Love Skin Nashville - The Owners Story
I once had a dream.
I always knew I was meant to be a business owner. Ever since I was in elementary school, I was putting together business plans, income sheets & class schedules for what I thought would be my dance school. 'If I could just have 20 students a month, I could pay the bills' I thought. I put all the information together, jumped on my grandpas lap, showed him my business plans and told him that in 10 years when I turn 18, I need him to invest in my dance school, just sign on the dotted line now. He laughed and was very impressed. Looking back now, I am so impressed in myself, that even then I knew I wanted to sail my own ship.
But why a dance school? Well obviously, I loved to dance. I spent majority of my time after school taking dance classes & putting on musicals in my backyard. As I got older, I loved the way dance felt. You feel strong, you can let loose and you can form friendships and relationships with people you wouldn't of always met. You get to perform, you put on a show where people can feel emotions through your dance. You. Feel. Good.
Now how did I get in the spa industry? Well, I have always had bad skin. I remember being in 6th grade and one of the first girls to start breaking out. It was awful. I was embarrassed and my self esteem was really low. As I got older, I tried to hide my acne with cheap makeup and not only did it make my skin worse, but I also didn't apply blush...so I looked pale as can be.
When I was 16 my mom took me to see her Esthetician, Evelyn. When I walked into the spa I was excited & nervous all at once. Finally, there is hope for my skin! But oh no, this lady is going to be removing all of my makeup and looking at my impurities under a huge light, which is very intimate. However, when I laid down I felt at ease. She spoke softly and made me feel comfortable. The lights were dim, the smell of aromatherapy surrounded me and the process of the entire facial was incredible. I then remember going home with the peace of knowing my future. I immediately knew I wanted to be an Esthetician and I was to open up my own day spa.
A year and a half later, and a few facials later, I toured colleges and remember not being thrilled about it. So I did one semester at a community college and realized, yeah...this isn't for me. I finished the semester and immediately enrolled at Palomar Institute of Cosmetology for the Esthetics program.
When I started the Esthetics program I was 18 years old and by far the youngest one there. I studied and graduated in no time. I then was lucky enough to land a job as a Receptionist at a small spa by the beach. The owner there gave me such an incredible opportunity and let me manage the spa with her after just a couple months of being there. This is when I learned the real business side of things and how the spa industry works. I learned the right & wrong ways for almost everything I learned how to organize, market and motivate the spa as a whole. This is when reality hit that owning a spa is calming for clients, but can be stressful on the back end.
After being at that spa for some years, I then got a job at a Salon & Spa and realized that the Salon environment wasn't for me. I also had a job at a Medical Spa and loved it, but it didn't have the same warmth and comfort a true day spa has.
So fast forward a few years. I move to Nashville, research spas and can't find any that are exactly what I, as a consumer, would want or where I would want to work as an Esthetician or Manager. So I spent a year waitressing and working for a real estate agent, because I wasn't sure if I was completely ready to call Nashville home. I went to beauty conventions and took intense spa owner classes, but didn't know if I was going to stay in town or go back home, to San Diego.
Then one day it hit me. Nashville is my home and I am meant to open up my spa here. I transferred over my Esthetics license, went back to school in TN (because the hours are different). Knowing that I wanted to work for myself, I took a huge leap of faith and I started renting a room in a salon with absolutely no clientele. I tried to get clients, connect with people and slowly but surely I was getting clients, but the salon environment just wasn't right for me.
I always have loved Berry Hill, the cute quaint businesses on Bransford Ave. I drove around Berry Hill every day for 6 months in hopes that a spot would open up, a spot that would be home to my own day spa. Then one day I saw the best yellow house and knew that was going to be the future of Love Skin Nashville.
Now, I sometimes thought I was a little crazy, because sure I had clients, but not enough to pay rent at this place. I didn't have any friends in the industry here, so I had no idea who was going to work for me. It was one of the most surreal, exciting, scary, fun, terrifying things I have ever done. To just jump in and do it. (Oh and fun fact, 90% of spas fail after 1 year of business. What a great statistic to have on the back of your mind while investing all your time, energy and money into opening a business.)
When I opened Love Skin Nashville, I had one thing in mind. I wanted to create a safe place where clients, friends or anyone could walk in and feel at ease. When you walk in you know you will enjoy your visit. I care deeply about everyone I meet (yes it is a blessing and a curse), so I wanted to make sure the spa was perfect for all type of people. I took my time to hand pick every decoration, every piece of furniture, so that whoever comes in the spa can love it as much as I do. I spent hours putting together promotional items & brochures (Yes, any graphics are done by me and I am by no means a graphic designer). I interviewed handfuls of people and made sure to only hire people with the same mind set as me. To treat the client like they are a million bucks. To pour loving energy into everyone that comes in because we truly care.
I opened up Love Skin Nashville with you in mind. With just a normal person, wanting an excellent, affordable service and can leave calm, relaxed and happy. To know that you aren't just a number, you aren't just revenue, we are here to connect, be friend you and make you part of our family because we all care.
It amazes me everyday, the friendships that have been made, the people that truly love the spa and the family that we have created.
So thank you. Thank you everyone who has even walked into our spa. You're support made this little girls dream a woman's reality.