Estheticians. The esthetics industry. If you’re unsure exactly what that involves, you’re not alone. There continue to be different definitions, depending on who you ask. Sadly, gender stereotypes abound, and women estheticians do not always get the respect they deserve for their work. To speak on this issue, among other things, licensed master esthetician and skincare expert Emily Trampetti comes over for an interview.
Disclosure: This sponsored post aims to explain and cut through the gender stereotypes associated with the esthetics industry. It also serves as a resource for women interested in becoming business owners in this field.
Interview with Emily Trampetti
Emily is the founder and CEO of Skin Property. She provides her clients with advice on improving their skincare routine and all things skin-related based on their present life situations, emotional changes, skin type, and more.
Welcome, Emily! It’s great to have you here.
Can you please tell us a bit about why and when you started Skin Property?
I started Skin Property back in 2019, after being incredibly disappointed with my experience working with dermatologists and other established spas in Chicago. I am very passionate about skin health and sanitation when it comes to treatment facilities, and let’s just say I was blown away with what some spas are doing and NOT doing.
Since this is a second career for me, I am not messing around, and my intention is to give my absolute all to my clients, and I just couldn’t do so in the existing infrastructures that were available. So I decided to create Skin Property, which started out as my dream of creating the most sanitary, relaxing and effective skin treatment studio in the country.
The name of Skin Property came to me with the idea that our skin is the most important investment property we own, and that caring for it properly over the years will leave us happier, healthier, and confident inside and out. So many of my treatments were meant to do just that – help you take the best care of your skin property!
Today, Skin Property Progressive Spa has transitioned to Skin Property Virtual Esthetics. Through a pandemic pivot, along with also trying to reach more people outside of Chicago with my skincare education and results, I decided to use my experience to create a unique process in which everyone could get Skin Property results at home on their own.
It essentially is skincare coaching, and you can achieve these results anywhere. In fact, today I have clients from 15 different states, Puerto Rico, and the EU.
I like the idea of our skin as our best investment property! I’m curious, what does it take to be a successful woman in the esthetics industry?
Success needs to be self-defined and determined. If we measure ourselves against others, or even others’ definition of success, we will never feel successful. As the great Theodore Roosevelt once said, “comparison is the thief of joy.”
The best way to be successful is to create goals for yourself that are SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-based). These types of goals ensure you always have something to work towards, which keeps you growing and learning. And if you continue to learn, that is success in itself!
You define success well. As a woman business owner, what are some challenges you have experienced?
The skincare and beauty industry is still very female-dominated, which is a different world for me since working in corporate America out of college. In my old career, I had to deal with “man-splaining” and being underpaid, but now my biggest challenges come from my previous peers thinking I downgraded my career – and by effect losing some of their respect as a business person.
Aka, I must no longer be a smart, business-minded person if I quit my “business” job to give facials. And yes, on a financial basis, I definitely took a major hit when I left my high-paying consultant gig to go back to esthetics school and become an esthetician.
But deep down, I felt like I had worked harder and stimulated my brain more than I ever have before. In other words, I knew it was my calling and purpose.
And today, I not only have to stay up-to-date on skin science (everything from newest biology, chemistry, tech and health research) but I am happily charged with leading my own brand strategy, marketing communications, sales, operations, accounting, and thought leadership. However, when I tell people I’m an esthetician and skin coach now, some of my old (unfortunately usually male and over 50) colleagues wonder why I’ve quit consulting to sit at home, do my nails and just post on social media. It’s almost like they’re saying I’ve given up.
There just seems to be this sort of disrespect for this industry built around beauty and wellness. It’s unfortunate, but I’m striving to continue changing that since I believe it to be an industry full of some of the best and brightest people out there. In fact, now that I’m writing this, I might change my name to “skin scientist.” :)
What tips you would give a woman who wants to start a skincare business?
Come up with [a] vision before comparing yourself to everyone else. This industry is very large and competitive, but there are also so many niches and opportunities to thrive.
My best advice to aspiring business owners in this industry is to sit down with a piece of paper and first complete this sentence, “I believe the skincare world would be a better place if ________.” Filling in this sentence will force you to see your business vision. Then it’s easier to bring it to life with the right messaging, products, services, and branding.
In addition, remember the phrase, “Rome wasn’t built in a day.” A business takes a very long time to build. There will be good days and bad days. But success is putting one foot in front of the other each day.
And, in my experience as a marketer and business owner, the clearer your vision is, the more likely you are to succeed. Just give it time and stay true to your course.
Are there still gender stereotypes in the esthetics industry, in your opinion?
In my opinion, I feel like the esthetics industry is still pretty misunderstood. In fact, there are many people out there who don’t even know what an esthetician is or does.
Some people hear the word and mistake it for anesthesiologist, or some people assume I do nails or just wax pubic hair. In reality, the profession is still fairly new and generally undefined. This, of course, is also due to the ever-changing landscape and lobbying of medical boards and dermatologists making sure we won’t over-step our bounds, and each state deciding what we can and cannot do treatment-wise.
