As a former retail buyer at Target and product marketer at Neutrogena, Vanessa now helps emerging brands launch and grow their brands in retail channels.
Vanessa is a 16+ year veteran of the consumer goods and retail industry. Her career has spanned retail buying, consumer marketing, new product development and brand strategy for companies such as Target Corporation, Johnson & Johnson and Lieberman Research Worldwide. At Target, she was a well-recognized senior-level buyer managing $500+ million categories with category experience in Personal Care, Stationery/Seasonal, Toys, Books, and more.
In 2010, she left her career at Target to return home to care for her recently widowed father. During this time she met several remarkable brands, provide pro-bono advice and upon the success of those brands, launched her first business, Retail Path - to groom health & wellness and juvenile product brands for big retail.
Her business has opened doors in stores like Target, Walmart, Walgreens, Bed Bath and Beyond, Babies R Us and many independent retailers. Client list includes The Honest Company, Church & Dwight, Psi Bands, FreshKids, ABC’s Shark Tank entrepreneurs, brands embraced by consumers such as Sticky Bellies, Twistband, plus many other products now available in national retail giants.
Vanessa has helped bring hundreds of consumer products to market including best-selling products such as the Helioplex line of Neutrogena Suncare, client brands such as Salty Girl Seafood, and the re-invention of Neutrogena Cosmetics. In the process, she has honed her instincts to quickly identify a great idea and how to position that great idea into a successful product on store shelves.
She is a regular contributor to the blog, Both Sides of the Retail Table, and has appeared on TV (MSNBC) to provide retail industry analysis. She has also been featured in Inc. Magazine, Entrepreneur Magazine, Wall Street Journal’s MarketWatch and Tamara Monosoff’s The Mom Inventor’s Handbook (Second Edition).
Vanessa holds a BA from University of Southern California and an MBA from Georgetown University.
In her spare time, she is an active startup community leader. Vanessa is a board member for M.I.T. Enterprise Forum and spearheads initiatives such as Startup Weekend Conejo Valley, Startup Conejo Valley, and Women Entrepreneurs/Women In STEM (WE_STEM).
She has a soft spot for developing women-led ventures and purpose-driven startups. She advances these startups by supplying resources and education to foster long-term business growth, as well as to inspire the next generation of women and social entrepreneurs.
She's a seasoned traveler having visited over 35 countries including Antarctica! This fall, she can be found in the stands cheering on her favorite college football team, the USC Trojans. Vanessa and her wonderful husband and stepsons live in sunny Los Angeles.