Real Women Doing Real Things (+ a giveaway!): Kate Somerville, Founder of Kate Somerville Skincare

If you love good skincare then you already know about Kate Somerville!  Kate masks some of the best skincare products around plus, if you live in LA, she has one of the nicest spa clinics ever on gorgeous Melrose Place!  Her facials? The absolute BEST.  That said, I chatted with the skincare legend about how she got her start and what methods she uses to come up with all her amazing products :)

Make sure to scroll down to the bottom of the post to enter my giveaway because FIVE lucky readers will each win one Kate Somerville Wrinkle Warrior and one Kate Somerville EradiKate Cleanser!

How did you get your start working with celebrities as an aesthetician?

Initially my celebrity clientele came to me through makeup artists.  Early on I worked with makeup artists to help build awareness for the brand, as their referrals/endorsements are highly respected by both their clients and the industry. Whether their clients are looking to treat acne, anti-aging, or just to achieve a glow, artists send them to us to create a beautiful canvas for makeup. We still work very closely with celebrity makeup artists and they are invaluable ambassadors to the brand!

I was lucky to get a couple of big celebrity clients early on who openly spoke about Kate Somerville. That led to a great feature in People magazine…and then the clients started pouring in. When I opened my Skin Health Experts Clinic, we didn’t have any budget for advertising (I still have never advertised!) so all of our awareness came from PR and our large celebrity fan base.

When did you have the “aha” moment when you realized you wanted to start your own skincare line?

As a child I struggled with eczema, so I know first-hand what it’s like to feel uncomfortable in your own skin.  Whether it’s the emotional turmoil caused by acne or the anxiety associated with aging, skin can affect your self-esteem and how you live.  A lot of people think ‘it’s just skin’, but not for me. Changing your skin, positively changes your life and that’s our philosophy at Kate Somerville.

My goal was to create my own Clinic and product line where we would not only change skin, but also empower men and women to take control of their lives and help them achieve their skin-health goals. I created my skincare collection in direct response to the challenges I saw on a daily basis in my Clinic – the same skin health issues men and women of all ages and ethnicities face everywhere.  I can’t see everyone personally, but through my products I can help people see real results in their skin.  That was my goal in developing my product line.

What’s your process when creating new products?

I don’t believe in following trends, and instead look to create products that address a specific need.  I’m not a chemist, but I know exactly what I want and need as a clinician. We look to find the most effective and cutting-edge ingredients and technologies to deliver optimal results. My products don’t go on the shelves unless they’re needed by my clients and tested by real people (customers, nurses and estheticians) at my Clinic to ensure the best results.

Name three women business owners you admire and why.

Donna Karan, Diane Von Furstenberg and Helena Rubinstein.  All of these ladies branded themselves and continued on a passion of theirs in (at the time) a male dominated world to make their eponymous brands huge successes.

What’s one thing you wish you knew when you first started that you know now?

It’s hard to pick just one, as there are so many things I’ve learned along the way:

  • If you hire someone and it’s not a fit don’t let it linger too long.
  • Delegation is key! Know what your strengths and weaknesses are and hire the people you need to.  I am an esthetician first and business woman second, so was important for me to have the right team in place.
  • Don’t ever put all your eggs in one basket.  Focusing one just one retailer or client is too risky.  Make sure to diversify your retailers and clients.

What’s your best advice for someone who wants to start their own skincare line?

Don’t lose sight of what you’re trying to do.  A business will take you over – the sales, the cash flow, the team, etc.  If you lose sight of why you’re doing it, it’s not fun anymore.  For me it’s important to connect with clients and stay close to what motivated me to start my brand – to heal people.  The importance of keeping your focus on the mission of what you’re doing is the biggest lesson I’ve learned.

Enter my giveaway with Kate Somerville!

Five (5) winners will each win one Wrinkle Warrior and one Eradikate Cleanser!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

U.S. residents age 18 and older to win.

For more information on Kate and her products, visit her website here.

Read more Real Women Doing Real Things posts.

Product shot image borrowed from here.

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