It’s sweater weather! As the air turns crisp and the days get shorter, we enter a new season: Pumpkin Spice-Everything Season!!! It’s also Peel Season, and the dawn of Holiday Season, and Change Your Skin Care-Routine season. In this episode, we discuss how to prepare your skin and your business for seasonal success.
ASCP Esty Talk with Maggie Staszcuk and Ella Cressman
Produced by Associated Skin Care Professionals (ASCP) for licensed estheticians, ASCP Esty Talk is a weekly podcast hosted by Maggie Staszcuk and Ella Cressman. We see your passion, innovation, and hard work and are here to support you by providing a platform for networking, advocacy, camaraderie, and education. We aim to inspire you to ask the right questions, find your motivation, and give you the courage to have the professional skin care career you desire.
About Ella Cressman:
Ella Cressman is a licensed esthetician, certified organic formulator, business owner, and absolute ingredient junkie! As an educator, she enjoys empowering other estheticians and industry professionals to understand skin care from an ingredient standpoint rather than a product-specific view.
She has spent many hours researching ingredients, understanding how and where they are sourced, as well as phytochemistry, histological access, and complementary compounds for intentional skin benefits. In addition to running a skin care practice, Cressman founded a comprehensive consulting group, the HHP Collective, and has consulted for several skin care lines, including several successful CBD brands.
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About Maggie Staszcuk:
Maggie has been a licensed esthetician since 2006 and holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Stephens College. She has worked in the spa and med-spa industry and served as an esthetics instructor and a director of education for one of the largest schools in Colorado before coming to ASCP as the Advanced Modality Specialist.
Connect with Maggie Staszcuk:
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About our Sponsors
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About Associated Skin Care Professionals (ASCP):
Associated Skin Care Professionals (ASCP) is the nation’s largest association for skin care professionals and your ONLY all-inclusive source for professional liability insurance, education, community, and career support. For estheticians at every stage of the journey, ASCP is your essential partner. Get in touch with us today if you have any questions or would like to join and become an ASCP member.
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0:00:00.5 Speaker 1: DMK is the world leader in paramedical skin revision education with certification programs designed to give licensed professionals a thorough understanding of the skin and an in-depth study of the DMK concept of remove, rebuild, protect, maintain. Created by the Botanical Visionary Danné Montague-King, DMK offers skin revision training and education for all ages, skin conditions, and ethnicities in more than 35 countries, harnessing the body's innate healing mechanisms to change the health of the skin. Learn more at dannemking.com, that's D-A-N-N-E-M-K-I-N-G dot com.
0:00:56.8 Ella Cressman: Hello, and welcome to ASCP Esty Talk. I'm Ella Cressman, your cohost, licensed esthetician, certified organic skincare formulator, and content contributor for Associated Skin Care Professionals.
0:01:09.2 Maggie Staszcuk: And I am Maggie Staszcuk, licensed esthetician and ASCP's cosmetology education manager.
0:01:15.1 EC: We have another shoutout.
0:01:15.9 MS: I love it.
0:01:16.7 EC: Her name is ____ Lily Hot. Hey, Lily. And she actually listens to our podcast on YouTube. Did you know ASCP Esty Talk is on so many different platforms?
0:01:26.4 MS: I didn't know. I didn't know we were on YouTube, so thank you for telling me that.
0:01:28.7 EC: Yeah. And I listen on my Amazon Music.
0:01:33.4 MS: Oh, okay.
0:01:33.6 EC: So that's how I listen to it. And then I used to listen to it on Podcast Addict too. So...
0:01:38.2 MS: Okay, cool. Well, I listen on ASCP's website.
0:01:41.4 EC: Oh, are you a member? [chuckle]
0:01:42.2 MS: I am. Yes, I'm a member.
0:01:43.6 EC: You must be a member. That's awesome. [laughter] Well, everybody, guess what? It's sweater weather. It's sweater weather, Maggie.
0:01:50.8 MS: Sweater weather. I can't wait.
