Malibu-based Jami Morse Heidegger is the co-founder of Retrouvé, luxury, gender-neutral skincare. She is also the former third-generation family owner of Kiehl’s. Learn about Jami Morse Heidegger…
Hometown: I lived the first decade of my life in Manhattan and then moved to Beverly Hills. I now live in Chatsworth and Malibu.
First job: I worked in a famous plastic surgeon’s office in Beverly Hills at about 12 years old – my mom was dating him so he let me work there. While I had been helping my father and grandfather at Kiehl’s throughout my childhood, I officially joined the Kiehl’s payroll at the age of 14, writing the checks for the bills payable and keeping them current and filed in addition to doing the payroll checks.
Favorite ways to spend your free time in CA: I love spending time with my three grown children in any capacity. Just being together is what is most enjoyable to me, especially on our ranch in Malibu. I particularly love walking along the beach, hiking the trails or swimming together there. Spending time in Malibu also influences and contributes to my vision for Retrouvé. We source ingredients for our skincare preparations from our ranch where my husband, Klaus, has been growing avocados and other produce in accordance with the principles of permaculture.
Your biggest accomplishment and why: My most valued accomplishment thus far in my life has been raising my three children. My most fulfilling moments are when I know that they are pursuing their passions and accomplishing their own goals.
Someone who inspires you and why: My mom is someone who inspires me with her strong work ethic and joie de vivre. At age 89, and despite have faced many serious health challenges, she never allows a personal setback to keep her from the creative work that she adores. She is so fulfilled by her love of art and carries the same unwavering passion for each project she creates, fueling her determination to live a full and enriched life regardless of her physical circumstances.
Advice to someone pursuing a career path in what you do: Love what you do, have a sincere and profound passion for your brand, and try to make a difference in the world in and outside of the business.
Favorite quote: My dad always told me, “Inch by inch, anything’s a cinch,” which reminds me every day just to continue to put one foot in front of the other regardless of how I might “feel” at that moment and to persevere during times of adversity or when a goal seems very far away.
Something someone would be surprised to learn about you: I grew up in Beverly Hills and attended Beverly Hills High School; and still really like that area, and the Westside in general, but not for the reasons most people would think. I don’t care that much about its oft-cited great stores and restaurants, which there of course are in abundance. What I really appreciate and value is the incredible medical/health/beauty/wellness resources within such a small geographic area. With its vast array of top-notch doctors and first-class hospitals, tremendous resources abound for dermatology, plastic surgery, oncology, etc., further informed by the staff and facilities at UCLA, Cedars Sinai and St. Johns Medical Center. One can find cutting-edge treatment in virtually every field, not to mention that all my favorite skincare specialists work within this area!
What makes someone fabulous: The older I get, the more I realize and appreciate the myriad ways that people are and can be fabulous! In general, though, I find that those who care about others, are comfortable in their own skin and demonstrate a willingness to learn, grow and improve in any way at any age are very attractive to me.