Entrepreneur, Cosmetics Pioneer, Medical Research Catalyst, Author & Philanthropist and Inductee to the National Women’s Hall of Fame
Until 2008, Victoria Jackson was the picture of success: As CEO and founder of one of the world’s leading beauty brands, Victoria Jackson Cosmetics, she and her husband, Bill Guthy, the infomercial entrepreneur behind Guthy–Renker, were busy raising three beautiful children—Evan, Ali and Jackson—in Los Angeles. In an instant, her world shifted. Her 14–year–old daughter, Ali, was diagnosed with a devastating and extremely rare autoimmune disease of the central nervous system, neuromyelitis optica (NMO). NMO is a potentially fatal disease wherein the cells and antibodies of the immune system attack the optic nerves, spinal cord, and potentially, the brain.
Inspired by their daughter’s perseverance in the face of this terrifying diagnosis, Victoria and Bill founded the Guthy – Jackson Charitable Foundation to fund the life–saving research needed to better understand, treat and ultimately cure NMO. Where there was previously little sense of connection or awareness, Jackson has built a community of over 175 problem solvers from 28 countries, creating an unprecedented model of collaboration. This network of patients, advocates and healthcare stakeholders, led by Victoria, have made a significant positive impact on the treatment of NMO and other autoimmune and related diseases. Jackson has led the work of the foundation to achieve quantum progress—and at record speed. Today, with the start of industry-sponsored clinical trials and with funding for new NMO research from the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH), there is real hope for a cure.
Victoria is a prolific author who joined her daughter Ali to publish the acclaimed Saving Each Other, a chronicle of their mother-daughter journey to overcome the odds of a terrifying diagnosis. Together with famed director Jesse Dylan and his team at Wondros Global films, Victoria produced a series of documentaries about the strides being made to cure her daughter’s rare disease. For her distinguished achievements as an entrepreneur, innovator, author and philanthropist, Victoria was inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame in 2017 and she received the 2018 Pontifical Key Advocacy Award at the Vatican.
In addition to her work with the Guthy – Jackson Charitable Foundation, Victoria puts her time and energy towards bettering the lives of others. A passionate activist on behalf of women’s empowerment and entrepreneurship, Victoria has spent countless hours as a volunteer at correctional facilities, hospitals, and in youth support programs, and currently sits on the board of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, as well as the board of UCLA Health Systems.
In the course of creating, funding and leading a research foundation with her husband, Ms. Jackson has shaped a paradigm–breaking approach to medical research. Recipient of multiple awards, Ms. Jackson has been described as a passionate advocate for women’s empowerment and entrepreneurship and her iconic beauty line, Victoria Jackson Cosmetics, is still a benchmark of innovative marketing. A successful author and speaker, Ms. Jackson most recently released her latest book: The Power of Rare: A Blueprint for a Medical Revolution.
Victoria’s professional career began as a makeup artist and for thirteen years, she cultivated a name for herself as the ‘go to’ professional for high profile celebrity clients.
As Founder and CEO of the global brand, Victoria Jackson Cosmetics, Victoria championed the intrinsic beauty of every woman and pioneered a new way to sell makeup when her cosmetics line became the first ever marketed on television. Victoria Jackson Cosmetics went on to generate more than half a billion dollars in sales and served more than two million loyal customers over its nearly thirty years in business.
A passionate activist on behalf of women’s empowerment and entrepreneurship, Victoria spent nearly twenty years as a volunteer lecturer on self-confidence, enhancing your natural beauty and forging a non-traditional path to success. She shared her message in prisons, hospitals, and youth support programs, inspiring women from all walks of life to cherish their unique beauty and contribution to the world. She currently sits on the board of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, as well as the board of UCLA Health Systems. In 2017, she was inducted by renown feminist, Gloria Steinem, into the National Women’s Hall of Fame in Seneca Falls, New York. In 2018, she received the Pontifical Key Advocacy Award at the Cura Foundation’s Unite to Cure – Fourth International Vatican Conference.
In 2008, Victoria closed the book on mascara and opened the book on medicine after her beloved daughter was diagnosed with neuromyelitis optica (NMO)—a devastating, rare autoimmune disease. Little was known about this potentially fatal disorder of the central nervous system, so Victoria and her husband, Bill Guthy—of the infomercial giant Guthy-Renker, established the Guthy-Jackson Charitable Foundation to fund life-saving research to better understand, treat, and cure NMO. Victoria has led the work of the Foundation to achieve dramatic progress at record speed.
