Saturday, May 14, 2011

Reflections On My First Year of Business . . .

Dear Friends, Fans and "others" - - -

It's so hard to believe that I have just celebrated my first full year in business. M.D. Skin was an idea planted, nurtured, watered, weeded, and grown out of pure love and joy for skin care and customer service. I want to take this opportunity to shout out a BIG THANK YOU to all of you that have supported, encouraged and been a part of this first year! I have the BEST clients and friends in the whole world!

As I look over the client list, I am amazed to find nearly 500 names. Wow! Now if you all would just book an appointment really soon I would be a very happy girl, indeed. Every single name on this list has in some way helped to make this an extremely special year. I think I would definitely say I have a very successful start to my biz.

Oh yes there have been challenges. I opened in a room within SABRE HAIR ART that wasn't the best place to be. It was a room that divides SABRE with their sister business, THE PERFECT TEN, from one another. The problem is this caused a problem with clients that use BOTH businesses. Nail clients having their hair done and the Stylists had to go outside and around the building in order to get their service. Not a well laid plan, I would say. However, this was corrected around November when I moved to the very back room inside the building.

After contracting with a carpenter, plumber, and other talented people, I now have a lovely, very private practice room - built to my specifications - and waiting for YOUR visit. It's a warm cocoa color with soothing music and a waterfall to make your visit calm and relaxing. When the door is shut and your treatment begins you can close your eyes and start on your 55 minutes of a mini, rejuvenating vacation.

I partnered with Groupon this year and certainly give them props for helping me grow my client base. The Groupon experience taught me several things - the MOST important thing is that I don't need to partner with any discount company to offer special opportunities. Now, on the first day of every month I offer a special DEAL-OF-THE-DAY. It's a one day, EXTREMELY great deal for a particular service. Buy/book on THAT day and use THAT month only! Clients have taken advantage of this deal that is only found on the m.d. Skin facebook page (!/mdskin).
Make sure that you "like" this page so that you can be sure and not miss a single one of these once-per-month deals.

The girls of SABRE and THE PERFECT TEN have been such a joy to work and partner with. Now THEY have awesome clients! Salley, Brenda, Joy, Jenny and Adrea, along with Mary, Terry and Pat have talked me up to their wonderful clients and have been such a GIGANTIC part of helping me through my first year. Now SABRE has added Wendye and we are helping each other to add to our client family.

The biggest challenge for any new business is customers and customer retention. I feel so blessed that GROUPON brought me many new clients and helped with name branding in the Midlands. Thankfully, I have found that many of these clients have rebooked and some have begun to return on monthly basis. For those clients seriously interested in the best skin care SHOULD return every 4-6 weeks and at minimum once quarterly.

I found that I had to bring in new spray tanning equipment for faster and better results. This new machine is terrific. I am constantly trying other solutions to get the most natural, streak-free, long wearing solution. What I am using now is an organic product without any chemical or foul fragrance. My clients are very pleased and most go ahead and purchase the package to enjoy bronzing while saving a little money. Typically Wednesdays and Thursdays are pretty busy with this service. Because it's wedding season, I am spraying lots of brides, bridesmaids, and Moms. I am just loving it!

Yes, I have quite a few male clients. They present their own unique challenge: How to make them feel comfortable in what THEY PERCIEVE as a female oriented business. There is nothing uniquely "female" about skin care!!!! The thing is, when they come once they find how beneficial it is to their skin and how totally relaxing the treatment is! Spread the word, friends. m.d. Skin is male friendly! I just started a microdermabrasion series for a male client yesterday. He left saying that he couldn't wait to return next week. Yay!

Reflecting on what I would say is the single most important thing in my treatment room - besides providing the best in skin care? Customer Service and they way clients are valued. My goal is to make certain that every clients leaves feeling special and like they have just made a valuable investment in their skin. Education is so important in my treatment room. Explaining the benefit of each product, treatment and providing good "take-away" information for homecare is a huge priority.

So, there you go. Just a tiny bit of first year reflections. Man! I love my job!!! I can't think of another thing that I would love doing near as much. I have a passion for what I do and want to share that with everyone that comes through my door. I laughingly say, "Making the world a more beautiful place, one face at a time!"

