Beauty Maven Morse Turns Entrepreneur With A Prescription For Change
Julie Morse was a financial statement auditor, a college and high school teacher and a car saleswoman. Despite the occupational turnover, one thing stayed constant – the attention she paid to her skin.
Growing up in Miami, Morse spent countless hours outdoors in the sun. As an adult, who attended Tulane and earned a degree in accounting and finance and a master’s degree in Spanish literature, she was always looking for a way to reverse the sun damage she inflicted on herself as a kid.
Today, Morse is an independent consultant for Rodan + Fields, a line of dermatology-inspired skincare products backed by clinical results that Morse said is redefining the future of anti-aging.
Founded by Dr. Katie Rodan and Dr. Kathy Fields, the world-renowned dermatologists who are also behind the three-step anti-acne kit Proactiv, the duo has been described as “two dermatologists who built a billion dollar brand in their spare time,” by Forbes Magazine, which also included them in its list of “America's Richest Self-Made Women.”
Morse is a believer in the brand’s products and its mission statement – that living better in your skin means living better in your life. She was attracted to the company’s business model that “offers an unparalleled personal enterprise opportunity for individuals to join a community of like-minded entrepreneurs connected via social networks,” and explains why:
Leslie's List: What’s so exceptional about the Rodan + Fields product line?
Julie Morse: I absolutely love the way our products make my skin look and feel. Our products are clinically proven, and my customers love that there is a 60-day money back guarantee. Products are based on Dr. Katie Rodan and Dr. Kathy Fields’ philosophy of Multi-Med Therapy, which is a regimen-based approach that combines the right ingredients in the right order to achieve results for a variety of skin concerns for both women and men. In addition to our major regimens, we also have patented tools and other complementary products such as our Lash Boost and Active Hydration Serum. We recently became a billion dollar company and were ranked the No. 1 skincare company in the U.S. We have reached both of these milestones because people who try our products keep using them.
LL: Why is Rodan + Fields’ business model so unique?
JM: While the direct sales model isn’t new, Rodan + Fields (R+F) is unique because of the level of flexibility it offers its consultants. We do not carry inventory and we don’t have to hold parties. We have complete freedom in how we want to work and when. R+F’s business model really takes advantage of the rise of social media and e-commerce. I can run my business from the palm of my hand from anywhere in the world – all I need is my smartphone. There are no limits to success with R+F. It’s truly the most equal of opportunities because we each get out of it what we put in. All consultants have the opportunity to work with people from all over the world while we take advantage of the rise of social media as a trusted source to share testimonials and product experiences.
LL: How does your affiliation with Rodan + Fields allow you to become an entrepreneur?
JM: The incredible amount of support and world-class training consultants receive from R+F has allowed me to develop skills I didn’t even know I had. I feel as though I am no longer on a hamster wheel. I get to choose how much personal development I do in a week, and my brain is constantly challenged as I learn from new experiences daily. The incredible community of consultants really fosters personal growth in the most positive way. Everyone in my network is extremely supportive of each other’s success. I have never seen such support from colleagues or a company in any of my prior careers in corporate America. I operate as the CEO of my own business but I never feel alone.
LL: What are the biggest challenges you face in your new business?
JM: Our system is simple and duplicable, so day-to-day activities don’t present major challenges. That’s not to say that what I do is easy, but it’s simple. Personally I’m finding a challenge in working around time zone differences. I think that as we expand globally we will all experience more challenges with time zones and learning how to best work within different cultures.
LL: What have been the rewards?
JM: Partnering with R+F has blessed, enriched and enhanced my life in every single aspect – financially, emotionally and professionally… and I know the best is yet to come. For me, the greatest rewards have been the intangibles: the friendships and partnerships I’ve made, the new leadership skills I’ve learned and the increased confidence in myself I’ve gained. I make my own schedule, and I can work or travel when I want to. Plus, I now have more free time to volunteer and otherwise give back to the community. I was never able to do that when I had a “regular” job. I’ve learned that you don’t have to take life the way it comes or follow the path they teach us to follow. Instead, you can design your own life to be the way you want it to be.
LL: How much product have you sold, and could you tell me the range of income you’re expecting to hit annually?
JM: Income results differ for everyone and are based on effort. I am personally focused on building a substantial career in three to five years, compared to the typical 40-year career model. My goal is to never return to a “normal” job where I work on someone else’s schedule without much hope for significant advancement. My plan is to travel the world, volunteer, give back and live my life by my own design.
LL: Tell me about the company’s Prescription for Change® (PFC) Foundation. Have you been involved?
JM: The Prescription for Change Foundation (PFC) is amazing. Drs. Katie Rodan and Kathy Fields really take philanthropy to heart and PFC makes it easy for consultants and the public to contribute. Since 2008, donations and matching dollars from the company have resulted in more than $3 million in charitable grants. In the U.S., PFC partners with BuildOn, a nonprofit that focuses on “breaking the cycle of poverty, illiteracy and low expectations” for youth in under-resourced schools. Ninety-three percent of BuildOn students graduate and go to college. Other than cash donations, my favorite way to get involved is our annual “#RFGoNaked” day, in which consultants and their social media networks post makeup-free selfies with that hashtag. For each selfie, R+F contributes to PFC. This year, R+F donated $561,000 and our message reached 1.7 billion people globally through social media.
LL: What’s the goal for your new affiliation with Rodan + Fields?
JM: My original personal goal for my affiliation with R+F was financial freedom and the flexibility to make my own decisions. Now, it has expanded. My goals include being able to change more lives and empower others through our life-changing skincare, our incredible business opportunity and helping others in our community.
LL: How many reps are currently in New Orleans, and are you looking for more?
JM: I don’t know how many reps are currently in New Orleans, but I am definitely looking for more team members. Despite our company’s success I still talk every day with people who have never even heard of our brand. We are just scratching the tip of the iceberg in terms of what R+F will achieve and how it will grow. As we expand globally, and with the help of social media, the size of someone’s personal network and where they live become less relevant. It’s all about who your network knows, and who they know, etc.
LL: If you could ask or tell Dr. Rodan and Dr. Fields something, what would it be?
JM: I would love to tell Drs. Rodan and Fields THANK YOU. Thank you for having the foresight to choose the direct selling model, thank you for continuously striving to create innovative new skincare products that are easy to sell, thank you for your desire to create opportunity for and empower your consultants, thank you for your generosity and for creating the amazing spirit and camaraderie amongst consultants and thank you letting us all jump on this rocket ship with you.
Meet the doctors behind Rodan + Fields here
Rodan + Fields
The Rodan + Fields line of dermatology-inspired skincare products.
CREDIT: Rodan + Fields