Reflections: Friday, April 8

To conclude the week, Dermalogica Owner Jane Wurwand shares some thoughts about To Catch a Dollar and what Los Angeles has meant to her as Dermalogica’s home base.

Although I must confess that I came down with a case of “Black Swan” fever during Oscars Week, my new favorite film, called “To Catch A Dollar” hits a lot closer to home.

I was lucky enough to “catch” this Sundance documentary last month, when I was in NYC. Following the film, Robert DeNiro introduced a powerhouse panel of experts: Premal Shah, President of, Nobel Laureate Muhammed Yunus, and smart-money guru, Suze Orman. The panel was moderated by CNBC’s Maria Bartiromo.

The discussion, like the film itself, pushed a lot of important buttons for me, as I am sure it will for you. Something which the fierce and brilliant Suze Orman always advises is something which I, too, always advise: a woman always needs her own bank account! Married? Fine, you still need your own personal, private bank account. Nesting with a partner? Great, you still need your own bank account!

Of course, if you share your life with someone, you have a joint account as well, where money for shared expenses is pooled and used. But there is a talismanic as well as practical power in a woman having money of her very own.

I learned this lesson the very hard way indeed when I was a young woman. My early, first marriage had just come to an end, and I was blocked from having access to our once-shared financial assets. For a time, I had no way to even cash my paychecks! Talk about an out-of-body experience!

Moral of the story: keep an account in your own name, which is more or less the same thing as stashing actual cash under your mattress or in the cookie jar. It gives a person a tremendous feeling of freedom and personal power, knowing that you always have money for a plane ticket, a hotel room, or whatever you need at that moment, and that you don’t have to ask anyone’s permission to go out and get it.

The symbolic power of money for women, as well as its literal and practical value, is right at the heart of “To Catch A Dollar.” The film follows microlender Grameen America’s foray into the New York City area – you see, microfinance isn’t just happening off in other places. Grameen America’s first branch opened in Jackson Heights, Queens, NYC in late 2007 and loaned exclusively to women borrowers. Today, Grameen America has loaned over $1.5 million to 550 women through branches in every borough of New York City and all over the USA.

It’s powerful stuff, especially when so many Americans right here at home are reeling from huge financial setbacks and wondering how to start over.

It’s exciting to think another city could be benefiting from Grameen America soon.  I am proud that our initiative, joinFITE, has partnered with “To Catch a Dollar” and is supporting the effort to choose the next lucky city.  With Dermalogica headquartered in Carson and all of our products shipped all over the world right from our warehouse here, I am rooting for Los Angeles. If you haven’t yet voted, do so today.

If you need any extra incentive, I’m giving YOU a dollar to get started in supporting this effort – click the link here and you can choose an entrepreneur to support:  You will see how important this effort is and I hope you will invest the time to vote.  Invest in our country, and invest in yourself – go and open that account if you haven’t already.

To learn more about Dermalogica and our support of joinFITE, please visit

Read more about Jane.

To ask Jane a question, please click here


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