- About The Founders
About The Founders
EMMANUEL REY, FOUNDER & CEO, YUNI BEAUTY
The quest to align purpose with profit has defined the visionary career of Emmanuel Rey, Founder of YUNI, a groundbreaking collection of personal care products created for yoga practitioners before, during and after a session to enhance, prolong and recall the benefits of the yoga experience. The stated mission of the brand reflects Rey’s engagement in yoga and meditation practice which culminated in his certification as an Ashtanga yoga teacher. Guiding the formulation process, including the curation of many organic and fair trade ingredients, called upon Rey’s decades of branding expertise.
French-born and one of nine siblings, Rey obtained a degree in engineering in agronomics (agricultural engineering). This technical academic expertise paired with social and political consciousness led Rey to Cameroon and The Ivory Coast, West Africa, where he worked as a cocoa and coffee-buyer in the bush. Rey began to develop his dedication to a win-win-win business model, starting by teaching traditional growers on their small plantations how to produce premium quality product more effectively, increasing the monetary value of their crops as well as empowering them as independent business-people. Rey then went on to the Netherlands to become a cocoa trader in the futures market, and the experience of working in the sphere of commodities sparked his growing interest in the need for ethical business practices in a rapidly expanding world marketplace.
After earning his MBA in international marketing at Thunderbird American Graduate School of International Management in Phoenix, Arizona, Rey, who is fluent in five languages, sought out one of the few French companies with a truly global footprint: L’Oreal. His trajectory with this world-leader in beauty placed him initially in the role of L’Oreal Product Manager in France, followed by a swift escalation up the managerial ladder to Group Manager, and then to the position of Marketing Director. Following these appointments, Rey accepted the role of General Manager for L’Oreal in Portugal in 1998.
In 2002, Rey joined the Aveda brand in order to marry his personal and business values and contribute meaningfully to his belief that ecological and profit goals are mutually achievable.
Rey’s successful rise within the Aveda brand led him from his role as Marketing Director for the European market to General Manager, Aveda UK and Ireland, on to General Manager Aveda North America, followed by the position of Senior Vice President / General Manager for Aveda, Bumble & bumble and Darphin for North America. Over 10 years, he was an important player in the successful development of Aveda as a natural, sustainable and profitable global industry leader.
In 2012, Rey was certified as an Ashtanga yoga teacher and soon after began the process of developing YUNI, a brand that engages the innate connectivity of the yoga community and marries his expertise in the beauty business with yoga consciousness. An accomplished songwriter, sportsman and eco-conscious steward, he and his wife Suzanne live in the Hermosa Beach community of Los Angeles.
SUZANNE DAWSON, CO-FOUNDER, YUNI BEAUTY
Beauty industry veteran Suzanne Dawson, has led major beauty brands to unprecedented growth throughout her global 25-year career. Most notable was her 11 year tenure (2001-11) with Aveda (ELC), 7 of those years as Vice President Global Marketing & Innovation, Chief Marketing Officer at Murad, and recently, President/Chief Executive Officer at OleHenriksen (LVMH).
Born in India, educated in Australia, and now a credentialed Ashtanga Yoga teacher living in Los Angeles, she recently announced the launch of YUNI, the first natural, sustainable, Yoga-inspired beauty brand. Dawson partners on her newest venture with her husband Emmanuel Rey, a fellow Yogi with an equally epic history as a cosmetics industry executive.
She’s an enlightened entrepreneur with an instinct for anticipating the newest niche. Beginning at age 22, Dawson owned several highly successful beauty and publishing businesses. This expertise proved crucial to her success in launching Aveda into the Australian marketplace in 1995, and her early entrepreneurial and business savvy was instrumental in helping drive Aveda Corporation to its billion-dollar retail sales milestone.
Dawson’s unique grasp of the marketplace also enabled her to re-energize mature brands which struggle to keep their footing amidst rabid competition and evolving market forces.
Digital technologies, eco innovation, natural formulations, mudras and mantras—all in a day’s work, and play, for this multi-dimensional creator of beauty industry success.