What is your “backstory”?
I grew up in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, the daughter of Sicilian immigrants and one of five children. My father and mother are my greatest inspirations. My dad came to this country with a nickel in his pocket and did whatever he could to support his family — he didn’t consider himself “above” anything when it came to supporting us and starting from shining shoes he saved enough to start what became a successful business.
So, from Angelo I learned not only how to work hard but how to work smart. My mom sets the bar for love and compassion — she shows me the power of humility and the honor of doing for others. Plus Maria is the the most amazing cook, mother, and wife around — she’s tiny but gave me huge shoes to fill!
Can you share an interesting story that happened to you since you started your company?
Well, I think just the way the company started was interesting! I had just started dating my husband and he was working with some scientists on some solutions for breast cancer and Parkinsons disease. One of the guys he was working with had previously invented a very interesting cream that had the ability to help a lot of people in several ways. So, I realized that perhaps we could market this cream — which was ‘ready to go’ and didn’t require expensive further development or FDA approval — and allow that to support the development for the breast cancer and Parkinson’s drugs.
Now, I was trained as a nurse and social worker and the last thing that I ever expected to do would be to run a health & beauty products company, but I believed in this mission and so I set out to figure out how to do this and we just got on with it. If I knew how hard it would be I’d still do it because I still think it’s the right thing to do.
What does Dermal Restoration do?
We make a topical application creams that enable essential fatty acids to traverse the skin barrier (which is a lot easier said than done!).
As it turns out, EFAs catalyze specific genes within the body to do a couple of very important things. For our purposes, the most effects processes are the management of estrogenic hormones in the breast and the development of adipose tissue (fat cells). We have set up two companies Lavoisier Health Solutions provides solutions for breast discomfort and The Dermal Restoration Corporation provides dermatological solutions.
The initial application of this cream was to help women suffering from hormonal breast discomfort — e.g., pain or discomfort in the breast associated with the menstrual cycle and lumpy breasts/ breasts with fibroid cysts. When we provide essential fatty acids to the breast tissue we are able to help this tissue achieve a much more optimal hormonal balance and properly manage these adverse occurances. Over 60% of all women will suffer from such discomfort at some point in their lives — for many this can be truly debilitating. Our cream, ABT, is easy to use, completely safe, and effective. In our in-house testing over 80% of the women had a significant reduction in their discomfort levels. The major, and pretty much only, side effect is that the cream can often firm and enhance the breast tissue — in fact, many of our users employ the cream for just these effects!
There are also a host of dermatological applications. Specifically, the introduction of EFAs will cause an expansion in what is now called dermal white adipose tissue (dWAT). dWAT is a relatively new distinction for the fat cells that are located within and directly beneath the dermis.
dWAT has many important functions related to the overall integrity of the skin and how it protects the body. As we age, dWAT loses volume. UV radiation will also cause this layer to break down (and that’s why too much sunlight has an aging effect)
By increasing dWAT, the cream can reverse the effects of aging. But the applicability is much broader than that — including wrinkles, crepey skin,fighting cellulite, lip plumping and a number of skin distress issues (stretch marks, frost bite, eczema, etc.).
We are working with a number of leading dermatologists on the further development of the cream. It’s incredibly exciting and I really think we’re going to revolutionize skin care as we know it!
What do you wish you would’ve known before you launched Dermal Restoration?
Don’t be shy. — If you need help and think someone can help you, ask for it. The worst they can say is no. I had tried to basically do everything on my own and I don’t think we did a particularly good job in building broad awareness for the brand. Only recently did I “bother” some of my more knowledgeable friends for help and feel that we are finally on the right track here — but probably lost a few years of progress compared to where we should be.
The world is changing — you need to balance traditional and social media.
We didn’t pay enough attention to building out a social media presence and, in fact, only recently have started on this path.
Balance your life! — There were times when I would put in 12–16 hour days on the company, but this lead me to an inability to focus. When I actively sought a better balance I found that I was much more efficient — sometimes less is more.
Get an intern. NOW. — We are lucky enough to be based close to a lot of college and talent. These students are passionate and come with ideas and a fresher perspective. One way in which our interns are helping is in devising strategies to reach GenZ-ers. Just because they are young does not mean they aren’t wise!
Work with the best. — You will be surprised at who maybe interested in working with you if you ask — especially if you are well-prepared and passionate about what you are doing. Passion is contagious.