0:01:52.1 EC: And as the air is turning crisp and the days are getting shorter, we're now entering into a new season. Pumpkin spice everything season? No, no, no, no. Yeah, kind of, but it's also peel season, the dawn of holiday season, and today we're gonna discuss how to set yourself up for seasonal success. Have you ever thought about that?
0:02:13.4 MS: I have, and such an important season in general for estheticians.
0:02:18.4 EC: Absolutely. Beauty professionals really.
0:02:20.0 MS: Yeah.
0:02:21.3 EC: And as far as estheticians, one of the things that we don't always pay attention to is ourselves, and so I think we could start by talking about our own skincare routines, right? How often do you change up your skincare routine?
0:02:37.0 MS: That's a tricky question for me to answer because I like to dabble, and my sink is chalked full of all of these random products. So I...
0:02:46.5 EC: Every Wednesday? [laughter]
0:02:47.6 MS: I'm changing it up like every night, Ella. But we're getting into sweater weather.
0:02:52.1 EC: Sweater weather.
0:02:52.4 MS: Yes, and so I definitely will start incorporating my little pumpkin peels.
0:02:57.9 EC: Pumpkin peels. Yes, absolutely. For me, something that I like to think about too is... Here's something that reminded me, one of my clients came in in the most angry skin you've ever seen all the time. So she's a regular client, comes every four weeks, but this summer, she came in and her skin looks fantastic. I'm like, "What is different?" Well, she has an evaporative cooler and it's been so hot all summer, so that means it's been humid... We live in a dry, arid climate, but in her house, it's been humid. She said, "My hair is a mess, but my skin looks great." I'm like, "Oh my gosh." So during sweater weather, seasonal changes, we have to be prepared. It's about to dry up. [chuckle] So thinking about your moisturizer, thinking about your exfoliation, as you mentioned, pumpkin peels.
0:03:40.9 MS: Yes.
0:03:41.4 EC: That's amazing. And so something else to think about during seasonal changes is organization. We're gonna talk about peel season in just a second, but speaking of your sink and all the products that you have, have ever thought about getting rid of some of them? Do you ever go through your skincare products?
0:04:00.3 MS: You bring up a really important point, because no, I don't, [chuckle] and I will open up a jar of products, like that pumpkin peel [chuckle] that I have had since the last sweater weather season, [laughter] and I'm still using it, and it probably needs to be chucked.
0:04:15.8 EC: Yeah, it's tank top season. Chuck your pumpkins. [laughter]
0:04:18.9 MS: Yeah.
0:04:19.9 EC: They do have pumpkin chunking where they catapult it. You should do that for your skincare.
0:04:22.4 MS: Yeah, [laughter] that's a different event, but yeah.
0:04:25.8 EC: This morning I was getting ready, and I... You guys know that I've been exploring natural hair stuff, but today I was like, "No, no, no, no, no." So I go up in my shelf full of stuff and I fumble through, somehow putting it back, and then all of a sudden, there was like this cascade of bottles knocking over and I'm trying to hold [laughter] them all up before they all fall, and then the second shelf started going. I'm like, "I need to get rid of what I don't need anymore." And then the same thing translates in my business. Like we have... I have a closet full of things or a cupboard full of products. I don't need them anymore, you know? Time to get rid of them. So I think this is a great time. We hear spring cleaning, but why not in the fall, right?
0:05:06.2 MS: Totally. And I think that this applies also to your retail shelves. It's a good time just to have those sales and clear out some of that old product that's been sitting there.
0:05:17.0 EC: Everybody loves a sale too. Absolutely. What about your menu, your service menu?
0:05:22.0 MS: Oh, change it up. Yeah, your clients want new stuff.
0:05:24.6 EC: Yeah. And also really focusing on what you wanna do... And there's some companies out there that offer these seasonal products that you can add to lure new clients in, but also, what do you wanna focus on? So you can have a pumpkin spiced eyebrow wax, if you don't wanna wax anymore, or orange lashes, if you don't wanna lash anymore, you know?
0:05:45.4 MS: Oh, totally, yeah. I mean, there's a fine line, don't get too cheeky, because I think that can sometimes turn off your clients, but like you're saying, incorporate maybe some more holiday sense or treatments that are focused on exfoliation and hydration into your menu.
