As we celebrate International Women’s Day and reflect on all of the absolutely incredible women in our lives, I sat down with the three founders of the revolutionary FaceHaus, basically the DryBar of facials, to hear about their entrepreneurial journey and how they banded together to create a unique experience for women seeking affordable skincare. It’s one of my favorite places to go to for some self-love pampering days, but it’s not your typical spa – an open floor plan, with one room treating several ladies at once – think of it more like your favorite upscale nail salon. I’ve been curious about how this vision came to life, so I was excited to chat with these three women about how they came together to start such an unusual, yet amazing, wellness destination.
What prompted you to start FaceHaus?
(Dawn Olmstead) After a facial birthday party that broke the bank, we went on the hunt for a great facial that we could afford on the regular. We all agreed that if there was place where we could just walk in – like a nail salon or Drybar – and get an affordable facial, we would have gone right then. We hatched a plan to look into creating a facial place that was open-concept and affordable. A year later we opened our first one in Studio City.
What was the biggest obstacle you faced while starting this venture together?
(Jenn Worley) Inventing a new concept, disrupting an industry, pushing into uncharted territory… it’s all hard! If you allow the nay-sayers, the odds, the critics and the unknown stop you from something, you’ll never know what would’ve grown from an idea. The key is to surround yourself with supportive, positive people, to know your own weaknesses, and partner with people that fill those gaps.
My co-founders are incredible, high-achieving brilliant women that inspire and care for both what they do professionally, and for their awesome families (we have 14 kids between us!). The newer members of our Face Haus management team are equally incredible, fantastic people who bring a wealth of experience and wisdom to this growth process. The key is collaboration, open-mindedness, honesty, and respect for each other.
That which we are, we are one equal temper of heroic hearts, made weak by time and fate, but strong in will. To strive, to seek, to find and not to yield!Tennyson
What’s one tip you’d give to those who want to start a business?
(Dawn) So many people have great ideas for businesses, but they are paralyzed by that first step. The most important thing is to trust your gut and take baby steps. The first baby step we took for Face Haus was to name the facials. This was not only fun, but made it feel real. The next thing we did was make a list of what we look for in a salon or spa that makes us feel that the place is clean, smart and premium. The last baby step was to meet with a rep for a premium skincare line to ask questions about pricing and marketplace. This saleswoman (yes, another amazing woman) oversaw all of North America for that line and said no one is doing what we wanted to do with Face Haus. That’s when we moved from baby steps to real steps.
What are two ways skin care contributes to overall health and wellness?
(Karey Burke) One fact we learned when creating FH was that skin issues and acne can cause serious depression and anxiety; particularly in teens. We wanted to create a safe haven for people to learn to treat their problem skin, with affordable and non-medical solutions. All three of us founders have skin cancer in our families, so educating clients about the importance of skin protection and cancer prevention is very important to us. Another thing we’re proud of is how many men, who never had a facial before, become regular FH clients. Men, in particular, aren’t taught the value of skin care enough and are so happy with the results when regular facials become routine.
What’s one thing most people don’t know about the benefit of facials?
(Jenn) I can speak from experience on this one because I was very naïve about all that regular, efficacious skin care and facials could accomplish. From clean, extremely high-quality products, to highly trained estheticians and cutting-edge technology, the texture, clarity and overall appearance of your skin can change dramatically. And the results are cumulative. This is what motivated us to create a service that can be done monthly,because that is when the real, long term changes happen.