Meet Emine ErSelcuk: IPSY, Clinique, Fenty Beauty, and Bobbi Brown Alum + Drivepoint’s Newest Strategic Advisor
We’re thrilled to welcome a powerhouse new advisor to the Drivepoint team: Emine ErSelcuk.
As an industry veteran with over 18 years of experience in the beauty business, Emine has expertise spanning merchandising, inventory planning, marketing, brand management, P&L ownership, operations, and more.
Her background encompasses brands big and small—including IPSY, BoxyCharm, Morphe, bareMinerals, Clinique, Fenty Beauty, Smashbox, Bobbi Brown, Origins, Bumble & bumble, and Perricone MD—along with diverse categories, geographies, and functions.
She often plays the critical role of orchestrating more accurate, data-driven financial models to enable smarter decisions around commercial success and profitability.
We sat down with Emine to learn more about her career, her perspective on strategic finance for consumer brands, and what excites her about the road ahead with Drivepoint.
Discovering a Passion for Beauty and Business
Emine’s beauty industry journey started with a curiosity and love of art, color, and creativity.
Growing up in Indiana, she nurtured her artistic interests through art and photography classes, and also by digesting fashion and travel magazines. She landed her first cosmetics job at a fragrance retailer in her local mall, where she crafted custom fragrances and replicated popular scents with perfume oils. Her professional career formally started with Bare Escentuals/bareMinerals, where she began an 18-year ongoing beauty career.
“I loved art, color, and all things creative being a very curious, imaginative teenager. My first job at a local perfume retailer gave me a taste of the beauty world, creating bespoke fragrances while developing loyal clients and delivering as a top sales performer. I loved the mix of creative and business—it has served me well in my career, especially since I started in merchandising.”
Along the way, working with numerous companies and brands has led to learning tough business lessons. Emine has seen firsthand how companies with exceptional talent, branding, formulas, and packaging can still fail to be profitable or deliver sustained growth.
She emphasizes that a fantastic brand or product alone can’t succeed without a solid operational foundation. A real winning strategy must take into account a perspective that goes both wide and deep across the business’ fundamentals.
The biggest takeaway?
“People make or break a company. Find leaders who have personally worked their way through the trenches, done the actual work, and are humble enough to jump in to support their teams when needed. Hire people who make commercially viable decisions—this seems so obvious but is not the case in many circumstances. Those who truly understand the nuances of building a profitable business will never assume that success is inevitable.”
The Critical Role of Strategic Finance for High-Growth Beauty Brands
Emine underscores the significance of a robust strategic finance or FP&A function, especially for smaller brands trying to scale up in the competitive beauty space. Regardless of how innovative a product may be, there are many ways to mismanage the business—sometimes simply due to lack of available information or visibility. This risk to financial capability can easily jeopardize a brand’s short or long term success.
Accurate planning, forecasting, and budgeting can help brand operators react faster and more strategically when market realities change. That can take the form of smarter resource allocation to avoid excess inventory or cash flow issues, as one example.
Emine cites the start of the pandemic as a time when beauty brands with strong strategic finance infrastructure had a competitive advantage when consumer behavior changed overnight:
“Everyone had to shift their strategy so rapidly, often ramping up DTC over retail, and be very thoughtful about how they were spending their dollars and where their inventory was located in stores vs. online and how they invested in marketing. Understanding how the new dynamics would impact margins, growth, and profitability was critical for so many brands trying to stay afloat.”
The same analytics processes and strategic finance mindset that helped companies adapt to massive pandemic-era shifts can also help day-to-day when evaluating decisions on things like pricing strategy, discount plans, or supplier terms. According to Emine, it’s the real-time data and insights that make the difference.
Equipping Brands to Act on their Own Data with Drivepoint
Emine’s decision to join Drivepoint as an advisor stems from her firsthand experience of the challenges that founders and brand operators face in the beauty industry. After learning more about Drivepoint’s strategic finance software, she wishes her teams could have had it in their toolkits throughout her career.
“There’s finally a toolset to help consumer brands owners make the right timely, cost-effective decisions around the health and viability of their business. Information is power, and Drivepoint provides the critical financial and operational information you need in real-time to grow in a sustainable way.”
With Drivepoint, Emine believes growing brands (in beauty and beyond) can finally make sense of all the data that flows from modern commerce businesses. And most importantly, they can use it to make better financial decisions and thrive in a competitive market.
We’re thrilled to have Emine as part of the Drivepoint team, and we’re excited about the business outcomes she’s already helping to unlock for our customers.
To hear more from Emine, check out our on-demand webinar: 3 Finance Plays Beauty Brand Founders Should Run Right Now Before Q4.