Cures by Avance's dynamic President Dee DeLuca-Mattos shares details on her family and her career.
How many years have you been involved in the spa/hospitality industry?
Real years, or the number I say when I want everyone to think I'm younger? I really believe I had a lipstick and moisturizer in hand when I was in my mother's womb, but I've actually been working in the industry for 27 years.
What was the path that led you into the spa industry?
I started in beauty in the early 80's with companies like Calvin Klein. I was a makeup artist by trade, so I always understood, and had a deep passion for, bringing out the finer features of a woman and subduing some others, knowing that real beauty was an inner feeling. In 1985 I met my mentor who forever changed the path of my life, and for whom I owe my career; Carmen DePasquale, a beauty industry icon. Throughout my career I have worked in different aspects of the beauty field, such as hair, sales, and education.
In the early 90's, our sister company DePasquale The Spa, renowned at that time for color and design, was set to transition into the new emerging world of wellness, so I was appointed to oversee the project and implement wellness treatments, spa marketing programs, and really create an environment in which women and men could really experience beauty from the inside out. Today, DePasquale The Spa is one of the most successful spas in the world. This opened up so many opportunities for me personally, as well as the assignment to head up our new division manufacturing Cures by Avance, our curative and corrective collection of skin and body care.
What is your favorite place in the whole world?
My favorite place in the world is at my the dinner table with my family, my big Italian family. Eating, laughing, and sharing our crazy stories. There is nothing in the world like having your husband, children, parents and siblings around you.
If you could have any profession in the world, other than what you do now, what would you be?
I would have loved to have been an FBI agent, which is completely opposite from what I do now, and who I am. But I love the idea of going undercover, working in surveillance, and the challenge of unveiling the truth. I would have made a good agent!
What is your motto or concept that you live by?
Each day, you must laugh, love, and learn something new. Live life with integrity, and 'pay it forward' whenever you can, no matter how little or insignificant it may seem at the time.
What is your most treasured possession?
My journals and pictures of my family; they are my life's work and all of my memories.
What’s your go-to spa treatment?
Hands down, massage!
What is your proudest accomplishment?
This sounds so cliche, but it is truly my 23-yr old twins Sean and Shaina. They are my mark left on the world. Raising children, you feel like an artist creating a masterpiece; it takes a long time, and you want it to reflect who you are as a person, what you represent. It's a reflection of your innermost personality, and at certain points the piece takes on a life of it's own, but when the painting is complete you stand back in awe and this sense of pride comes over you when you know you helped to create it. There is nothing greater than creating and molding a human life. (I left out the paint-flinging teen years!)
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
I am all about the details, the little things that only Dee can see and want done now, and it can drive people crazy. For example, I spent hours last weekend decorating the outside of our home for Christmas; I actually measure every string on the wreaths so they are the perfect length, lights all facing the same way, it's sick. Then, of course, I came home last night to see that the wind blew one of the wreaths around, can I tell you I couldn't sleep all night because I knew the wreath was facing the wrong way! That's not normal. So I am working on this little flaw.
Care to share any details on family life, i.e. spouse, partner, children, pets?
I have been married for 26 years to a man who has been my biggest supporter. My twins, Sean and Shaina, just graduated from college. One year ago we moved near the ocean and couldn't love it more. My husband and I are foodies; we love finding new restaurants and exploring new wines, and cooking for family and friends. We are avid runners and love to work out. I come from a large Italian family of 6 children, and my siblings are my best friends. I am so blessed.
Tell us two things about yourself we don’t know.
I know every song from "Oliver" and sing them out loud (my dad was raised in an orphanage so it has sentimental meaning) and I must watch it at least once a year.
I"m a pro at cleaning crabs alive, although I'm sure my husband will contest that!