BACK IN THE USA

Is America still the country where seemingly all is possible?
 
Each time I return to my home country, I feel happy. More than that, I feel thankful. Because America is still a country where — when you really want it — things can happen for you. The “ultimate dream” is still possible; just dream it up and work hard and keep focused. Even if you have lost out before, there is always a new opportunity.
 
I have just been back for a visit to California. Oh yes, there has been a very nasty economic downturn in the US. But where many other countries seem to have no idea whether they are in the start or in the middle of the down cycle, I felt the US is already coming out of it.
 
This past weekend I was in Los Angeles and met old friends last seen some 6 years ago. We talked then about showcasing products on television in America, but at that time, I was on my way to another country. I have never regretted living on one of the most beautiful rainforest islands in the world… Langkawi in tropical Malaysia.

But then, after all these years, they contacted me again. They asked me, “Please come to Los Angeles; we really want to discuss marketing your products on television”. And so I did go — and it was a fruitful meeting.
 
As our products do well in various countries in Asia, I must say I have neglected marketing them extensively in the US in recent years. Well, the only excuse is that we are a small company and cannot be in 10 places at the same time. My friends convinced me that I should bring the products back to the US and make a trial with one of the largest infomercial companies on television today. Well, what can I say? Let’s do it!
 
“We can do it!” That’s the American spirit!
 

 
    

Brigitte Bardot… An Example of True Beauty

In Los Angeles, California, more than 10 years ago, we produced a 30-minute “infomercial” television show called “A Lifetime of Beauty.” It was aired in all the big cities of the U.S. including Boston, New York, Miami, Seattle, San Francisco and Houston. The show promoted the newest product which our company pioneered — the first natural AHA (alpha hydroxy acid) cosmetic product in the world.


    GlycoFruit was the first natural AHA on the market

The novelty was that these special products called “GlycoFruit” contained acids from the rhubarb plant that naturally sloughs-off old skin cells to reveal clear and fresh-looking skin. So how did it happen that this product became featured in a 30-minute television show?


    Street sign at the famous Hollywood Boulevard

GlycoFruit became a hit in a few stores in San Francisco and our best-selling product ever in the history of Paul Penders Co. It was also advertised in several natural lifestyle magazines around the country. The advertisements got the attention of a few Hollywood celebrities and soon their agencies started to contact us.
 
To make a long story short, soon afterwards Katja and I were invited to Hollywood to visit several movie stars wanting to discuss a business deal about this new GlycoFruit product. According to them, GlycoFruit would make for a perfect 30-minute infomercial product to be shown nationwide on television!
 
Dr. Joni Laughran while working in our company in California wrote a book for the show, also with the same name, “A Lifetime of Beauty.” The book was a give-away for people who called the Paul Penders Company enquiring about our newest beauty invention.
 
Honestly, Katja and I had a blast meeting these movie stars at their homes. I can say this was a very interesting tour, and we got to meet several popular stars over a few days.


    Meredith MacRae with her special friend Bob Hope

After meeting these celebrities and their Entertainment Lawyers, I finally signed contracts with 2 stars; the most important one was Meredith MacRae (May 30, 1944 – July 14, 2000), best known as Billie Jo on the TV sitcoms, Petticoat Junction and as Sally Ann in My Three Sons.
 
Several weeks after the signing ceremony, we started shooting in the studio of Jay Leno’s “Tonight Show.” It was a time of learning, fun and excitement. During the shooting days, got to know Meredith better. She turned out to be a charming, intelligent and very kind person with a healthy amount of humor!
 
Part of the filming for the show was in Hollywood and part at our company’s base in Petaluma in Northern California. Meredith, her agent and a crew of beauticians all flew out to Petaluma for the shoot at Paul Penders Company.
 
We had dinner with the group the night before filming and then became it apparent how much she looked like Catherine Deneuve, the beautiful and distinguished French movie star I admired so much as well. Probably too it was that which attracted Katja and me to Meredith in the first place.


    French movie star Catherine Deneuve

Since I am talking movie stars, there is another movie star I REALLY admire and have since a young age — Brigitte Bardot. I fell for her because of a few great movies with producer Roger Vadim, and later because she became a fierce fighter for animal rights.
 
To this day, Brigitte Bardot’s focus in life is to end the suffering of animals. A little while ago we wrote about the vote in Catalonia, Spain making bull fighting illegal this year. Let me mention that Brigitte Bardot’s latest fight is to stop the bull fighting in the South of France where it is still legally practiced.


    Brigitte Bardot still looks fabulously beautiful.

She was interviewed not long ago by “France Dimanche” and told the reporter, “My life would have been worthless if changes are not made to stop bullfights in France before I die. But I am like a pit bull; when I start biting, I don’t let go easily”.

      Thank you, Dame Bardot, for being a
      living example for me by helping
      to set the standards to stop
      cruelty to animals!

 
    

Amtrak and Natural pigments?

My work takes me to far, interesting places, and as I am doing more international plane flights than I like, one time I decided to travel the good old-fashioned American way… I took the train! Sitting in a comfortable train has its perks and could spent my time wisely too!

I enjoyed the great scenery. I could eat, read, talk, walk, or do nothing, or do my work. Make and receive phone calls and do all the emailing in the world and… sleep…. All from my plush chair on the train.

Over the course of only a few days starting in San Francisco, I had reveled in the glorious mountains of the Sierra Nevada while covered in snow. I was in awe of the Rocky Mountains by the glittering light of the moon and in the morning and evening sun.

I enjoyed the sight of great rivers and streams, wild deserts, and I delighted in the sight of small, scattered ghost towns. I crossed the Mississippi River a few times.

As I traveled, I set foot in Denver, Chicago, Washington DC, New Orleans, El Paso and Los Angeles! Taking the train back from Los Angeles to San Francisco was a truly unforgettable experience where the splendor and colors of the Pacific Ocean were totally breathtaking!

I finished my trip alongside several new friends I had made since, sometimes, you sit with the same people for days!

I became close friends with the hard-working crew of the dining car where the service and food were excellent, including fresh salads and even 100% vegetarian meals! Still, you might be wondering:

But what has Amtrak got to do with natural colors?

Riding the train throughout the fabulous splendor of this great Country I have seen mountains and riverbeds in reds, greens, blues, beige, and dark brown. I believe I have even witnessed the color of yellow!

All around me I saw the most beautiful and brightest pigments of the earth, and some of these very colors have been chosen to be used in our most natural colored makeup products.

Really, every American should board Amtrak at least once in their lifetime! Experience the same joy and awe as I did and enjoy the beauty of a great Nation, all while you relax. Take the train in stead of the plane!!! You will be glad that you did.

Riding the train and viewing the splendor of the mosaic of colors, while imagining the vivid and natural colors of our Paul Penders natural cosmetics as well! Every beautiful potpourri of color and every glorious memory captured in a picture as you ride along on a train reminds one of the beauty and warmth of the earth’s natural delights – marvelous colors!