from the Natura Bissé website :
because skincare is so important
Ricardo Fisas didn’t want to admit it, but he was having a midlife crisis. Not the Kind where he leaves his wife and family and sets out to recapture his youth on the back of a motorcycle. (Well, actually, he did buy a motorcycle, but years later, and with his wife’s blessing). No, Ricardo’s midlife crisis was centered squarely on a longing to run his own business.
As managing director of a Barcelona laboratory that researched and developed new ingredients for the cosmetics industry, Ricardo was plenty successful. But he was also restless. In 1979, a year shy of his fiftieth birthday he began to reconcile himself to the fact that he might always work for somebody else. But he also began to notice something curious about the factory workers at the lab: Their hands were soft. Very soft.
The only thing they all had in common was the nature of their work. Five days a week, eight hours a day, they helped process proteins such as collagen, elastin, and keratin. The constant handling of these ingredients seemed to hydrate and regenerate the skin.
At the time, many cosmetics companies were exploring the use of these proteins in skincare products. What seemed revolutionary to Ricardo was the company's method of breaking down the "links" in the protein chain, which allowed collagen, elastin, and keratin to penetrate the skin. He took his observation to a friend, a dermatologist, who enlisted a chemist to develop a cream using what was then a cutting-edge method. After several months of testing the cream on patients, Ricardo, with the dermatologist and chemist signed on as stockholders, prepared to launch the company that would become Natura Bissé.
There was just one problem. What the three men knew about marketing and selling women's skin cream could fit neatly on the head of a pin. Ricardo realized that his chances for success depended largely on his ability to surround himself with the product’s target audience. In other words: women.
He gathered his family around the dining room table and announced the news. "I'm sorry," he declared, "but I promised myself I would never work for any company except my own and—" Before he could explain what his change in career meant for the family (namely, a number of lean years as he built the company from scratch), his wife, Gloria, interrupted him. "We have four kids," she said, trying not to choke on her tears. “What are you thinking?"
Well, he continued, he was thinking that she would be chief operating officer of the new venture. Then he suggested - insisted, actually - that she enlist a few of her friends as stockholders. "This is a product for ladies," he said. "I need your ideas."
Twenty-three years later, what started out as a modest collection of five creams has expanded to include 300 products within Natura Bissé’s 12 lines. Initially sold exclusively in salons and spas throughout Spain, Natura Bissé is now available in 35 countries, including the U.S. Although Gloria Fisas is still active in the company ("She's the soul of Natura Bissé," says Ricardo), it’s two other women - daughters Veronica, 37, and Patricia, 34 - to whom Ricardo turns for help in cultivating the next generation of customers.