DERMAdoctor, Inc. (Private)

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September 24, 2012 Issue

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Bringing to Market Products for Skin Concerns, DERMAdoctor, Inc. is Experiencing Unprecedented Growth in Sales through Retailers

Dr. Audrey Kunin
Chief Executive Officer

Dr. Audrey Kunin is a board-certified dermatologist, author, clinician, educator, television personality and CEO of DERMAdoctor, Inc.


A graduate of the Ohio State University, she went on to receive her M.D. at the Medical College of Ohio. During her dermatology residency at the Medical College of Virginia she served as Chief Resident. She serves as Medical Director of Kunin Cosmetic Dermatology and Assistant Clinical Instructor of Dermatology at the University Of Kansas School Of Medicine.


Dr. Kunin believes consulting with a dermatologist should be convenient, informative and economical. Aware that in today's maze of health care such personal treatment is not always possible she moved her office on-line and DERMAdoctor.com was born in December of 1998. The website has garnered awards such as "Best of the Web" byU.S. News and World Report and In Style Magazine's "Smart Shopper's Guide”.
 

Understanding the needs and desires of today's skin savvy consumer comes easily to Dr. Audrey Kunin. After all, she is truly the dermatologist to the masses. Her skin health and beauty advice column, now a global phenomenon, is read by millions of devotees seeking no-nonsense advice and unprecedented access to the knowledge needed to achieve healthy, beautiful skin.


Believing that nature and medicine can work synergistically, Dr. Kunin has created many clinically proven, patent-pending formulations that target a number of overlooked yet common skin concerns. Beloved by celebrity and consumer clientele alike, they have received multiple awards from respected publications such as Health and Fitness magazines and been finalists in the CEW Beauty Awards, the “Academy Awards” of the beauty industry. In addition to her ongoing educational efforts, she currently oversees the development and expansion of the brand within the retail arena.


A national media favorite, Dr. Kunin is a frequent guest of The Dr. Oz Show as well as a blogger for DoctorOz.com. She has also been featured on such varied programming as QVC, The Discovery Network’s Dr. Know, and Fox & Friends.


Dr. Kunin and her products have graced numerous publications including InStyle, W, More, Redbook, Glamour, Family Circle, InStyle, O The Oprah Magazine, Shape, Self, Fitness, Good Housekeeping, Cosmopolitan, Health, Allure, Elle, RealSimple, Lucky, Ladies Home Journal, People and People en Espanol, Prevention, Men's Health, New York Daily News, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, The Chicago Tribune, WebMD, Newsweek and U.S. News and World Report, The Today Show, E! and the Tyra Banks Show.


Dr. Kunin has been recognized throughout the business community with multiple awards including Kansas City Women Who Mean Business. She is further acknowledged as an ardent supporter of the importance of national historic preservation, receiving such coveted awards as from The Urban Land Institute.


Dr. Audrey Kunin is a proud partner of The Heart Truth campaign. She is also a heart attack survivor. DERMAdoctor Little Red Dress was created as a fund-raising initiative to educate women about the importance of living a heart healthy lifestyle.


Dr. Kunin has been published in peer-reviewed medical journals and authored several articles in consumer publications.


Dr. Kunin further shares her insights with her first book destined to be the comprehensive skin care guide, The DERMAdoctor Skinstruction Manual: The Smart Guide to Healthy, Beautiful Skin and Looking Good at Any Age, which furthers her mission of consumer education and empowerment.


She is also a featured contributor in the newly revised “Doctor's Book of Home Remedies” (Rodale Press) and in “Young For Life” (Oxmoor House Books), a book from the editors of Health magazine published in March of 2004; as well as a medical reviewer for Oxmoor House’s "The Women Doctors Guide to Health and Healing”


Dr. Kunin is married to her husband Jeff of 20 years and has two children, Matthew and Sophie. They reside in the Kansas City area.


Healthcare
Dermatology
(Private)


DERMAdoctor, Inc.