0:06:01.0 EC: Speaking of holidays, there's a couple of things with this. I think what we need to be aware of too is the holiday schedule. It gets nuts. We have so many different activities, so many parties, and we may be talking about this, you may think, "Well, it's really early to talk about this." But is it? Because remember, we're preparing the public as well, so we have to be there to get them ready. So thinking now, your holiday schedule, what days are you gonna be closed, but also what is... Anticipating what's gonna come. If you're a lash artist, you're gonna be nuts around... Right before Christmas, right before Thanksgiving, also right before New Year's Eve. So planning that, planning accordingly, 'cause it's also if you have kids there's a lot of activities going on right around that time. If you do spray tans, what about a special, 'cause people don't necessarily think about them until it's too late; reminding them, Here this one week it's gonna be bronze Thursday week, or whatever, whatever you wanna do. But thinking about those kind of specials that you can offer in anticipation of Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year's and so on.
0:07:07.0 EC: And then also setting the holiday mood in organizing not just your Christmas holiday decorations but all your holiday decorations. Are you ready, do you have too many pumpkins? Have you ever... I mean, I love to decorate, but I hate to un-decorate. So...
0:07:22.8 MS: Oh, totally.
0:07:23.3 EC: After the season I just chuck it in the closet and I'm good. And so when I get it... It seems like it takes a lot more time when I'm removing them all out, checking it out and paring down. 'Cause some of them aren't like... You collect over the years and then you've got all of these snow things, you know.
0:07:40.8 MS: Yeah.
0:07:40.9 EC: So thinking about that and setting a holiday mood, so setting something that you can take from October, let's say, until January. Let's talk about peels season.
0:07:48.3 MS: Lets do it.
0:07:50.7 EC: It's a good one. So when you're talking about peels season and sweater weather, prepare. Are you gonna offer single peels or a series of peels?
0:08:00.4 MS: I think that, in general, you should just be marketing your peels as you're entering into the sweater weather season.
0:08:08.1 EC: Mm-hmm.
0:08:09.0 MS: And offer both because... Well, I don't know, because I think that there are those people that are gonna come in and want just one peel, but as an esthetician, I think it's always best to do a series.
0:08:23.1 EC: What does your series look like?
0:08:23.9 MS: My series looks like a series of three.
0:08:25.9 EC: Same. Oh.
0:08:27.3 MS: And then re-evaluate.
0:08:28.3 EC: I love it, I'm on that page. And then you can look at doing the single. And I love that because we're jumping into the season. We're changing... There's a lot of seasons that we can allude to, right now we're talking about a calendar season, but there's also lifetimes seasons. And so you might need a shift or something. And so the series of three, right now it seems like people... In this time people are in the mood for that.
0:08:52.9 MS: Oh, they are.
0:08:53.6 EC: It's a lot easier to have compliance with that.
0:08:56.6 MS: Totally. And you mentioned that we're gonna start coming up very quickly on these major holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas, and this is the time to start planting that into people's minds, because they don't want to be getting it when it's too late. So, Thanksgiving is, let's say, in a week, and they're now coming to you saying, I want a chemical peel because in one week I need to look amazing for all my family coming to town. Well, in a week you may still be peeling and not look appropriate.
0:09:28.2 EC: Oh, good point. There's this saying, Measure twice, cut once. So another important thing is to pick the appropriate solution. So in this case, in Maggie's example here, maybe more extensive chemical peel isn't the one, but there are solutions that could provide that result. But thinking and planning ahead. So be aware of what solutions are out there, think twice about their long-term schedule, what they've got going on, what they've got coming up, and pick the appropriate solution. Also have fun with it. I don't think there's anything histologically beneficial about a series of three glycolic appeals necessarily. Don't be afraid to switch it up as to what does the skin need that day.
0:10:14.5 MS: I love what you said there about what the skin needs that day, because... And that goes back to conversations we've had a million times about consulting and analyzing your client's skin. Because, generally speaking, your client's skin may be X, Y, Z, but from day to day it's still changing. And also to the point of doing a peel that is appropriate for the client's life in that moment.
