The Art of Business and Style
Rucsandra Hurezeanu runs a successful business, is the mother of two boys and the wife of an ambassador. She openly talks about age, the principles of educating her children and about the discipline she imposed on herself in order to transform her dreams into reality.
In 11 years you have created a Romanian brand of dermatocosmetics. The brand had an organic and constant development. Was the decision taken after doing some market research or was it more a consequence of the intuition and the interest you were having in these products?
Dermatocosmetics, meaning pharmaceutical cosmetic products, were my favorites for a long time and that is because they are efficient, safe and their active ingredients have higher concentrations. Most French dermatocosmetics brands use thermal water as main ingredient, so I have immediately thought of finding a thermosaline spring in Romania with calming and anti-irritating properties for the skin. I was of course interested in the Herculane springs, the oldest and most prestigious thermal resort in Europe; the Empress SISI was totally in love with these springs. I quickly found my spring – it has a large flow, the water is coming 2000 m deep and is almost sterile, the temperature is 45 degrees and it is very rich in minerals and oligo elements such as Ca, Cu, Zn, Mn, Si, Fe and it is extraordinary for the skin.
What decisions did you take that were conclusive for the brand`s development?
The brand`s positioning was always one of the key factors of its success. Ivatherm is exclusively a pharmacy brand; our products are meant for the public at large, but they are recommended by dermatologists and pharmacists who are our main collaborators or by the clients. We have preserved this initial positioning and we didn`t change anything in our business strategy for 11 years. We have chosen to externalize production, research and development to France, the country with the greatest expertise in cosmetology. We are working with Alain Fructus, the former President of the French Cosmetology Association. We also took the good decision to go international into developing countries from Eastern Europe, Asia or the Middle East.
Were there difficult moments in the brand`s development? Did you ever think to give up on the business?
We had many challenges, from lack of resources like any other startup, to having the right team with expertise in this industry. We have been through changes and positive developments like moving from own distribution to selling through distributors, participating for the first time in international fairs in big countries, in Beijing, Shanghai or Tokyo, going on the foreign market, implementing our marketing strategy in all the countries and varied cultures we are present in.
Who are the people whose opinions count whenever you need to take an important decision?
I have formed an executive board with a few people and accidentally or not these are the people with whom I have started the business 11 years ago. For 1 year now we have an Advisory Board to validate the big strategies, several times per year or to adjust the budgets.
What defines the Ivatherm brand? What makes it different from other dermatocosmetic products?
Our business model combines advanced technology and the most innovative active ingredients with tradition that is represented by the Herculane thermal water and the end result are unique products that stand out and are internationally competitive. The thermal water from Herculane has extraordinary calming and anti-irritating properties for the skin. It is the base for all the Ivatherm formulas for sensitive skin. The numerous clinical studies presented at the international dermatology congresses prove its benefits. On the other hand we are proud to introduce some innovations that represent absolute references in cosmetology. Some examples: Resveratrolan activator of the longevity genes called Sirtuine by the Harvard researchers, used in the anti-wrinkle cream; Vegetal stem cells that regenerate the adult epidemic stem cells, used in the Una products; Glicans that re-establish cellular communication by stimulating the fibroblasts to produce more collagen, in the Glykolift cream, Aquaphiline-Aquaporine that has the role to hydrate and maintain the hydric balance of the skin, used in the Aquafil products. Last fall we have created the Toleriskin range, launched at the National Congress of Dermatology in Bucharest, with a pro-biotic effect for intolerant skin.
Did the business that you started 11 years ago achieve what you intended?
My business went beyond my imagination. We are the first players on the Romanian market that have more than 50 products on sale and over 300,000 products sold each year. 11 years ago, I didn`t dream that Ivatherm would become an international brand selling on 3 continents. I also have the opportunity to travel a lot and to meet new people, get in contact with various cultures and I like it very much.
What are your plans for the future of Ivatherm ?
The same plans I had up to the present time – create new and innovating products in order to offer women updated and efficient solutions for taking care of their skin. We are interested in developing new products that have slightly different textures that meet the needs and the preferences of Asian and Middle Eastern women. Our most recent priorities are international expansion and the recognition in these new countries.
You are a beautiful woman, mother of two boys, wife of an ambassador who is also the major stakeholder in a famous business. How did you succeed both personally and professionally?
Thank you for the kind words. My success is relative, what is certain is that being 44 years old feels better than being 30 or 40. The cosmetologists are saying that 20% of the aging factors are inherited, and the rest of 80% are linked to the environment we live in, lifestyle and our emotional balance. I know that my success is following a lot of hard work, with the help I got from other people and the good luck that brought me sometimes in certain places. I am daily very grateful for everything I have. The moments I spend with my family and the attention we give to each other fill me up with energy and joy. I was always a very self-controlled person, I do a lot of sports, I eat gluten free food and mostly vegan and I sleep 8 hours per night. I include in my daily routine literature, specialized books, mediation and yoga.
What are the elements that you emphasize and consider important in raising and educating your two sons?
I have recently decided, and I admit it is not an easy task, to make my children understand – one is 9 and the other is 12 years old – that they should be the first to offer the things they want to get from people. If they want understanding, they should offer understanding to others, if they want love, they must offer love, if they want appreciation, they must appreciate those around them. We try to enroot our values in them day after day – honesty, responsibility, attention for other people and rejoicing in the things they have every day.
How is an ordinary day in the life of Rucsandra Hurezeanu?
An ordinary day starts with preparing my children for school, then 1 hour of sport and breakfast with my husband. When I get at the office, the daily activities agenda is ready for me; I have meetings with my colleagues, with the clients or with some important providers. I coordinate the activity of research and development, marketing, sales and regulatory affairs. External clients and the negotiations with the distributors are taking a lot of my time in the recent years. In the evening I am usually with my children, sharing stories and events that took place during the day. The family is like a “clan” that provides a feeling of protection no matter what. The children taught me that true and long term happiness within the family is possible by collecting beautiful memories and creating special moments; this means, each and every time, a lot of giving. Sometimes it is done with the price of small sacrifices.
How do you relax, how do you get more energy?
Lately, I am spending more time at our country house, by Snagov Lake. I find here, every morning, a lot of peace and carefree feelings. A peaceful Sunday afternoon, children fishing, us talking with our dear friends about the world, about us…; or we just sit in the shadow, read something and take a nap.
I enjoy it very much whenever I visit France and Paris in particular, the city where I have studied, lived and loved. I like to feel the air and the noise of the streets during a regular working day or to look at the people sitting in coffee shops or to admire the boutiques on rue Faubourg Saint-Honoré. I feel renewed every time i arrive in Paris, it is a soul therapy that fills me up with energy.
What are the care products that you use every day?
Obviously I rely on the excellent Ivatherm products and I never forget these three important steps: makeup removal, invigoration by spraying the Herculane thermal water and moisturizing with cream. For me, the GlykoLift serum and cream are number one for skin care. Glicobiotechnology is a new science that was developed following the use of polysaccharides in cosmetic products. These elements re-establish the communication between cells that was weakened as years went by and stimulate the fibroblasts to produce more collagen. The skin becomes more elastic, denser and younger. I use the Herculane water daily, in the morning and in the evening, right after make-up removal and before putting the cream on the face; it has a calming and anti-irritating effect on the skin. Any small irritation goes away 15 minutes after spraying this thermal water.
What is the most beautiful vacation?
Weekend breaks in European capitals
Your favorite cuisine?
What kind of art do you prefer? – classical artists, contemporary art?
Contemporary and modern
A book you always enjoy reading one more time?
The power of now, by Eckhart Tolle