1901 McGee Street
Kansas City, MO 64108
dermadoctor.com





 

Interview conducted by: Lynn Fosse, Senior Editor, CEOCFO Magazine, Published – September 24, 2012


CEOCFO:
Dr. Kunin, what is your vision and focus for DERMAdoctor?

Dr. Kunin: I have a vision in which I look to identify skin concerns that are extremely common, yet consumers are not aware that they even need a solution for them, until they find us. I really want to be able to offer highly effective out-of-the-box technology for all consumer concerns head to toe.
 

CEOCFO: How do you find and/or develop technologies that are not common; where do you look?

Dr. Kunin: I get inspired by thinking outside of the box. I develop all my own formulas, and while being a board certified dermatologist, I am certainly aware of the traditional and current changes in the prescription and over-the-counter medication market. Having run the largest skin, health, and beauty advice column online for thirteen years, I am aware of what consumers are looking for and that they are critiquing. I spend a great deal of time reading all sorts of medical journal articles. I look at both traditional and non-traditional medicines, Ayurvedic medicine, and Chinese medicine. Obviously, there are ingredients in the cosmetic world that hit every day, but I really look for unique synergies. For instance, I came across my developed Med e Tate which is our pad to help stop excessive sweating due to heat and nerves. I was listening to something on television and they were showing some pictures of celebrities, who had sweat through their Oscar gowns, and they were talking about Botox injections and that type of thing and suddenly it just clicked, I started thinking about Botox and what is used for Botox-like effects for wrinkle treatments. In the cosmetic world, I started thinking about from a medical perspective what is used to stop excessive sweating and suddenly the formula just kind of clicked, so that is when I did further research into it and now we have a patent pending formula. Part of it is an art as well as a science, and much of it is inspiration forming, it sometimes just comes from talking to consumers and friends and realizing that a need exists and what you can do to fill that need.


CEOCFO: Are there certain conditions that you would like to come up with an answer for but have not found it yet?

Dr. Kunin: There are all sorts of things in my pipeline. I am working on a couple of things, and should I come up with the solutions, I think they will market a new level inspiration and technology for DERMAdoctor and the cosmetics industry at large. I am always trying to find something that becomes more and more important to the baby boomer population, and people tend to think about just wrinkles, but there are all sorts of concerns that people share as we get older and nobody wants to live with them, so why not figure out ways to solve them.


CEOCFO: How much testing, if any, is required by regulatory agencies and what do you do to ensure once you have the idea that it indeed works and is not going to be harmful at some point?

Dr. Kunin: Just from a basic standpoint, our products are dermatology-correct and we do not do animal testing. Everything goes through patch testing to make sure it is not irritating and it goes through testing to make sure it is not going to cause acne outbreaks and clog pores. Anything used around the eye is additionally ophthalmologist-tested to make sure that we did not miss anything as far as concerns around the eye region, which is delicate. We then take it several steps further. In cosmetics, you cannot make drug claims. However, I still want to know that the products I develop are providing the benefits that we claim they do, which can mean a third-party clinical trial, which we do quite a bit of, and depending on the product in development, it can mean anything from electron microscopy to pictures, skin biopsies, or measurements. It is going to fluctuate depending upon what the product is, the area of the body or something we are targeting. Quite a bit goes into development of formulations produced by DERMAdoctor.


CEOCFO: DERMAdoctor has experienced record sales and explosive growth; how do you continue on that path?

Dr. Kunin: First, we have a strong product pipeline. We will be launching several new “solutions” In the next couple of years. Second, we bring a unique point of view. I am a physician, but I am also a woman in my early fifties and I am my target market. So my customers know I always have them in mind as both a doctor and a woman in finding solutions. I believe in multi-tasking and targeting every symptom associated with whatever concern is, thinking more like a physician. For instance, if you had heart disease, you would not simply just take a baby aspirin each day. You would hopefully be following a heart-healthy lifestyle and be taking a variety of appropriate medications. The same could be said when it comes to something as everyday as acne or something more unique for skin concerns. I think consumers want products that work, and they are looking for effectiveness, for luxury in their products, and they do not want the old-time inferior type of formulation that might have been found in a drugstore. We sometimes joke around that just as Steve Jobs created technologies that people did not know they could live without; DERMAdoctor creates formulations for skin concerns people never realized they could solve. So we take a similar approach. Lastly, the rest of the world outside of the United States is an untapped market opportunity for DERMAdoctor.