Today, with industry-sponsored clinical trials and funding for NMO research from the National Institutes of Health, there is real hope. Indeed, the landscape has altered so meaningfully that recent findings promise that NMO can be solved. That solution will have vast applications for treating other autoimmune diseases like multiple sclerosis, Crohns, lupus, and cancer.
Victoria Jackson has written four books – most recently publishing The Power of Rare: A Blueprint for a Medical Revolution (Villabella Press, 2017). She and her daughter Ali Guthy co-authored Saving Each Other (Perseus Books 2012), a chronicle of their mother-daughter journey to overcome the odds of a terrifying diagnosis. Ms. Jackson’s two previous works include Redefining Beauty (Warner Books, 1993) and Make Up Your Life: Every Woman’s Guide to the Power of Makeup (HarperCollins, 2000).
As an in-demand lecturer and media veteran, Victoria has been featured in numerous outlets that include the Los Angeles Times, USA Today, and the Huffington Post. She has appeared on such programs as Ellen and the Dr. Oz Show. Together with famed director Jesse Dylan and his team at Wondros Global films, Victoria produced a series of documentaries about the strides being made to unravel and cure NMO and other autoimmune diseases.
Chat with Meredith Vieira, Victoria begins speaking at 7 min mark
Gloria Steinem Inducting Victoria Jackson into the National Women's Hall of Fame
From Mascara to Medicine
Victoria Jackson Spotlight on Stem Cell Research
Curing NMO from Ali to Mali
The NMO Story
Window Into the Unknown: The Power of Rare
Kathy Najimy interviews Victoria Jackson
Power of a Mother's Love
Comments from Victoria Jackson at the 4th Annual Unite to Cure Conference Vatican City where she was a speaker and the recipient of the 2018 Pontifical Key Advocacy Award
Victoria’s participation at our event was spectacular – her insights, vulnerability and genuine connection with the audience was palpable. Of our roster of 15 speakers, Victoria was in our top 3– and the bar was set incredibly high. So many of our attendees wanted to meet her after her on-stage chat with Wes. Highly recommend to others who are considering her for inclusion in their program.
The Human Gathering 2018
My friend, Victoria Jackson, is remarkable – strong and smart, with a great sense of humor. I loved hosting her at my Women’s Conference in California and she was so gracious with her time and energy. Recently, I interviewed Victoria about her latest book, The Power of Rare, as one of my featured Architects of Change. She exemplifies the kind of person I spotlight: Someone who moves humanity forward and sees things that are not there — and works to make their visions a reality. Victoria has done that powerful work all of her life – most recently with the medical research foundation that she, her husband and their daughter, Ali, created to find a cure for Ali’s disease: Neuromyelitis Optica (NMO). The Power of Rare taps into what it takes to face a seemingly impossible challenge, break it down into do-able steps, catalyze the energy of others and go ‘all in’ toward finding solutions.
Journalist and Activist
Victoria is a powerful example of a strong, successful entrepreneur who is warm, funny, eloquent, humble and kind. As her friend, I know that her story is a true heroine’s journey – and that it is still unfolding. She is so open about sharing all that she has learned – both the positive and the painful lessons. She demonstrates great strength and vulnerability, too, as she relates highly personal stories from her ‘against the odds’ life – from a sexual assault in high school that led her to drop out before graduation to the shock of a devastating diagnosis for one of her beloved children, and how that news has transformed her into a major force in the world of medical research and patient education.
If you have the opportunity to host Victoria in your program: Do it.
Listening to her life will change your own.
Writer, Lecturer, Political Activist, and Feminist Organizer
What can I say about Victoria Jackson? She has the most incredible combination of heart, intelligence, generosity and courage. There is truly no one like her and I am blessed to call her my friend. Her engaging way with words and her warmth mesmerize audiences – I’ve seen it first hand. Participants are transformed and leave energized to pursue their own unique path to happiness.
Entertainment industry pioneer and the first woman to head a major Hollywood Studio
Victoria gave an incredible talk to our students . She spoke about her journey as an entrepreneur in the cosmetics industry, and her shift in focus to medicine with the creation of her foundation. The students’ response to Victoria stood out for a couple of reasons. First, all of the students lined up to shake her hand and thank her personally on the way out of the class. Second, the next week when the class met, many students, particularly young women, told me how much they loved hearing from her, and that they were inspired by her. Victoria brings a wonderful combination of accomplishment, humility and kindness, and we were lucky to hear her speak.
