Jane’s Blog

Dermalogica’s Jane Wurwand talks about how she established her successful business. Dermalogica provides codes for the FITE initiative, one of the To Catch a Dollar campaign partners.

Wednesday, April 6

Someone recently commented to me how Dermalogica is such a successful business and asked how that came to be.  They wanted to know if I had any stories about the early days and some of the challenges I faced.

Dermalogica is 25 years old this year in 2011. So certainly there were a lot of challenges, especially in the early days. I think for me as an entrepreneur & it’s probably different if one works for a corporation, but I think as an entrepreneur & as a woman the critical thing is to look at your industry & look at a business that you’re pretty savvy about the area that you’re going to start your business in.

I was very savvy in professional skin care. It’s all I’ve ever done. I can’t imagine starting a business in an industry that I knew nothing about. Because sometimes people will say to me do I think it’s a good opportunity in hotels, in guest houses. I don’t know anything about it. So I say to them I’ve stayed in them but I don’t know anything about that industry. 1) Be savvy about your industry. 2) Be passionate & committed to what you are going to pursue.

Because in the early days, we didn’t draw any salaries out of Dermalogica for 3 years. I started Dermalogica with my then boyfriend, who is now my husband. He had a job as a sales rep. We lived on $1,000 a month in a 1 bedroom apartment. We put everything else from Dermalogica, from The International Dermal Institute which was our training business for 3 years & we lived very frugally. So be prepared to live frugally & if you can’t do that after month 5 you’re probably not going to see the best of your endeavor. Stay focused on what your game plan is. Don’t get distracted by the next new fun idea. Stay focused on what you’re meant to be doing & be determined to drive it home.

I think one of the biggest myths (& I think it’s changing now with younger women now coming into industry) but one of the greatest myths is that in order for a woman to be successful a woman had to behave more like a man. It’s a complete mistake because in order to be successful you have to be at your most, what I call ‘fierce with your own reality’. You have to be completely authentic to who you are! The minute we start thinking I can be successful if I’m more like this person, you’re already second best because you’re never going to be that person. Oscar Wilde had an expression ‘Be yourself, because everybody else is taken.’

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