"I was a makeup artist in Los Angeles back in the 1970s when my clients began asking for facials, which were just becoming popular. After learning everything I could about the skin and its function, I became one of the first-ever, licensed aestheticians in the United States. I was soon educating aestheticians on a new, versatile, effective, and easy-to-learn ways to perform facials."
Barbara Salomone on the defining moment that led her to the skin care industry. Salomone is the founder and president of Bioelements. Since launching Bioelements in 1991, Salomone has pioneered the industry as the first to discover powerful ingredients, including calcium, probiotics, and peptides.
"I practice what I preach. We all have our days, but when life is over and done, I want to have made a contribution to the people around me. I hope to be thought of as an inspiration, a leader, a mentor, and a guide. As a result, each day, I am aware of the things that I think, say, and do to hopefully be blessed enough for that contribution to happen."
Michelle D'Allaird-Brenner on how she practices personal development. D'Allaird-Brenner is a licensed aesthetician, cosmetologist, CIDESCO diplomat, and the owner of the Aesthetic Science Institute. D'Allaird-Brenner has over 25 years of experience in the skin care and beauty industry, including teaching, curriculum development, speaking, test development, and writing and is also is the director of education for Aesthetics International Association.
"I have learned to trust my instincts. There are no shortages of analyses, reports, and people who will tell you over and over how it cannot be done. In the end, anything is possible, as long as you have the will to try and the faith to believe it is possible. The realization that you are an active decision maker in your life is freedom: freedom to be great, freedom to succeed, freedom to achieve, and freedom to be happy."
David Suzuki on the most important decision he has made that contributed to his success. Suzuki, president of Bio-Therapeutic, Inc., has been an active, licensed member of the medical aesthetic industry for over 28 years. An authority and expert on technology and regulatory issues, including FDA and ISO 13485 standards, he serves as an advisor to numerous institutions and state boards.
"The mix of my talents, a hands-on aesthetician, formulator, inventor, and a background in economics, helps me run my business. I am also helped by the loyalty of an amazing staff and the fact that my spas offer everything imaginable to assist our clients in all their beauty needs. I personally educate my staff – I consistently hold trainings and design protocols."
Bella Schneider on what sets her apart from her competitors. Schneider, CEO and founder of Bella Schneider Beauty, has been the premier, professional skin care and product formulator in the Bay Area for almost four decades. Schneider is the recipient of the prestigious Crystal Awards and regularly publishes on aesthetic topics. Her passion is to empower women by making them feel and look their most beautiful.
"If I were to start a company in today's market, one of my first hires would be a marketing manager. I did not want to cut into our marketing budget by adding another salary to the payroll in the beginning. We invested a lot of money into marketing, but it was not very effective. Our return on investment, as well as the initial impact of our brand, would have been much greater if we had an experienced professional develop our marketing strategy."
Andrea Oismueller on what she would do differently if starting a new company in today's market. Oismueller is an entrepreneur and CEO of Spiller U.S., the United States distributor for Dr. Spiller Pure SkinCare Solutions, an international skin care brand. She has served in the spa industry for over 25 years as a spa director, aesthetician, international instructor, distributor, and manufacturer.
"Years of experience has showed me how important it is to always face the actual problem. A solution can always be found and I feel that situations outside of my comfort zone actually contribute to my personal development and growth."
Christine Schrammek-Drusio on how she deals with situations outside of her comfort zone. Schrammek-Drusio, dermatologist and allergist, is the CEO of Dr. med Christine Schrammek. She developed a professional skin care range with her medical background. "Dermatology meets Cosmetics" is the basic philosophy of this product range. The latest findings from the field of medicine are combined with particularly high-quality, active ingredients in their products.
"The risk of miscalculation, especially one that results in a wrong decision, is in the nature of any business action. However, it is vital to analyze these risks without any glossing over and to benefit from the resulting learning curve. Quite often, the right timing is decisive for success."
Michael Grandel on how he keeps his feelings separate from his decision making. Michael Grandel, CEO of Dr. Grandel, was born into a family in service of beauty. His entrepreneurial spirit served him well when, after his graduation from business school, his father passed away unexpectedly. After 30 years in the beauty business, Grandel is still as curious and excitable as he was when he created his first skin oil.
