Jane Wurwand started her beauty career as a Saturday girl in a Dorset salon before going on to found Dermalogica, the world’s leading skincare brand.
Emigrating first to South Africa in her late teens and then to the US with her husband, Wurwand’s entrepreneurial vision enabled her to spot gaps in the skincare market. In 1983, while living in Los Angeles, the pair set up the International Dermal Insititute (IDI) to train American skin therapists to a European standard.
Today the IDI trains more than 100,000 skin therapists a year. Three years later, the pair launched the salon-style skincare range Dermalogica, making $1m in their first year.
Through Dermalogica, Wurwand set up the Financial Independence Through Entrepreneurship (FITE) in 2011 to help the global salon industry’s female “micro entrepreneurs”. To date, FITE has aided 74,000 women. “I am passionate about being an advocate for women’s financial independence and the global empowerment of girls and women,” she says.
“This is essential on an economic, social, political and human level. Every study shows that women are economically independent, they invest more than 90 per cent of their income back into their families and communities – as far as global issues of suppression and poverty go, financial independence is the game changer.”
In an exclusive interview with director.co.uk, Jane Wurwand talks about:
- The benefits of naivety as an entrepreneur
- Taking risks on new products
- Scraping together $14,000 to fund the launch of Dermalogica
- How she coped when the salon industry “fell off a cliff” during the 2008 global recession
- Why the salon industry is vital for women in business
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