RHEA Anicoche -Tan is a queen in her own right. Afterall she reigns over an empire of beauty and wellness products, to date numbering a hundred, under the brand name Beautederm.
It is an empire that she built from scratch and one that started with childhood dreams that she held onto quietly but determinedly.
Recently queried on her formula for her remarkable success, she replied, “Intentions. Good intentions.” .
In a recent interview with the local Baguio media, she shifted to Ilocano, a dialect she grew up with, having been raised and bred in the ways of a Vigan upbringing. She said she is just as comfortable with the old ways of her hometown and lives with the same ease as when she is now with her celebrity endorsers.
The intentions she speaks of were first stirred in childhood dreams for her family.
She reached back to the days when they had to endure rain leaking into their home and rather than being woeful, her mother would say, “We are still fortunate because we have a piece of land in Vigan. Not everybody is blessed with that.”
This is one of the values her mother instilled in her – a grateful heart. To always see the silver lining in a dark cloud.
(Mommy or Ms) Rei, as she is fondly called by her endorsers, remembers a childhood ambition inspired by that moment – to build her mother a mansion one day. Tan always admired her mother’s resilience and to this day lives by the values her mother has taught her.
At his prime, Rei’s father was a leading insurance agent of CAP, a company that offered educational plans. But the company closed and Tan’s father worked as a security guard with a lesser income. To help out, her mother, a dedicated school teacher, started selling stuff like Tupperware, among other things and taught her daughter that selling is honorable as long as it is honest merchandise. From this, Rei grew up with the seed of entrepreneurship planted in her.
To her father, she promised that all ‘that gold and silver’ will be realities in her life. Tan said that she always had medals as the salutatorian in her elementary and high school days. “But I was always first in oration, declamation, debates,” she boasted jovially in the interview.
If gold and silver stand for wealth, where Beautederm is now speaks for the fulfillment of that promise.
The steadfast values instilled in her, her eloquence, her native intelligence – most of all her young dreams – all rolled into one made up the ladder that she climbed to where she is now. And throughout – she kept the intention in the value of generosity her mother has taught her – to always share her blessings with others.
Rei spent her elementary and high school days in Vigan and went on to study and finish a degree in Mass Communication at the St. Louis University in Baguio. Wanting to help her mother out, she worked as a DJ, her sultry voice heard on air over an FM station.
In her talk at an event in Baguio where she presented her endorsers and her products, she would put on her DJ voice to the delight of the audience. “Oh so she was that voice,” some listeners remembered.
I really wanted to work like you, she told the handful of media practitioners on the sidelines of the event.
“But if you remember the 90s – all those typhoons, and the job of having to be in the mid of it all,” she said. Tan had to venture into another job, or perhaps she was just destined to hurdle greater typhoons in building her own empire.
She then moved on to Avon, and became the youngest trainer in the country. She recalls,” We had to use the product first before we could endorse it.” This was a requirement that was right up her alley, being a big believer in skin care and beauty. She did this for three years, getting a step closer to having her own line of beauty products.
Her next job was as marketing director of Savers Appliances where she stayed for 12 years, learning this time the ropes of marketing. It was also around this time that she started online selling, peddling products like Rolex watches, branded bags, among an array of things, making her a millionaire at the age of 28.
Her innate generosity, imbedded in her values by her mother, made it natural for her to just share her blessings. The working force, janitors and cleaning staff, would rush to her whenever she arrived to park her car for her, to whom she would give a good tip, aside from a hundred pesos she would hand to all the others. “To this day, I don’t know how to park my car,” she said.
But a restlessness was growing in her, perhaps driven by the fact that she had bigger dreams and bigger promises to herself and to her parents to fulfill. In 2016, she resigned from Savers Appliances, her boss then perplexed why she would leave her lucrative position as vice president of the company. “Because I want to be CEO,” she answered in good spirit. The company had four branches when she first took the job. “I left them with 34 branches,” she said.
It was also this time that she was jolted into the realities of the ugly side of the business world. Being so trusting, she accepted checks that proved to be bad, and lost everything she had saved. “I had nothing, but I didn’t give up. She sold all her material things to pay off the wares and with a mere P3,500 started anew. A certified beauty enthusiast, she started with a skin care line and patented Beautederm. “It was Kojic soap that I started with, “ she recalled. All the employees she helped in her old job joined her despite not having much to share at the time but that they just trusted her and wanted a good boss. The humbling experience made her a better boss, she said, as she understood what it was like to have nothing.
Rei went on to formulate more beauty products, all FDA approved, through diligent research. Today she has a hundred products and 85 branches in the Philippines. She also has branches in Singapore, New Zealand and Canada and resellers all over different countries.
She once wished to have the top celebrities as endorsers, an intention that is now a reality, as posters of her beauty ambassadors would show.
But her most cherished triumph is a “mansion” she built for her mother. In the heart of Vigan.
What fills her heart too are the scholars she supports both in elementary and high school in the schools she attended. She also sends to school up to three children of her employees. “The more you give, the more the Lord blesses you,” she said.
Beautederm stands for beauty and skin – but her life story shows that beauty is not skin deep, it springs from good intentions and the spirit of giving. And like a true queen she continues to reign over a land of her dreams.