CEOCFO: How do you sell your products?

Dr. Kunin: We sell through Prestige retailers, and certainly Ulta and Sephora are major retail partners of ours. We have our own dot.com which is how we began years ago. We also have a presence in Nordstrom, QVC, and certainly smaller independent boutiques.


CEOCFO: Would you like to reach out to more people or do you want to keep DERMAdoctor a cut above?

Dr. Kunin: The cosmetic industry is a $300 billion industry and we have just barely scratched the surface. I think that just in our prestige space, we have really just begun even though we have been experiencing all this incredible explosive growth, yet I can see that we could potentially grow into other markets. Certainly other brands have done that whether they are cosmetics or luxury such as fashion, and I certainly would never discount that possibility.


CEOCFO: What have you developed that surprised you the most in how effective it was or how people responded?

Dr. Kunin: That is like trying to choose one of your children as a favorite, but I guess I am going to have to say our KP Duty® family because that is a cult classic. It is certainly in our top-selling family of products. It targets a condition known as Keratosis pilaris, which most people call chicken skin bumps. This concern is not sexy, but it affects one out of every two people worldwide and I have the patent-pending formulation to handle this condition. When you think about beauty most people kind of niche that into color cosmetics or wrinkles, you do not feel beautiful if you do not have healthy skin from head to toe. If you are suddenly willing to expose an arm or a thigh and feel better about yourself and regain your confidence. I received literally thousands of emails over the last six or seven years from people thanking me for how I have literally changed their lives, saved their wedding day. It is pretty crazy, and I sometimes laughingly refer to myself as the chicken skin queen, but half the world has this concern and it really makes me gratified now that I have something that can help all those individuals.


CEOCFO: Do you miss not seeing patients?

Dr. Kunin: There are times when I really do miss patients. I interact with consumers, albeit in non-traditional ways, including tours or when we have different events at DERMAdoctor or around the country. However, I really like to think that I am able to use my degree now to help more people in a single day than I could in an entire year of practice, and it is both through the offerings of the different products we have as well as the education and advice column we have for DERMAdoctor.com.


CEOCFO: What do you see ahead for the next year or two?

Dr. Kunin: 2013 and 2014 are going to be quite an exciting ride. I have a couple of products in my pipeline that once testing is complete and the expected results are confirmed, we will probably yield some of the most talked about products that have ever hit the cosmetic industry, so I am pretty excited.


CEOCFO: Why should potential investors pay attention to DERMAdoctor?

Dr. Kunin: We offer something that no other company offers. With the innovation, we provide unprecedented growth for our retailers. We have been told by a few of our retailers recently that the goal comp growth is single-digit, and we are nearing the triple-digit number comps for our retailers right now. We are a relatively young company and have barely penetrated our huge market. For example, unprecedented growth in beauty sales in China, Russia, India and Brazil will soon place them within the top four markets accounting for a significant percentage of that $300 billion cosmetic industry. We have yet to actively market in these regions of the world. So we bring innovation and explosive growth and I think it is going to make for an exciting ride.

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We offer something that no other company offers. With the innovation, we provide unprecedented growth for our retailers. We have been told by a few of our retailers recently that the goal comp growth is single-digit, and we are nearing the triple-digit number comps for our retailers right now. We are a relatively young company and have barely penetrated our huge market. For example, unprecedented growth in beauty sales in China, Russia, India and Brazil will soon place them within the top four markets accounting for a significant percentage of that $300 billion cosmetic industry. We have yet to actively market in these regions of the world. So we bring innovation and explosive growth and I think it is going to make for an exciting ride. - Dr. Audrey Kunin

 

 

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