Why skin care education is as important as the products themselves with Celeste Hilling, founder of Skin Authority
Describe Skin Authority in a few words?
A skincare company founded on the principles of effective results, inclusivity, eco consciousness and putting the guidance of skin coaches at consumer fingertips.
What made you take the leap to start your own business?
It was a combination of both seeing a business opportunity and a personal journey with skin health. I wanted to provide the tools and educate on building skin immunity. I wanted to help people live a longer healthier cosmetically beautiful life.
What was your background prior to starting your own business?
I have a background in research and technology (served as Vice President of Compaq Computer Consumer Division Worldwide.)
Did you always know you wanted to be an entrepreneur?
Definitely! I perceive challenges as opportunities and feel I’ve evolved to be a leader.
Take us back to when you first launched your business, what was your marketing strategy to get the word out and did it go as planned?
Early on we partnered with amazing physicians who gave us the ability to treat their patients. It was almost like a living lab! The most powerful result was word of mouth as each patient told a family member and so on. This helped propel the brand and allowed us to branch out. For us, the one-on-one human experience, hyper personalization, personal experience, translated into loyalty. At the heart of the brand is the 1-1 human connection of a live coach to hear consumers’ unique needs and customize simple routines that reflect their desires and lifestyle.
We always learn the most from our mistakes, share a time with us that you made a mistake or had a challenging time in business and what you learned from it?
COVID-19 has been a challenging time. As a huge percentage of business came from the hospitality segment and they were virtually closed down overnight. However, this allowed us to amplify our virtual efforts including skin coaching – for consumers to have guided live home experiences with the brand and an expert. We were able to conduct these with our partners and share the revenue which was super rewarding.
What is the accomplishment you are the most proud of to date?
In the year 2020, we conducted 500,000+ video consultations! Also, for every 1M units of SkinSuit Lip (waterless product) sold/shipped we saved hundreds of thousands of gallons of water.
When hiring for your team, what is your go-to interview question? Please share any hiring tips you can share from your experience?
My go-to question is: What was your worst work experience to date? And What did you do to fix it? The response can be very telling and reveal how someone can work through an issue with others.
How has your business or industry been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic?
COVID-19 has been a challenging time. As a huge percentage of business came from the hospitality segment and they were virtually closed down overnight. However, this allowed us to amplify our virtual efforts including skin coaching. It forced everyone to think on strengthening the virtual aspect.
What’s next for your business? What can we expect to see over the next few years?
I am super excited to come out with new product innovations such as antipollution products (protecting skin from everything that’s thrown at it); air beautification; and expanding our waterless products.
What is the biggest lesson you have learned in 2020?
That you need others. Don’t be afraid to acknowledge you need help or be afraid to provide help to others. We are all in this together. And if it goes both ways it’s our superpower.
What do you know now that you wish you knew when you were first starting your business?
That no one has it all dialed in. Mistakes and setbacks can happen, it’s okay. Also, that no doesn’t always mean no – perseverance is a very powerful tool. Nobody is holding you back – take the opportunity – seize it!
How have you managed to stay grounded this year?
When you’re a mother you’re always grounded. But I have faith in myself and the people around me which helps keep me grounded.
Do you believe in work/life balance? What are some of your best tips?
There are times you can be overwhelmed and underwhelmed – it’s about balancing those times and how you deal with them. Self-care is super important – to take the time to pause and breathe. Handle the overwhelming times with calmness – center yourself to deal with the highs and lows.
What’s something our audience would be surprised to learn about you?
That I am a total tech geek! I totally geek out on science.
What are your top 3 tips to stay productive each day?
I like to prioritize and stick to what I have planned for the day. I separate my list into three categories: Must Do’s, Want To Do’s, and Nice To Do’s. I do not compromise my 45-1hour a day to something for me (example: exercise) to restore and recharge. Lastly, I take some time to listen and engage with my team and customers.
What does being an Entreprenista mean to you?
Being a passionate warrior! As an Entreprenista you have a cause, a purpose, the power to bring people together and a responsibility. Do so with caring and compassion.