Tell us about your clinic, staff and local area.
Studio Eleven is a beautiful boutique clinic nestled in the bird song surroundings of Lake Okareka, a small community just 8km’s out of Rotorua. I wanted to provide a space where my clients could relax and just be in the moment. I opened the clinic in 2019 – so am very much still in my infancy but am amazed and extremely proud at how quickly the business has grown. My mantra is ‘Do what you love and love what you do’.
I came into the Skin Therapy industry a lot later than most. After a successful 12year career as an industrial psychologist and mediator, I decided to embark on a ‘sea change’. I have always appreciated having a good skin care routine, with monthly treatments, where I came away feeling relaxed and uplifted, to respecting the professional industry, and purchasing products that were in-clinic only – it just left me with the warm fuzzies.
I have always had a passion for helping people achieve their best. When I am asked why the change from Psychology to Skin Therapy, I see both careers as helping with issues, emotions and self-esteem, nurturing the individual and leaving people feeling better about themselves (and as we all know – a skin therapist also becomes a friend and someone to talk things through confidentially). For me, it is about treating my clients from the inside and out, both from a nutritional perspective (the gut as the second brain), the skin – which I believe is the window to our health, as well as the mind. When we feel good about ourselves, it positively affects all aspects of our lives.
I have such a hunger for continual learning and always have my nose in a book, on a website or completing a course. I love to learn, and I love to share what I have learnt with my clients – I have become a total skin nerd! And WOW…what an amazing organ our skin is, right!
How has dermaviduals assisted your business?
Ok…where do I start here. dermaviduals are ‘my people, my skin nerd family – my community’ It was like “where have you been all my life”… literally, dermaviduals gave me the professional integrity that I was seeking for my clinic. I explain to people that partnering with dermaviduals is like owning an Aston Martin – nothing else comes close. From the marketing and communication support, continual education, science nerdy stuff, white papers, and products that work biologically and physiologically with the skin – and the team at derma aesthetics are outstanding. Oh, and it helps that their amazing products just sell themselves! Working with a Corneotherapeutic skin care brand that is not about beauty marketing hype but are results driven is so satisfying – once a client has experienced the difference, it is life changing.
What is your favourite dermaviduals product and why?
For me, I am all about the selection of actives, oils, monos and extracts! So, my favourite dermaviduals products are the ‘bespoke serums’ – being able to curate individual serums, creams and masks for my clients, and their skin’s needs is my happy place. Explaining to clients the ‘why’ and then creating a bespoke ‘how’ and helping with their journey to healthy happy skin cells is just so incredible. This is next level skin care – no beauty hype here!
How do you keep your staff motivated?
Hmmmm… this is a great question, given that I am a one woman team – I tend to throw my all in to everything that I do, so motivation is not an issue – but balancing work/life is more of a challenge! In this regard, I don’t see what I do as ‘work’ in the standard sense – it is my passion, and as previously mentioned I really love to continually learn. That being said, my joy comes from my clients – the look on their faces post treatment, the lovely thank you emails and texts I receive – that’s where the grace is.
Most popular treatments
In curating bespoke facials, I do not have an extensive menu, instead, I create individual treatments to suit the clients’ current skin. When we visit a doctor, we don’t tell her what we need – we tell her what is going on and she makes the recommendation. I take this same approach with my clients. Tell me what is going on, what’s been happening since last we met, any changes to lifestyle, medications etc – then I curate a bespoke facial that works to address and nourish their skin cells. Ok…so that aside – From my clients’ feedback, the most popular in-clinic treatment is the Alga Mask – literally everyone asks me to include it in each of their facials! Once you experience the Alga Mask, you will know what I mean!
What sets your clinic/treatment apart??
Where I am most proud of my clinic is the overall experience a client will receive – from a very thorough skin Analysis consultation and initial facial, to educating my clients on all things skin cell related, creating bespoke skin care plans, nutraceuticals and including meal plans that have been designed by a Skin Nutritionist to address skin specific conditions, to follow up conversations between appointments. I pride myself on delivering a service that is unique to each client, along with taking the time to discuss all areas that may be affecting their life and therefore their skin – having a background in psychology is definitely beneficial, and also within my professional scope. I would like to think that my clients consider me a professional friend they can trust.
What are the challenges of running a salon?
The biggest challenge of running my own clinic is work life balance – without a doubt! I really don’t have a time of day that I switch off – and this is something that I am working on. I am great at saying to my adult children, “be where your feet are” as in be in the moment not on your device. This is something that I really need to work on. Also, as a team of one, it can be professionally lonely. I think with the interesting times we are going through with COVID-19, and socialising becoming more intimate (or non-existent) it is easy to become insular. This is where dermaviduals has been amazing – with their online support, chat groups and zoom meetings, I can sit down with a cheeky pinot and be with my community.
What are your 3 top tips for beauty professionals thinking of going into their own business?
Believe! Regardless of what business you are considering, you need to believe in it. All businesses need to be financially viable, but this cannot be the reason for going into business. Believing in why you’re doing it and having the passion for continually delivering is fundamental to success – if you don’t believe in your self and the ‘why’ you will lose the love for it.
Community is everything! Ensure you have a great community of support. Spend time investigating who you may partner with regarding professional products and services. Make sure that there is a fit between your ethos and your suppliers. Meet with the reps beforehand – and really ‘suss’ out if they are more about their commission, talking prices, profits and marketing hype, or are they all about the products, their unique ingredients and science, what they deliver and the support mechanisms in place. View this as a business marriage, really check out who you are getting in bed with – we put a lot of energy in to creating our clinics own unique fingerprint and the products and modalities we select are a major part of this.
Plan your Journey! Have a robust business plan – know where you want to be, when you want to be there and how you think you will achieve this…and then be prepared to change it along the way. When I initially started out, I was all about microdermabrasion, peels etc and then I discovered Corneotherapy…WOW, game changer! (I still have my machines sitting at the back of the cupboard, not that I am wanting to use them again, I just don’t want them out there in the industry).
Again – Do what you love and love what you do 💙
If you are wanting to experience our little slice of heaven, come and visit our beautiful boutique clinic nestled in the bird song surroundings of Lake Okareka…just 8km’s out of Rotorua.