Peter Thomas Roth, Slow and Steady Wins the Race

by | Dec 13, 2023

Skin care entrepreneur, jewelry designer and philanthropist Peter Thomas Roth was born to be a success. With every endeavor he has taken on, the baseline has come from an authentic place. From his family having been in the spa business in Hungary to his skin care  line being developed to help his own issues with acne to even his  jewelry collection because his father had designed jewelry his entire life. Peter comes from a long line of gurus.
We sit down with Peter to talk the secrets to his success. Having launched Peter Thomas Roth Clinical Skin Care in 1993, Peter says it is a blend of strategy, luck and being at the right place at the right time that lead to his companies success. Also and most definitely Roth acknowledges his hands on approach and the power of social media has helped his company explode into the stratosphere. But his philosophy of slow, steady work, planning and sticking with it is the winning game plan.

 

Did you always want to follow in your family’s footsteps? From the spa business and skin care to jewelry you have built your business on legacy.

Peter: “While my family’s spa heritage was a source of inspiration for why I launched Peter Thomas Roth Skin Care Clinical Skin Care, the key reason was even more personal. I’ve always had acne. I still do. I dove into the world of skin care because I was unable to find effective products to treat my skin care concerns. It started as a hobby, and it blew up into a new business for me. Every time I created a product, it sold so incredibly well, so I kept making more—and it became my primary business. To this day, I am still fascinated with formulating breakthrough products with cutting-edge ingredients that deliver astonishing results. When your hobby becomes your business, it’s never truly work.”

“Since I grew up in the jewelry business -as my father started our family jewelry business during WW2-it evolved in many ways throughout the years. In the last two decades since my father passed, I was a contract manufacturer for many large companies in the U.S. that have since closed. It was at this point that I decided to close our family jewelry business and create my own signature jewelry line, Peter Thomas Roth Ribbon & Reed, as an other hobby. I love designing jewelry and am extremely knowledgeable about every aspect of it—so it made perfect sense for me.”

 

When you started Peter Thomas Roth Clinical  Skin Care back in 1993, what was the dream? Did you ever imagine you would end up the largest privately owned skin care company in the US?

Peter: “When I started Peter Thomas Roth Clinical  Skin Care, my goal was to create great products to help my acne because I couldn’t find anything on the market—at this moment, it was still only a hobby. All I really wanted at first was to have clear skin—this mission even became part of my company brand message . But as I kept coming out with better acne products, followed by powerful anti-aging wrinkle products, the writing on the wall became clear, and the future of Peter Thomas Roth Clinical Skin Care never looked brighter!”

 

What were some of the most important decisions you made about the foundation of the business that have stayed stable within your company even after the last 30 years?

Peter: “I’ve always believed that slow and steady wins the game—and it keeps you in the race, too. So when it comes to how I approach my business, I’ve always been the turtle, not the rabbit. But I also make it a high priority to stay on trend with what my customers want, and to constantly be on the pulse of what’s hot, what’s next and what’s relevant—and I never skip a beat when it comes to product development. If Peptides are the new hot ingredient, then you can bet I’m in my lab innovating and developing a unique Peptide-driven formula that’s clinically better and that my customers will love!”

 

Do you feel the company grew from product, strategy, right place at the right time, luck or a little bit of all of it? So many entrepreneurs have a different story and it’s wonderful when super successful leaders share how they built their empire.

Peter: “I’d say it’s a little bit of it all. Yes, my products are clinically stronger and the brand’s marketing strategy is on point with what our customers want and need, but I was also very lucky in many ways—and I can give you two great examples. The first was when I got my products into Two Bunch Palms in California—this opened the door into other terrific spas. Shortly after, Sephora asked me to enter their first store in the USA. What an honor this was! Since we they only had one store in manhattan we learned how to thrive as they grew their store count. My company grew as Sephora grew. And since then, Peter Thomas Roth Clinical Skin Care has always been in all Sephora stores in the USA, Canada, Mexico, China and Southeast Asia. I always make sure I have the best formula and with a point of difference that caters to the Sephora customer and of course to all my other retail partners like ULTA and QVC to name a few.

What was the aha moment? The moment you knew, you just knew this was gonna blow up?

