Gerda Spillmann has been the undisputed first lady of Swiss skin care
since 1944. The path to her prominence, however, has been a long and
difficult one. Granted, the obstacles to any business's success are
many, even today those obstacles are multiplied for a woman.
years ago in Zurich, it was not only difficult but socially
unacceptable for an enterprising young woman to start a business. It
was, essentially against the law for a woman to own and operate a
business. At that time a woman was required to have special permission
from the Swiss government. Given the social norms of the time, such
permission was rarely even sought, much less granted. Yet after many
attempts, Madame Spillmann was finally allowed to bring the skin-care
products she had long researched and developed to the marketplace.
after receiving official sanctions the problems for a woman doing
business in Switzerland were inherent. Social scorn, the utter
impossibility of credit, the historical and deeply ingrained prejudices
against women in business would have spelled failure to a person with
anything less than the forceful perseverance of Gerda Spillmann. Her
determination, however, was born of adversity at an early age and by the
time she decided to start a business, skin care had become her life.
Her belief in her dream was unshakable.