Name of Your Business: SkinCatering
We’re a spa that caters to the health & well-being of busy people who love what they do! We offer skincare products, and services like massage & facials, without using harmful chemicals.
How did you get started?
I don’t know if there is an exact “how” I got started! It’s more like a series of fortunate (and unfortunate) events that led me to this amazing space because in the beginning there wasn’t an ah-ha moment when I said, “I want to own a successful spa so these are the steps I need to take to do it.” I had no idea that I even liked the spa industry!
The “what I want to be when I grow up” took its sweet time developing, that’s for sure! I was a woman in her 30’s with no focused direction of what I wanted to do with my life. The one thing I did know was that working in the office of a successful surgery practice, I constantly found myself wishing I was personally responsible for making our patients feel better. I was so unhappy with where I was in my career that I started listening to “The Secret” during my daily commute, hoping for something to change.
In 2010, bolstered by the positive messages from the law of attraction CD, I made the choice to enroll in massage school. Eight weeks after starting school I got laid off from my day job – the most fortunate, unfortunate event to ever happen to me. Because I was left without a safety net, I was forced into finding a way to supplement my unemployment. Lucky for me, during my science classes I discovered my obsession with skin and the role it plays in our health. This led me to begin spray tanning, educating people about skincare products, and working with Melanoma Awareness organizations– all of which would come to shape the vision for my company.
During my last month in school we had a corporate trainer come in to help guide us in our choices after graduation. While doing the business plan exercise I knew without a doubt that I wanted to create a lasting organization that could make money and serve a greater purpose. I combined all the things I love, the things that make me the happiest and created my business, SkinCatering. Now I get to help make LOTS of people feel better every day!
What’s the best part of owning your own business?
The joy of being able to try all my ideas without being told “no” by a boss! If my idea is a success or even if it fails (which numerous times they have), I still get to have the fun of fleshing out the details, the excitement of making it come alive. I get to fall in love with my business over and over again!
What is your most popular product?
My most popular product is our Lemonade Toner because it’s gentle yet produces effective results. My most popular service at the spa is our massage & facial combination appointment. For 2 hours the client gets pampered and doesn’t ever have to leave the room!
How do you keep your business current?
I read spa magazines, blogs, and industry reports. If the trend fits our mission, I break it down into little details and put my own spin on how we execute it. I also network with industry professionals from all over the place to hear what is working for them and share ideas. It’s important to me that the services we do have a real benefit, and come from a place of love; otherwise it is just a job without a purpose.
What is the one tool you couldn’t live without?
I can’t live without my cell phone. It allows me to connect with my team, contact clients, log into my scheduling system, check email, attend to my social media, program the GPS for in-home appointments, and play music during a service. I can run my entire business from it, if needed.
What’s the nicest compliment you’ve received about your business?
While I’ve been called a “skincare goddess” and been told my massage was “the best I’ve ever had,” the biggest compliment of them all is when a client refers a friend to SkinCatering, or books another appointment. That tells me they feel safe with me and my team and that we’re a brand that can be trusted. That’s what fills my heart with joy.
What inspires you?
Reading the stories of people I admire, like Richard Branson and Rachel Zoe inspires me. They started with nothing but a passion for what they do and molded their entire careers by following their dreams. It reminds me to follow the love, not the money.
How do you relax?
The bonus of working in a spa is that I am normally in a pretty relaxed state of mind; however if it’s been a chaotic week or I have a huge event that I’m preparing for, I try to do as much self-care as possible. This means I get massages, do yoga, or go to a quiet space to breathe in meditation. Kim, my friend and co-worker, is essential to my peace of mind. She is the first one to recognize when I’m starting to get keyed up, and reminds me to “walk the talk” (re: do what I tell my clients to do to get through a stressful time.)
What do you do when you’re having a bad day?
No lie, I go sit in my closet where all my pretty dresses and shoes are and I cry. I sob really hard for about 15 minutes (it’s an all-out pity party without champagne!) After that stress reducer, I dry my eyes and am filled with ideas that WILL solve the problem. I used to think I was weak for crying so much and then I realized it’s just part of my process. The bigger the shift, the harder I cry, the more progress I see. So, if you see me crying, you’ll know something great must be happening!
What is your motto or theme song?
My motto (and theme song) is: “Have a Little Faith In Me.” When I start freaking out about business, I start singing this song to myself like a lullaby to sooth the savage beast called my inner critic. It reminds me that I’m on the right path and I’m exactly where I need to be in my journey so just have a little faith that things will work out. (And of course it always does because I always have more than what I need.)
What would people be surprised to know about you?
Many know me to be outgoing and very social, however, would you believe me if I told you I’m actually an introvert? Don’t get me wrong, I love a good party and having lots of fun experiences but it’s definitely easier for me when an extrovert, like my husband, is by my side! I can stand up and give a speech in front of hundreds of people without feeling an ounce of fear, but meeting people in the crowd makes me anxious. In my position I know it’s necessary to network, so I mentally prepare myself to get into the spirit things so I’m not a total jerk! It’s a strange thing because I love making new connections; it’s the initial meeting that gives me ulcers. And audience participation stuff – oh baby! There have been times I’ve been in group workshops where I’m honestly ready to cry because I’m so stressed & wiped out by lunchtime from the effort of paying attention and doing group activities. I literally have gone to dinner alone after those events because I needed the break to pull myself together!
CONNECT WITH LEANNE
Each month we feature a woman in business who personifies what it means to be a Business Betty- she is confident, smart, stylish and successful. Do you know a woman that you consider a Betty? Tell us about her by sending a note to firstname.lastname@example.org.