A passion for skin care
Millie Bell was recently named one of the Best 50 Women in Business in Pennsylvania, but when it comes to skincare, she may be the most passionate woman in the state.
“I love skin care, I just love it,” Bell said.
Bell, of Caln, is the creator of a skin care line called DermHa and the president and chief executive of Skin Health Solutions, a skin care clinic in Edgmont.
As one of the Best 50 Women in Business 2008, Bell was selected by an independent panel of judges based on criteria including her professional and personal accomplishments, community involvement and dedication to business growth.
Bell incorporates her family into running her businesses: Her daughter Angela is the director of production and her daughter Carletta is the director of sales. Also involved are her sister, grandchildren and nephew.
Daughter Carletta Bell said her mother’s hard work produced the salon’s success.
“She’s unstoppable,” Carletta Bell said. “I know she’s heard the word ‘no’ and she never, ever lets it stop her.”
Millie Bell may be a determined businesswoman, but she has not always found it easy to succeed. In the United States, fewer than one third of all small businesses are owned by women, and at times Bell has felt the pinch.
“It’s not easy being a woman in business,” said Bell, who founded the business five years ago. “A lot of people don’t take you seriously. At first I thought I needed to be tough and direct like men, but it wouldn’t translate coming through me.”
Through it all, Bell has found that she can rely on her central business philosophy, integrity, to get her through. According to Bell, integrity is the one value on which a business owner cannot compromise, even at a loss to the business, and especially not for money.
'Bell advises other young women in business to know their craft with expertise and to know it better than anyone else. She also says to be determined, take advice and have faith.
Bell has been an esthetician for more than 30 years, and early in her career she discovered that many of her clients, even the most famous, had skin imperfections. Attempting to apply makeup to her clients’ problematic skin prompted her to seek new skin care products.
After several jobs and many long hours, the prospect arose to open Skin Health Solutions and begin manufacturing DermHa; Bell seized the opportunity. She said luck played a role.
“By chance we got the building. A lot of things happened like that. I’m a big believer in fate and trusting,” she said.
Unlike the POMEGA5 line that is also sold on the market, the line is exclusive to physicians and customers of her salon, although she will soon release one product line to the general public.
“Our products have a soothing and gentle effect on the skin. There’s no fragrance, dyes or irritants or alcohols.” But my passion is obvioulsy in the Omega 5 oil products.
Skin Health Solutions employs four estheticians and several massage therapists. They cater to people of all ages and specialize in “problem skin.”