Kelli Anderson, B.A., L.E., owner and CEO of California Skincare Supply Inc.
Jullea Anderson, vice president of California Skincare Supply Inc.
Kelli and Jullea Anderson own California Skincare Supply together. They are a three generation, female, family-owned business, celebrating their 30th year in business. Kelli Anderson partnered with her mom Mary Keller in 1989 to launch California Skincare Supply and Jullea joined CSS in 2014. They travel the country spreading their love for aesthetics and passion for their skin care brands.
In a country dominated by male CEOs, it is important to Kelli and Jullea to show other young women that their dreams of business ownership can be both attainable and prosperous. They measure their success by the success and growth of their clients’ businesses. Providing on-site customer support, training, and education, the California Skincare Supply family treats their customers like family too, providing the aestheticians edge.
Kelli: Aesthetics is in our blood. My mom, Mary Keller, was passionate about skin care and always taught me to love all things skin care. As I grew, I watched my mom start one of the first day spas in San Jose, California and was always inspired by her confidence in herself, strength in her capabilities to run her own small business, and love of her industry. I passed this love of aesthetics on to my daughter Jullea, and it was a match made in heaven to continue on in Mary’s footsteps.
What have you learned about yourself running your business?
Kelli: I have learned that I am very capable and to trust my gut and go for it when the opportunity presents itself.
Jullea: I’ve built confidence in myself and in my capabilities as a businesswoman. I continue to learn and grow every day.
Can you name a person who has been a mentor to you?
Kelli: Mary Keller, my mom, showed me the fierceness it takes to run a successful company and I learned every day from her.
Jullea: Kelli Anderson, my mom. Growing up with a mom who ran a successful company, I was taught that a woman can be anything she wants to be. This is something that has shaped who I am and who I am becoming.
What is the biggest risk you’ve ever taken?
Kelli: Deciding to not pursue teaching and, instead, go into business with my mom.
Jullea: Changing my direction and deciding to join the family business.
What are you doing to ensure you continue to grow and develop as leaders?
We never stop learning. We work with our own mentors to help us be the best we can be.
What motivates you each day?
Kelli: My ability to pass on my company to my daughter Jullea, and to pass it on as a successful, state-of-the-art business.
Jullea: My clients – helping them grow and building their confidence.
How do you approach change?
We embrace it. Change is good.
How do you keep yourselves grounded? What do you do to unwind?
Dogs are our second passion. We unwind by taking them on long walks to the beach and runs through the redwoods.
Jullea: I also love to kickbox. It helps me to stay fit and healthy and to release the stress of the day.
What is your favorite spa treatment?
We both love a deep tissue massage, followed by a luxurious facial. We always love to experience different and new modalities and techniques.
If you could go back in time to when you first were starting out, what advice would you give yourself?
Kelli: Trust your gut and listen to yourself.
Jullea: I am a capable, strong young woman and I’ve got this!
What advice would you give to your 18-year-old selves?
Kelli: You’re not going to like being an elementary school teacher.
Jullea: Have more confidence. You’re going to surprise yourself.
What’s your most irrational fear?
Kelli: For someone who flies so much, I still suffer from anxiety on planes.
Jullea: Anytime I drive over a bridge, I am convinced there will be an earthquake and I will plummet into the ocean.
What’s something you wish you’d written?
Kelli: The Bill of Rights.
Jullea: Harry Potter.
How do you stand for what you believe in?
We both believe you should treat others the way you wish to be treated. Kindness matters.
What do you love most about your job?
That we get to travel the country together sharing our love and knowledge of the skin care brands we distribute.
If you could ask another leader any question, what would it be?
We would ask Melinda Gates “How do you drive change for women’s and girls’ rights in a male dominated world?”
How do you measure success?
Personally, we measure our success by the amount of joy we feel. In our business, we measure our success by the success of our customers.
Early bird or night owl?
Night owl – we love to stay up late and enjoy the guilty pleasure of watching reality television.
Sweet or salty?
Laundry or dishes?
Camping or glamping?
What is your proudest accomplishment in the industry?
Celebrating our 30th year in business.
What’s the biggest myth in the industry?
There is no overnight fix – good skin requires diligence and consistency in treatments, as well as homecare.
What hurdles have you had to overcome?
Keeping up with rapid technology advancements. We strive to keep on the cutting-edge of ever-evolving technology.
Where is the brand headed over the next 5 years?
California Skincare Supply continues to seek the absolute best skin care brands, techniques, and product knowledge sales and equipment development for our customers. We want to become the most successful, trusted, and sought-after wholesale skin care distributor in the United States.
Where is the entire industry headed?
Science and medical research will continue to create next generation ingredient technology, changing the way we approach multiple skin concerns.
What distinguishes your company from others in the industry?
We provide the aesthetician’s edge by distributing the absolute best skin care product lines, training, and trusted equipment. We provide a trusted source for everything the aesthetician needs to grow their business. California Skincare Supply values our clients above all and treats everyone personally and with honesty, integrity, and kindness.
What are your current goals?
We are currently working on a new and improved website. California Skincare Supply is also always on the search for brands that are on the cutting-edge of science and nature that support the aesthetician.
How would you define your company’s culture?
Supportive, family oriented, customer focused. We pride ourselves in providing the asthetician’s edge.
What has been the hardest lesson learned in business?
Becoming a distributor for Proctor & Gamble and then negotiating terms for managing brand placement and weekly educational events in over 250 retail beauty stores. This was a year-long negotiating learning experience. It wasn’t a hard lesson, but an amazing lesson. In the end, we decided against it, but the experience was life changing.
How do you motivate your team?
We all work together to support and grow the company. We are a family.
Gut instinct versus expertise: which is more important and why?
Kelli: They are both very important, but gut instinct for me. I feel like my intuition has guided me for many years in business and, when I ignore it, I get into trouble.
How do you encourage creative thinking within your organization?
Meetings over a glass of wine where we share our ideas, company goals, and new and improved ways of doing things.
Where do the great ideas come from in your organization?
White board meetings where there are no bad ideas.
What are the most important decisions you make as leaders of your organization?
What brands to distribute, which tradeshows to participate in, whom to hire, what to invest in, and what is the best direction for the company.
How do you stay current?
Social media exposure, blog, classes, tradeshows, LIVE videos, in-salon training, and more.
What is the hardest thing about being a leader?
Kelli: Knowing the right decision to make. I am the one ultimately responsible for both my mother’s and daughter’s futures.