0:10:40.7 EC: And also their skin changes from the initial consultation to their second appointment because you've put them on home care.
0:10:47.1 MS: Yeah.
0:10:47.3 EC: So that's the other thing. Do you have supporting retail for peel season? You better get it, because it's sweater weather. It's sweater weather.
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0:11:41.4 EC: So speaking of retail during holiday season, don't forget to order your holiday retail. Many companies have holiday boxes, holiday gift sets, stocking stuffers, and it's time to stock up. Not in November necessarily, but in October, ahead of time.
0:11:57.7 MS: Yeah, leverage that because they make it so easy for you, putting together those little packs, and it makes it perfect for the client to just purchase and there's a gift for the friends and the family.
0:12:09.0 EC: And get it in time to take pictures and put them in your newsletters if you do. Put them on your social media...
0:12:14.7 MS: Oh, I love that idea.
0:12:14.8 EC: If you do. I get excited when I see people opening boxes. Look what we have, oh my gosh! And that pumps people up. It also initiates them to make an appointment, Hey... Oh yeah, I forgot, I need one too. Though don't forget. Also, what are your gift certificate specials or your own seasonal specials? What are yours? What are your favorite? Have you ever had a good one?
0:12:38.4 MS: No.
0:12:40.1 EC: I struggle. Why don't you think about it? I'm glad you took your time on that one.
0:12:47.0 EC: She's like, no, uh, I was like, No, I'm done with this ____ aesthetician. Anyways, for me, one of my biggest fails was a buy one, get one gift certificate.
0:12:57.0 MS: Oh, that didn't work out for you?
0:12:58.4 EC: Not at all.
0:12:58.5 MS: Why?
0:12:58.6 EC: It was like buy one first... This is like probably 10 years ago buy one for 75, get one for 25. Because it was a nightmare to track.
0:13:06.6 MS: Okay.
0:13:06.7 EC: It was a tracking nightmare, and it could have been because I didn't have the systems in place to do that.
0:13:11.6 MS: Mm-hmm.
0:13:13.2 EC: In my mind, I'm like, Oh, this is brilliant, [laughter] but it just did not turn out really well, and a lot of people didn't... People didn't bite the way I thought they were going to for that.
0:13:20.3 MS: Yeah.
0:13:21.5 EC: So I think it works for some people. Based on my experience, what I would suggest is having a good plan then.
0:13:27.8 MS: Yeah.
0:13:27.9 EC: How are you gonna track them, how are you going to follow who had what? Because I was selling $75 to this person and giving the $25 to the purchaser, but they were then giving those out as gifts. [chuckle]
0:13:42.4 MS: Okay.
0:13:43.3 EC: Which was fine. But it just wasn't what I had intended.
0:13:47.6 MS: So that makes me think of Groupon. A lot of people, especially when Groupon first came about, it was... They would offer the deal through Groupon and then when the client came in, say, "I will extend this offer to you again now privately between me and you". It's almost kind of like the same thing if you're doing a buy one, get one gift card situation.
0:14:08.5 EC: Yeah, I was basically Groupon-ing. [laughter]
0:14:11.2 MS: Yeah.
0:14:11.3 EC: I was Groupon-ing before it was a thing. [laughter]
0:14:12.5 MS: Before it was a thing. Yeah.
0:14:14.7 EC: Yeah. It didn't work out for me. [chuckle] So. You just get prepared, I guess. And then are you gonna have holiday appreciation parties or open houses? Think about it, think about a good day for that because you may be planning this amazing thing for Wednesday before thanksgiving. Do you think you're gonna have a good turn-out? Probably not, and if you're doing it in December, are you gonna be okay with all your other extra outside of work responsibilities? Is this a good time? Just plan ahead. Other seasonal considerations is, does your cancellation policy cover weather-related issues?
0:14:50.8 MS: That is such a good thing, and I have never thought about that as an esthetician, and I bet there are a lot of estheticians out there that don't write that into their policy.
