occasions where I traveled for six weeks straight, seven countries, back to back.”
All we see on social media lately are the elaborate brand trips that huge makeup companies take their staff and influencers on. It sparks curiosity: is working in the beauty industry as glamorous as it seems. Most of us would think so. Professor Moore agrees. “1000% it’s glamorous,” Moore says, “I did meet some celebrities. I worked with some of the most brilliant women in the industry. I have launched some amazing products. And I had the most amazing mentors. Estée Lauder is truly a phenomenal company! When you’re in it, it’s not something you think is glamorous, but when you just mentioned it, I thought, ‘Absolutely!’”
Moore admits that she wasn’t sure what she wanted to major in, while studying at the University of Notre Dame for her undergraduate degree. “I wasn’t sure if I wanted to go into marketing or government,” Moore shares, “I spent some time in D.C. and felt like I didn’t really have the heart for politics. Although I loved politics and the idea of being involved in community, I thought marketing was a better fit for me. I really enjoyed fashion.”
Of course, an established position at Estée Lauder is not an opportunity offered right out of college. If there is only one thing to be learned from Moore, it is to trust the process and enjoy the journey of learning your craft, even if it deviates from your original plan. “My first job after college was with Liz Claiborne,” Moore explains. “I worked in apparel, then I moved to accessories and handbags. I wanted to learn more about branding so I went to business school. After business school, I transitioned to the consumer packaged goods industry.” After working for Liz Claiborne, she eventually moved onto working for Diageo in the beer innovation department and then Toys R Us before working for Estée Lauder.
It’s a common worry among students and professionals alike to land that “dream job.” Moore declares that the “perfect” job basically doesn’t exist. “Here is the spoiler: there is no such thing as a dream job. There is only the job that puts you on the path to living your most authentic self. My career has been the journey that has allowed me to live my most authentic self. It wasn’t one job. It was 4 industries, over 10 mentors, 2 degrees and 10 different jobs that lead me here. And ‘here’ wasn’t possible without the entire journey. So, I would say don’t be worried about making a mistake in choosing your first job. Enjoy this time. Learn, grow and receive all the education life has to offer.”
Our interests are constantly evolving, and Moore can attest to this. “Stay away from the concept that there is one path to happiness,” Moore advises, “There isn’t a single path to greatness. No one person is going to give you the answers. It is fine to explore. It is fine to fail! Failure is the best teacher. If you don’t fail, how will you know what to improve? And if you can’t improve, how will you become your best self? No one is born perfect.”
The shift from working for a major beauty corporation to being a college professor is a huge one. “Teaching was always the goal for me.” Moore admits when asked where her desire to teach came from. “I love academia, studying, discovering and identifying new concepts. However, there was nothing like SCAD around when I was growing up. This is heaven! I feel so privileged to be a part of this amazing movement.”
Professor Moore surely didn’t keep her excitement to herself when it came to discuss her goals for the new major. Not only will students have the opportunity to learn about the history of the products but about the consumer and the entire marketing strategy that goes into the industry. “I think it’s a great program and it’s very forward thinking. More importantly, I think that the BFA in beauty applies to other companies in the consumer packaged goods industry,” says Moore, “Our classes are taught from a global perspective so students learn all the nuances of social media in China, Europe and Latin America. The classes are very interactive with workshops and simulations. This is truly breakthrough and you haven’t seen anything yet! There is so much more to come. I’m really excited.”
When asked about predictions for the beauty industry and the application of the new major, Moore says, “I think we are at the precipice of a new era of marketing. If you look at marketing ten years ago, it was about strategy, frameworks, and it was a one way conversation with the consumer. This consumer is now educating her/himself online with videos and becoming experts in every field. This is a new era of marketing and we need a new type of marketer. A marketer that can speak to the consumer, as an artist, an evangelist and as an influencer. This is why I am excited about teaching at SCAD. Everything we do supports the development of this type of marketer. Everything we do teaches an appreciation of art and design. Everything we do is done with passion and the support of the latest technology.”