Here is a recent interview I did with fellow mom, artist and entrepreneur Chavah Kinloch. Thanks Chavah!!!!
Interview with Callie Keller Hincy of Sussie Skin | Creating My Reality
Having worked for well known magazine and beauty industry companies, and more recently experiencing what it’s like to be part of the plastic surgery industry; Callie Keller Hincy, along with a board of elite board certified plastic surgeons, took their knowledge base and went on to produce a skin care line, Sussie Skin, developed to help you reveal younger, smoother skin, while erasing fine lines and wrinkles. The Sussie Skin range is made of natural ingredients and is not tested on animals.
What was it that inspired you to create a line of skin care products?
I have always been a fashion/beauty junkie and always paid close attention to skin care products hyped in magazines, etc. During my time at InStyle magazine I was fortunate to recieve a lot of high end skin care products and have tried almost everything on the market from really pricey brands to the over the counter stuff. After working in the aesthetic industry for the last several years and spending a lot of my time at Plastic Surgery tradeshows and seminars I came across a lab owned by one of the surgeons in the plastic surgery society I call on. I took home a bag of samples from this lab and after hanging on to them for months decided to give them a try when my husband and I went away for a cousin’s wedding because the samples fit nicely in my makeup bag for the trip. I literally was blown away by the results of these formulas after one night’s use. I take home a ton of samples in my travels and none of the products I’ve tried caught my attention like these. The texture of my skin felt completely transformed after using the products for one night. I immediately got in touch with my contact at the lab and asked if I could partner with them to do my own line and the rest is history. I have not personally had plastic surgery, botox, etc. but want access to the best skin care products available. I believe there are a lot of women like me who want access to the best skin care ingredients but aren’t necessarily spending time in a plastic surgeon’s office in order to have access to them
In short, my concept with Sussie is to bring to market serious skin care ingredients in the form of a fun, flirty, brand.
How did you come up with the name Sussie Skin?
Sussie is an old Southern term that means small, unexpected surprise. My grandmother and mother used to always say “I’ve got you a little Sussie” when I was little and it seemed like the perfect name.
What was the process of creating your products like?
I had certain ingredients that I wanted to see in products which are encompassed in my complete line. Particularly, the Glycolic Acid, Hyularonic Acid and plant based Squalane were very important to me.
I worked with my lab to develop a comprehensive, effective, line that can be used on all skin types with the hope of adding different components as the business grows.
You have worked for several high profile magazines, what experiences learnt there have helped you run your own business?
I have been fortunate to have worked with some truly inspiring people throughout my publishing career. Through my experience at these magazines I have been exposed to a world of products I probably would not have come in contact with otherwise.
I also learned a lot about marketing and multi-media promotion. Those ideas have helped me understand what it takes to build and promote a successful brand. Particularly at Martha Stewart Omnimedia because she was really one of the first to merchandise herself across so many different categories from her paint line, to KMART, flooring, furniture, etc.
What has been the most successful marketing tool for your business?
The most successful marketing tool for my business at this point has been word of mouth and testimonials. The products stand on their own and my customers love them as much as I do. I have gotten phenomenol feedback and that has been the most convincing marketing campaign I could hope for!
Working in the plastic surgery industry must have been interesting, do you have an interesting story you could share?
Gosh, there are so many, I suppose the most interesting thing about what I do is seeing the technology evolve and what surgeons are able to do with new techniques, equipment, software, etc. Often at the conferences I go to the surgeons will perform live surgery on a patient and it’s interesting to see what goes in to each procedure. People often think of cosmetic surgery as not really serious surgery and it is quite the opposite. Patients are under anesthesia for long periods of time in some cases and it is often much more invasive than what you would think. Another interesting thing I’ve learned is that we often think of plastic surgery as a superficial industry and it’s moving to learn about how much time many of these surgeons devote to helping people through organizations like operation smile, etc. and donate their time and surgery to people in need.
I like that all of your products have names like “Toucha love” and “Ooo lala”. How did you invent the names?
I honestly just came up with them on the fly. I wanted names that reflected the fun, flirty, self-indulgent image I am going for with the brand and those just kind of came to me.
All women need Sussie skin products because….
All women need Sussie Skin products because we all want beautiful skin and products that work. Sussie Skin products give real results at a fraction of what you would pay for products with similar ingredients.
What does a day in the life of Callie consist of?
A day in the life of Callie consists of waking up to my beautiful 8 month old daughter, Keller, and husband and spending time with them in the morning before heading off to work where I call on plastic surgeons who are members of the ASPS all day. In between calls I am multi-tasking working on Sussie taking orders, planning events, pitching to editors, etc. working on ways to grow my line. My number one priority is my family and any down time I have is spent with them. I also love to excercise and try and squeeze that in somewhere along the way!
What are your plans for the future of your business?
I hope to have my line in boutique and eventually major retailers as well as online retail. I hope to develop a lasting brand and continue to add fabulous products to the line. I also eventually want to do a men’s line as well.
The person that inspires you the most:
Jesus Christ and my family…sorry couldn’t pick just one!
My secret indulgence is:
Handbags, shoes and bravo reality tv.
I can’t live without:
Sussie Skin “Take It Off” Glycolic Exfoliator, “To Die For Serum” and “Toucha’ Love” Cucumber Eye Cream, and my iphone.
When times get tough, I remember:
It could always be worse…