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[Below is a transcription of the podcast]
Cheri Landin: Hello welcome to The Mortgage Company’s Community Partner Podcast Series. My name is Cheri Landin and I am the Community Development Director and one of the privileges that I have is interviewing and learning more about some of our community partner’s businesses. And today I have with me Ann Brecke from Nerium International. Welcome, Ann!
Ann Brecke: Hi Cheri, thank you so much for having me here today. This is a real pleasure.
Cheri Landin: Absolutely. I’m really excited to learn more about your business and how you got involved. So let’s start with that. Nerium International. First of all, tell us what that is.
Ann Brecke: Nerium International, we are an anti-aging company and 7 years old or seven years young, in the anti-aging space. Nerium actually began out of an accidental discovery in biotechnology research. There was research being done with a natural plant extract to serve as a cure, a topical cure for skin disease. And as a lot of accidental discoveries go unfortunately it did not cure the skin disease. However, in the clinical trials, the clinical trial participants were coming back and saying, “My skin is more toned, my skin is tightened.” And the biotech scientists started looking at the efficacy of this active ingredient that they were testing, found out that it actually helped multiple signs of aging with the skin.
Cheri Landin: Anti-aging. Interesting, and so what they started, the premise of what they started on was not what happened at all
Ann Brecke: It was not. It was not let’s create the best wrinkle cream known to man, it was let’s cure disease. And then, “Oh look what we found, look what we discovered.” That’s how Nerium biotechnology founded Nerium international as the distribution channel for our product line.
Cheri Landin: And so that was their first and signature products. It was an anti-aging serum cream whatever it was.
Ann Brecke: Exactly. The company launched with one product a night treatment. One bottle of cream to put on your skin at night. And amazingly it worked for all ages, all ethnicities and all types of skin issues. One multi-function product and the company did on a business side, did 100 million dollars in sales their first year.
Cheri Landin: Their first year and this was seven years ago.
Ann Brecke: So fast forward. What I love about the company is that like you do here at The Mortgage Company, you partner, you’re better together, you’re better with community partnerships and Nerium biotech has partnered with other biotechnology companies to increase the value of our products that we bring to the market. We have over 15 suppliers around the globe where we source the extracts from natural ingredients and that’s what makes our products so special.
Cheri Landin: That’s cool. Alright. So how were you introduced to this product and how did you get involved, to all of a sudden, this is what I want to do.
Ann Brecke: Quite accidentally
Cheri Landin: Kind of like them, it was like a perfect alignment.
Ann Brecke: Exactly. I never dreamed because no one else can see me. You can see me. I’m not a beauty queen.
Cheri Landin: Oh stop.
Ann Brecke: I had left a corporate career completely burned out and had been retired for a year and a friend of mine handed me a bottle of the night treatment to try and said, “Here try this.” And I needed something because I love the outdoors, I have very fair skin, I spent a lot of time too much time in the sun and when I was very young I loved to just bake, when it was popular, in the sun. And so the signs of aging were really showing. And I didn’t feel that that old, I didn’t feel what was happening on the outside didn’t match up with how I felt on the inside. However, what I looked like was starting to affect how I felt about myself. So my friend handed me this bottle and reluctantly I thought I’ll try it. Nothing ever works. She said, “Take a picture.” I said, “You’re darn right I’m going to tell you because nothing works.” And I took a picture, kind of hijacked her bottle for a couple of weeks and went back and said, “Yeah I’d like to use this.” And I took several pictures five years ago in June and I still have those pictures to this day. I look back and I can’t even believe it was me. And after about six months of using the product, I could see the difference. Now people that knew me after I used it for a month or two were asking me what I was doing and they were telling me how healthy I looked and I looked more refreshed. It had been a year since I had left my corporate job so I had a year to decompress and it still didn’t really start to appear on the outside until I had the help of Nerium at night treatment. And what was interesting and I didn’t expect was the more I could see that my luck getting better. I started to be nicer to people again and I started wanting to show up. I started wanting to do something instead of just ride my bike and ski and really wanted to start living life again.
Cheri Landin: So it improved your confidence.
Ann Brecke: Absolutely. Yes absolutely. And it’s really fun to see that transition because I get to see that in some of my clients as well.
Cheri Landin: Oh sure. Alright. So I know they started out with that product as their signature product but what have they grown to now and kind of what different types of things, other than what you put on your face, do they have to offer.
Ann Brecke: Yes. I mentioned that we have partnered with other biotech companies and suppliers around the world. One of our partners is Signum Biosciences and they’re based at Princeton University and probably one of our most impactful products. We have launched into the wellness space. So we have the beauty from the outside in. I became nicer inside when I felt like I looked better outside. And then there’s also the inside out piece. And one of our most impactful products is a brain supplement for memory, focus, and clarity that was discovered at Princeton University by Dr. Jeffrey Stock and Signum Biosciences. Signum Biosciences, interestingly enough also has some skinceuticals natural molecules that Nerium was using, was in conversation about using with our skin care. Signum had this patented EHT, is the shortened name for the molecule, and Signum looked at Nerium and our culture and what we stood for and what our distribution was looking like, because we were growing so much and continue to grow around the world, that Signum and Nerium decided to partner on wellness products as well. So that was our entry into wellness and we started with this mental focus and clarity product with them. And since then we have launched a couple of additions to that product line. And one thing that makes our product so special is any Nerium product will be multi-function instead of, for example, instead of dividing it into two products and selling the consumer two products, we like to combine products because the world is full of busy professionals and busy people and it’s time to simplify and add value to people.
