With 20+ years’ experience as a Director and Educator of respected Dermal clinics and Founder of Dermalist skincare, Stefanie Milla (ABIC CEO) and a group of likeminded aesthetic professionals, experts in finance, HR, and business, came together to create Australia’s first Aesthetic & Beauty Industry Council. We spoke with Stefanie and asked her about the motivation behind the inception of ABIC and what it hopes to achieve.
How has Covid-19 affected the professional beauty industry?
“During lockdown, aesthetics was one of the hardest hit industries, we were the first to close and the last to open. After the creation of ABIC, one of the first things we did was sit down with various members of government, and we asked why.” Milla says, “The answer that we received was simple, there was a clear lack of unified representation to government that accurately conveyed the sheer size and importance of our industry as a collective. But what was most concerning was the outdated perception about the types of services our industry offers, along with very little understanding of the high infection control standards that are innate within our field.
COVID really put a magnifying glass on the problems in our industry that stem from the absence of a united representative body. You can see this reflected in the differing standards of education, treatment and care, with an inability for best practice guidelines to keep up with a fast-changing industry landscape, in addition to a lack of clear direction in times of crisis.”
Explain your ethos – strength through a solid foundation.
“Things are set to change; never have so many industry giants come together to combine their strength, share their resources, and merge their extensive reach to fortify and energise the aesthetic industry in such an empowering way. Advanced Skin Technology, Beaute Industrie, Candela, Caronlab, Cynosure, Dermalist, Dermalogica, Dermaviduals, DMK, Elly Lukas, Elleebana, Gay Wardle Education, The Global Beauty Group, High Tech Medical, Inskin Cosmedics, Murad, Professional Beauty Solutions, Reed Exhibitions, Sothy’s, Timely Appointment Software, Ultraderm and Vital Plus. These leaders have become the Aesthetic and Beauty Industry Council’s Founding Members, and they will help ABIC to drive progressive advancement, help businesses and industry professionals to thrive, and truly have a profoundly positive impact on everyone in the industry.”
Can you tell us about the Inclusive 3-Tier Membership?
“ABIC will represent all of the diverse segments of the aesthetic industry, from beauty services, beauty therapy and spa, to advanced skin and dermal treatments.
They offer three main member categories:
1. Industry Professional Membership – for the individual
2. Clinic and Salon Membership
3. Student Membership
What are the Membership benefits?
“We are excited to offer our members a vast and current resource library at launch, with over 350 relevant documents such as HR and IR, Business, Marketing, Client and Staff Management. Our aim is to be a full-service resource for our members. Think of ABIC as your partner in business, with you every step of the way, every day.”
The Aesthetic and Beauty Industry Council has a unique and extensive offering featuring a website set to be the mecca of all things professional beauty, dermal and aesthetics. The Events & Education Calendar alone is sure to excite, but if that is not enough to entice, ABIC will be hosting the first of its kind endorsed Suppliers Directory, featuring ABIC partner companies vetted and approved by the association as adhering to quality standards and ethical business practices, in addition to a Clinic Member Directory designed for clients to find ABIC certified practitioners and clinics. ABIC Members will have full time access to facilitators to help them with industry advice and questions. HR and IR professionals to guide their business, lawyers to assist in commercial matters, and access to complimentary and reduced member rates with affiliated ABIC suppliers, coaches, and educators, to name a few.
Clinic certification to drive consumers through clinic doors
“What is truly exciting is that ABIC will offer clinics a unique certification system which will enhance their standards easily and effectively, and serve to bring consumers into certified clinics via the ABIC Certification Awareness Program (ACAP).”
An Industry Collaboration across the Associations
“One of the things that defines ABIC is their already established connections with government, their mission for strong collaboration with other industry associations and their extensive reach within the industry. The overwhelming support that we have received from the industry is truly humbling, but also incredibly inspiring,” Milla says, “the groundswell of excitement and interest from prospective members, along with remarkable outreach from industry leaders offering to contribute in so many ways, including serving on our advisory board, is truly indicative of the passion they have for the industry and the great need to have one united body to represent all of the professionals within it.”
Meet the ABIC Board Members
Reika Roberts – Chair As Co-Founder of Derma Aesthetics. Reika has been in the industry for 18+ years, has a strong background in business management, client development and start-ups. Championing leadership and embracing community with a passion to see industry unite.
Tamara Reid – Vice Chair Tamara is an industry innovator, entrepreneur, community creator and founder of Beaute Industrie. Australia’s first online support community for the professional aesthetic industry and internationally successful Beaute Industrie podcast.
Stefanie Milla – CEO and Board Member Stef is the CEO & Formulator of Dermalist Skincare. an experienced Industry Educator, and Director of respected Dermal clinics for the past 20+ years. She is also an experienced systems, business and marketing strategist.
Emma Hobson – Board Member. Emma has 35+ years of industry experience as a celebrated international Speaker, Spa Director, Business Owner, and Educator. She has held a leadership role in The International Dermal Institute, and at Dermalogica now holds the position of the Director of Education, (APAC).
Faye Murray – Board Member, Faye is a hair and beauty Business Coach with over 15 years’ experience and was Inducted into the Hairdressing Hall of Fame in 2011, and then into the Beauty Hall of Fame in 2019.
Jahan Kalantar – Board Member. Jahan is the managing partner of the firm of Executive Legal and has extensive experience in commercial, civil and litigation matters. He brings a wealth of regulatory and compliance experience to the ABIC board.
Gay Wardle – Board Member. Gay is a businesswoman, Coach, respected Mentor, Educator, and multiple skin treatment Salon Owner. Awarded “Educator of the Year” and inducted into ABIA and the Reed Exhibition Hall of Fame.
Greg Ure – Board Member. Greg has been CEO of Caronlab, Australia’s largest manufacturer of Hair Removal Waxes for the past 17 years and is a “Certified Professional HR Practitioner” and “Fellow” by the Australian HR Institute.
Karla McDiarmid – Board Member. Karla is a business owner and trainer with 20+ years in the skin and beauty industry. Karla is a renowned industry expert and is the Spa Director of the multiple award-winning Macquarie Medi Spa.
Keira Maloney – Board Member. Keira is an experienced and innovative HR manager within the beauty, skin and laser industry and the brand ambassador for Headhunter, a job advertising platform rivalling the costly alternatives to finding new team members.
Maria Enna Cocciolone – Board Member Maria is an industry leader with over 35 years industry experience, and is the Founder and CEO of Inskin Cosmedics, O Cosmedics and Ginger&Me. A qualified Aesthetician and Electrologist, expert brand creator, strategist and copywriter.
Matt Williams – Board Member. Matt is a business strategist and MD of PBS Professional Beauty Solutions, a distributor of salon only beauty brands and one of Australia’s most trusted distributors of professional beauty brands.
This article first appeared in the March/April issue of Professional Beauty magazine. Download it here or read it on the site below.
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