Laura Fox, Adjunct Professor
Philanthropy and Social Impact Course
USC Marshall School of Business
Praise for The Power of Rare: A Blueprint for a Medical Revolution
Victoria Jackson is one of my closest friends and one smart, strong woman……if you read this book, you will learn something and see why I love and admire her so much.
The Power of Rare is equal parts science and inspiration. In her urgent drive to help her daughter, Victoria Jackson not only transformed the competitive world of biomedical research, but also created a new medical model for generations to come.
Victoria Jackson has been an endless source of inspiration to me. Through the power of a mother’s love, she has transformed the competitive world of medical research. I’m so glad she has shared her blueprint in The Power of Rare so more people can benefit from her tireless efforts.
I have watched for a decade as Victoria Jackson has been funding and creating circles instead of hierarchies and has brought about a new and unprecedented collaboration between NMO researchers, drug companies not prone to collaboration and otherwise isolated patients.
It takes either desperation or inspiration to transform vision into reality. The Power of Rare is the gripping story of how Victoria Jackson drew from the desperation to save her daughter from a life-threatening illness and used inspiration to create a revolutionary blueprint for curing rare and common diseases alike.
The Power of Rare is as much a book about rare leadership as it is a true story of how one mother, with no background in health or medicine, has built a global movement to cure a life-threatening rare disease that impacts every nation of this earth. Her blueprint should be studied by all leaders as we come together solve diseases – rare and common alike.
Ibrahim Boubacar Keita
President of the Republic of Mali
In the last decade, neuromyelitis optica has evolved from being unknown to being a Rosetta stone in the understanding of autoimmune disease. In the Power of Rare, Victoria Jackson tells how she catalyzed this transformation by forging a community of medical and scientific allies to change thinking and solve problems. The Guthy-Jackson Charitable Foundation has connected individual, institutional and national agendas to forge good will and collaboration to help patients. Through optimism, intellect, commitment and vision, she and her team have sped effective treatments and created a pathway to eventual cures.
Dr. Brian Weinshenker
MD, FRCP(C), Professor of Neurology, Mayo Clinic
Praise for Saving Each Other: A Mother Daughter Love Story:
As a woman, mother, and close friend of the authors, I find this story deeply moving on so many levels. The work that I’ve seen Victoria, Ali and the Foundation undertake has been extraordinary, especially in bringing doctors together to share ideas and create a dialogue that wasn’t there before. As their experts grow closer to finding better, more effective treatments for this diseae, they can open the door for solutions to many other diseases– and that’s just incredible.
I once said that life is found in the dance between your deepest desire and your greatest fear. Saving Each Other is about a pathway where two women face their greatest fears and experience their deepest desires together as they take on an incurable disease. It’s quickly obvious this disease is no match for the powerful combination of a mother’s love and devotion with a child’s hope, determination and will. You will be moved and inspired as you go on a journey with these two extraordinary women and find newfound courage within yourself.
Best-selling author, internationally acclaimed speaker and peak performance expert
The unstoppable power of these two extraordinary women is an unforgettable and inspirational experience you will carry in your heart forever.
Any parent or child will be moved and inspired by this story of how love and dedication can conquer pain and fear; a vivid reminder that there is nothing more powerful and enduring than the bond of mother and daughter.
TOPICS & FORMAT
Victoria offers two formats: Presentation or a Fireside Chat
Victoria’s presentations are 45 minutes long and offer an optional Q&A portion for an additional 15 minutes. If you have a shorter time frame available, Victoria’s speech length and focus can be customized to suit your agenda. Just let us know your needs when you inquire.
Notes from the Bathroom Floor: Lessons Learned from a Fearful Warrior
Join us to hear from Victoria Jackson – cosmetics pioneer, National Women’s Hall of Fame inductee and entrepreneur turned ‘mom on a mission’ – as she shares her unexpected journey filled with euphoric highs and crushing lows– all linked by an unstoppable will to keep going, no matter what. Victoria’s extraordinary story of life reinvention offers hope and humor in equal measure. Victoria shares joys and disasters from her non-traditional life which led to the creation of her $600 million dollar cosmetics brand, meeting her husband Bill Guthy and becoming a mother. She candidly relates how fear has played a starring role as both a paralyzing and galvanizing force — starting in childhood and evolving as she became an adult, a business woman, a spouse and a mom with a bold vision for her daughter.
