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McClatchy-Tribune  08/17/2014 10:40 AM ET
Spa exec's new passion: The beauty of giving [The Palm Beach Post, Fla. :: ]

Aug. 17--Janice Carrera Worth made her fortune peddling cellulite cream on TV and keeping celebrities, models and moms beautiful as the president of Anushka Salon & Spa.

Now, Worth has an additional mission: Encouraging successful women like herself to give half of their incomes to charity.

She's part of Women Doing Well (womendoingwell.org), a group of women leaders from across the country who give one-day seminars called "Inspiring Generous Joy." Upcoming events are planned in Los Angeles, Milwaukee, Denver and Dallas, with a Florida event planned for May.

"When you line up women with purpose, passion and a plan, their giving goes up dramatically," Worth says.

Worth's purpose is rooted in her own background: Her mother died when she was 3, and her father died a couple years later. Raised by aunts, uncles and cousins, Worth started college at 16 -- believing her only security would come from her ability to make money.

"I was buying into the security I could provide by buying into my zeroes -- and that was coming from a place of fear," Worth says on a YouTube video to promote the work of Women Doing Well. "Money was where I was getting my self-worth."

When she became a Christian, she found a new security -- "I started believing that God would never leave me" -- and a new desire to give to charity.

"I love money! Making it, spending it and giving it," she says. "I could see some of my girlfriends just weren't able to engage in conversation around their money as easily. For me it was personal. I was an orphan, so much of my life I experienced other people giving back to me. I had a desire to be generous, and, after all, God is a giver."

Worth and her business partner, Anushka Blau, moved their business from New York to Palm Beach Gardens in 2001. Anushka Salon & Spa, celebrating its 40th year, is now at CityPlace in West Palm Beach.

Hometown: Chester, N.J.

Age: Old enough to be grateful for each moment.

City you live in now: Palm Beach Gardens.

First job: My first job in NYC in the '80s was the assistant to the director of corporate affairs for Bijan -- the most exclusive, expensive men's designer in the world. I was mentored by Rebecca Rutledge, who was mentored by Eleanor Lambert, who founded the original "Best Dressed List." I was the luckiest assistant in Manhattan.

How did you meet Anushka? We met through Anushka's godmother, Celestina Wallis, who was one of the grande dames of New York society. We will be together as business partners 30 years this March.

Best business advice you've gotten: I was 22 and having dinner in Montauk with an older gentleman who owned the largest flagpole company in the United States. He told me: "Invest your money in your ideas: the things you are passionate about." I bought into Anushka when I was 25. It was a small, 2,000-square-foot spa at the time and it grew into a beauty empire.

Favorite business book: "The Tipping Point" by Malcolm Gladwell. This book has continued to inspire me over the years to be on the cutting edge of what is next: trendsetting rather than trend following.

Biggest challenge: Creating an environment where our staff members feel creative, enabled and energized in their work. We have a business that satisfies the moms, grandmothers and daughters of the world.

Biggest business mistake: We sold our companies in 2003 to investment bankers who raised $120 million to scale our model. Unfortunately, it bankrupted all of our business and people. It was the saddest thing I have ever been a part of. But the re-growth process, while very difficult, was humbling and empowering.

Why you love what you do: Our ultimate goal is for every client to walk away from her experience at Anushka feeling beautiful, serene and with a refreshed sense of well-being. Seeing this transformation in my clients is the most rewarding part of owning Anushka. Who wouldn't love this job?

What trait do you look for when hiring? Generosity in spirit and hyper-competency.

What is Women Doing Well? The group was born out of a research study that found that women are making, marrying, inheriting and divorcing more expendable dollars than men are. Women want to give and very few charities are talking to them. So, we help women filter the many opportunities they see each day to give their time, their expertise and money, so they can experience the joy of making a difference.

 

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