This month we sat down with Step Up supporter, Kate Somerville, to hear her thoughts on mentorship and the secrets behind skincare!
Kate Somerville is a widely respected paramedical esthetician with over 18 years experience in clinical skincare. She is the CEO and founder of Kate Somerville Skin Care and has a flourishing medi-skin clinic in Los Angeles. People Magazine coined Kate the “A-list Beauty Guru,” while Allure called her “Hollywood’s Hottest Facialist.” She has appeared on television shows including Good Morning America, Dr. Phil, and Access Hollywood. Kate’s personal and professional experience served as her guiding principal when she developed her unique Skin Health Pyramid™, a simple and strategic guide to achieving healthy, radiant skin. Her skincare collection is distributed in leading retailers, luxury spas and doctors’ offices, both domestically and abroad.
Step Up Women’s Network: You are known for (among other things!) pioneering the integration of skincare and medicine, which helped pave the way for paramedical esthetics and the medi-spa industry. What advice would you give other women who are considering starting a business in a new or still-developing sector?
Kate Somerville: First, ask yourself: What is my goal? The first step in creating a product is knowing the problem that you’re going to solve.
For a period of time in LA, I worked for a skincare company in product development and was the director of education. I educated doctors and surgeons on the efficacy of the line and its ingredients, along with how it could support their business and treatments. My passion for product development began here. During this time, innovations in ingredients and technology were making products more effective. I enjoyed my work; however, the travel associated with it became overwhelming, so again I set up an esthetics office with a cosmetic surgeon in Santa Monica. This doctor gave me the tools and inspiration I needed to fully pursue my dreams and career goals. He saw how I was constantly mixing and matching product lines to get my clients results. One day, he took me aside and said, “The only way you’re going to make a difference is through innovation. You have six different skincare lines here. Learn from them and make your own.” Once I knew what problem I wanted to solve, the goal-setting was easy. Then, it was all about implementation.
SUWN: Step Up is a mentorship organization. Did any mentors make an impression on you?
KS: I choose to support Step Up Women’s Network because I believe that the value of mentorship cannot be overstated. I’ve been blessed with wonderful mentors who helped me to get where I am today. Their advice and encouragement pushed me to work hard, follow my passions and achieve my goals. I truly am a living testament to the power that mentorship yields. Because of that kind of valuable support, I have a successful skin care company that allows me to improve people’s skin and, in turn, improve their lives.
SUWN: What products can Kate Somerville enthusiasts look forward to this fall?
KS: I’m in the process of introducing some great new products, including two gorgeous serums and a firming body moisturizer. But I’m really still so excited about DermalQuench Liquid Lift, which just rolled out to all my retail partners in May. For five years I worked to make an at-home version of the DermalQuench Oxygen Treatment from my Clinic on Melrose Place and it’s finally here! It’s a patent-pending formula that works wonders on every skin type. In addition to combating the signs of aging, it’s super hydrating and makes skin healthier-looking overall.
SUWN: What experience will you always remember from your childhood?
KS: My relationship with Barbara Wells. She was my college boyfriend’s mother and remains the most inspirational woman I have ever known. She was loving and supportive and taught me that I didn’t have to live in chaos. I was in control of my life, and I had the power to change whatever it was I didn’t like. I could be whatever I wanted to be, have whatever I wanted to have and achieve whatever I wanted to achieve. She told me, “You know, you have a choice. You can make your life good or you can continue to dwell on your hardships.” Even today, I continue to play her words of encouragement in my head. Barbara was my guiding light, showing me that anything is possible in life. After having battled cancer for ten years, she died from the disease when I was about 20, but her message continues to guide me personally and professionally.
SUWN: What advice would you give Step Up teens?
KS: If you don’t know how to do something, there is someone out there who can help. All you have to do is ask!