i had an epiphany to give back!

when asked if there was a specific charity i know of and want to support, two places immediately came to mind: epiphany center and friendship house. many of my loved ones and close friends have recovered from an addiction to drugs and/or alcohol. i know how hard it is to get sober! there have been times where i felt that without the support of my community, i would not have been able to start my walk on the path towards success. for example, i am not sure if i could have left my previous career to start the journey toward being an esthetician if i didn’t have my loved ones cheering for me along the way!

change is scary and deciding to address an addiction is not only making a commitment to change but also relearning how to interact in this world. for this reason, getting clean is much more than just putting down the alcohol or drugs – and these two programs focus on the human as a whole, versus solely the addiction.

epiphany center provides holistic care to those who are struggling by focusing on multiple types of growth: physical, social-emotional, intellectual and spiritual! they have a residential recovery program for women and their young children that provides everything from vocational training groups to auricular acupuncture. their goals, in their words, are simply: “to keep children safe, to strengthen parent-child relationships and to keep families together by reducing risk factors.” in doing so, they impact the future of our community.

 

friendship house association of american indians is “dedicated to stopping the cycle of dysfunction that has been passed down from one generation to the next”. they don’t see their clients as simply clients, but instead as family. they have an 80-bed residential facility that people can stay in for up to 6 months. during this time, they work to empower themselves through resume development, computer training, job training and housing assistance.

whether or not you or a loved one has struggled with addiction, it is evident that the goals these two companies have are commendable! the goal is to help treat the addiction to empower the human. interestingly enough, skinSALVATION has the same idea – help treat the skin to empower the human. a donation to these organizations expands their programs to reach a greater population in need.

if you would like to help, you can donate directly to the epiphany center or friendship house.

helping our friends of friends of albania

each month skinSALVATION gives to a cause personally close to a team member’s heart. this month we were able to help an organization that has been a huge part of my brother’s life. in 2009, my older brother (who i always thought was a super human) joined the peace corps and started his 27 month assignment in albania. he came back speaking a hybrid of albanian and english, hand-in-hand with his now fiance and bragging about being named “personazh i viti” (person of the year) by the mayor. a piece of his heart was left an ocean away and he wanted to find a way to stay involved. that was when they both found Friends of Albania, a non-profit organization that connects previous peace corps volunteers to current volunteers to support small, community-driven projects.

both have been active members for over five years now and have since taken on leadership roles. alex, my brother’s fiance is president and my brother, brett is treasurer. it wasn’t until recently that i really understood how impactful these projects were to the albanian community. the nation is still adjusting post-communism and this organization encourages community, equality and positive growth.
the most recent grant was used to rehabilitate two community parks to create safe, clean and fun public spaces for the village youth to hang out. not only did this project create a playground for a local kindergarten where more than 80 kids play every day, but nearly 200 members of the community came together to create the space.
the project before that was a youth radio exchange designed to encourage youth involvement with digital media and inspire the creation of diverse creative content. many local tv/radio stations have been running since the 80’s when the country was still under communism and content was heavily monitored and regulated. this opened the conversation of past and present media and got participants excited to create new, quality content.
for information on how you can get involved, feel free to contact me or visit www.friendsofalbania.net.

founder’s letter – next chapters for sS in 2017

celebrating 9 years. not pictured is blakely at the front desk who’s joined team sS just last week 🙂

GRATITUDE.
i’ve got to always start with gratitude. we live such good lives. we are amazingly fortunate to have access to most everything we could ever want or need here in the bay. it’s easy to forget to honor ourselves, and so i’d like to..
THANK YOU so much for choosing to invest in yourself! the time, resources, and hard work you put in everyday for your self-care and wellbeing is a really big deal.
THANK YOU choosing sS to partner with in helping you on that journey for over 9 years!
THANK YOU for your support in my business, the intelligent and wonderful women running it, our local economy, and by extension, me!
our single clinic in SF has helped thousands of people clear up for good, and hundreds more remotely. this past spring we celebrated 9 years of doing this work, and you are a part of making that happen.
gratitude + love + light to YOU!

feeling happy and healthy, with wild elephants in sri lanka

KIM’S OOO. date of return, TBD…
after 9 years, i’ve officially moved away from the day-to-day operations of sS SF (!!!). i’ve been given the opportunity to make progress with sS in different inspiring locations, and the SF location of sS will be in the hands of general and assistant managers, liesse jones and lacey mons.
liesse is a licensed esthetician overseeing the entire clinic with the help of lacey, who runs the operations side of sS.  L2 (as i like to call them) + our amazing team are upholding the high standards upon which i’ve built sS, and are building it to be bigger and better than i ever could on my own. i am grateful and fortunate to have these women on my team to take good care of you!
as i concentrate solely on self care + the growth of sS:
  • i have retired from the treatment room and am no longer administering treatments. you are honestly in great hands with any of my estheticians – we have trained them to be the best of the best in SF! (ask about our training process the next time you’re in for treatment)
  • all client related inquiries will be managed by L2 on my behalf, and i will contribute as i am able.

