Local + Travel
Meet the CEO That Made Her Passion for Skincare a Global Empire
Photography by: Steven Martine
If you have enjoyed a spa day or visited a dermatologist’s office, chances are very likely that you’ve seen this skincare line on the shelves. What started off as a homemade solution in her kitchen to treat the skin condition, rosacea that she had been struggling with for many years to a global brand that includes over 100 skincare products. With her products being sold in over 30,000 medical spa’s and physician’s offices throughout the US and in over 70 countries globally, Image Skincare is a brand favorite of many throughout the world.
Coastal Drive Magazine talks with Image Skincare Founder, Janna Ronert about her passion for skincare, running a global enterprise and her passion for supporting other women in business.
CDM: It’s an honor to have such a beauty ambassador and globally recognized brand located right here in Palm Beach County! What brought you to the area?
JR: We moved our company from Houston to Palm Beach in 2007. We love the ocean, the lifestyle, and the business friendly aspect of Florida. My husband is from Germany and was an exchange student in Jupiter for one year, and we both fell in love with the area. It was a no brainer for us to move to the area.
CDM: How did you get started in the skincare industry?
JR: I grew up in a small farming community in rural Nebraska and graduated with a business degree from the University of Nebraska. My career goal was to become a lawyer, although I always had an entrepreneurial spirit. So I pivoted from law school, and began working for a Fortune 100 Company in sales and marketing. I learned from the ground up, what the large corporate world was all about. This was an amazing experience of living in many cities, working my way up the ranks in the corporate hierarchy but I was very unhappy in this environment. So, I decided to go back to school to become an esthetician. My first job out of esthetic school was in a plastic surgeons office performing clinical skin treatments. These years of experience provided me with the foundation to understand skin and how professional companies navigate to scale their company.
CDM: When did you discover your passion for skincare?
JR: At a very early age. Even on the farm in Nebraska, my mother raised me to be diligent about my skin, and my beauty routine. She wore red lipstick and was coiffed every day. I asked her one day, why she spent so much time on her beauty routine on a farm and her reply was, “you never know who you might meet- so you better have your best face on every day.”
CDM: What made you decide to create your own skincare line?
JR: It was very grass roots and passion driven. I had the experience of a father who was a serial entrepreneur as a farmer, business man, and innovator. My business education allowed me to understand the fundamentals of economics and finance and the years of work in the corporate world showed me more of how a company thrives with a culture that is built on winning and passion.
CDM: How many countries is Image Skincare sold in today?
JR: We are in 70 countries globally. In fact, in Ireland, we are the #1 Professional skin care in the country, with an interesting statistic that Image is in the bathroom for every 300 persons in Ireland. My great grandmother was from Ireland, maybe a coincidence.
CDM: How many spas carry Image Skincare products?
JR: We are currently in 30,000 spas, medical spas, and physician’s offices in the USA.
CDM: Are all products produced in the US?
JR: We source the best, clinically proven, cleanest ingredients from all over the world. We have the top chemists and laboratories in the US that produce our products. We have a laboratory in Seoul, Korea that produces the best sheet mask in the world incorporating a special volcanic mineral water from the island of JeJu in South Korea. My husband and I visited this island and we were inspired to produce this product.
CDM: What makes Image unique and different from other skincare lines?
JR: Image is a clinical clean line inspired by the idea of combining clinically proven ingredients with botanicals to combine science and nature. This amazing combination has been a winning strategy of products that reverses the signs of aging and protects and nourishes the skin from future damage. They smell great, feel great, and your skin glows.
CDM: Do you have any personal product favorites?
JR: That’s like asking a mother which child is her favorite. We have over 100 retail products that treat all skin conditions from aging, acne, rosacea, and pigmentation. But I would have to say that my favorite collection is my first collection that I produced which is the Vital C collection. After 20 years, this is still the #1 collection globally.
CDM: What is Image Skincare currently doing as a company to promote sustainability?
