Are you considering becoming an esthetician? Or, if you've already started your career journey, are you struggling to build your clientele? We decided to ask a trained esthetician to pull back the veil on the industry. Our very own Nadira Kavanagh worked as an esthetician for four years before becoming a Product Support Representative at Eminence Organic Skin Care. We bombarded her with questions to get the lowdown on how to achieve a successful career in esthetics.
How did you become an esthetician?
I considered becoming an esthetician from the early age of nine. My godmother had her own business, an at-home spa for Clients, friends and family. The opportunity to grow up observing how facial services are done, and to play around with skin care products, allowed me to grow a huge passion for the industry that turned into my career.
Becoming employed by an Eminence Spa Partner opened my eyes to what natural and innovative products exist in the market today. This heightened my curiosity with Eminence, and I wanted nothing more than to be on the product side of the industry. Today, I work as an Eminence Organics Product Support Representative, educating and providing customer service to Retail Customers and Spa Partners. It’s so rewarding to know that you work for a company with amazing ethics and values that are aligned with your own.
What are some first steps you should take as an aspiring esthetician?
I would recommend researching available esthetics programs in your local area. Ask schools about their esthetic programs, how their programs are run and what their offerings will be. Ensure the curriculum and schedule fit your interests, lifestyle and goals. Then kickstart your knowledge base with the essentials in esthetics and work your way up into whichever specialization that interests you. Dermaplaning is one example of a specialization.
When determining what job type to pursue, look into the typical work hours you’d be signing up for — positions are not typically nine to five, and your hours can often run late. Typically, you can expect to work most evenings and weekends too.
How do you build a loyal clientele?
Building Client retention can be challenging. However, coming up with creative ways to provide a Client with good service can be seamless. Depending on the practices at your spa, you could provide first-time Clients with a business card and a discount for their next service. A discount promo encourages repeat customers and also gives you an opportunity to form an ongoing relationship with your Client.
Going above and beyond for your Client can make the biggest difference in customer retention. If you ever have downtime during a service (tinting, facials, lash extensions, etc.), take the time to include a hand massage, scalp massage or paraffin dip during the service. For example, if you’re giving a pedicure and notice your Client has some stray hairs on their feet, offer to provide a complimentary toe wax with a smile. The more care you show, the more you gain in customer satisfaction.
Working as an esthetician is about relationship building, so you never want to start your relationship with your new Client on the wrong foot. That’s why it’s part of your job to read the Client and their mood. Usually, people come into spas for rest, relaxation and pampering. Be aware of their body language to see if they welcome small talk or not. Sometimes Clients may want to shut off and not chat during their service, and that’s okay too. Just follow their lead and ensure you provide the environment they’re looking for.
What’s something you wish you knew before becoming an esthetician?
Depending on your role in this industry, the hands-on work in this field can be strenuous at times. When you have three back-to-back one hour massages, you can start to feel it. Although working hard can be fulfilling and exciting, be aware of when your own body is in need of care. You don’t want to pull a muscle or run the risk of any other type of physical injury. Neglecting your body long term could even result in unwanted medical conditions like carpal tunnel syndrome.
We are often so consumed with looking after others, that we neglect ourselves in the process. Book yourself in for massages or acupuncture, stretch, take baths and do what makes your body feel good and rested. In order to do your best, you need to feel your best!
What’s the most rewarding part about being an esthetician?
I’m sure this answer may differ person to person but for myself, I’d say it's seeing transformations from your work. One moment that truly impacted me was with a Client who was going through a very hard time in her personal life. She was a regular of mine who would come in once a month for a massage.
Part way through one of her massage sessions, I noticed she was crying. Deep tissue massage can bring about a major emotional release of negative emotions that have been stored in the body for years. For me, this was a telling moment because I knew then that I was helping her ground herself and find peace. This massage gave her the opportunity to let go of some of the pain and tension she was holding onto and that alone meant the world to me.
Seeing your Clients feel content and satisfied with their service allows you to feel proud about your work. It’s also amazing to experience their acknowledgement of your touch and care in your services and of who you are as a person.
If you'd like to get more insight on typical questions that clients ask estheticians, watch Eminence Organics skin care expert Natalie Pergar as she shares her esthetician skin care tips.
What steps are you taking to become an esthetician or to attract more Clients? Let us know in the comments below or on social media. If you’re interested in becoming an Eminence Organics Spa Partner, find out how to partner with us here.