McDonough School of Business
News Story

The Business of Beauty

Just two years after launching his own beauty products company, Andy Rah’s (MBA’06) Sauce Beauty (new window) products are available at Sally Beauty stores across the country. After a decade of consulting in the health and beauty industry, Rah found his calling while enrolled in the Georgetown MBA program (new window).

“I was wanting to make a career switch,” Rah said. “I honestly didn’t know what I wanted to do, but the MBA program allowed me to look into different opportunities and see what direction I wanted to go in.”

Rah credits the MBA program for allowing him the opportunity to investigate vastly different career paths that were not previously available. Due to the berth of options, Rah secured a marketing internship with L’Oreal and would later go back there with a full-time offer after graduation.

Working at L’Oreal provided him the opportunity to work with large beauty companies like TIGI Haircare, as well as smaller ones like Macadamia Beauty, where he helped launch the brand Flawless by Gabrielle Union. After understanding how companies of various sizes operated, Rah felt inspired to start his own brand. While figuring out the details he recalled a lesson from his time at business school.

“When I had Dean Almeida as a strategy professor, the first thing we heard from him is that ‘hope is not a strategy,’” said Rah. “This really made me understand that it was important to have a strategy and to think things through, no matter what line of business you are in. You cannot just rely on hope alone to get you through.”

Rah took that advice, as well as all of the experience he gained, and put it toward his own start-up. As with all new ventures, there are hurdles to overcome — Sauce Beauty was no exception.

“The biggest hurdle for anybody that’s going to step out on their own is cash flow,” Rah said. “It is important to have cash flow to start a company, especially when you want to sell to a lot of retail stores.”

Rah’s personal love for cooking has intermingled with his love for beauty. Sauce Beauty creates hair care products inspired by iconic recipes from kitchens around the globe. 

“One of my personal passions is cooking so it was a marriage between my personal passion and my professional one,” said Rah. “I hit this trend at the right time when the food and beauty trend was really hitting a peak.”

Sauce Beauty does its best to have a product for every hair type. A new line is scheduled for early next year featuring products for curly and wavy hair, embracing the natural hair movement.

Rah has found success and fulfillment through this journey and could have never imagined that this would be his career path after his undergraduate studies.

“Being a student at Georgetown, it completely changed the trajectory of my career,” said Rah. “It completely changed everything I was doing beforehand and allowed me the opportunity to become what I am today.”