Nest Fragrances Names New CEO, Maria Dempsey

Nest Fragrances has a new chief executive officer.
Today, the fragrance brand announced Maria Dempsey, a beauty executive with more than 25 years of industry experience, as its new ceo. Dempsey joins Nest from Crabtree & Evelyn, where she was a project management and operational marketing consultant. She succeeds Nancy McKay, who stepped down as ceo in October 2018.
"I feel privileged to have found a ceo that is easy to work with, a kind person, down to earth, but also brilliant and has a terrific reputation in the field," said Laura Slatkin, Nest Fragrances' founder and executive chairman. "It is an exciting moment in time because the brand is extremely successful in important channels of distribution. There’s a lot of opportunity for expansion into other categories. Maria has the enthusiasm and excitement and vision to think big in terms of what we can do."
Dempsey began her career at L'Oréal in 1987 as an associate manager of the export division. She worked her way up to be the vice president of marketing for facial skin care, sun, body and fragrances at Lancôme and went on to hold executive-level positions at both John Frieda Hair Care and Clarins. In 2003, she started her own business venture, HM Mane Solutions, and launched EasyStraight, a brand of at-home, hair-care products sold in drugstores in the U.S. and Australia. The company was sold to Zotos International Inc., in 2007.
"My career has spanned all different product categories from hair care, skin care, fragrances, makeup," said Dempsey. "I bring a rich understanding of product innovation and an omnichannel approach. I bring a true understanding of developing a retail business and I’ve been instrumental in launching web sites and driving digital innovation and e-commerce expertise."
As the new ceo, Dempsey will be tasked with growing Nest's product offerings and retail presence. On Feb. 5, the brand will open its first-ever standalone retail store. Located at 232 Elizabeth Street in Manhattan, the space was previously home to Nest's holiday pop-up, which ran throughout December.
"Our holiday pop-up shop was greeted with enormous success," said Slatkin. "We’re looking forward to opening up the permanent store and having a playground to express the brand and highlight the various categories and new offerings that are in the wings for Nest over the next few years."
Earlier this month, Nest announced that it is launching a personal-care collection exclusively at Ulta Beauty. The line, which spans body wash, body lotion, hand lotion, body mist, body wipes and lip balm, will enter 155 Ulta doors starting Jan. 20, and will roll out to an additional 300 doors starting March 10. It is also available now on Ulta's web site.
"We’re excited to be launching this body-care collection with Ulta," said Slatkin. "We thought very carefully about this category and how we could take our beautiful fragrances and put them into efficacious and innovative products that move with you. We felt Ulta has an expertise in body care and that they would be a terrific partner to launch our body-care collection."
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