0:15:01.0 EC: It's not in mine. It's not in mine. I give a lot more grace 'cause I think I have other things to do. So sometimes... I gotta be honest, sometimes so I'm grateful when people miss last minute. It happened on Tuesday, somebody was like, I can't make it. I'm so sorry, and I'm like, "Oh, you know what, it happens." But that's because I had a bunch of other... Taxes to do and stuff, so I wasn't as upset, but definitely plan for it and be understanding or what is your threshold, is it two inches of snow is at a certain temperature, is it ice, whatever it is, make sure it's concise so that you have something to provide to your clients. And how about national holidays affecting your work week? Some people share rooms. Right.
0:15:45.0 MS: Yeah.
0:15:45.1 EC: I have it Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday. And then somebody else has it Thursday, Friday, Saturday. So if you have Christmas and New Year's they are always a week apart, on Tuesday, New Year's eve, Christmas Eve, those affect your day so planning ahead for that would be my suggestion. What do you think?
0:16:00.9 MS: I agree with you, especially, again, you bring up another really good point. If you're sharing space with another esthetician, having that mapped out ahead of time and knowing what your business hours are going to be, especially when you run into those holidays.
0:16:15.2 EC: Absolutely. There's two other seasons that we kind of need to mention. One is political season, so be prepared that we've got an election, a midterm election coming up. And this is my least favorite... Normally, mid-term elections are no big deal, it's usually Presidential election time, but this is my least favourite time because everyone has such a passionate position, and you learn a lot about your clients. Understand that you work for them. [laughter] Listen, and don't... I would suggest not sharing your opinion unless it matches up, but also don't judge if they have an opposing opinion.
0:16:54.1 MS: Yeah, and I think just in general, it's a good philosophy to not engage when it comes to those types of topics. And I used to always teach my esthetic students that there should be this level of professionalism where they are your client, you are the professional, and you guys are not best friends. And it may feel like that over time, but what you're choosing to tell your client and what they are choosing to tell you should be two very different things. So sometimes you hear in the industry that you're like a therapist to your client and they are divulging to you whatever they choose, all kinds of things about their life. But that doesn't mean that you necessarily should also be opening up, sharing all kinds of personal things about you. And so find where that threshold is for you and still maintain this decorum and professionalism and not engage, so to speak. I don't know how else to put that.
0:17:48.7 EC: I would agree. I think that's the key thing. And also watch your social media too.
0:17:53.4 MS: Oh, totally, yeah, I mean, we've talked about that before too, that your social media, you can have your personal private social media and your business social media, and they are two very different things.
0:18:02.9 EC: Absolutely and they should stay separate, that's why I don't put a lot of personal anymore, and the other one... And it's funny 'cause we're talking about this busy season because it's gonna get busy and it's gonna get crazy, and a lot of people make a good chunk of their money at this time, but then it slows down. So prepare for the slow season, not just financially, but prepare wisely. Check out a class? Watch out an educational video, listen to a podcast, or listen to a bunch of podcasts, get caught up. [laughter] And this is something important. What do you think?
0:18:37.6 MS: I totally agree. It's a great opportunity to do continuing education, this is oftentimes why you have all your trade shows in the summer season. But we also have talked about right now we're entering into chemical peel season. While following chemical peels, you then can be doing more of your nourishing treatments and your facials. And so getting your client on a treatment plan that carries them through the whole year is really important.
0:19:04.9 EC: Absolutely, and that commitment, that relationship building also encourages retail sales, which is passive income, which we've talked about too. So just keeping them... Hooking them and keeping them. Now, listeners, we really wanna hear from you, what are your thoughts on seasonal shifts, do you prepare? Be sure to comment on our social media platforms especially Instagram and Facebook, or reach out via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. We wanna know all the details. Also let us know you're listening. Be sure to hashtag shoutout #ascpestytalk and we can't wait to acknowledge that we see you hearing us. In the meantime, thank you for listening to ASCP Esty Talk. For more information on this episode or for ways to connect with Maggie or myself, or to learn more about ascp. Check out the show notes. And stay tuned for the next episode of ASCP Esty Talk.