FLSCC Member Spotlight

Membership

Member Spotlight

If you would like to nominate a member to be featured by the Florida chapter please e-mail flsccchairelect@gmail.com

Autumn Blum Stream 2 Sea

Formulator & CEO
SCC Member since 2004

  • What inspired you to pursue a career in the cosmetics/personal care industry? 

I studied chemistry and environmental geology in college, with the intention of going to law school immediately after graduating.  Life happens and I ended up taking a one year deferral from Washington & Lee’s Environmental Law program.  During that year, I took a job working for a natural product skincare company.  I started learning about cosmetic chemistry and botanicals, and fell in love with the Neem tree.  My boss had no interest in Neem, so I started selling online.  By the time law school came back around, I had started my first business and was successfully selling to Whole Foods and many other retailers.  I took another year deferral to see how that would go, and still haven’t made it back to law school.  That was more than 20 years ago…

  • What is your favorite part of your job?

Today, I’m fortunate to be able to combine my two passions: creating performance-based natural products and my love for the oceans.  I’m an avid scuba diver, and other than 2020, have been blessed to travel the world teaching about skincare ingredients, Stream2Sea and how the choices we make personally can make a difference for our planet.  And I manage to get a bit of diving in while I’m at it.

  • What has been your most recent professional accomplishment?

Stream2Sea was the first US brand to pass the Haereticus Environmental Lab’s Protect Land + Sea testing.  This certification ensures that a product doesn’t have even trace amounts of certain ingredients that have been shown to harm coral.  It was surprisingly more difficult than one would imagine.  For example, you’d think that just removing oxybenzone and parabens from your formula would work, but most of the initial formulas submitted failed, as they were found to have trace levels from environmental and cross-contamination.  I’m also proud to be working with Shark Allies on their ‘Shark Free’ certification Seal of Approval.

  •  How has membership in the SCC been of value to you?

Even though I live in a rural community that is rarely close to the meetings, I enjoy the occasional gathering when we can all get together to collaborate and network.  Membership in the SCC helps to keep me updated on advances in technology, and of course the annual sunscreen symposium is also a wonderful resource!

  • What is a fun fact about yourself, outside of the SCC and your professional life?

My happy place is under the water, whether its 20 feet below watching reef fish, or exploring deep wrecks 200 feet below the surface.  Most divers will say they prefer wrecks, reefs, or caves…I don’t really care.  Let me hang out in the serenity of the blue, and I am a happy woman.  I also have 6 dogs, 100 chickens and 20 ducks.  If you come to visit, I will always offer you fresh eggs.


Jeffrey Reynolds –  Dermazone Solutions

Senior Director of R&D
SCC Member since 2001

  • What inspired you to pursue a career in the cosmetics/personal care industry?

I am a chemist by training and started my career in of all things oral care and toothpaste.  About four years into my first job in personal care, I had an opportunity to switch roles and move into skin care.  At the time it sounded like a good opportunity to learn a new field and expand my expertise in product development.  So I took the move and began working on acne products.  It was then that I realized I liked helping people with disease states and the products I helped develop could help people with treating their conditions.  Although it was not true cosmetic development (that came later), it was the start of my desire to expand my knowledge and expertise in the topical product arena.  Eventually I took a role with a large cosmetic company and was introduced to the commercial side of product development.  I had much more direct collaboration with our marketing folks and access to a brand new aspect of product development, the commercial market.  I have since held a variety of roles across numerous product categories.  Each such opportunity has enhanced my knowledge and expertise as well as created a broad spectrum awareness of the product development.

  • What is your favorite part of your job?

Today, I would say that the role of mentor and trainer is what I enjoy the most about my current role.  I am the senior director of R&D with Dermazone Solutions and have responsibility for driving our new product development from early concept development to market and life cycle management.  Having the opportunity to help grow new formulation scientists and creating in them the same desire to help improve the lives of our customers, is what gets me moving each day.  I must admit that it is the entire role that is my favorite part as it enables me to use every bit of my experience and knowledge along with new opportunities to learn about business in general at the senior levels of the organization.

  • What has been your most recent professional accomplishment?

This answer took much longer than one might expect.  At first, I considered citing the number of patent applications submitted since joining Dermazone.   Next it was the number of new applications identified and developed to exploit our proprietary encapsulation technology.  Then I realized this were meaningless in the face of the cultural improvements in our organization and how those have affected personally and professionally.  Let’s face it, every organization will have unique challenges to overcome.  Dermazone is no exception to this premise.  And yet, there has been a significant shift in what was the norm to where we are today.  Teams are now to work together.  Amidst the economic upheaval of COVID-19, there is hope and enthusiasm of where the organization is headed.  I cannot take credit for any of that except to say that my role has been an example in support of that vision.  Once I realized that best way to influence my peers  was by the example I live daily, I became a much more effective ambassador for our future organization culture.

  • How has membership in the SCC been of value to you?

The SCC has been a comprehensive resource that has connected me to other colleagues, peers, experts, and mentors throughout my career independent of whether I was directly involved with cosmetic development.  I have been a member of many association, both professional and civic.  But none has given me the depth and breadth of connections as the SCC.  It has helped throughout my career with finding the people and companies to fulfill a particular need, material, or process, while also providing opportunities to network and connect.  In many ways I am sorry for the next generation of scientist in this field as they may never experience the thrill of traveling to a Society conference, but only attending by remote or virtually.

  • What is a fun fact about yourself, outside of the SCC and your professional life?

I am an avid volcano watcher.  In many ways, had been exposed to volcanoes earlier in life, I probably would never have gone into cosmetic product development.  I first visited Kilauea in 1992 and was fascinated by the diversity and sheer power of what was happening below my feet.  Certainly, I would have gone ahead with chemistry, but believe I would have gone onto volcanology as my graduate work instead of project management and organizational leadership.  So instead, I watch Kilauea and Mauna Loa from afar and dream of the day I can be on the Island during an full-fledged surface eruption.

If you would like to nominate a member to be featured by the Florida chapter please e-mail flsccchairelect@gmail.com