MECCA Founder Jo Horgan on the Changing Face of Beauty: “I wanted to turn the industry upside down”

Way of life

When MECCA founder Jo Horgan opened her first store at age 29, she had no idea there would one day be over 100 stores in Australasia. Photo / Supplied

Beauty retailers like MECCA have helped revolutionize the way we think about beauty today. As her new New Zealand store opens in Sylvia Park, founder Jo Horgan reflects on how the industry has evolved to keep pace with evolving beauty ideals.

She chats with Bethany Reitsma about the evolution towards more accessible makeup, how Covid-19 has affected the industry, and beauty trends we can expect to see in the future.

When Jo Horgan opened the first MECCA store in 1997 in South Yarra, Melbourne, the 29-year-old had no idea the brand would expand into more than 100 stores in New Zealand and Australia.

A store in Ponsonby, Auckland was the brand’s first foray outside Australia, opening in 2007. Branches in Wellington, Newmarket and Christchurch quickly followed.

Horgan’s goal was simple: to bring the best beauty brands home to the consumer. And that has helped make beauty more accessible to New Zealanders who wear makeup.

Walking into a MECCA store is a far cry from the intimidating department store beauty counters, all locked cabinets, and dizzying mirrors.

“I found the traditional beauty experience of department stores, where you went from one big brand counter to another, too overwhelming,” says Horgan. “I wanted to try an approach where we could provide independent advice across brands.”

Yes, MECCA offers premium brands like Tom Ford and Yves Saint Laurent, but you can also find your loyal NARS and Too Faced here. The house brands Mecca Max and Mecca Cosmetica are offered at an even more affordable price.

It is this quality of every girl (and boy) that appeals to Kiwi buyers. Whether it’s skincare, makeup, perfume or candles, there is something for every taste and budget. We no longer have to go online to find beauty products that we have seen on our favorite beauty bloggers in the UK and US.

“Accessibility is also about information and education,” Horgan told the Herald. “Everything we do aims to demystify the beauty experience, brands, products and ingredients.

“From the start, my vision was that we were going to democratize beauty. I wanted to shake up the industry, the beauty culture of the time, because I felt that all the power lay with the brands and the retailers, and not with the customers.

A new multi-level store has just opened in Auckland's Sylvia Park shopping center.  Photo / Supplied
A new multi-level store has just opened in Auckland’s Sylvia Park shopping center. Photo / Supplied

But it’s not just accessibility and affordability that we’re looking for at the makeup counter in 2021. Clean beauty and well-being have become more important than ever. A recent American study discovered that more than half of beauty products contain toxic chemicals ‘forever’ that impact our health and the environment, and this has sparked calls to regulate the makeup industry in New Zealand .

The Covid-19 pandemic has also played a role in forcing us to rethink how we access and consume these products, and how they affect our overall health and well-being.

“Personal care is an important part of beauty, and in recent years we have seen a real blurring of the lines between beauty and wellness,” said the beauty manager.

The pandemic has made beauty treatments and home routines a necessity – but now more and more of us are choosing them, she observes.

“Skincare has become increasingly popular with clients who are creating new rituals and routines while testing devices to recreate the results of professional facials at home.

“It’s really forced retailers to innovate at a much faster pace, especially in the digital space and now that virtual services and live experiences have been introduced, they’re definitely here to stay. pandemic silver lining. “

The beauty industry is constantly evolving, but that’s what Horgan loves about it – and that’s what keeps Kiwis coming back time and time again.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Back To Top