"When I moved to Denver, Colo. from Europe in 1978, it was to my surprise and disappointment that employment in the skin care industry was only available to licensed cosmetologists. At the time, licensure for aesthetics did not exist in the state of Colorado. Unable to find work, I went back to beauty school to receive my cosmetology license. During my time at Lane Beauty Academy, I served on the Colorado State Board of Licensing and created the first aesthetics educational program and state board aesthetics exam that would be made available to individuals interested in pursuing a career in the skin care industry."
Gunilla Nilsson Ross on how she overcomes failure and how she uses that failure to project herself to success. Ross, founder of Gunilla of Sweden®, was born in Sweden and educated in skin care in England, Sweden, and the United States. Unable to find the nutrient-based products in America that was similar to those in Sweden, she started her own organic skin care company in 1987.
"When I deal with uncomfortable situations, I have learned to just count to three and jump! I know that I will be learning from the experience. I am also convinced that someone will learn something from me. I always do my best and stay humble. Life is a game, no matter the number that will appear when we roll the dice – we have to go forward!"
Martine Plumet on how she deals with situations outside of her comfort zone. Plumet is the international sales director, as well as an educator and trainer for epillyss. She is a licensed aesthetician with more than 30 years of experience and has knowledge in all aspects of the skin care industry, including education, sales, medical aesthetics, management, and ownership.
"Being right can be fun! But, the exhilaration that comes from 'aha' moments and listening and hearing someone else's views can only be appreciated when being right is not your goal. As for assumptions, I work diligently on not allowing myself to assume anything. Assume: I try not to be one or make you one. Don't assume. Get the facts."
Lina Kennedy on what she does to constantly challenge her underlying beliefs and assumptions. Kennedy, founder of Alexandria Professional, has become a leader in the beauty industry with Alexandria Professional Body Sugaring. This past year, Kennedy was a top 10 finalist for PBA's national Beauty Pitch and has been nominated for a number of awards including, most recently, The Niagara Entrepreneur of the Year Awards 2015, in the international trade category.
"Failure provides a 'time-out' opportunity for us to reflect upon our course of action: What are the missteps? Are there any weaknesses that we need to overcome? By correcting mistakes and strengthening weaknesses, we are better prepared for success in the future."
Daniel Chan on how he overcomes failure and how he uses that failure to project himself to success. Chan, founder and COO of Dr. Jeff Skin Care/Beauty Attica, pursued his teaching career at the National University of Singapore and University of Memphis after obtaining his Ph.D. at the Western University in Canada. In 1996, Dr. Jeff Skin Care/Beauty Attica was founded in Seattle. The company was relocated to Los Angeles in 1999.
"I had the privilege of entering this market for a second time and am grateful for it! I am associated with a business partner that shares my goals and values; we walk away from arrangements that are not a good fit. It is not about fast profits, but sustaining value for the long term."
Catherine Atzen on what she would do differently if starting a new company in today's market. Atzen, founder and formulator of ATZEN Superior to Organic Skin Care, takes a progressive approach to skin care and product ideation. Her inspiration stems from her upbringing in a 'green' French spa town and the creativity of the San Francisco Bay Area where she resides.
"I hire people with different underlying beliefs and assumptions and I stay open to new ideas so we can stay current and not in the mindset of how the industry used to be. It also helps to keep with the times and not become irrelevant and outdated."
Kathleen Carney on what she does to constantly challenge her underlying beliefs and assumptions. Carney is extremely passionate about skin care and the exciting future the industry is facing. Being an aesthetician and manufacturing Skin Blends Professional products has allowed her to keep them cutting edge and results oriented with
"Don't follow the leader, be the leader. I have always tried to be a trendsetter in my life and career, so I can certainly identify with the BABOR philosophy that is built on being an innovator."
Brian Brazeau on the most important decision he has made that contributed to his success. Brazeau has held numerous leadership positions in both prestige cosmetics and the spa industry. Brazeau joined BABOR North America in 2011, initially serving as chief operating officer, and was named chief executive officer one year later. Under his leadership, the company has reinvented itself while growth and
"An unwavering commitment to the profession of aesthetics helps set my company apart from some competitors. I strongly feel that as an industry, we need to maintain our commitment to the licensed professional rather than circumvent their training to reach mass-market appeal."