Peter: “My journey with Peter Thomas Roth Clinical  Skin Care has really been more about climbing the staircase, but if I were to pinpoint an aha moment, it would surely be that first seven-figure check I received from a retailer paying for the order we shipped them. In the early days when I sold my products to spas and aestheticians, we tried to keep a hundred dollar minimum order so to receive checks for $100 plus was the norm….a seven-figure check was a huge moment! I finally knew things were about to change!”

It is widely reported that TikTok account @trinidad1967 received over 43 million views for her product review of the Peter Thomas Roth Instant FIRMx® Eye Temporary Eye Tightener. Then there was Selena Gomez and your 24K Gold Eye Patches. How has social media changed your company sales?

Peter: “The power of social media is undeniable. This is why I have a whole team dedicated to developing competitive and engaging social strategies that are really paying off! Not only does social media help bring Peter Thomas Roth Clinical Skin Care into the lives of people who may not read magazines or have access to stores that sell my products, but the reach and influence that comes with platforms like TikTok and Instagram is remarkable. The impact that these two videos had on my business and the popularity of my Instant FIRMx® Eye and 24K Gold Pure Luxury Lift & Firm Hydra-Gel Eye Patches is crazy, off-the-charts wild. These weren’t planned collaborations—just two women posting about products they use and love. And they went viral! It’s truly an honor that my products were discovered by two fabulous women, one a Missouri-based hardworking hospital employee who purchased my Instant FIRMx® Eye at Sephora, another a world renowned superstar who uses my eye patches as part of her morning routine. It just shows that Peter Thomas Roth products are for everyone.”

 

Have your digital sales trumped the need to open brick and mortar? 

Peter: “We are currently in thousands of brick-and-mortar retailers, and social media is helping to take our in-store experience to the next level. Brick-and-mortar stores are fantastic because you can feel, touch, smell and even try all the products. It’s a completely different experience than a click on your phone. On the one hand you have the ease of online shopping, on the other, there’s the sensorial appeal of in-store discovery coupled with having a sales associate on hand to help guide you along the way. They are both extremely powerful means of selling—and customers value each of them.”

 

You have built your company on legacy. Your mother has been in advertising, one of your 2 boys now have joined the company, what does your corporate future look like?

Peter: “Legacy has played a large role in all my business endeavors. And especially with Peter Thomas Roth Clinical Skin Care, it’s been a family affair: My mom is on QVC with me as one of my models who sells our cult-favorite Retinol Fusion PM Night Serum—you’ll never meet a bigger fan!—and my son Ryan joined the company after graduating from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and is our manager for influencer and brand partnerships along with being involved in many aspects of the company. My other son, Brendan, also graduated from The Wharton School and is currently at Columbia University in the post-graduate program and will be applying to medical school soon. When it comes to the future of my company, I play it day by day—staying the course like the trusty turtle while keeping my finger on the pulse of what’s new and next in the skin care industry.”

 

Gurus Magazine has a simple mission statement, truth, passion, authenticity.  What do those 3 words mean to you?

Peter: “Peter Thomas Roth Clinical Skin Care embodies this exact mission statement.Truth: I list all the ingredients on all my product labels, including the percentages, which are often the highest concentrations possible. Just read my labels—it’s all in there. Passion: I’m extremely passionate about every aspect of my business. I’m always innovating to develop new and on-trend products with tested, trusted and results-focused formulas that my customers truly care about. Authenticity: We say it the way it is. It’s that simple.”

In conclusion,  Gurus Magazine is honored to feature Mr Roth. A family man who has built an empire through legacy, being hands on and taking one step at a time. In a world where the populous is obsessed with a quick fix Peter has built a standard that will last generations. He is a true guru.

For more information and to get on the mailing list for all things Peter Thomas Roth visit https://www.peterthomasroth.com/

Cover and editorial credits:
Photographer: Harold Mindel 
Stylist: Yachi Gault 
Hair and Makeup: Mako Iijima

Clothing credits:
Black Suit: Prada 
White Shirt: Charvet Black Alligator Belt: Prada 
Black Cashmere Turtleneck Sweater: Hermes Black Pants: Prada 
Navy Pinstripe Suit: Ron Dyce White Shirt: Charvet

 

 

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