JR: That’s a great question. 20 years ago, the word sustainability was not mentioned in our industry, but I knew that our environment should be treated so tenderly. We use as much glass as we can that can be easily recycled. Our newest collection launch is packaged with plastic generated from 85% Sugar Cane bio resin packaging and can be easily recycled, and not just sit to rot in a garbage dump for hundreds of years. When plastic degrades it emits greenhouse gases in our environment. Our outer packaging and boxes are all made out of recycled paper. We must think very deeply about our planet for the future. That also includes what and how ingredients are sourced that are environmentally friendly. We have recently partnered with a LEED-certified, carbon-neutral facility with water filtered using solar power.
CDM: What is your newest line in your collection and how does it differentiate from your other products?
JR: Our newest collection is Biome+, your first introduction to professional skin care to the Gen Z consumer. It is a harmonious collection formulated to respect and reinforce the skin barrier. It is formulated with natural-origin ingredients like clinical adaptogens and sugarcane-derived squalane, BIOME+ nurtures, comforts and brightens skin without disrupting its natural state. It is a terrific starting point for teenagers, and skin that needs hydration, nutrition, and a lit from within skin.
CDM: As a licensed esthetician with extensive experience in the skincare industry, what advice do you have for young individuals for starting a skincare regime?
JR: Very simple. 3 steps every day. Cleanse, Hydrate, and Protect. It’s not enough to have SPF in your foundation. Plus, go the extra mile and find a licensed esthetician to treat and recommend the best program for you. Just because you see it on Tik Tok, does not mean this is the right program for your skin type.
CDM: Do you have any business or personal mantras that you live by that has contributed to your success in business?
JR: My Dad always taught me that; “The lazy are never lucky.” There are no overnight successes in this business. It takes many years of dedication, passion, and constantly learning from your mistakes to be #1.
CDM: You are a wife, mom and dog mom; how do you manage to juggle and balance running a global company and home life?
JR: Balance is a funny word. It means so many different things to different people. For me, it’s more about what my priorities are. Family comes first, second is my health – taking care of my skin, body, and mind, and third is business. I schedule my time based upon my priorities. This makes it much easier to say yes, or NO.
CDM: What organizations and/or non-profit organization(s) are you involved in and what role do you have in the organization(s)?
JR: In the past years, I have become more involved in many organizations to expand my knowledge, circle of friends, and give back my knowledge and experience to women. C200 is an amazing organization of the top 200 female CEO’s in America. I have learned so much from these amazing, trailblazing women that run billion-dollar companies. What I have learned is that we ALL have the same issues at whatever level you are in business – problem solving,
people problems, and managing crisis and growth. I’m involved in a mentor organization called EWA. Having and being a mentor is very rewarding. It’s been a secret sauce to my success. I also founded an organization called RISE UP. Which is designed for woman in C Level management to RISE UP to higher levels in their careers. Locally I am on the board of Sun Coast Community High School. I was a product of a public school, and I am proud to give back on this board to grow this amazing high school in my community.
CDM: Do you have any personal passions or hobbies?
JR: I love to travel. There is a famous quote that says, “The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only one page.” I really believe that traveling changes your life, your perspective, and teaches you to enjoy experiences over just things. My goal is to have visited 100 countries in the next 2 years. I’m at 68, so I better hurry up. I also love wine. My dream was to own a winery and work with the land like growing up on our farm in Nebraska. My husband and I purchased a winery in Italy, Tenuta San Vincenti last year. It is a dream come true! This might sound weird, but I have a hobby of collecting Starbucks mugs wherever I go in the world. I have now over 200 mugs from cities around the world and counting. Of course, my favorite mug is Nebraska!
CDM: What advice can you give to future entrepreneurs?
JR: Find your passion, and just do it. Don’t wait until it’s the perfect timing, because there is no perfect timing. Become a subject matter expert in your chosen field. That doesn’t necessarily mean education, but experience and knowledge. You must be credible in your field and passionate about your business idea to start your business. Do you know how many people called me crazy for starting a professional skin care business in my late 30’s? Think Big – If people aren’t calling you crazy you aren’t thinking big enough. Last piece of advice, Have FUN. Life is too short not to have fun fulfilling your dream!!