Michael Q. Pugliese on what sets him apart from his competitors. Pugliese, B.S., L.E., became the third-generation CEO of Circadia by Dr. Pugliese, Inc. in 2006. Under Pugliese's leadership, the Circadia brand has grown to achieve international recognition and distribution. He is a member of the Society of Cosmetic Chemists.
"I separate my feelings from decision making by looking at things as black, white, and sometimes gray. Whenever a decision needs to be made, I try to make it based on the merits of the good for all."
Maurice Stein on how he keeps his feelings separate from his decision making. Stein, founder of Cinema Secrets Cosmetics, has over 25 years of experience as a makeup artist. Stein's signature makeup techniques have adorned countless celebrities, as well as three United States presidents. The accomplishments of Cinema Secrets secured Stein's reputation, not only as an artist, but as a distinguished beauty expert.
"I would say that the times have changed because of my company. I do not take the accolade of being a pioneer and a legend lightly! When I first appeared on the cover of DERMASCOPE, I took it as a humble obligation to live up to it and keep it going. We have been responsible for many changes around the world and about how people think about aesthetics."
Danné Montague-King on how his company has changed with the times. Montague-King, founder of Danné Montague-King®, is a worldwide leader in the field of skin rejuvenation. He is a tireless educator who annually travels throughout the world conducting lectures and trainings for professionals and consumers. As a journalist, he is a regularly contributes to many of the world's most important professional journals.
"Quality ingredients, new products, and customer service set me apart. I frequently receive compliments on our high-touch customer service and on how often we successfully introduce new products. Seven or eight years ago, I received a call from a customer who was in desperate need of massage oil that afternoon. I loaded up my trunk and personally delivered it to them. Customers are every bit as important as the product."
Guenter J. Heidenberger on what sets him apart from his competitors. Heidenberger, founder of Bon Vital', worked in the pharmaceutical and electrochemistry fields after graduating in 1965 from Wacker Chemical Corporation in Germany. Heidenberger founded the company in 1988 to provide health care professionals with superior, all natural, and organic products. He held the position of Bon Vital's formulator until
"I am a firm believer in experiencing other cultures to develop how you think and how you perceive yourself and the world. It is both eye opening and humbling. Developing your career has personal and interpersonal components as well. Self-learning from good and bad experiences is significant. The ability to acquire skills from great leaders can have a big impact, if you are open."
Sean Johnson on how he practices personal development. Johnson has a master's of business administration and is an accomplished marketing professional within the medical device industry and of the Aerolase Corporation. He has a proven career track record of developing successful marketing strategy, product launch and development, and building brand equity.
"I believe my success hinged on employing people based exclusively on their character, values, and work ethic – the rest can be taught. With the right people, work is fun! Jindilli employees are workafrolics."
Jim Richards on the most important decision he has made that contributed to his success. Richards is the global CEO for the family-owned Jindilli company. Richards' career spans four countries and numerous industries.
"Never stop learning. Keep looking ahead and learn from the past, but do not live it. Always be interested in what others think, read, and listen, as every experience teaches you something. I love this business. It has given me a full life, five sons, and a visit to Buckingham Palace to receive the Order of the British Empire for my work in this industry. This is an award that brings honor and creates the drive to succeed even more so that others can follow."
Eve Taylor on how she practices personal development. Taylor is the founder of the International Institute of Clinical Aromatherapy and regarded as a pioneer of modern aromatherapy. Dedicating over 50 years of her life to the aromatherapy industry, she was awarded an Order of the British Empire by His Royal Highness Prince Charles. Taylor continues to be an advocate for high standards in the industry.
"I bring courage to risky situations by drawing on past challenges and key learning experiences and always focusing on the fact that great risk can yield amazing results. A great risk will lay the foundation for incredible success beyond your imagination – this is Pevonia's heritage. We took a great risk in launching a skin care line within a saturated market, and yet here we are nearly 25 years later! Our dream became a reality that continues to fuel our dreams!"
