Get to know Valerie Taupin, CEO & Founder, TEOXANE Laboratoires, Switzerland.

Valérie Taupin began her career in 1988, with a French company manufacturing post-operative garments for burn patients. She quickly identified a growth opportunity in the world of aesthetics that inspired her career path and ultimately led her to create a company in an industry that was poised to explode.

In 1993, she founded her own company distributing breast implants, lasers, and medical devices to plastic surgeons and dermatologists. In association with a specialist Ophthalmology company, in 2000 she created the dermal filler called Juvederm®, which she went on to export to over 50 countries worldwide. Juvederm was subsequently acquired by Allergan. Three years later, she left and started TEOXANE® Laboratoires in Geneva, Switzerland, as one of the few female players in the dermal filler category.

The foundation of her new company was based around integrated R&D and production from its earliest stages, mastering research and complete monitoring of the manufacturing processes, overseen by strict quality control guidelines. She prides herself on the DNA of the company being steeped in innovation as well as safety from the first injectable volumizer (TEOSYAL® Ultra Deep2), to the PureSenseRedensity2 line, which combined hyaluronic acid (HA) with 14 nutrients naturally found in the dermis.

In 2009, TEOXANE became the first filler brand to integrate their signature RHA® technology into a skincare regimen to address the skin during a procedure and optimize outcomes. It is clear that she has exquisite taste and a keen eye for detail that has contributed to building a brand with a distinctively feminine, elegant look and feel. She sees the skincare range as an extension of her injectable portfolio; a system for patients to take home to extend and augment the effects of their clinical treatments.

Another milestone: in 2015 Mrs. Taupin and her R&D team pushed the boundaries again to create a new resilient HA formula in TEOSYAL®RHA2, opening the era of what she calls, “Dynamic Aesthetics.” RHA2 was the first filler specifically developed to have strength and stretch capabilities.

2017 was a big year for TEOXANE. They received the FDA nod for three products in their filler portfolio, RHA®2, RHA®3 and RHA®4, and clinical trials are currently underway for RHA®1. Fast forward to 2018. TEOXANE is ranked among the top hyaluronic acid-based dermal filler manufacturers worldwide and has sold more than 10 million syringes of TEOSYAL® fillers in over 90 countries, soon to include the USA.

Wendy Lewis talked to Mrs. Taupin to learn more about how her career led her to found her own global brand and identify her future goals.

WL: Who were some of your mentors throughout your career?

Valérie: Since I built a company when I was just 26 years old, I learned a lot from my own mistakes. However, I have always been an admirer of other likeminded entrepreneurs that take risks to build something successful. I have great respect for the women who broke through in the beauty and fashion industries, like Elizabeth Arden, Estee Lauder, Coco Chanel, and others. They paved the way for more women to be bold and do what they love.

WL: How did you get your start in the aesthetics field?

Valérie: At the beginning of my career when I was 22 years young, my first job was to open the German subsidiary for a French company specializing in plastic surgery devices, post-surgery garments for liposuction and burns. During this period, I witnessed the beginning of the growth in the global aesthetic industry and was intrigued. I knew immediately that I wanted to be part of it. One of my earliest innovations was to put two syringes into a box for physicians. I decided to open my own company because I wanted to have control over R&D and the manufacturing process. If you don't make the product yourself, you are always at the mercy of the manufacturer to get things done.

WL: What advice do you have for women who are rising stars in this industry?

Valérie: You must always remain humble. Remember that success is difficult to achieve and even harder to maintain. Long-term success can only be achieved if you surround yourself with like-minded professionals to help your business develop and grow. While success is important in the short-term, for a company to survive you must always remain focused on the long-term vision and avoid copying what other companies are doing. Trust your intuition and instincts to do things in your own unique way. It can also be good to take some risks along the way, too. For me, being in aesthetics was a natural evolution. When you are a woman yourself, you can bring a different eye and point of view to your brand.

WL: How would your colleagues describe your management style?

Valérie: I firmly believe in rewarding people who work smartly and contribute to the success of the company. I am never afraid to make difficult decisions. I manage by example and try to instill clear values for success into the culture of the company. I do have very high expectations of not only my team, but also of myself. I think they may also say that I am a perfectionist and extremely detail oriented. I continuously strive to push the envelope and I love the challenge of breaking new ground!

WL: Name a quote that best describes your philosophy.

Valérie: Here are a few:

”Persistence and tenacity are the keys to success,” “If at first you don't succeed, try, try again!” and “Put all your eggs in one basket and watch it carefully”