I ask for your assistance in continuing to grow my business and in turn, I commit to you my very best! I just adore referrals, as we know, word-of-mouth advertising is the ultimate. When you send me three new clients, I will reward you with a FREE Signature European Facial. Thank you to Kim, Mims, Stephanie and others who have sent me several clients. You girls are the BEST!

Please let me know if there are services that you would like to have if I dont currently offer it. I will research and do my very best to bring it to you.

Also, don't forget that I have monthly drawings for products/services for skin care questions submitted on my Facebook page. Thank you to those that have submitted questions this past year. I have had a lot of fun writing blog answers to the very good questions I have received. I encourage you to go back and read the Q&As. They are quite interesting, I think.

Well . . . that's about all I have on my mind this Saturday morning. I have to go get ready for the wedding clients I have scheduled for today. Sara's getting married! Sara's getting married!

I sure hope to have you stop in for a visit soon. Please take a look at my website ( and read about all the services I currently offer. It just can't be easier to make your appointment either. Just look for the "booknow" box over on the right. Click, select your desired service, choose your day/time, fill in the blanks and you'll get an immediate confirmation email. Easey Peasy.

Make it a GREAT day, friends and I'm waiting for YOU!


m.d. Skin llc
SABRE Building
561 Meeting Street
West Columbia, SC 29169


Monday, May 2, 2011

Liz Amick
“I have a skin care question! Is eye cream really necessary? Meaning, do I need a separate moisturizer for under my eyes? I've heard different answers so I don't know what to do. Any advice would be great. Thanks!”

Great question, Liz! When I attended Aesthetics school my Instructor said a face cream is a face cream is a face cream. Inside I cringed when I heard him say this as I vehemently disagree! I also thought, “OK! This is coming from a MAN!” I KNOW eye creams!!! Eye creams are my BFF!”

Here’s the skinny, as I see it: Skin under the eyes can be prone to puffiness if fluid builds up there -- allergies and sinus problems can also cause the eyes to puff (I have personally been fighting this for the past THREE months!!!). When the skin in the peri-orbital area becomes thinner as we age and the underlying veins become more prominent, dark circles can form. This can be from heredity, lack of sleep, too much sun exposure and we all know that aging can all cause dark circles and creepiness.

Because the eye area is thinner, has no fat layer and very few oil glands, eye creams tend to be a bit more emollient, which may be too heavy for the rest of the face. A regular face cream will not address puffiness or dark circles – as there is no need to. In addition, be aware that the active ingredient in some face cream will most definitely cause irritation to the delicate eye area and should not be used there.

If you are an adult that suffers from acne and is using a face cream to address that issue, this cream should never be use in the eye area. Extreme caution should be taken as well, if someone is using a face cream with resurfacing active ingredient like Retinol, Retin-A, or a combination of any anti-aging ingredient. Yet a specific eye cream with the same active ingredient(s), with a gentler formulation will yield the results you are looking for, without the harshness, which in itself could only damage the delicate skin around the eyes.

I know how much better my makeup goes on when I am nicely moisturized and specifically how much smoother my concealer looks when I use an eye cream. In the afternoons/early evenings I even refresh my concealer with a tiny fingertip of eye cream – Wa La!

Now, Liz, as for you, maybe you don’t need an eye cream at all. I don’t know your age so I can’t speak to your youthful glow, or lack thereof. If you feel that your current face moisturizer is working for you, then by all means skip the additional product. However, I also am in the camp that believes in early prevention. I frequently have people say that I don’t look my age. I would say that is from good genes (thank you, Mother!) and preventative measures. As some of the first signs of aging begin around your eyes with those teeny tiny fine lines, a little moisturizing dose of preventative medicine might not be a bad idea.

Please note that there is not magic cream that eliminates all signs of aging over-night. No magic pill, magic wand, or magic bullet! Phooey! However, with continued use, I say you WILL see a difference!

I hope this is good information for you, Liz. An informed consumer is an armed consumer. You are now entered into the May drawing for FREE European Facial - and just for asking a simple (but good!) skin care question.

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