National Esthetician Month continues on the My Friends Use This blog with our first interview with our friend and amazing esthetician Emily Stites! This is a good one and we can't wait to share it with you...
Q: We are so excited to be featuring you for National Esthetician Month!! Introduce yourself and how you got started in the industry.
A: Thanks so much for the feature. My name is Emily Stites and I got started on the industry through the owner’s wife of a big fancy resort I worked partirme at! She freaking loved her job and I did NOT love mine (which is why I had to work a second job at the resort restaurant) I also got a discount at the SPA at the resort so you know I took full advantage of that. The esthetician there was so amazing I thought, maybe I could do this one day. She got me totally HOOKED on spray tanning. Once I learned I didn’t have to be licensed to do that I bought a machine and started doing that + makeup. Then quit my full time job & went to beauty school and continued to work at the restaurant then transfer to their spa once I was licensed.
Q: We love that you had so much ambition to get started in the industry and amazing mentors to inspire you! Anyone that follows you now is not surprised AT ALL by the ambitious start you had. Your business has changed and grown so much over the last year. You have so much drive and it feels like every decision is made with great intent. Can you talk to us about some of the ways your business is changing now? What direction are you headed in?
A: Boy, life has changed! I have now two kids, a husband, a 1951 fixer upper home, a full salon suites with a store front, and one really clicky sore wrist. I get migraines & have neck pain that causes numbing in my pinkies.
So I have had to switch gears to focus on creating some passive income to keep my passion alive and body healthy. I can no longer work 5 days a week bent over, doing such precise fine motor with my hands.
This is 31 I guess- needless to say my body has been through a lot.
Suffering from major depression in my first trimester of my pregnancy loosing 12 lbs then quickly gaining so much weight and working bent over 6 days a week through my pregnancy playing catch up from the shut down.
The big picture goal was to always to teach + train other estheticians using products I love and believe in that they too can use and sell.
So here we are, I have had to majorly slow down on clients and ramp up on product production.
This includes creating blogs, social media presence, website and online store. I am such a face to face person that sitting my ass down to do ”computer work” is like NOT my jam. But I know I can’t work the way I used to so I am embracing the change. Focusing on doing things at my own pace. It’s a challenge, I have never had a desk job or have ever had to sit in front of a computer for more than 10 mins at a time.
Most of my thoughts, blog post ideas come from me being in the treatment room. I usually jump on social media and share my thoughts instantly. I’m trying to be more methodical about things I put out.
I recently spoke at a conference to a room full of eager esthetician’s and that TOTALLY filled up my cup. I am so hopeful to do more and more of that.
I am a pretty open book in my DMs on Instagram and really connect with and help and share things to other professionals there- so I want to do more of that on a more professional level.
Q: Okay so we are curious, has it been hard to leave parts of your original business behind so you can peruse new ones? As small biz owners this seems SO difficult to us so we want all the tips you have.
A: Absolutely it has been difficult to leave such familiar comforting parts of my business to pursue new bigger, scarier things.
I had to take all the emotion out of it. I had to use my spreadsheet to make the ultimate decisions. That's my tip for anyone feeling a shift, check out the numbers and dig deep into your physical and mental capacity.
I looked at the financial side of course- but I also had to look at my time capacity and see on a chart that I simply could NOT do that myself and would have to hire that out. So UPPPP went the $$$ on that part of the spreadsheet. I was honestly baffled by the parts of my business that were losing money!
I also double checked the part of my business that sparked joy, the things I didn't want to give up. I really tried to manipulate the spreadsheets to make it work and it did not. However it wasn't part of my business, meaning it wasn't making money or sense. So I just transferred that portion to someone who wanted to take that project full time, so it worked out.
Q: Literally such good advice. I feel like every business HAS to have things that are so draining or things that are loosing money. On paper it’s simple - make spreadsheets, analysis your data and LET THINGS GO that aren’t serving you or your business. In reality though, I feel like emotionally it is a hard thing especially for small business owners. Like you said, you had to take the emotion out of it. How did you go about that?
A: Lots of therapy. LOL. But I am dead serious. After Covid my waitlist got extremely backed up and it was causing a huge toll on me- it felt like a pile of debt I had to pay off. I had to detach my self from that and I didn’t know how, so I got help with that (& so much more)
I also sat down with my numbers guy, Rolando and had him look at everything (twice) he was like, don’t complicate things. And this doesn’t work. It doesn’t work no matter how many times I looked at it.
Also I had a baby at home and time is SO precious when you literally watch them change overnight. So it was easy choice to make when I saw something taking so much of my time and getting money to support my family in exchange. I was not going to give up my precious time with my baby for literally nothing.
Q: Major props to you for taking care of yourself like that and thank you for sharing that with us. I feel like this can apply to estheticians, small business owners and women all over. Prioritizing yourself and your family, making time for things that matter and letting GO of things that don’t serve you.
Do you have any resources that helped you during this transition phase?
A: Resources that helped me, Carin from Sterling Business Solutions, hiring a virtual assistant Heather and my *spreadsheets*! I also am a part of the Small Business Development Center which is a HUGE help!
Q: If you have ONE tip for pros and ONE tip for everyone at home, what would they be?
A: Pros- go your own way. Everybody has a different goal and success looks different to everyone. It’s a lot of competition. Just remember this is a business and you deserve to get paid. It’s easy to slip into debt when you feel like you’re competing with all the cute sh*t on Instagram. If you can’t afford that neon sign right now, don’t buy it. Invest in things that will make you money (like an assistant) or upgraded online booking.
And, for everyone at home doing their own brows- pick one day a month and tweeze. Do NOT tweeze everyday or often randomly. Oh and Trim each hair individually- don’t cut straight across nor a lot at once. Trust me on this.
Q: Where can we find you?
A: On Instagram @thebrowfox and @suitespotslo, online at www.thrbrowfox.com! Pros, don't forget to check out https://brow-fox-beauty.myshopify.com for all of your back bar and retail needs!