Philippe Hennessy on how he brings courage and conviction to risky situations. Hennessy, with an extensive background in international telecommunication, marketing, and sales for various corporate giants, offers newfound strategies and techniques and a history of record-breaking sales. This experience and determination led Hennessy to the conceptualization, creation, and launching of the Pevonia Spa Care Line with his wife, Sylvie Hennessy.
"I have never lost sight of the value of education. It has helped me get to where I am today and is what inspired me to develop various teaching methods and videos that skin care professionals can use as a tool for success. Education has, in turn, become a core component of Repêchage and has also helped the brand develop. I have also never lost sight of producing professional treatments that have a wow factor!"
Lydia Sarfati on the most important decision she has made that contributed to her success. Sarfati, president and founder of Repêchage, is an internationally-recognized skin care expert quoted in Vogue, In Style, Glamour, and New York Times, as well as featured on CNN, CBS, and FOX. Sarfati is the creator of the world-renowned Four Layer Facial® and has over 30 years of experience as an aesthetician, spa owner, manufacturer, and consultant.
"Comedy is a great equalizer. Everyone loves to laugh and everyone loves a good joke. I spend hours writing, practicing and perfecting my jokes so I can make sure everyone feels comfortable, even if the entire room is out of their comfort zone."
Boldijarre Koronczay on how he deals with situations outside of his comfort zone. Koronczay, president and founder of Éminence Organic Skin Care, is an icon of the spa industry, having personally trained over a quarter of a million aestheticians and spa professionals in the past two decades. His passion for the industry drives him to continue personally educating at trade events and sharing his enthusiasm, inspiration, and knowledge at every session.
"Because I do struggle with my feelings, I discuss things with my staff and family, as well as friends in some cases, before I make a decision, to check if I am on the right track. I definitely get more clarity if I talk to others. Sometimes I find that when it comes to working out what to do, writing it out creates more clarity. It is a bit like a confession on paper, which requires more thought. Then, when you read back through it, you can evaluate if your initial ideas can be improved on."
Lydia Jordane on how she keeps her feelings separate from her decision making. Jordane, founder of Lycon Precision Wax, became a beauty therapist and salon owner in 1978. Armed with her own, homemade wax, Jordane became an overnight success. While at first reluctant to sell her wax, Jordane now exports to over 63 countries. Lycon is used by top salons and spas and has a celebrity following.
"As long as I am acting in accordance with my personal principles and the vision of the company and its core values, courage comes naturally. Walt Disney has a quote that I love, 'When you believe in a thing, believe in it all the way, implicitly and unquestionable.'"
Rhonda Allison on how she brings courage and conviction to risky situations. Allison, a pioneer in the skin care industry, is the founder and CEO of Rhonda Allison Cosmeceuticals and RA for Men. She is also an author and internationally-known speaker with more than 35 years of aesthetic experience.
"We adopted new technologies to process our raw ingredients into finished products, as well as adding high technology, herbal ingredients, such as concentrated plant-based stem cells and hyaluronic acid."
Dánielné Molnár on how her company has changed with the times. Molnár, founder of ilike organic skin care and lovingly known as Aunt Ilike, dedicated her life to the development and advancement of natural remedies, as well as the improvement of worldwide aesthetic knowledge and practices. This lifelong passion was embodied in the cosmetic product line.
"The most effective way to challenge your beliefs and assumptions is to close your mouth and open your ears and mind. Make it a practice to listen to others. Sometimes, years in the industry are not the most important thing. When you open up a dialogue for others to share their thoughts, the collaboration and synergy brings about something much better than you could have done on your own."
Rick Norvell on what he does to constantly challenge his underlying beliefs and assumptions. Norvell is widely regarded as one of the sunless tanning industry's most prolific innovators. As president of the company that has held the Norvell family name through three generations, Norvell has pioneered countless transformations.
"My very first job was my introduction to the professional salon industry and how I began my career. At the age of 13, I was hired by a local salon in the United Kingdom as a 'Saturday girl.' This job consisted of sweeping up hair cuttings from the floor. When I was promoted to 'shampoo girl' at age 16, I was over the moon! After I left high school, I made the decision to become a licensed skin therapist, as well as receive my teaching credentials so I could also be an instructor. From my first job as a 'Saturday girl,' I knew the professional skin care industry was where I was meant to be and I have never looked back. This industry, which is comprised of 98 percent women, opens more economic opportunities for women than any other industry. This fact alone makes me incredibly proud to be a part of this tribe."
