Esthetician, Spa Owner, and Mentor Lori Crete gets JobShadowed about her career.  You can find her at her spa, www.thespa10.com, and on her Twitter feed in the sidebar of this interview.  

What do you do for a living?

Skin Care Therapist, Licensed Esthetician, Spa Owner and Mentor/Coach to Estheticians – devoted to helping women and men from all over the world look and feel beautiful!

How would you describe what you do?

I spend my workdays giving all different types of facials (acne, anti-aging, relaxing, deep pore cleaning, microdermabrasion, micro current facial toning).  I also have a menu full of waxing services including: eyebrow waxing, full leg and arm, bikini, underarm and just about anything else that clients want hairless.  Airbrush spray tanning is also plays a big part in my spa business.

What does your work entail?

My work entails everything that I listed above and much more.  Being a licensed esthetician and spa owner I know that I must show up on time, set an example for the others who work in my spa and be reliable and educated to provide extreme value to my clients as the industry has become very saturated.  I not only give spa treatments and services to my clients, but I also oversee the financials of the spa which include: paying bills, collecting rent from others who rent space from me, organizing advertising and marketing promotions, cleaning up to ensure it looks spotless for every client who walks in the door, setting up appointments for maintenance and repairs (this week I am dealing with a broken air conditioning unit).   I am in charge of training all new estheticians that come to work at my spa.

What’s a typical work week like? 

The typical work week has changed for me over the last few years as now I not only have 2 skin care treatment centers/spas, but I have also taken on a role of leadership in the spa community.  I spend Monday and Tuesday mentoring and coaching other estheticians and spa owners: helping them set goals, overcome road blocks and find ways to increase their income and build a lucrative business.  Wednesday – Saturday I put on my spa owner/ esthetician hat and actually go to work in the spa.  I will usually arrive around 10am and work until 8pm.

This is the beauty of being a spa owner… you can really set your own hours and determine what you want your week to look like.  I choose to work hard while I am there and will see an average of 8-15 clients a day. I spend the day with my clients performing all the spa treatments that I mentioned earlier. Most of my clients have become friends so a typical day at work feels more like a social gathering to me.  I feel thankful to be so busy and am grateful that my business continued to grow throughout a very challenging economic time.

How did you get started?

Before launching a career in the industry, I spent my first 10 years out of college working with women from all walks of life as a flight attendant for a major airline. However the events of 9/11 inspired me to make a career change that I had long put off. The only answer was diving into something I was truly passionate about. My love for all things beauty started in the sixth grade while watching my best friend’s mom do leg lifts to Jane Fonda with a fresh avocado mask on her face, mayonnaise in her hair… she always look so glamorous!

Now, I own and operate two spa locations and practice as a Licensed Esthetician at both.

What do you like about what you do?

As an esthetician I love helping people achieve and maintain beautiful skin.  I love making my clients look and feel beautiful.

As a spa owner I love the fact that I provide others with a clean, friendly work environment where they can make money to provide for themselves and their family.  I love the stability of knowing that I have a business of my own and really no one to answer to when decisions need to be made.

What do you dislike?

The thing I dislike the most about being a spa owner is that sometimes the day-to-day duties take me away from being a really good esthetician to my clients.  An example of this would be when I have to suddenly become a repair man or a janitor… as an owner you will find that it’s up to you to figure out how to make everything run smoothly.

How do you make money/how are you compensated?

I am compensated as a spa owner in a number of different ways.  I rent out rooms in my  spa  for a monthly fee to other professionals in the beauty industry.  I work as a licensed esthetician in the spa and I also have a large selection of retail products available for customers to purchase.

How much money do Spa Owners make?

This is such a hard questions to answer because it varies so much.  I have seen and heard of spa owners making anywhere form $40,000 to high six-figures and more yearly.  Like any career I believe if it is your passion and you work hard at it- the sky is the limit!

How much did you make starting out?

When I started out as a licensed esthetician and spa owner 11 years ago I was making approximately $40,000 a year.

What education, schooling, or skills are needed to do this?

The schooling needed to become an esthetician is based on hours and the hours are determined by the state you live in; The Board of Barbering and Cosmetology regulate this.

To become a spa owner there really is no specific type of education, but I strongly suggest having knowledge in the following areas:  business development, marketing, the beauty and esthetic industry and some basic accounting and bookkeeping skills.

What is most challenging about what you do?

The biggest challenge I deal with being a spa owner is the fact that I also work as an esthetician in the spa.  Sometimes it is hard wearing both hats, but I feel it makes me a more “well rounded” owner as I understand many sides of what it takes to have a successful spa.

What is most rewarding?

The most rewarding parts of my job are 1. My client’s leave my spa looking and feeling beautiful 2. The fact that I have single mother’s working for me (that thank me all the time for what they have to offer their children because of the jobs that I provide for them).

What advice would you offer someone considering this career?

Get ready to work hard and reap many benefits!  The beauty industry has hit the billion dollar mark and continues to grow… if you devote time and energy you can build an wonderful place to work that can bring happiness, joy and lots of money into your life.

How much time off do you get/take?

Like I said earlier being a spa owner can be as easy or as hard as you choose to make it.  Over the last 2 years I have hired a support team and now I can step away more often.  I try to take one week a month off and focus on catching up on paper work and devoting time to others things that I enjoy doing.

What is a common misconception people have about what you do? 

That being an owner in glamorous and your employees do all the work for you.

What are your goals/dreams for the future?

I have a vision to open one more spa, which will be unique to anything that is on the market today and I would love to share, but I am holding the idea near and dear to me for the moment.

I am also committed to growing my coaching and mentoring business and I am really enjoying the time I get to spend with other spa owners and helping them see how beautiful their lives can be.

What else would you like people to know about your job/career?



Lori Crete – Skin Care Therapist, Licensed Esthetician, Spa Owner, and Creator of the Six-Figure Esthetician System™, – devoted to helping estheticians from all over the world build a business they love and earn the 6-figure income that they deserve.