Republished from the Huffington Post (August 2015)
Shelley Rollick is a para-medical esthetician and cosmetic chemist with over 25 years of skin care experience. She is the founder, creative director and product formulator for the prestigious skin care brand, Benir Beauty. Shelley is a strong advocate of healthy aging and believes in creating products that are not only good for the skin, but contribute to noticeably healthier skin by combining the best of nature + scientific technology.
How has your life experience made you the leader you are today?
I grew up in a small community surrounded by entreprenerial women. There wasn't much of a local beauty industry, but the examples set by by mom and grandma in particular were very important because they set an example of what creativity and hard work can accomplish.
I have always had an innate desire to be in the beauty industry, even from my earliest memories. A visit to my aunts or grandmas house was a chance to explore their beauty cabinets where I could mix various products togethor into new exciting formulas. My Dad would take me to the store to pick up supplies to make oatmeal facial masks, and so while friends had cool-aid stands, I had my beauty table. I was always shown support and encouragment to follow my dreams. My coveted collection of beauty magazines gave me a window into a larger industry, which I followed, moving first to Toronto and then New York to gain experience and exposure.
How has your previous employment experience aided your tenure at Benir?
I have a background in paramedical esthetics and cosmetic chemistry which spans over 25 years, working hands on with a select clientele, and a large number of skin care brands. I've spent time running my own skin care clinics as well which has provided invaluable and unique insight into womans preferences, and many of the challenges woman face when addressing various skin concerns. My past experience really allowed me to move quickly with Benir as I had a clear understanding of what I wanted to accomplish with my skin care brand.
What have the highlights and challenges been during your tenure at Benir?
The first time holding a product you've created in your hands...all the hard work coming to fruition. It's absolutely amazing having an idea turn into reality. And of course, anytime our brand gets recognition or positive feedback...I love hearing the positive experiences of customers.
Anything worthwhile always has challenges to overcome. Early on we had issues with packaging and our intital product run, with deadlines looming it can be very stressful...Just remember, with perserverance comes success so always keep moving forward regardless of the walls that come up.
What advice can you offer to women who are seeking a career in your industry?
Don't be afraid to take a risk...and always continue to educate yourself as the industry is
always changing and advancing. Believe in yourself 100% and dream big but do the necessary work, because it's your success at stake.
How do you maintain a work/life balance?
It's not easy as business can be very demanding at times but taking care of myself first is a priority, whether it's taking a moment to excercise, enjoying a massage or preparing a healthy meal, In order for me and my business to thrive It's important to be healthy and energized.
What do you think is the biggest issue for women in the workplace?
Years ago, when I was moving into plastic surgery, it was rare for a woman to be involved in that side of the industry, it was very male dominated, and so I was actually told it may not be a great fit for me. Looking back, I believe that for a woman to succeed, it's important to trust your instincts because you know what is right for you. Always be confident in your choices, and have expectations to be compensated and treated as an equal.
How has mentorship made a difference in your professional and personal life?
Working in Toronto and New York early in my career gave me some exposure to various individuals that were industry leaders and so displayed to me that there really are no limits to what a person can accomplish if they remove self imposed barriers. Unfortunately, I haven't had the opportunity to work closely with an industry expert that could influence my choices. I've had to figure things out on my own, make mistakes, learn and move forward.
I will say though, some of the greatest incouragement came from clientelle, especially the 50+ group of women with strong personalities, lots of positive advice and plenty of life experience to share.
Which other female leaders do you admire and why?
From the past, Gabriel Coco Chanel. A strong woman, a creative genius, she broke open a male dominated industry providing a womans perspective. Who better to know what a woman wants than another woman?
Current, Arlene Dickenson. She overcame the odds and enormous challanges to build a very successful business from the ground up. A great example of balance between family and business.
What do you want Benir to accomplish in the next year?
The coming year is all about relationships, and spreading the word. We have huge plans and expectations for our brand, and look to expand our retail reach and brand awareness.
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