Jane Wurwand on the defining moment that led her to the skin care industry. Wurwand, founder and chief visionary of Dermalogica and The International Dermal Institute post-graduate training centers, is one of the most recognized and respected authorities in professional skin therapy. Today, Dermalogica is the leading professional skin care brand, used by more than 100,000 skin therapists in 86 countries around the world.
"Everyone will experience failure at some time in his or her career. While true entrepreneurs will fail more often than they succeed, failure is about learning how to overcome each disappointment, improving your technique, and remaining persistent. I have never been a quitter. My passion for the skin business fuels me to always strive to be the best at what I do; I am courageous in my pursuit of team and personal success. Overall, I do not listen to negativity and stay true to my values. With this in mind, I can overcome anything."
Christine Heathman on how she overcomes failure and how she uses that failure to project herself to success. Heathman, founder and CEO of GlyMed Plus, is a recipient of the Crystal Awards, an award for professionals who work endlessly to improve the standards of aesthetics. A medical master aesthetician, Heathman remains an innovator of progressive skin care protocols used in skin care and medical clinics all over the world.
"Visualizing the changes in our business has been like watching my children grow into young adults. There are many different milestones and memories. I believe the most peculiar aspect of our business' growth is that certain features do not necessarily change – they just improve. This is all a part of staying true to my original purpose when the business was founded. It is all about rejuvenation."
Tina Zillmann on how her company has changed with the times. Zillmann, founder and vice president of Skin Rejuvenation Clinique, Inc. and Advanced Rejuvenating Concepts, has over 25 years of experience in the industry and is a nationally-acclaimed entrepreneur and mentor. She strives to help every individual achieve their skin care goals with progressive treatments, innovative products, and excellent service.
"A healthy lifestyle is a number one priority for me. Making good food choices, combined with regular exercise, provides an environment for optimal body function and mental clarity. Whenever time allows, I take advantage of various methods to broaden my education. For instance, last year, I completed a course in modern day nutrition."
Christine Cowheard on how she practices personal development. Cowheard founded A Natural Difference Skincare 25 years ago and began formulating skin care products from natural sources backed by cutting edge scientific findings. Cowheard brought science to the business of skin care with glycolic polymers, spintraps, chirality, and epidermal growth factors. The existing line has over 100 naturally-derived peels, creams, masks, and serums.
"Our core values have not changed over time, from my grandfather, to my father, to myself – we are humble, friendly, and hard working. What has changed over time though, is our scientific strength. From having no knowledge in formulating waxes in 1966, we now have extensive knowledge in various scientific fields and, as such, can easily apply it to our business challenges, formulations, accounting, and marketing."
Muriel Bassili on how her company has changed with the times. Bassili, vice president of Laboratoires Reynard, holds a master's degree in pharmacology and a masters of business administration. With various experiences in the health sciences and beauty sectors, Bassili has been actively involved in growing and running the family business for the past 15 years, alongside her grandfather Elie Bassili.
"The most important decision I have made that has contributed to my success is to treat others the way I want to be treated, which is with honesty, dignity, and care. I stay true to what I believe and move forward. I am always original. I do not copy other people's research and hard work and present it as my own. Furthermore, I always deliver what I promise, whether that be education, products, or equipment."
Sonia Boghosian on the most important decision she has made that has contributed to her success. Boghosian, president and CEO of Bio Jouvance Paris, Europro Equipment, Idea Spa Consulting, and International College of Beauty, Arts and Sciences, has owned and operated many spas. She has been a leader in the research and development of scientific skin care and a protocol developer for aging, acne, pigmented, and challenged skin conditions.
"I have a very hard time with situations outside of my comfort zone. I get silently angry and stay silent for as long as I need to be. I do not talk to anyone. I get isolated inside my soul. I take a deep breath and I start talking about it to myself first. I say to myself, 'You can do it. It is not the end of the world. You have done it before and you can do it again.' This situation will not be in my books forever. I try to be optimistic and positive. Even though I do not like it, I am going to accept it. No matter what situation I am in, as a business owner and an individual, my work is what keeps me going. Being connected to people around me that have compassion is what keeps me going. That is how life is supposed to impact us."
