Renée Rouleau, an EO member in Austin, is the founder and CEO of Renée Rouleau Skin Care, whose products and personalized skincare are respected by celebrities, bloggers, and skincare obsessives. As she marks 25 years in business, Renée shared what she’s learned along her entrepreneurial journey.
I cut the red ribbon at 4:10pm on August 17, 1996. It was my 26th birthday, and I was officially starting my company, Renée Rouleau Skin Care, in Dallas, Texas (though I would eventually relocate the company headquarters to Austin).
Why did I choose this exact date and time? They would never teach this in business school (not that I went to business school!), but I wanted all the luck I could get, so I consulted an astrologist named Iris. She chose this specific date and time to ensure success. Fast forward to today—a full 25 years later—and I’m proud to say my company is thriving and better than ever.
Do I owe all my success to the astrologer? No, not entirely. Over the course of a quarter-century, I’ve learned a lot of lessons about how to successfully run a company. These lessons are what made the biggest impact on my business. Here they are, just in time for the 25th anniversary of Renée Rouleau Skin Care.
1. Treat Your Vendors as Partners (and With Kindness)
Anyone with whom you do business and who provides you with what you need to operate should be treated as a valued partner. You need them, and they need you. It’s that simple. I’ve always cultivated respectful working relationships with my points of contact, and depending on the vendor, I would even fly to meet them in person to establish a connection. The importance of treating vendors as partners was confirmed by the Covid pandemic when so many vendors shut down and the supply chain ground to a halt. It was a stark reminder that we don’t have a business without them. Once they opened back up, they put their “favorite” customers at the front of the line to get their goods, which goes to show that it pays to be nice!
2. Manage All of Your Crazy Ideas and Review Them Each Quarter
Like most entrepreneurs, I have no shortage of ideas. With so many swirling in my head, paired with my naturally high sense of urgency, I have a tendency to be all over the place, creating unnecessary chaos for my team. I manage this by keeping an “idea bank” where I write down every idea I come up with. Once a quarter, I review the list with my team to determine which levers are the next ones to pull. Over the years, this has taught me that just because an idea is good doesn’t mean it’s worth pursuing now (or ever). Timing is everything, and it’s incredibly beneficial to slow down and consider all options instead of acting immediately.