Founder of Advanced Cosmeceuticals Catherine Biedermann reveals her beauty journey.
Tell us where your passion for beauty mixed with business came from?
“I have had a passion for business from quite a young age and actually started my first business at the age of 18. I am driven more about business and all that it entails and a little less about the actual industry. However, saying that, I am certainly passionate about the aesthetic industry since establishing Advanced Cosmeceuticals. Being in an industry that is ever evolving with exciting developments in products and procedures makes it both a challenging and inspiring world that I love being a part of.”
You set up Advanced Cosmeceuticals in 2006 – what was your goal?
“When I set up Advanced Cosmeceuticals in 2006, it was always my goal to establish a reputable and reliable company that would become a trusted name within the industry. It has always been my aim for the company to have a reputation that is seen as ethical and with integrity. I believe we have achieved this by offering scientifically-proven, results-driven brands in conjunction with a team who provide a level of client service that goes above and beyond.”
How do you choose brands for your stable?
“All brands are carefully selected based on their performance and results. There is extensive research conducted prior to introducing a brand to our stable – from meetings with CEOs, visiting head office, lab premises and ensuring that the brand’s philosophy, research and development is in line with our company’s. Advanced Cosmeceuticals represents brands from all over the globe that are deemed high performing with proven results, all with the backing of science and research.”
What do you wish you had known starting out?
“I see it as a journey that I am constantly growing and learning about so there really is nothing I wish had known starting out, as it is all part of the process.”
How important is it to invest in scientifically backed brands?
“For us, it is critical. If a brand is not scientifically backed, it won’t be part of our stable. We pride ourselves on distributing brands that not only provide proven results but also have the studies and research to back them.”
Did you have any mentors in the early days that you looked towards?
“I didn’t have mentors per se but some amazing colleagues in the industry that I could bounce ideas off and always turn to for suggestions and advice.”
What is your favourite part of the role?
“I enjoy being in a position that I can oversee the entire operation but as my team will attest, I also thrive being on the ground, meeting with clients and constantly developing the company. I’m grateful for the opportunity to learn and grow within an industry that is constantly evolving.”
What has been one of the biggest challenges in your career?
“It was definitely when international websites started selling our brands at immensely discounted prices into Australia. Our core clients are 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 challenges I had to face.”
What do you see as the next big trend in skincare formulations?
“The technology in skincare formulations just keeps evolving and it’s incredibly exciting to be a part of. I think the advancements made in Vitamin A products is an incredible trend. The research and developments made in derivatives of Vitamin A products will be one to watch. I also think we will see more developments made in delivery systems to keep active ingredients stable while also penetrating the deeper layers of the skin to achieve more potent results. Another growing trend will be in formulating skincare that works in combination with non-invasive cosmetic procedures – technology for both is constantly improving with outstanding outcomes.”
How tough is it to compete in the market?
“I’m a great believer in competition as it provides a healthy environment for your business to grow. Having been in the industry for 13 years now and learning to adapt with the constant changes is an exciting challenge. It has enabled Advanced Cosmeceuticals to go from strength to strength in terms of the brands we represent and our positioning in the market. I believe our multi-layered approach of offering skincare/treatments combined with our amazing devices has placed us in an incredibly fortunate position, benefiting both our clients and their patients.”
Tell us three strengths you have as a Managing Director?
“I work as hard as my team and am not afraid to get my hands dirty.
I don’t believe in micro-management – I employ skilled people to do their jobs and trust that they will do just that.
I will always give people the benefit of the doubt – we are all human and we all make mistakes and I don’t believe you get the best out of people by instilling fear. I encourage everyone to acknowledge any shortfall, learn from it and become better – and the same applies to me.”
Where do you find inspiration for your company?
“I am lucky to find inspiration via the people I work with. We have such an amazing team at Advanced Cosmeceuticals that I find myself inspired by them on a daily basis.”
What is one of the most important aspects of building a company?
“I think having a distinct business philosophy and being clear in your company’s direction is incredibly important. It’s easy to lose sight of your vision and be influenced by other aspects but staying true and focused is key. It’s important to know your market, as you won’t succeed by trying to be all things to all people. It’s also vitally important to build a team that represents the company’s philosophy and ethics, as they are the face of your brand.”
Best piece of advice you’ve been given?
“Trust your instinct and gut feeling – it will never, ever let you down in the long run.”
Any lessons you would tell your younger self?
“Think big. You work as hard in a small business as you do in a large business but often with less potential and less reward. Maximise your time and energy and reach for the stars.”
If you weren’t in skincare what would we find you doing?
“Definitely travelling as well as doing more volunteering for charity organisations.”
How do you wind down after a hectic day? “Walking, working out at the gym and listening to classical music all help me wind down as does a nice glass of wine and beautiful food.”
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