I have been a licensed skin care professional since 1994. After graduating there were no teaching jobs in Neb. so I moved to Texas to be a purchasing agent for the Federal Bureau of Prisons. How did you transition from a nine year career with the Federal Bureau of Prisons into aesthetics? I decided that I wanted to have more control over my work environment, so I took a leap of faith, quit my job, and enrolled in beauty school full time. Once I graduated from beauty school, I was clueless; I really didn’t know where to work or what to do. I knew how to give a facial and how to wax so I rented out an office in a business park and put an ad in the yellow pages. My lucky break was when I was hired as an instructor and later account manager for a skin care company. What have the various professional roles that you’ve held taught you and how have they impacted your life? Being an instructor and account manager I learned how to help aestheticians be successful. Starting my own skin care business, I learned that without clients, I have no business and that it is important to set boundaries and not let people take advantage of you… because they will. The constant theme that has led me from one point to the next throughout my training and career is something that my parents always said to my siblings and I - that we didn’t have to be the best but we had to do our personal best, as a result I always strive to do my best. Realizing you are also a manufacturer and educator, how would you suggest one cuts through all the marketing to find the line(s) that are right for them? I like to do business with people I like and respect, and products and equipment that work. The most important thing I would look for as an aesthetician, and what I do look for as a manufacturer and educator, is reputable companies who care about my success at the time of purchase as well as after the purchase.
Kathleen Carney’s advice for anyone who just recently made a career change into the field of aesthetics, or is thinking about making one is:
Don’t go it alone; choose a product line that offers classes, business tools and support, and never forget that without clients you have no business! The majority of your time should be on building a clientele; the biggest mistake I see aestheticians make is spending all their time “decorating, creating, and recreating” – not servicing clients. You don’t need to reinvent the wheel. You simply need to be where your clients or potential clients are so you can connect with them.
Do you have any regrets, or is there any one thing you can point to and think, “I wish I would have done that differently” or “if only I had known then what I know now.” Please explain.
Growing up in the middle of a large Irish Catholic family, I always thought I would get married and raise a family. If I had known then what I know now, I would have become a dermatologist or stayed an educator or account manager because I am very creative and I love helping people. In those positions, I had a lot more free time, a lot less responsibility, a lot more fun, and people appreciated me a lot more. Although I am very proud of what I have accomplished, I feel like I have worked too hard and missed out on too much of life. Another regret is that I didn’t come out with a custom blended foundation system instead of mineral makeup back in 2000 (it is everywhere now) but I am formulating one right now and it is going to be awesome! Customization creates customer loyalty!
Do you have a signature treatment that your clients love – a classic of sorts? What makes it so loved?
Our aestheticians do not offer a pampering day spa facial or the invasive medical treatments. Our goal is achieving the healthiest, youngest looking skin possible for each of our clients using the safest, most natural means available. We love using professional results-oriented machines not available anywhere except in licensed skin care professionals’ offices. Instead of a signature treatment (which is only one treatment) we prefer to sell Facial Membership Packages, and we have one to fit every budget. We tell our clients that their “Best Face Forever” treatment budget should be their age times four, unless of course, we are trying to correct a specific problem or gearing up to look great for a special event. Our top of the line service is Estie’s Jet, Sculpt, and Muscle Toning Facial Treatment; we treat the skin on four levels: Epidermis, follicles, subcutaneous or dermal layer, and muscles. We use sterile saline solution to cleanse and exfoliate the skin followed by radio frequency to stimulate collagen production in the dermis, then ultrasound for more collagen synthesis and to penetrate products into freshly exfoliated skin, and finally a mixture of micro and macro currents for amazing lifting and toning results.
What adaptations have you made over the years to stay relevant in the treatment room?
I think it is important to do services that your client can’t do at home and can’t get anywhere else. Clients will pay more for results and customization! When I started doing facials, I had an analyzation lamp, an extractor, a steamer, and a hot towel cabbie. I could do an enzymatic exfoliation, a detoxifying massage, and a moisture replenishing mask. Today I am able to get real results for my clients working on all three levels of skin. For the dermis, I use our Estie Jet that works like a power washer and allows me to do lymphatic drainage, follicle cleansing, exfoliation, and oxygen/supplement infusion all with one machine. It utilizes sterile saline solution sprayed on the skin at supersonic speed. To tighten the subcutaneous layer of the skin, I use our Estie Sculpt, a machine that utilizes radio frequency that heats up the deeper dermis to generate new collagen production. I use our Estie Lift, a machine that delivers both macrocurrent and microcurrent on the muscles of the face which gives my clients lifting that lasts.