Alexandra J. Zani is an international educator, researcher, and author with a background in cell biology and medical. Her passion for education resulted in receiving numerous advanced certifications, both in the United States and abroad. Zani earned an instructor license for aesthetics/cosmetology, is NCEA certified, certified in Oncology Esthetics®, and the Pastiche Method® of Skin Analysis. She is a member of the International Association for Applied Corneotherapy (IAC). Zani presents education for advanced aesthetic technology, including microcurrents, LED, and non-ablative laser. She is a specialist in the anti-aging sciences, including the effects of nutrition, lifestyle, and the mind/body connection.
- In one word, describe yourself!
- Who is your role model and why?
I have three that stand out for me because each one appeared in my career path when I was ready to leap to the next level of learning.
Earlier career: Sylvie Hennessey, Pevonia, who is an amazing educator, product developer, and pioneer that had a vision for this industry and from whom I initially learned the skin sciences and innovative skin treatments and results.
Peter T. Pugliese, M.D. - He has such a passion for scientific research, teaching the science behind esthetics, and is an amazing educator who stretched our minds during his lectures. He greatly influenced me and was a role model for teaching.
Florence Barrett-Hill, Pastiche Resources, who pioneered methodology to break through the status quo when it came to understanding the underlying causes of a skin condition and how to relate it to the client. She has taught globally to beauty therapists and medical professionals. Her innovative work and vision for more than 20 years continues to influence the professional beauty and medical skin care industries. She has a passion for what she teaches and I continue to learn from her.
- What’s something most people don’t know about you?
I spent my younger years as a nun in a religious order.
- How do you spend most of your time?
In a treatment room, writing/researching at my computer, mentoring, or teaching. I do take time out for working in my garden and singing.
- What’s your personal mantra?
Never say never.
- What’s your biggest guilty pleasure?
Ben & Jerry’s Cherry Garcia Ice cream on a 90 degree day.
- Favorite type of skin care product? Why?
A facial care product that is gentle, biologically mimetic to the skin and affective in barrier correction.
- How would you describe your leadership style and how has it benefited you throughout your career?
I lead by example, gentle coaching of an individual to help them go beyond what they think they can achieve. When managing a team, I pool together individuals who can each contribute their talent and expertise that contributes to the whole in order to achieve the end result. I also try not to micro-manage. When teaching a student, I allow them time to absorb and practice…. Let them “swim” for a while until they begin to master what they have to learn/do. Then I jump in to help re-direct when necessary. I also can only manage or teach to the level by which I am also willing to learn.
What I’ve learned is that I cannot do everything. Sometimes it is difficult to reach out and ask for assistance. We can never get to the top alone.
- What are the biggest trends in the spa industry?
Moving into a more global perspective of how our industry relates to wellness and longevity.
- What’s most important to your business: mission, core values, or vision? Why
My mission and core values run concurrently. We are here to make a difference in the life of our clients and those with whom we come in contact every day. It’s about empowering others, so the thought goes like this: Is what I say or do empower the life of another? Am I a giver or a taker? I achieve this through making sure that I continue to explore beyond the status quo and see what is possible including self-correction. Critical thinking. Customer service and caring is #1.
- What’s one characteristic you believe every leader should possess? Why?
“Compassion, patience, understanding and a vision.” We have to move beyond our own perceptions and keep an open mind to listen and be ready to transform the way we think, especially in a changing world that is growing exponentially. A company is as good as who is at the top. Without a vision, the status quo remains.
- What is the biggest challenge facing the industry today?
We are expanding into a more diverse population here in North America that appears to be facing a variety of skin and health challenges beginning at a younger age. How well do we know our clients and the whys of a skin condition? Are we ready to integrate new knowledge to meet these challenges? It is vital that our education teaches from a perspective of both science and practical application beginning with consistent curriculum and teacher training.
Deregulation of our licensing seems to be on the agenda of legislative conversations in numerous states these days. What are they thinking? What will it take to become “one voice” for this industry so that we never become de-regulated?