"Excellence in Education… One Student at a Time" has been the guiding principle of Annette Hanson, president of Atelier Esthétique® Institute of Esthetics in New York City. Her professional experience spans 30 years, making her a renowned skin care expert and published author in industry periodicals, as well as a sought after lecturer at leading professional conferences worldwide. Annette was instrumental in the development of the 600-hour curriculum for the New York State aesthetics license and she was appointed by New York's Secretary of State to serve as educator on the Appearance Enhancement Advisory Committee for aesthetics, nails and cosmetology. Among her many accomplishments, she was a founding board member of the National Coalition of Esthetic & Related Professional Associations (NCEA) for four years; she was recently voted into the Leadership Committee of the ASCP Skin Care School Council (Associated Skin Care Professionals); and her crowning achievement has been her induction as an Aesthetics International Association (A.I.A) industry legend, in which she appeared on the cover of the August 2009 edition of DERMASCOPE magazine.
My parents taught me to be dedicated, work hard and you will succeed in whatever you do in life. Through their hard work and commitment to taking care of their customers they made their business successful. That truism, the "customer-is-always-right" attitude, has been my guiding principle. I am proud to say that it is my 27th year in business as a female business owner in New York City. In September 1985, I opened Atelier Esthétique® Institute of Esthetics and since then I have graduated over 1,000 aestheticians. Every day I learn from my students! It is a wonderful feeling, being able to offer my knowledge to young aestheticians, spa managers and school owners – providing an avenue for me to divulge lessons I have learned both positive and negative. Throughout my professional journey what has surprised me the most is how misunderstood the aesthetics industry was back in the 1980s. When one landlord heard that I was having seaweed delivered, he sent me a letter saying that I could not serve food on the premises. Another landlord accused me of running a brothel when I asked his permission to have a shower installed for body treatments. Customer service is the key to why people visit, or return, to a particular spa. People always remember how they were treated, and they will return for that experience over and over again. Continuing education is also important! The best clinics invest in the continuing education of their team. A clinic director must encourage and require continuing education in order to keep their team current with new treatments, knowledgeable in matters of safety, and continuously polish sales skills. Adaptations are necessary to remain relevant in the aesthetics industry! About five years ago, when it became very apparent that laser technology was not just a fad, I created a laser curriculum which was subsequently approved by the state of New York; and to date, this program has been extremely successful. It is easy to let your responsibilities to your students and employees dictate how you run your life. You must take time for yourself. If you do not take care of yourself, then you will not be focused and strong enough to take care of others.