If you’ve ever felt like the underdog – with the deck stacked against you in any setting – at home, at the office, anywhere – you will recognize yourself in Victoria’s against all odds journey. With vulnerability and transparency, Victoria offers practical advice and activates you to embrace your own rare qualities and create a deeply personal toolkit for thriving amidst life’s inevitable twists and turns. With the candor of a confidante, Victoria helps clarify what YOU can do when you are sitting on the bathroom floor facing that inevitable detour. You’ll examine your perceived weaknesses and vulnerabilities and reconsider them as unique advantages — and take your place as a uniquely equipped warrior, ready to embrace your challenges head on.
The Power of Rare: A Blueprint for Leading Your Own Revolution
(based on Victoria’s most recent book, The Power of Rare: A Blueprint for a Medical Revolution, VillaBella Press, 2017)
Are you facing a challenge – at work or at home – that feels insurmountable? Perhaps your industry is rattled by massive disruption, your company is facing an uncertain future and you’ve realized it is time for you to become your own hero. To blaze a path for yourself, you must tap into your unique and rare qualities – your Power of Rare – to create your own personal revolution. All revolutions begin within the hearts and minds of individuals like you, someone who will not accept the status quo. Join us to hear from a fellow revolutionary – someone who grappled with incredibly long odds and persevered. She will teach you what she learned in the process – so that you, too, can face the unfaceable, break your impossibly large goals into manageable pieces, and flatten the barriers to your success.
In 2008, Victoria Jackson was on top of the world. She was nearly two decades into running Victoria Jackson Cosmetics, married to infomercial marketing pioneer Bill Guthy and the mother of three great kids. After the onset of some unusual symptoms in her 14 year old daughter, Victoria found herself living every parent’s worst nightmare and began a desperate bid to save her daughter’s life. With raw emotion, humor, warmth, and candor, Victoria shares the extraordinary path they took together, discusses how the power of love transcends our greatest fears, and offers wisdom on how to face seemingly insurmountable odds.
While in the pursuit of a cure for Ali, Victoria created a unique methodology for tackling the impossible. Through road-tested lessons that increase your odds of success in your seemingly unwinnable battles, her message offers hope, practical tools and real-world advice. Victoria will help you tap into your “Power of Rare” — to empower personal and professional breakthroughs.
Though the process can be painful, scary, and frustrating – the momentum you create after smaller wins lead to bigger wins will make your revolutionary journey worth it.Victoria’s guiding philosophy is that if she can do it, anyone can. Join us to hear how.
Fireside Chat Format
Victoria offers a highly personalized 60 minute ‘chat’ between herself and your chosen moderator. Victoria, New Leaf and a contact from the your organization will brainstorm a customized list of 20-25 thought-provoking questions that exactly address the needs of your audience.
- What do your attendees most want to know?
- What insights or topics will they find deeply useful and inspiring?
- What have they always wanted to understand, but have been afraid to ask?
Victoria is candid, funny, warm and open in her answers. A sample list of topical areas is below – but feel free to approach us with your ideas, too. Victoria is happy to consider them.
Victoria’s broad personal and professional experiences provide a wealth of wisdom in the areas of:
- Writing your unique success story
- Why veering off the beaten path can create the most incredible opportunities
- Confidence building and how it is a life-long process
- Know thyself: The only true path to happiness
- Balancing the myriad of roles you have in life and being kind to yourself when you can’t do it all…at least not all at the same time
- Channeling your energy from despair to productivity in the face of heartbreaking news
- How confidence begins with liking who you see in the mirror
- Recognizing that everyone struggles with self-doubt, fear, & anxiety – Victoria can share stories of some incredible opportunities she missed due to these limitations – and how she learns from it each time it happens
- Full circle moments and why they are crucial to building the next generation of kind and accomplished leaders
- Why a lack of formal education is not a barrier to success and a happy life
- The bond between a mother and her children and, in particular, in the face of a gut wrenching diagnosis
- Cultivating your personal brand
- The ‘beauty’ of having no experience
- Accomplishing seemingly impossible goals
- Bootstrapping your dreams
- Focusing on ‘meaning’ vs. ‘money’ as a path to success
- How research into rare disease is unlocking the secrets of all autoimmune disorders
- How a new model for medical research has accelerated progress toward a cure for Neuromyelitis Optica (NMO)
- Enhancing collaboration and cooperation among ‘would be’ competitors
- Building a world-class research foundation in record time
- Applying the lessons learned in the business world to the funding and sharing of world-class medical research
Victoria’s appearances are a perfect fit if your audience is facing big changes at work or at home – and wondering what to do. Victoria’s wisdom offers reassurance and courage to those who:
- face a promotion, termination, layoff, retirement or a brand new career
- feel like the underdog or odd person out – due to lack of education, connections, industry knowledge or funding
- encounter a seismic shift in their industry or the future of their business
- are undergoing a massive personal change – due to a health crisis, a life shift or a role shift
- have had a close call that caused them to re-evaluate their life and its trajectory
Victoria’s insights resonate deeply with those
- Undergoing a dramatic personal or professional change – and who are eager to manage the transition with grace, humor and personal strength.