Lia Schorr on how she deals with situations outside of her comfort zone. Schorr, owner of the Lia Schorr Day Spa and the Lia Schorr Institute of Cosmetic Skin Care Training, Inc., has over 35 years of experience in the aesthetic industry. Schorr is the author of three skin care books and has been featured in magazines, newspapers, and websites across the county.
"I think my no nonsense approach to skin care sets me apart. I do not come out with trendy products unless there is real science behind them. I also have tons of case studies to show that my programs work!"
Mark Lees on what sets him apart from his competitors. Lees is an award-winning speaker, clinical skin therapist, and product developer, specializing in acne, sensitive, and aging skin. He is also the author of Skin Care: Beyond the Basics, the Skin Care Answer Book, and Clearing Concepts. His products are available through skin care professionals throughout the United States.
"Getting into an industry that I love and enjoy is the most important decision I made. In the beginning, aesthetics was not really known in the United States. To bring the industry to the forefront and to bring education to the United States was one of my big achievements. We had to go to Europe and bring back their advanced education. We did it to help everyone in the United States that was not able to go to Europe at the time."
Letti Lynn on the most important decision she has made that contributed to her success. Lynn is a licensed cosmetology and aesthetic instructor, lecturer, writer, and makeup artist. She is a past president of the Aesthetics International Association and a member of the Academy
"I constantly challenge my underlying beliefs by testing them! I often do this with online industry boards and surveys of skin care professionals. Our methods are a reflection of what the market proves will resonate in interest and work in practice. We will not stick to any position just because we want it to sell, even when we know it is the best way to go."
Douglas Preston on how he constantly challenges his underlying beliefs and assumptions. Preston, president of Preston Beauty Professional, has a career that spans 33 years in professional aesthetics, education, and skincare career mentoring. His business articles appear in DERMASCOPE, Spa Management Journal, and others. He is a past president of Aesthetics International Association.
"Undertaking such a venture is a state of mind, not an environmental issue or about market demand. I would invest in myself the same passion, thirst to learn, need for independence and expertise, philosophical beliefs, and true talents to create skin care products from vegetal origins, just as we do today."
Catherine Mühlethaler on what she would do differently if starting a new company in today's market. Mühlethaler is the general manager, international spokesperson, and professional educator for Laboratory MULTALER & Cie and Yon-Ka Paris products. After years in the position as France's Commercial and Marketing Manager, Mühlethaler's role has grown to group
"The most important decision that I have made is to focus solely on my school, Atelier Esthetique Institute of Esthetics. Giving up two, successful skin care product lines was a tough decision, but has allowed me to continue my mission of raising the level of professionalism in the aesthetic industry through education. I have a passion for sharing knowledge and helping others achieve their dreams. There is nothing more rewarding than when I hear that one of my students has a great job or opened their own business. Their success is my success."
Annette Hanson on the most important decision she has made that contributed to her success. Hanson is the president of Atelier Esthétique Institute of Esthetics in New York City, a licensing aesthetics school and postgraduate facility. She was instrumental in the development of the 600-hour curriculum for the New York State Esthetics License in 1994. She was appointed "Educator" on the New York Secretary of State's Appearance Enhancement Advisory Committee in 2002.
"Owning a business is all about risk taking. If you are not a risk taker, then ownership may not be a career choice that makes sense. With that said, good leaders learn to take calculated risks. These are risks that have been carefully evaluated in order to weigh the reward and risk factors. I always view situations by asking, 'What is the downside and what is the upside?' The upside should be tangibly beneficial and worth the risk and the downside should not result in the type of danger that could significantly undermine the core business."
Jan Marini on how she brings courage and conviction to risky situations. Marini, CEO of Jan Marini Skin Research, Inc., is one of the most respected names in professional skin care. Marini pioneered the medically and clinically validated, professionally dispensed skin care market over 25 years ago when she brought the M.D. Formulations/M.D. Forte product line to the market. She has formed associations with some of the world's leading physicians and research scientists to develop cutting-edge solutions to today's most common skin concerns.