Imparting wisdom from generation to generation transforms lives. For Tera Peterson, her passion and path have been immensely influenced by her mother, Carol Cole — who, for decades, has worked with Hollywood starlets to keep them looking fresh for the spotlight.
For the past fifteen years, their business NuFACE has flourished and keeps evolving within the digital landscape as influencers post to YouTube to even virtual facials on Instagram Live. I spoke with Tera about the lessons she has learned from her mother, as she now passes those down to her twin daughters as we approach Mother’s Day.
Kate Talbot: Tell me about NuFACE.
Tera Peterson: We are a family-owned company. My mom, sister, and I started NuFace in 2005. However, my mom has been working with microcurrents since the 1980s. She would pay for big professional machines, and we would drive up to LA every single week for 15 years to meet with the most beautiful faces in Hollywood. She was a pioneer in the space, and the fact that she was even in that position was truly uncommon.
While she was treating her Hollywood clients, she heard the most common concerns about looking tired and aging. She wanted to create an at-home device that her clients use in between their professional treatment. The seed was planted in 2000, but it wasn’t until 2005 that we launched our first device. 2020 marks our 15th anniversary, and we’re not stopping anytime soon.
Talbot: What is the best part about working with your mother?
Peterson: My mom is a pioneer within the health and beauty space. She was having our family eat organic even before it was popular. She sees things before the rest of us. That has been beneficial. She has these thoughts or ideas and then delivers them in a way that clients understand. It is a perfect little marriage of having kind of like a mad scientist if you will. I’m able to mold these ideas into something that our clients are so excited about.
Talbot: Could you share a lesson that she’s imparted on you in business?
Peterson: Listen to your inner voice. From such a young age, she was telling us to listen to our gut. Even today, in business, when I have hard decisions to make, I go on a run or the silence in a shower and listen to what comes to me. I have made significant decisions by just pausing.
Talbot: I saw you have two young daughters. What advice would you give them if they want to go into business when they’re older?
Peterson: One thing that my mom taught me that I would instill to my daughters is that you can accomplish anything. Conversations with my mom, especially driving to LA during my childhood, she reiterated this mantra often, giving me the confidence to embrace that mindset that there wasn’t a fear factor. There was no question in my mind when we started NuFACE; I wouldn’t be able to build it to what it is today and bigger. I hope that grows with my daughters as well when they get older.
Talbot: Your mom had all these relationships with Hollywood starlets back in the day, and now you’re working with celebrities and influencers. How do you attribute garnering those relationships?
Peterson: It’s a lot of networking. I love meeting new people, and it’s genuinely through loving what you do that the passion and enthusiasm come through.
I’m not afraid to DM someone over Instagram or connect with them over LinkedIn. We’ve been doing many Instagram Lives. It’s been so fun to see so many people tune in and then build the confidence to talk about and demo NuFACE.
Additionally, we have also seen many aestheticians doing their own Instagram Lives about NuFACE. It truly is this word of mouth that’s going viral.
Talbot: You can now do FDA approved video chat. What is it like to pivot your business during COVID-19?
Peterson: Virtual house calls fall into the evolution of our business. It’s a natural pivot. There’s a lot of preparation on the backend, but it makes sense. It has been a little bit of opening Pandora’s box because, within the first few days of launching virtual health calls, we are entirely booked up for June.
It is something that our clients were wanting and needing. It is fun for us because it is all about this one-on-one communication. Because of Zoom, we’re seeing the client and the relationship, and we’re building our community.
Talbot: What advice do you have for young women wise to entrepreneurship in the beauty and wellness industry?
Peterson: First, it takes time to build. It is not going to happen overnight. Take the time to enjoy the process because it is an amazing ride.
Two, in building a business, you’re going to have your strengths and your weaknesses. Surround yourself with amazing people that compliment those weaknesses. My mom has so much experience on the client-side, I am on the business side of sales and marketing, and my sister is on operations. We come together as this great pyramid and complement one another because we all had different talents.
The last thing is by building a support system. We’ve made a number of mistakes. One way to avoid those big pitfalls is to find a mentor, because they’ve learned along the way to help you avoid mistakes. To this day, one of my most favorite things is to talk to other people outside the industry to learn. I have had various mentors, and it is really important to feel like you’re not alone.