Additionally, there are so many options for creating niches for ourselves, too. This is because an esthetics license only covers the foundation – what you do with it after through various certifications and continuing education is what makes your real profession.
For example, estheticians can be wax, brow, lash, skin, tattoo, laser, or even [be] massage specialists. So with all of this ambiguity, I think it’s easier to still group us all together in old-fashioned stereotype lens’ like “beauty girls” or “beauticians.” But we’re so much more than that.
The biggest battle I usually find in the esthetics industry – at least on the skincare front – is dermatologists trying to undermine our skills and knowledge, and vice versa. There is certainly room and needs for both professions, but it seems like one is always trying to take full territory of the other.
In my opinion, I would love a world where derms are recommending estheticians for proper daily skincare maintenance advice, and estheticians are recommending good derms for medical diagnosis, treatments, skin cancer screenings, and anything out of their jurisdiction like treatments involving blood, needles or aggressive chemicals. I guess I can dream.
What are some ways to work toward ending sexism in the esthetics industry?
I think the key to any stereotype is to continue to expose and educate more truths throughout the industry and world. The more we can change the narrative that the esthetics industry is just “fluffy” or “not for serious business women,” the more we can be seen as the truly dynamic, science-forward, wellness industry that we are. And the best way to do that, in my opinion, is to work on the following:
- Stay in our lane: I don’t believe in belittling other professions, like dermatology, to make a point. I believe that respect is much more easily gathered from being respectful to others and their skill sets
- Stop leaning into stereotypes: If you don’t like certain stereotypes, change the narrative through your social media and client communications. Help people understand what value you bring versus how you fit into their preconceived notion of who you are and what value you provide.
- Join the conversation: Assume you have a seat at the table with any other industry. Proudly educate at networking events, join community chambers of commerce, and speak confidently and intelligently about your profession and skillset.
- Teach the next generation: Help set an example for how you want future generations of estheticians to act, behave, express themselves, and create invaluable products, education and services to our clients!
Let’s change topics and talk about inspiration. Who inspires you, Emily Trampetti?
Besides Jesus, who gives me my purpose and drive, my family is my biggest inspiration, and they all have given me my values for creating a successful business that continues to pay dividends in all aspects of my life.
Be humble –
Meaning, don’t assume you’re smarter or better than your client or coworker. Assume you can learn something from everyone you meet. When you do learn something new, thank that person for teaching you something new. Your clients will feel more comfortable with you if you give them value.
Repeat. Listen. –
Being a great listener can really create incredible connections and relationships with others. The best way to listen is to hear what someone is saying and then repeat it back to them so they feel heard. For example, “I hear that you’re sad because your grandmother was sick last week.” Don’t make it about you and don’t offer unsolicited advice. This industry is built on being a good listener.
Treat your clients how you’d want to be treated –
We all can think of a time when something happened (that may or may not have been under our control) and we had to choose between our clients and the business. Maybe it was a dissatisfied customer wanting a refund, or a delayed shipment from the post office, or even a computer glitch that accidentally canceled someone’s appointment.
In these situations, it’s easy to pick your business and give your client an excuse. But your client should always take priority over the business. Without them you wouldn’t have a business. Ask yourself how you’d wish a business to handle the situation for you if you were the client – do that – and move on.
Here’s what else Emily Trampetti wants you to know
Being a business owner is not for the faint of heart. There are many days where I want to give up and go back to a 9-5 corporate job with benefits and a 401(k).
Being a business owner means you’re usually thinking about your business 24/7/365 and working weekends. It means you have to wear about 20 hats a day and are usually always worried about money and new clients. But if God or the universe has put something on your heart, it usually is one hundred percent worth it and more.
Don’t be afraid to try it, fail, succeed, try again, or change entirely. The journey that you’re on is more important than the destination.
Takeaways from the interview with Skin Property’s Emily Trampetti
There’s a lot to digest here, and I’m so thankful Emily opened up about so many things here! While I’m sad that gender stereotypes abound in the esthetics industry, Emily is talking about the issues to help change how people think about the work. That will be a key factor in dismantling the stereotypes.
It’s also great to see how Emily provides strategies for her clients to use at home based on what they learn in their sessions with her. In other words, she’s providing them with the how-tos for moving forward, empowering them in their skincare-related goals rather than making them dependent on her. The concept of a skincare coach is revolutionary, and I love it!
Also, I appreciate Emily’s advice for women business owners. By knowing what it takes to be a leading esthetician, you can better arm yourself with the tools to reach the top.
Finally, Emily’s point about being a good listener is always a good one, no matter what area of work you’re in. If you hear what your clients want and need, you will be better able to provide it as a business owner.
Did any of the answers in the interview surprise you? Will you think about the esthetics industry differently after reading this?
Top photo by Joelle Elizabeth, with permission of Emily Trampetti