Welcome to May’s Clinic of the Month with Skin Perfection!
This month we meet, Karen Black, who is the owner of Skin Perfection, located within New Zealand’s South Island in beautiful Blenheim. Karen’s passion is to help her clients to live their best life in the skin they are in.
Recently awarded Corneotherapist of the Year 2019-2020, Karen has also been shortlisted for the Best New Clinic 2015 in New Zealand by NZ Beauty Association and received the award for Best Before/After Results in the dermaviduals Clinic Awards. We sat down with Karen, so we could get to know more about the clinic and share her inspiring journey with you.
Could you please tell us about your clinic and how you began your business?
After traveling and living abroad, I settled in New Zealand, where I began working for a large spa clinic. Facials and consultations were my favourite services to do. The spa was a New Zealand Beauty Association member, and I learned about Florence Barett-Hill Pastiche courses through their monthly publication, which piqued my interest. If you are familiar with Pastiche, you know it’s life-changing. It was then that I realized there was a need for more specialized skincare and treatments. Not a one size fits all model. So, with a lot of excitement, Skin Perfection was born +10 years ago!
What sets your clinic/treatments apart?
What sets the clinic apart is the holistic approach I take with each of my clients. No two people have the same skin; no two people should be treated the same. I learn about my client’s skincare and lifestyle preferences, wishes, and emotions to create the best treatment plan for them. Education about skin is a key component of the clinic — it ensures that clients accept the treatment plan, comply, and understand the ripple effects their choices have on their skin. Everything would go as planned in a perfect world, but how often is that the case? So, when a client comes in for their treatment and their skin requires sometimes more or sometimes less, I adapt.
What is your most popular treatment?
Because I can offer such a versatile facial experience, it varies. I would say a facial with MAX + LED, and the Algae Mask included because it makes clients’ skin glow, which always gets them excited about getting another one!
What are the challenges of running a salon?
There are a few challenges that come with running a salon. It can be everything from marketing, day-to-day managing operations and keeping up with training and opportunities for courses. There is always new research, treatments and technologies developed. However, since the pandemic the shift has certainly been intense with having to transition to online consultations. It can be overwhelming and challenging to stay focussed on your priorities and goals. At times it is sacrificing treatment times in the clinic to ensure I keep up to date with what’s new and what’s happening to offer my clients the best possible experience and level of service.
What has been your most memorable career moment so far?
When I started Skin Perfection, I had a vision and strong objectives. I set milestones and achievable targets. These have resulted in where I am now. It’s been gratifying to have received accolades, including winning all three categories in the recent dermaviduals Clinic Awards. That has absolutely blown me away! The recognition gives me a chance to reflect on how far I have come, which encourages me to keep striving for excellence and be the best that I can be. I am proud of my clinic, and when you look at the whole picture, you know you have created something special – a place where skin transformations happen, where people feel they can be themselves, knowing they are in good hands, and look forward to coming back to!
How has dermaviduals assisted your business?
Since I opened my clinic, Dermaviduals has been a mainstay in my skincare line-up. They are passionate and committed to what they do and it’s clear that the products are top-notch too! The derma aesthetics family is always looking at ways to improve, grow, and support all of their clinics. They have given us tools, resources, and education opportunities, but it’s up to us to make the most of it.
What is your number one skin care tip?
Understand your skin and body. It’s ever-changing! You need to relate to these changes and understand how they can show on the outside. It is the most crucial part of my consultation process, as I need to understand what’s going on internally to create a program that will get results.
What advice would you give to anyone wanting to start their own skin clinic?
My top tips would be:
- To write down your goals, what you want to achieve +3 years, and review these yearly to help keep you focussed and on track.
- Do your research on your client demographics and industry trends to be in tune with your target market.
- Take advantage of opportunities when these come your way- whether it’s a course, training, or networking events.
- And lastly, find a good mentor, someone you resonate with and can learn from. It’s so important to have someone in your corner who can guide you through the challenges of starting and running a business.