“101 Successful Women in Ticino”
Mme Cholley Paydar Bavandpour, President of CHOLLEY SA, has been featured in the pubblication ‘101 Successful Women in Ticino’ Book in 2022.
The yearning for independence behind the choice to become a female entrepreneur.
Can you tell us your story?
I was born in Tehran, but I have studied, worked, and lived in Europe for most of my life, with a small interlude in the US. My first contact with the world of cosmetics was to solve my problem with acne, that at the time was a big existential issue for me! I had gone to the best dermatologists without ever finding a lasting solution. During a business trip to the US, I asked my uncle, who was a famous dermatologist in Iran, to recommend something effective against acne: he treated my skin with a specific recipe based on medicinal herbs, passed down in our family from generation to generation. The results were excellent and my uncle suggested that we market our natural recipes. The rest was all a coincidence. My partners and I learned about the laboratory of Dr Masset de Vallefort, a well-known pharmacologist and researcher at Hoffmann-LaRoche, who had been conducting research on herbs and plants for pharmaceutical use: at the age of 60, he had created his own laboratory in Muralto, becoming a pioneer in the development of professional products and treatments based on phyto-bio cosmetics as early as in the 1970s! The perfect synergy between our ancient natural family recipes and the innovative phyto-bio cosmetics products of Dr Masset de Vallefort was the reason behind our decision to acquire his laboratory in 1990 and to establish the CHOLLEY Brand, creating together with my brother Rick – a chemical engineer who today is the laboratory’s director, exclusive phyto-bio cosmetics products for the professional sector. Our Swiss spirit continuously drives us towards innovating as well as heavily investing in the research and development of advanced technologies, in collaboration with leading Swiss companies and universities in the field of life sciences, to offer our customers cutting-edge products which are clinically and dermatologically tested, for the health and protection of their skin.
And what would you say about your present?
Today, the reputation of the CHOLLEY Brand in the “Medical Cosmetics” industry is growing, especially with regard to some products that are required for this specific sector. We are distributed and sold in over 35 countries around the world, also by pharmaceutical companies which, through their skincare segment, promote our Products with Dermatologists, Plastic Surgeons, Hospitals, Medi-Spas, luxury Pharmacies, and on prescription. We increasingly aim for quality, addressing an ever more demanding, well-informed and also sceptical public, which seeks excellence in an exclusive Swiss product offering tangible results.
How have you managed to overcome hardship?
In business as in life, there always comes a time when one must face difficulties. In such moments, a positive attitude and a clear-eyed view of the situation helped me overcome the problems that I have had to deal with from a very young age! I am of Iranian origin; at the time of the revolution, I was forced to deal with the fact that things can change very quickly, from one day to the next. This made me more aware and has allowed me to appreciate everything I have right now, because nothing can be guaranteed forever; however, we can shape our future by adopting a constructive vision and approach, thus overcoming difficulties!
Which word would you use to describe yourself and why?
The word that best describes me is authenticity. Being authentic is a quality that lets us show our true face when confronted with any situation; there is no good and bad side. You do not get very far with falseness, meanness, dishonesty, in business or in life. A clear and transparent business approach makes it possible to immediately establish relationships with your customers that are based on trust and respect and to lay down a solid foundation on which to build long-term, successful collaborations.
What does success mean to you and why?
To me, success is an ephemeral concept, if considered by itself. Success is being independent, building on that personal freedom that makes me look back on my path towards growth – that I achieved due to and despite the difficulties – with satisfaction. There are always highs and lows in business and in life but, this makes it even more wonderful to achieve independence and to be free to decide, making your own choices. In fact, my choice to become a female entrepreneur is based on this very desire for independence.