- Open to serendipity, who want to tap into their gut intuition more deeply, say ‘Yes’ to opportunities more often and tap into their own “Power of Rare.”
- With an entrepreneur’s heart – who long to transform those dreams into reality, but worry they don’t have what it takes, aren’t ready, or can’t compete for any reason.
- Trying to balance a myriad of conflicting roles and need a boost of confidence they are doing just fine.
PHOTOS & OTHER RESOURCES
The Power of Rare, Villabella Press
Saving Each Other, Vanguard Press, The Perseus Books Grou
Make Up Your Life, Cliff Street Books, Harper Collsin
Redefining BeautyWarner Books, A Time Warner Company
Please visit the link below for a variety of informative videos, valuable resources and a customized app that highlight the important work of The Guthy-Jackson Charitable Foundation specifically for the Neuromyelitis Optica community.
BEHIND THE SCENES
Behind the Scenes
This collage represents many of the facets of Victoria Jackson’s life.
- Wrote 4 books – most recently: THE POWER OF RARE: A Blueprint For a Medical Revolution
- Is a 2017 Inductee to the National Women’s Hall of Fame in Seneca Falls, New York
- Loves the quote “I found there was, within me, an invincible summer.” – Albert Camus
- Grew up in California and the succulents and eucalyptus reflect those origins.
- Adores flowers – particularly gardenias, peonies and roses.
- Has a strong and loving marriage with Bill Guthy, her spouse for more than 25 years.
- Has 3 children – Evan, Ali and Jackson- and her role as ‘Mother’ is the one she holds most dear.
- Is fascinated by the symbolism of the moon and stars – and she and her daughter both wear identical copies of the necklace shown.
- Received the Courage Award in 2016 from the Stem for Life Foundation for the work done by the Guthy-Jackson Charitable Foundation, which she and her husband founded. She will speak at the Vatican’s 2018 International Conference on the Progress of Regenerative Medicine and Its Cultural Impact hosted by the Vatican’s Pontifical Council for Culture and The Stem For Life Foundation.
- Founded Victoria Jackson Cosmetics – which achieved more than a half billion dollars in cumulative sales and served over 2 million customers worldwide.
- Is deeply grateful for the blessings in her life. The word ‘Gratitude’ and the tiny note card of a bird leaving its cage says ‘Thank You.’
- Honestly shares her struggles with depression, anxiety and low self-confidence – and the prayer beads represent her efforts to soothe herself and others.
- Has a Buddha statue to remind her to embrace differences and spread love and kindness are essential. Buddhism is a very grounding philosophy that is all inclusive and welcoming, centered and non-judgmental.
- Received the Stay True postcard from her daughter in law and believes fully in that message – staying true to who you are and what you bring to the world. You are your own best teacher.
- Collects vintage makeup compacts – the one shown says “Powder Your Face with Sunshine” and is from 1948.
- Created the brand ‘Lola’ (Lust Often, Love Always) which was her foray into traditional retail.
- Founded, with her husband, Bill Guthy, a global medical research foundation dedicated to finding a cure for Neuromyelitis Optica (NMO). The glass globe, centered on the continent of Africa, represents this work. (Ask Victoria about the connection between Ali and Mali, too.)
- Believes that her life follows the “2% rule”: If something has a 2% chance of happening, it will happen to her — both incredibly wonderful things and not so positive things.
- The candle represents her desire to ignite the fire in others to pursue their own personal brand of happiness.
- Possesses a deep love of art and color- the colorful dots represent this symbol.
- The bookmark, created by the National Women’s Hall of Fame contains Victoria’s quote: “With the power of love and intention, anything is possible.”