One on One with Sonia Boghosian, Founder and CEO of Bio Jouvance
We feel that we’ve been able to fill a need for effective antiaging products. The market for baby boomers is increasing and clients are seeking alternatives to invasive antiaging procedures. We’ve done that with the development of lines such as Bio Choice and Bio Matrix. In addition to our unique products, we work closely with our clients and show them how to build their business through product knowledge and education.
What are some of the highlights of your career so far?
The most memorable moments are when I see clients using our lines in their spas and watching their business flourish. I love hearing success stories from clients who have expanded because of our help. I also enjoy seeing students from our school succeed. To see them grow in their knowledge of the industry, and to excel and eventually gain employment, is a personal victory for me. I get nervous every time one of my students takes the state board exam!
How do you like working with your husband?
It’s fun! We get along well for the most part—it helps that we work in different spaces and don’t see each other every second of every day. We occasionally butt heads over ideas, which is the nature of the beast. But he’s very accommodating and truly a sweet man. My mother always used to say, ‘If you want to keep God happy, you need to keep your wife happy.’ And, if we have a professional disagreement we make sure not to bring it home.
Who usually wins such disagreements?
I do, of course!
What’s your must-have skincare product?
Clients are always asking me that and I feel like they are asking me to choose one child over another! It changes every season. For the summer months, I stick to hydrating products such as those containing hyaluronic acid. Internal hydration is very important too, so I drink rose water throughout the day. Sunscreen is also a must during the summer—and throughout the year, in fact.
Who has been an a major influence in your life?
Estée Lauder. I recently read Robert Grayson’s biography of her: Estée Lauder: Businesswoman and Cosmetics Pioneer (2013, Essential Library). Her dedication and passion for the industry is so inspiring.
Sonia Boghosian is a woman of the world. Born and raised in Iran, the future founder and CEO of Bio Jouvance packed her bags and moved to France in 1979 to learn about the skincare trade.
“My mother worked in the business, founding the first esthetics center in Iran,” explains Boghosian. “I became familiar with ingredients and treatment techniques at a very young age. I could see how a one-hour facial and good products can transform people’s self-esteem and make a difference to their skin. I always knew I would take after my mom.”
And that’s exactly what she did. After honing her skills in Paris for five years, in 1984 the restless beauty maven was on the move again. This time, Boghosian headed to the United States, where the skincare industry was still relatively untapped. Eager to conquer new territory, she soon enrolled at the prestigious University of California, Berkeley to study international business. “In order to develop a successful business, I needed to learn everything about it: advertising, marketing, management. It wasn’t enough to just know skin care,” she recalls.
Boghosian’s education was quickly put to good use. The young entrepreneur met her future husband Raymond, a biochemist, who helped her brainstorm a business plan for a skincare line. That same year, Bio Jouvance was born.
“Our mission was to sell the product through education,” Boghosian explains. “If clients knew the ins and outs of the formulas they were buying, they would be comfortable retailing them and using them in their treatments.”
This hands-on approach paid off. Boghosian built rapport with her spa clients and word soon spread of Bio Jouvance’s unique formulas that served as a topical alternative to invasive procedures such as Botox and Restylane injections, and cosmetic surgery.
Thirty years, 200 products and an established beauty school (the International College of Beauty, Arts & Sciences, in Los Angeles) later, Boghosian’s beauty empire is going strong. However, according to this innovative leader, there’s still work to do.
“Our industry is always changing,” she says. “It’s constantly evolving, so I must evolve in order to stay on the cutting edge.”