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Proving doubters wrong with beauty inside and out

"I encourage every modern Filipino woman to never give up on her dreams."

More than a decade since starting her company from scratch, Rhea Anicoche-Tan looks back at how people doubted her simply because she was a woman. 

“A lot of people have underestimated me when I was starting Beautéderm 11 years ago,” said Tan in a special interview with Manila Standard in celebration of International Women’s Month. 

“Some people considered me as weak as I was starting to build my company from scratch; and that I do not have what it takes to run a business that is as big as what I envisioned it to be simply because I am a woman,” she added. 

Tan, who built her beauty empire from the ground up in Angeles City, Pampanga back in 2009, was armed with only her passion and the support of other “extraordinary women.” 

Now, her company caters to people of all walks of life with over a hundred branches nationwide and a pioneering store in Singapore. Meanwhile, scores of the country’s top celebrities have endorsed the multi-awarded brand such as Darren Espanto, Bea Alonzo and Piolo Pascual as well as showbiz power couple Dingdong Dantes and Marian Rivera-Dantes who is the official ambassador of Beautéderm Home, to mention a few.

But besides the famous individuals supporting the growing Beautéderm family, in essence, the face of Beautederm is that of a self-made, empowered woman. 

Read our full interview with Ms. Rhea below:

MS: In your opinion, do you think that equality between men and women is present in our country?

Tan: My answer to this is both yes and no. Yes, because women are given the same opportunities as our male counterparts especially in the workplace. We women are accorded with the same civil rights and freedoms as men, and this is something to celebrate as the current landscape for men and women has greatly evolved from thirty years ago. 

No because there are still isolated instances that women are abused and overlooked and underestimated. There is still much room for growth and development in terms of gender equality here in the Philippines and I choose to consider and view this as something that is worth looking forward to in the future.   

MS: How will you help forge a gender equal world?

Tan: Forging a gender equal world is a Herculean task and I am quite aware that I cannot accomplish this single-handedly. What I have control over however, is how I run things within the purview of my responsibilities as President and CEO of Beautéderm Corporation. As head of the company, I am very conscious that I should hire, nurture, compensate, and reward my employees in accordance to the quality of work that they deliver. Also, I make it a point to give each employee equal opportunity to grow on the sole basis of their individual capabilities and skill sets.  

MS: How do you celebrate women’s achievement, raise awareness against bias and take action for equality?

Tan: I always believe that women are queens and metaphorically, as “queens” we should fix each other’s crowns and not tear each other apart. We as women should celebrate each other’s accomplishments and lift each other to maximize our potentials in order for us to achieve greatness. 

I raise awareness against bias in women by promoting beauty, strength, and resilience in the nationwide promotional campaigns of Beautéderm that showcases different women whose values inspire other women to work harder and be the best versions of themselves – the humility of Bea Alonzo, the fortitude of Sylvia Sanchez, the longevity of Lorna Tolentino, the strength of character of Korina Sanchez-Roxas, and the loving heart of Beautéderm Home’s Marian Rivera-Dantes.

As I previously mentioned, I take action for equality by giving every person in my company a chance to shine and grow regardless of gender and sexual orientation.    

MS: Have you experienced discrimination as a woman? Tell us what you experienced and how you overcame this.

Tan: A lot of people have underestimated me when I was starting Beautéderm 11 years ago. Some people considered me as weak as I was starting to build my company from scratch; and that I do not have what it takes to run a business that is as big as what I envisioned it to be simply because I am a woman. 

I overcame this with the support of a lot of extraordinary women and a handful of equally awesome men who believed in me and my vision to establish a company that would eventually change the lives of countless people, including my own. Above-all, my family continues to empower me to always believe in myself, tap my inner-strength, and to always hold on to my faith when the road becomes rocky. 

MS: What do you think are your notable contributions and achievements in our society?

Tan: I’m still a work in progress. I am not yet 100% sure that I have achieved my purpose but I strive every day to be faithful to my vision to help people better their lives through the honest business model of Beautéderm. I continue to expand my business and develop new and exciting products that will not only physically beautify the many consumers who believe in us but also to improve the lives of our resellers and distributors as well by providing them sustainable, long-term jobs that they could be proud of as well.  

MS: What empowers you as a woman?

Tan: What empowers me as a woman is the many beautiful stories of faith, hope, and love of other women. The collective defeats and triumphs; tears and laughter; pains and comforts of other women inspires me, guides me, and teaches me to face life every day. I am empowered by their victories and I learn from their mistakes.    

MS: What’s your opinion about women’s status in our society?

Tan: Women in society today are stronger, more driven, more educated, and more attuned to their inner selves. Women are more empowered to live their lives and make major decisions especially here in the Philippines where there are women in almost every industry there is. What’s most fascinating for me is that with all of these, the loving, compassionate, and nurturing nature of women who have successful careers are still very much intact.  

MS: Do you have an advocacy/ies for women, or if you would have the chance to do so, what’s it going to be?

Tan: Beautéderm has a CSR arm called Contribéaut where we provide scholarship funds for deserving students. We currently have over a hundred scholars who are enjoying a full educational ride provided that they maintain a certain average in their grades. We cover their tuition fees, books and school supplies, and daily allowances. My mother is an educator and she raised me to put a premium value to education as a major key to achieve my dreams.   

MS: Who is/are your women role model/s you look up to?

Tan: I am inspired by the grace and elegance of Audrey Hepburn. I am humbled by the wonderful qualities of my female Beautéderm Brand Ambassadors. I am motivated to work harder everyday by the loyalty of my female staff. And my mother is my ultimate anchor to be a good person first and foremost, above everything else.     

MS: What is your message to the modern Filipina?

Tan: I encourage every modern Filipino woman to never give up on her dreams. Filipino women can achieve virtually anything and everything that they put their heart and soul into with the right blend of dedication, hard-work, humility, and faith in God.

Topics: Rhea Anicoche-Tan , International Women’s Month , Beautéderm
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