Meet Lorraine Galindo of Haven in South Park
Today we’d like to introduce you to Lorraine Galindo.
Lorraine, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
Since the age of 18, I have always been in the customer service industry. Impeccable customer service has always been the strong base to all of my work. I worked for Nordstrom for several years and was a manager for two of those. The last couple years of working for Nordstrom I was a makeup artist for Bobbi Brown cosmetics. I fell in love with the idea of revealing to people what I found so beautiful about them. I was good at it. I was always able to really listen and understand what my clients needed. That gift still serves me today. Makeup had always been a natural talent of mine ever since I was young I was always the girl who did everyone’s makeup for school dances, going out or special events. My mother was a cosmetologist. I used to marvel over her as she got ready for parties, events or even when she would just get ready for work. I paid so close attention to every detailed step. I loved those times with her.
The reaction I received from my clients started to change me. It felt so good to make people feel so beautiful. That moment when they would look at themselves in the mirror was priceless. I thought to myself, wow, I could do this for a living? I could actually create a career by making people feel beautiful, which in turn made me feel so wonderful. It was the first time work made me feel like I was a part of something special. I was sold.
Just two years in working for Bobbi Brown cosmetics decided that I would be professionally more credible if I got my esthetician license. I worked full-time and parallel to that put myself through school. While in school I worked as a traveling freelance makeup artist for Bobbi Brown cosmetics, an account executive for Peter Thomas Roth Clinical Skincare and June Jacob Spa Collection. There were countless sleepless nights going to school full time and working full time. It took a lot of incredible hard work and dedication during that time. That was 14 years ago when I got my esthetician license. After working in the field for a couple of years I decided to open up my own business called Just Skin. That was over 10 years ago.
I started off renting a room in a local yoga studio called The Chula Vista Yoga Center. I’ve moved to a few locations after that until I opened up my first storefront in Northpark. I was there for a few years then just about five years ago I opened up my space in South Park. Every space I moved to was just a little bit bigger and just a little bit better. At the same time, I became a better practitioner, a better business owner and then eventually was able to increase my staff. I grew my business slowly and my eyes were always wide open to every lesson I had to learn along the way. It was never easy but the payoff was so much greater.
Has it been a smooth road?
I think it’s important to understand that when you decide to open up your own business, it’s never a smooth ride. You start to learn lessons along the way that guide you and in most times in completely different directions from what you initially thought. You have to be malleable in those moments. You have to take the lessons as they come and act upon those lessons moving forward. I wouldn’t say when I opened my doors I knew exactly what running a business would entail. Whatever I didn’t understand I did the research and found out what I needed to know. I had to learn how to be an impeccable practitioner, a good leader and smart business owner all at once. I had to wear a lot of hats.
One of my biggest struggles was when I decided to let go of my steady income of being a traveling makeup artist as well as an account executive for a skin care line. I surrendered that steady pay check and consistent guaranteed work environment. It was time to take a leap of faith and dedicate all of my time to building my clientele within Just Skin. If I were going to build my clientele I had to have that availability to receive them. It was so hard to jump in faithfully; not 100% sure of what my next paycheck would look like. With the support of family and friends I trusted my skill set and ability to work very hard.
Just a few weeks in, I had had a very slow work week and was feeling discouraged. I remember being alone in my treatment room leaning my back against the wall and sliding my bottom to the floor. As I had my knees tucked in close I just held my cheeks and cried. I know that I did not allowing myself too long of a pity party. In that moment I was defeated. One thing I did know was that I was resourceful and an incredibly hard worker. I had faith that I was strong and knew I could persevere just with hard work alone. I got myself up and started making calls to clients who I haven’t seen in a while; working for Nordstrom for all of those years really paid off.
I would never say no to one single client. Even if it was just one person in that day, I made sure that it was the most perfect service. That they knew that they were the only person that existed to me during that time with me. Every single client was so valuable to me. Even if it was a small appointment like an eyebrow shaping, it was the world to me. Clients felt that from me. They could feel the difference between what it was like for me to take care of them in comparison to being another number at busy spa. Spending just a few extra moments with clients made the difference. Our services now are still longer than what is typical.
I really realized along the way that it wasn’t just about making people feel beautiful but it was also about healing bodies and healing skin. This is how I serve my community. They’re so much intention in every service. Whether it’s an eyebrow or a full facial treatment or doing a bride’s makeup on her wedding day. Here at Just Skin we really honor the exchange between practitioner and Client.
I am well aware as a full-time business owner, a wife and a mother of two little ones, that it is incredibly hard in today’s culture to carve out time for self-care. I really honor that time and bring my absolute best to each client. There is never an exception to that. This is also what I train my employees to understand when they come to work with me at Just Skin. We are not the typical spa.
So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Just Skin story. Tell us more about the business.
Our mission isn’t just about facials and waxing. It’s about creating relationships with people. It’s about healing skin. Most external skin issues go much deeper than the right skin care regimen. Diet and self-care have so much to do with the activity in your skin. We look at the whole person when customizing the right treatment for clients. We always use top-of-the-line products. Every employee is offered a Reiki certification. Our treatments are longer than what is typical in the industry. This helps us create more space for people, this is how we serve. At Just Skin we make sure that every person feels as though they were the first person we are seeing in that day. Each of our practitioners goes through extensive one on one training with me before they are allowed to be available to clients. Continued education is always a top priority.
One of my motivations to opening up Just Skin was having the ability to really customize the client experience.
Just Skin is a by appointment only spa. Being available to the client and really building a good relationship is everything to us.
Our prices are very competitive with no exception on quality. We use top of the line skin care products in the treatment room. We have a small boutique with beautiful items for sale. One of our main lines that we offer is Glo Skin Beauty and its complete line of makeup.
Our specialty would be our customized facials. This is definitely what we are known for. We offer calming and relaxing facials as well as chemical peels, microdermabrasion. We really focus on results driven facials and skin care. I really believe that this is the only way to a noticeable difference in your skin. Acne prone skin is definitely a strength as well.
Massage services are also offered at Just Skin. We have two incredible massage therapists. They both are very well-versed in several different modalities to customize the perfect massage.
Just Skin also offers Airbrush Special Occasion and Bridal makeup services. We also offer a group classes as well as one on one makeup lessons.
We spent a lot of time in our consultations to really understand what the client needs. Whether it be a facial, a massage or a makeup application we take the time to customize everything for the client.
We have such an incredibly talented staff at Just Skin. Every single person brings so much to the table. We learned so much from each other. I feel inspired each and every day that I get to work with my staff at Just Skin. I can proudly say that I have had clients that have been with me for over 10 years now. That loyalty shows me that I’ve been doing something right.
How do you think the industry will change over the next decade?
I think the spa industry itself is booming right now and in the next 5-10 years I expect more and more growth. People are understanding the need for self-care and are making time for themselves to do that. I think for so many years in this country everyone was focused on work, work, work – which in-turn has caused a lot of undue stress. The spa industry has helped to curb some of that stress and let people refocus on themselves.
One of the shifts happening right now with more and more male clients coming into the shop, which we think is great. Men need the time to unwind just as much as everyone else.
Another trend I see is that clients are looking for more natural and cruelty free ingredients and product. These products are readily available at Just Skin.