In the latest episode of CEOs You Should Know, Jane Wells interviews Meryl Kern, the CEO of Liftique, a company Kern describes as a "brand-new triangular offering for women to look, live and feel their best life."
Started in 2017, Liftique grew quickly, thanks to the wide variety of services and offerings for women using the latest technology for minimally invasive proceedures for the face, the body and "below the belt." But the story of Liftique goes far beyond the cutting-edge technology and techniques.
Kern says she's always seen herself as an entrepreneur CEO, especially when she found herself needing to "reinvent herself." After a series of jobs, Kern started her first boutique agency that eventually brought her back to Los Angeles.
"I just always had that in me, that drive," Kern says.
But, her path wasn't easy. In 2015, Kern says she was dealt a "huge basket of lemons" after she was diagnosed with Stage 3 Breast Cancer. The cancer meant she had to have a double mastectomy,14 rounds of chemotherapy and 36 rounds of radiation. Recovery wasn't easy either.
That's when Kern started the Meryl Kern Survivorship Program within Cedars and Tower Oncology to help women post-recovery and understand their new normal.
"It allowed me to realize I needed to reach a broader audience," Kern said. "I needed to help more women."
"I looked in the mirror and I didn't like what I saw," she says. "And I knew I didn't want to have another surgery."
Kern started Liftique in 2017 and Kern says things really began to take off for her company after she started her foundation. When she held a "Blush Panel" that would explain Liftique's procedures for women with vaginal health issues, she knew she was onto something.
"We had over 150 women show up," Kern said. "Because I made sure this was a place where women could come and talk frankly and not feel guilty or ashamed."
Kern's compassion and commitment to her company has never waned, and her enthusiasm for helping others quickly becomes clear. When asked what she might tell a woman who is currently going through cancer treatment, Kern becomes emotional.
"You're going to get through it," she says. "You're going to get through it. And you may cry, and you may struggle, and you may be angry, but you'll get through it. And you can do it with dignity, and with some humor, and it will empower you. Allow yourself to find your purpose and why you are going through what you are going through. Because it will push you along. And all that struggle and fear will g ive you the strength to do more. It will give you a broader look at your life.
"But you will get through it," she repeats through tears. "You will get through it."