Cheri Landin: Well right. And so I just know personally when I have been, over the years, introduced to products it was like, “Oh my God!” It filled up your entire bathroom countertop and you just had to do this then do this and then do that and then stand on your head and then poke your leg. Now, No. People just don’t do it. It was just too much. Give me an example then. So someone who is going to use the product at night. What do they need to do?
Anne Brecke: They need to wash their face. And for men, because men are 50/50 on whether or not they wash their face. Some women too. And splash water on your face rub a night treatment on your skin and go sleepy night night. In the morning, wake up, wash your skin and away you go. We also have a daytime treatment that includes our active ingredient to complement the night, however, the night treatment is the powerhouse. You can use both or you can use one.
Cheri Landin: Well that’s when our cells regenerate right?
Anne Brecke: And that’s when we lose the most moisture from our skin. And so that mask-like effect, the Nerium treatment stays on your skin all night. So you know it’s holding the moisture in and moisturizing.
Cheri Landin: Well that’s good. Simple is good because you’re just more likely to do it and you know when people say it didn’t work, you go “Well did you try it?” Right? It’s just too much maintenance.
Anne Brecke: Yeah I agree. You lose interest.
Cheri Landin: Well sure I would or I have. And you just give up. Well, that’s good. I like the fact that it’s all natural products too.
Anne Brecke: So yes all of our products are all natural.
Cheri Landin: Well that’s neat. So can you give me just an example? Well, I don’t even know the numbers and I don’t even claim to know what the numbers are on health care and beauty. The industry is ridiculously huge. So people clearly have interest in it and I think there’s just so many options out there. Right? Is this one good for me? Is this one good for me? How do you sift through it? So maybe you can just give me an example of someone that you felt like through the Nerium products made the biggest impact. Kind of describe that situation so maybe if there are people out there listening right now to the podcast and thinking maybe that’s me, maybe I should look into this or find out more.
Anne Brecke: Fantastic. Yes, I’d love to. I have a great example of a woman that was a referral. I met her about three months ago and she owns her own business. She’s extremely busy and she’s overwhelmed most of the time. And when I met her she wasn’t even washing her face at night. She was regularly not washing her face at night. A fun little fact. If you don’t wash your skin at night it ages you seven days. She was really busy in every way shape and form and also had a very natural look. She did not wear a lot of makeup. And again just very natural, you could tell she wanted to be natural and she did not look like the type of person that was going to walk into a cosmetic counter in a department store and invest in a skincare line. And after asking her a few questions I discovered that she really had given up and was doing minimal things with her skin. She also spent a lot of time outside so she tried the night treatment and I took her before picture. I met with her gave her a bottle to use, took her picture and ended up actually giving her the bottle and made her use the entire thing because after a couple of weeks she came back and said, “You know I’m not sure I can see a difference but in two weeks I can feel a difference in my skin.” And my question was, “Well, are you using it?” And she said, “Yes I’m using it.” And I asked, “Are you washing your face at night?” And she said, “Yes I’m washing my face at night.” So already we’re making progress. And I picked up the empty bottle from her month later. And a different person walked in the door to meet me. She came in absolutely glowing. I asked her if she was wearing makeup the second time I saw her because her skin looked so hydrated. She had a youthful, youthful glow. And what she said is, “OK now I can see it working on my skin. It’s so easy at night. I will do it. But the most important thing is how I feel.” And a big smile on her face. She used the same words that you used. Confident. She goes, “I feel beautiful again. My husband’s looking at me. He doesn’t know I’m using this but my husband’s looking at me.” She was amazing. And so I saw her again very recently. And she reached out to me and said, “Meet me for coffee. You have to see my skin.” So I met her again took another picture and she’s just off the charts happy.
Cheri Landin: Oh good. Well, that’s great. So there’s a lot of people that are looking for something and if someone is out there curious about this, how would someone get a hold of you.
Anne Brecke: Well there’s a link on your website.
Cheri Landin: There is a link on our website!
Anne Brecke: The Community Partner Page! And also I can be reached, any of your listeners can give me a call on my number 303-523-4385. Or reach me by email email@example.com. Yes, some people still use AOL. And again if you simply wanna send me a text and say, “Hey send me your pictures. Nothing works.” I’ll send you my before and after pictures and I’ve been using that product for a while. And yes I have a lot of pictures to share. It has changed a lot. It’s true, I believe I’ve found the fountain of youth. It’s easy to share something that works.
Cheri Landin: Yeah. All right. So in closing, what would just be one final thought or takeaway for people that you would just suggest for them.
Anne Brecke: You’re never too old or too young to start taking care of your body and your skin. Because while aging is inevitable looking older and feeling older does not have to be.
Cheri Landin: Awesome. I love it. Thank you so much, Anne, for sharing a little bit about Nerium and your story with them. I think it’s really fun and exciting and I really appreciate your time today.
Anne Brecke: Thank you, Cheri. Thanks for having me on. It’s great to be a Community Partner with The Mortgage Company!
Ann Brecke partnered with Nerium International in 2013 because she resonated with the company vision of Make People Better. To ‘make people better’ means moving as a whole to higher levels. It speaks to the total care of the total person. It means having a better quality of life, more confidence, stronger relationships, and a healthier, more resilient and more energetic body for both men and women. Nerium fit perfectly with Ann’s desire to become the best version of herself, and help others do the same. She does this by sharing nature based products featuring exclusive, proprietary ingredients that cannot be duplicated or found in any other products in the market and are backed by third party clinical trials. Ann supports the Nerium Ripple Foundation, donating to World Vision and Big Brothers and Big Sisters. Ann also loves skiing, cycling, golf, hiking, and reading….all of which are better with Nerium!