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Behind the smiling eyes of Jane Wurwand is a work ethic that operates in overdrive, especially when it comes to helping women entrepreneurs stand on their own two feet.
The U.K.-born multimillionaire entrepreneur learned self-reliance early in life, after losing her father to a heart attack and watching her mother struggle to care for Wurwand and her three sisters. After opting out of college to attend beauty school, Wurwand emigrated to the U.S. and started the International Dermal Institute with her husband Raymond in 1983. The goal was to train professional skin therapists and focus on skin health not beauty. Three years later, the couple started skincare company Dermalogica, based in Carson, Calif.
Today, their products are sold in more than 28,000 salons and spas in 86 countries. In 2011, annual sales topped $260 million. The company has never taken a bank loan or brought in outside investors, according to Wurwand, now 54.
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In this interview for 'Trep Talk, I sat down with Wurwand in her creative sanctuary in Santa Monica, Calif., an apartment above the flagship Dermalogica store. She shares how she turned a humbling moment into a powerful mantra and how her mother's influence led her to become a fierce advocate of women entrepreneurs. Wurwand's non-profit program joinFITE helps women business owners with small loans to start or grow businesses.
"There's a special place in hell reserved for women who don't help other women," says Wurwand, sharing her favorite quote from former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright.
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