Colette Courtion is an award-winning consumer marketer and business leader based in Seattle. Armed with a BA in economics from the University of Washington and an MBA from the Graziadio School of Business and Management at Pepperdine University, she started her career in finance at PepsiCo, then moved to a venture capital firm before landing at Starbucks as a marketing executive. There she was responsible for managing the multi-billion dollar Starbucks Card.
She entered the aesthetic market by launching Calidora Skin Clinics, a leading chain of anti-aging clinics. Her next role was as CEO of JeNu, the first home-use anti-aging ultrasound device.
Her newest venture is as CEO of Joylux, Inc., a global femtech company that has developed a range of light-based devices and products that help with intimate health issues, which significantly affect quality of life. vFit and vFitPLUS in the US, and vSculpt and vSculpt PRO globally, are the only home-use solutions using patented technology to address women's intimate needs. In December 2017, the FDA favorably designated vFit/vFit PLUS as Low-Risk General Wellness Devices.
She is passionate about philanthropy, but her most rewarding role is proud mother to a very active toddler boy.
WL: Who were your mentors?
Colette: I was lucky enough to work for Starbucks during the formative years of my career, and two individuals helped shape who I am today. The first was my boss, Anne Saunders. I spent the early part of my career in finance, and Anne pushed me into sales and marketing. Ultimately, this made me more well-rounded and positioned me to holistically manage my own business. I learned from Anne how to successfully connect on an emotional level with the consumer and how critical that was to any product. Numbers give you one perspective, but human insight and emotion tell a very different and important side of the story.
I had the privilege to begin to work for my second mentor, Howard Schultz, at age 16 as a barista. Howard's conviction around building a business while also doing good was critical to everything he did and a model that I strongly believe in today. His overwhelming desire to be value-driven and to properly balance profit with human impact was reflected in the choices we made. With Joylux, we have a product that profoundly impacts women's quality of life. The stories that we hear from them support our mission statement of empowering women to live their best lives through this advanced technology.
WL: How did you get your start in the aesthetics field?
Colette: When I decided to become a mom, I asked my girlfriends for advice. They shared some of the physical changes of childbirth and aging that are not always discussed. At the time, I had no idea pelvic floor concerns were a universal issue. As a serial entrepreneur of several health and beauty companies, I decided there must be a better way. There seems to be this belief that these limitations are normal and inevitable, so women just accept this as reality. That is how Joylux was born.
WL: do you have ADVICE for FEMALE rising stars in this industry?
Colette: As a woman, you'll have to fight harder than most. Allow your passion for your industry and brand to shine through, as people sense genuineness. Make your product relatable to your audience and find an emotional connection with them, which women tend to do intuitively.
The best advice I received I follow daily: Never take no for an answer. Persevere. Leaders will find creative ways to turn a no into a yes. Don't waver in your passion for your mission.
WL: How would your colleagues describe your management style?
Colette: My management style is to hire the best people in the industry, which allows me to let them run their own portion of the business. Our team believes deeply in the company mission of empowering women to live their best lives. I sought out experts in their respective areas who are emboldened to do what they believe is best for the business. Our customers drive every decision and have the most important seat at the table. We are a small but mighty team with a fiercely entrepreneurial spirit. We are creative and innovative in our approach, and we respect each other's capabilities.
WL: Name a quote that best describes your philosophy.
Colette: From Maya Angelou: “If you don't like something, change it. If you can't change it, change your attitude.” The time is now for women to speak out about what's important to them. The effort of improving women's health and well-being is critical and needs a stronger voice. We want to encourage all women to talk about their concerns and have honest conversations.