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Mom Boss Q&A: Camille della Santina


Camille Calvet discovered the benefits of silicone more than a decade ago while working on set as a special effects make-up artist in Hollywood. The two-time Emmy award winning artist realized that skin appeared smoother after removing silicone material, and this discovery led to the development and launch of the original Decollete silicone pad. Since then, Calvet has expanded her line to include non-invasive anti-wrinkle silicone pads for the face, neck and chest. Today, SilcSkin is the leading brand in anti-aging non-invasive silicone skincare.

While Calvet's business has taken off, it was a risk and a leap of faith to leave a career she loved to launch her own business. But as a mom and entrepreneur, it felt like the right move at the right time. We talked to this awesome #MomBoss about her life, her love, and her fabulous line!

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What did you have to give up to get where you are?

I had to give up my 24 year, very successful award winning Special Makeup FX Career. As my business grew, I was finding it very hard to work upwards of a 70-hour work week on film and television and come home and work on my business and take care of my children. My husband Damian was always there to help, from getting the kids to school, making lunches and we would actually package all of the products on our dining room table!

However about 6 years ago, as I was getting ready for my 6 day of work on a show (The Cape) I was heading, I passed out from exhaustion and was taken to the hospital. My husband said that I had to make the choice between continuing makeup and my business.

I chose the business! I was able to focus all my attention on taking it to the next level and it afforded me the time to be there with my children (11 year old, boy/girl twins, Roman and Gianna). Now, I hardly ever miss a swim meet, baseball/football game, gymnastics meets! Though I do miss making the occasional alien or monster!

Do you ever feel like you get in your own way?

Yes! I can be extremely persistent and will get tunnel vision working on a solution to a problem. I call it persistence, my husband calls it stubborn!

But with such tunnel vision, you don’t see the other options around you. I’m learning to ask questions and see some other opinions that I may have missed. Many times I go AHA! that’s a great idea!

How do you prioritize what gets attention at any given moment?

I am huge at prioritizing, scheduling, list making. It comes from years of running large makeup departments where I was in charge of everyone’s schedule. I always prioritize what needs to be done and in what order. But I have also learned that the minute a list is made something will change and something comes up that needs immediate attention. So I have to be flexible and change my priorities as not to go crazy! In the film world, you really have to roll with the last minute changes, and I have brought that over into my business life.

Have you ever had to turn down a business opportunity because it interfered with family time?

I do quite a lot of beauty conventions and conferences around the country,but I have had to turn down the ones that conflict with our summer vacations. I was at one a few years ago; and I missed my kids last day of school. Our whole school heads out to Malibu on the last day of school and I hated missing that tradition.

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Or have you had to disappoint your family for something you believed was critical for your business?

Sadly, my husband (he comes with me to most conventions) and I have missed the last two years of our kids Spring Concert and will again this year because it is one of our most important conferences in New York. We make sure that their grandparents are there and we have friends from ou ramazing community at our school send us video of them, so we can talk to them that night all about it! Their disappointment is getting easier as they get older. They understand that Mom needs to go to work!

When the school nurse calls or you get that dreaded lice letter - who in your family handles that?

My husband is a cameraman on television shows and he can not leave the set. So, those are the days that I feel so blessed that I can drop everything and get over to the school to get them. When I was still working as a makeup artist, those calls would make me sick to my stomach, trying to figure out who can go get them and take care of them.

What's holding you back today from hitting your next goal or desire with your business?

PR, marketing, social media, SEO! I have been very averse to having any investors or loans and did everything myself for a long time with my own money. I started slow with one product and actually did all my own design, artwork for packaging, built my own website and marketing. Now I have help but definitely would benefit from more to reach my next business goal which is to be picked up by a large Department store.

How do you recharge?

I have to get out in nature. We go on hikes, see how many animals or birds we can spot, collect shells, collect rocks. I have a collection of “wish” rocks - rocks that have a continuous ring around them. When we are out, we always have our heads down looking for our next treasure!

On social media, everything always looks so pretty - let's be honest - what are some epic messes that you've had to clean up?

With a husband, twins, 2 dogs and a cat, there has been quite a few but one came to mind right away. We were gettiing ready to go to the beach to take our Christmas picture and my daughter (then around 3) decided to style her and her brother’s hair with Aquafor diaper crème. And then they proceeded to decorate their rug and walls with the same crème. It was impossible to get out of their hair, so they are very slicked down in the photo. And the walls and rug never really recovered from the artwork. I can still see it. That’s probably why it came to mind!

Do you work traditional hours. When do you log off for the day?

I usually wake up around 4:30-5 a.m., and though I don’t get out of bed, I am usually going over my schedule for the day. I usually have some of my best ideas at this time! I get up at 6 a.m., get ready in workout clothes, get the kids ups - fed and clothed and off to school. Then I workout and get to the office by 10 a.m. I work until 3:30-4 p.m., then pick up the kids and get them to their various activities or homework. I’m pretty good at shutting off the work mode and changing into mom mode unless there is something pressing at work. I try and be present in the moment at whatever I’m doing. This is another thing I learned from doing Special Effects makeup. You had to be very focused on your work that was in front of you, because you did not have any do-overs!

What recent work achievement are you most proud of?

Almost everyone that works for me is a mom. When I started needing help, I noticed so many talented moms at our school who had left the work force or were working part-time to take care of their children. I found executive assistants, photographers, bookkeepers, lawyers, even a convention coordinator! I allow them to make their own hours or even work from home, as long as the work gets done. I’ve been able to help out a few that were between jobs and even found all of our models for our before and after shots. This allows them to be there for their kids as it allows me. We even have a sick cot with pillows and blankets if the kids need to come to work! I am proud of this achievement - to be able to make a difference in another mom’s life.

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