Dermstore President Cathy Beaupain on the Importance of Mentorship

BY Joann Row · January 9, 2017

Dermstore President Cathy Beaupain

When we look back and map out the moments that helped mold who we are today, it’s easy to see that it was the conversations, laughter and tears we shared with one another that paved the way. Those human connections that leave impressionable, irreplaceable memories define who we are as individuals and propel us to what we can become.

Dermstore recognizes the remarkable role human relationships play in driving individual success. As a corporate sponsor of Step Up, a nonprofit organization that inspires and empowers girls from under-resourced communities, Dermstore hopes to build a strong network of resilient young women through career-focused programs and mentorship.

In honor of National Mentoring Month, we pulled inspiration from Dermstore president Cathy Beaupain, whose inspiring journey draws a direct parallel with Step Up’s mission as well as our own.

How mentoring has played a role in my career…

I didn’t really think about that when it happened, but certainly when I look back at my career, I think about who was it that really influenced me or took that extra time to give me feedback, or have that conversation that was so difficult that I wish that conversation wasn’t happening. Later on in your life, you’ll realize that was a pivotal moment, a moment that helped you realize something, that helped you really reflect and learn more about yourself. I certainly have had that and am so privileged to have met such amazing people along the way.

What drives me…

I would have to share this story, and this is the story I shared with the Step Up team as to why I was so passionate about making sure that Dermstore was a corporate sponsor and really help facilitate Step Up to execute on the programs that they offer.

“Later on in your life, you’ll realize that was a pivotal moment, a moment that helped you realize something, that helped you really reflect and learn more about yourself.”

I am a Vietnamese refugee and I arrived here in 1981 when I was about 4 years old. Growing up, I would hear my parent’s stories telling me about the struggles that they have had to overcome…to even make the decision to get on the boat and go this far, to a distant country that they’ve just heard about and leave everything behind. When we arrived, we really didn’t have much. I am thankful for the generosity of the people who were willing to donate their time, money and resources to really help families like us, for us to build a new home here. So as I think about that journey, I think, ‘wow, that’s amazing’. If I had a chance to do something to help a family, I would love to.

When I think about women and how we become strong women, it’s based upon the experiences of those we share our time with and the guidance from our fellow strong women. So when I heard about Step Up and their mission, of how they encourage strong women to help inspire young girls, I thought that is ultimately the reason why I do what I do every day. That’s the reason why as a mom, I want to instill in my children that their job and their mission in life is to be a strong person so that they can also continue to inspire others.

The decision to sponsor Step Up was an easy one. As a company, we are dedicated to instilling confidence in women in every stage of their lives—from when they graduate to high school and college to when they first start their careers and enter motherhood, we provide solutions to make them feel the best.

“That’s the reason why as a mom, I want to instill in my children that their job and their mission in life is to be a strong person so that they can also continue to inspire others.”

Your mentor can be anyone, anywhere…

The wonderful thing about mentorship is that it can be informal. It’s very fortunate to those who have formal mentors, but it doesn’t have to be done that way.

My mentor, the one who has influenced me is someone who probably doesn’t even know my name. Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook, is a great source of inspiration for all women in business. She has built a community, Lean In, where women gather from all around the globe to empower one another and share in mentorship. This level of support is a necessity for women, especially in a male-dominated industry like e-commerce.

Five years ago, this level of mentorship didn’t exist. A place where people could connect digitally and create a culture where we can help one another, as women, grow professionally. We can follow people who inspire us and look to them for words of wisdom through technology.

“The wonderful thing about mentorship is that it can be informal. It’s very fortunate to those who have formal mentors, but it doesn’t have to be done that way.”

How Dermstore inspires…

The mission of Dermstore is to help women achieve confidence through feeling beautiful about herself—and the foundation of that is taking care of herself, not only on a personal level but certainly while taking care of her skin and taking care of her health. That is our goal and that is why we exist as a company. In that, we work with a lot of our brands to build educational content as well as retailing products that we believe in and that will really make an impact in her daily life.

When you think about skin, it really is the foundation of our outer selves. At Step Up, we foster relationships with these young girls in continuing their journey as young women and adults. Our relationship with Step Up is truly organic and natural. My goal is for us to continue developing and fostering these relationships so that it inspires us in the work that we do.

My advice to young women…

What I learned is to be willing to ask for help, be willing to share your stories. Don’t be afraid to feel incompetent; it does not reflect negatively on you. That’s the first step in every pathway to success: Make sure you can ask for help.

Joann Row

Born and raised in sunny Southern California, Joann Row developed her professional writing chops in the world of local news, but soon the fashion and beauty industry came calling. She was a longtime content contributor to several Forever 21 campaigns... Read More >