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Professional Beauty brings to you our Powerful Women series – interviews with the leading ladies behind some much-loved salon industry brands across the skincare, cosmetics and technology spaces. Anita Quade caught up with Advanced Cosmeceuticals’ Catherine Biedermann.

Catherine Biedermann, tell us what inspired you to set up your company?

“I have had a passion for business from quite a young age and actually started my first business at the age of 18 so I always knew that this would be my path. My interest in the business side of things was always my driving force and initially it was more about this and a little less about the actual industry.

However, since establishing Advanced Cosmeceuticals in 2006, this certainly changed. While I thrive running a business, I am also incredibly passionate about the aesthetic industry and am inspired by an industry that is constantly evolving in terms of innovative developments in products, procedures and technology, making it both a challenging and exciting world that I love being a part of.

It was always my goal to establish a reputable and reliable company that would become a trusted name within the industry, a company that is seen as ethical and with integrity, and I am so proud that, as a team, we have achieved this.”

What was one of the hardest challenges starting out?

“When Advanced Cosmeceuticals purchased the distribution rights for SkinCeuticals in 2006, it was at a time when cosmeceutical brands and products were still in their infancy. At the time SkinCeuticals was one of only a few cosmeceutical brands with an esteemed reputation and proven results. While this gave our company, a unique point of difference, it was a challenge to educate others on the benefits of niche, scientifically driven skincare, a challenge we quickly overcame based on the success we achieved.”

Advanced Cosmeceuticals partners with Medik8, among several skincare brands

Any other struggles as a business owner?

“One of the hardest challenges was definitely when international websites started selling our brands at immensely discounted prices into Australia. Our core clients have always been bricks and mortar clinics so dealing with many of our clients who were understandably very concerned by the loss of business to websites was one of the biggest hurdles. However, we adapted, evolved and took control by expanding our distribution channels to include select online sites while ensuring our bricks and mortar clients were supported at every level.”

Being a powerful woman as a business leader – what is an important piece of advice you can share with your peers?

“Company culture is everything. Our company culture is something that has organically evolved and is one that is based on respect, hard work and dedication.

It is important as a business leader to ensure you work as hard as your team. While it’s important to oversee the entire operation from the top, it’s also important that the team see you work just as hard as them on the ground.

Don’t micro-manage people. I employ people that have the skill and experience to do their jobs and trust that they will do just that.

Finally, think big – you work as hard in a small business as you do in a large one but with less potential and reward. Embrace every opportunity to learn, grow and evolve. Be adaptable, be flexible and don’t be afraid of the new and unknown.”

“Company culture is everything. Our company culture is something that has organically evolved and is one that is based on respect, hard work and dedication.”

What is it you love most about being an industry trailblazer?

“I love that it’s ever evolving. It’s incredibly exciting to be a part of an industry that experiences growth and development off the back of science and research – be it developments achieved in skincare formulations and treatments, or the sophisticated technology of aesthetic devices and ensuring you are at the forefront of all these advancements.

I also feel incredibly honoured that I get to meet the global innovators behind these brands and learn what inspires them. Each brand has a different story and philosophy that always stems back to its founders. Connecting with them on both a business and personal level is something I relish.

Finally, I love inspiring and being inspired by others – be it the Advanced Cosmeceuticals team, clinic partners, other industry leaders or our global brands. Motivating and being motivated is what drives us all.”

This article originally appeared in the March-April 2022 print issue of Professional Beauty.

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