 

i thank you so much your continued trust and support of sS with this exciting transition. 🙂
sS’s NEW THINGS TO COME
sS is now in this really exciting growth phase. all of these are works in progress and we’ll let you know when they launch. some of what’s launching in 2017:
  • MORE NATUROPATHIC DOCTORS! i’ve been meeting with and getting to know several in the bay area to widen our network of experts to help our clients that need it. more on this on our blog as we complete our research 🙂
  • NEW ONLINE STUFF. in our shop, we’ve got new product photos up and will soon implement a subscription option for your favorite sS essentials (thanks to sS’er JN for the nudge!). on our site, we’ll be adding some video content and on our IG, lacey’s stepping up our visuals while continuing to preach the lifestyle gospel with practical, everyday acne-safe life hacks.
  • LOYALTY PROGRAM. as gesture of appreciation to our most loyal clients, we’re launching a loyalty program so you can earn credits towards future sS purchases!
  • REPLICATION. liesse and the SF clinic team are working hard to standardize our clinic model so that we can empower others to open up sS clinics of their own all over the world.
  • THE BOOK. once i leave SF and have my workflow sorted, i’ll be able to finally finish up the book that will empower people and change lives beyond the walls of our clinic in SF.
be sure to follow us on instagram, our blog and these same emails for updates.
thank you for your support and patience as our lean team makes small biz magic happen!

had to get a photo of this woman hustling behind me – on her bike, laptop AND cell phone. she could very well be getting her sS on, remotely!

GET REMOTE CARE + SUPPORT.
book your consult or follow-up appointment by phone or skype if you can’t get into our SF office! just book online, and notate it’s a remote session. (we are soon piloting a 1 hour remote consult appointment format, yay!)
and a bonus for all sS clients! if you’ve ever come in or bought anything from us: we are piloting a remote client-support program to see how we can better care for our clients. email us to schedule a free 15 minute phone call with one of our expert estheticians for skincare product counsel.we want to make sure you are using the right products for your skin, optimized for travel, seasonal, climate, hormonal changes.

follow me on instagram: @kimsthecoolest

K.I.T.
stay informed. link up with us on IG (@skinsalvationacneclinic), our blog or these emails and be the first to know of all our new launches. (we also post last minute appointment openings & clinic closures for team building events/meetings/trainings on IG)
see what i’m up to, and the world through my lens. follow my personal account on IG at @kimsthecoolest and keep in touch with me that way.
real talk: all of your support has got me this far (9+ years!), and the real, raw feedback you provide directly informs how i will choose to grow sS’s outreach to empower everyone, everywhere. please email me any and all thoughts you have about my company. your opinions are my gold!
cheers to positive growth, exploration and discovery into new chapters of life, and thank you again for your love and support!

gratuity questions answered

over the years, many clients have asked for guidance when it comes to gratuity given the clinical nature of our work. hopefully, this post will shed some light on the subject.
in general, 20% of the service price is the industry standard for tipping estheticians but many clients tend to leave more or less based on their own comfort level. our estheticians rely on tips to make up about 25% of their yearly income in order to afford living in the bay area.  we tip 20% for restaurants, hair stylist, massage therapist, why not your esthetician that changes your life by helping you clear up your skin?
your tips go a long way to support our therapists who would otherwise be making much more in a traditional day spa setting where they would be receiving 20+% tips on every service in addition to sales commissions on products and upgraded services. estheticians at sS do not receive any commission or percentage of product sales because this type of incentive encourages selling products that our clients may not need.
we appreciate your continued support!

 

FINDING FULFILLMENT IN CHANGING LIVES

 

team sS volunteering at dress for success – we are women, for women empowerment!

hey sS’ers, kim here.  long time since i’ve written a post – i’ve been busy with quite a few big game changing projects in the works!  more announcements about this about all that to come soon, but i wanted to share a little bit about something we’ve been doing at sS that i’m very excited about, and how will inspire you in some way. 🙂

HOW ACNE GAVE ME A SENSE OF PURPOSE IN LIFE
many of you may know my story, that i founded sS after finding the regular ‘spa’ facial world boring. when i was part of the opening team at remede spa (within san francisco’s st. regis hotel) all the way back in 2005, i was at the highest end, 5-star luxury hotel spa in the city. it was beautiful, we had thorough training and regularly had high profile clients. i also had a great work/life flow: my workweek consisted of wednesday to sunday like this: i’d take bikram class at funky door yoga on new montgomery st. at 12noon, get into work by 2pm to have a leisurely homemade lunch, before starting my 3-9pm work shift.

however, i felt unfulfilled with my work.

after i found acne, and saw, with time, how well the work worked, i felt inspired, of service to my community, and finally, TRULY FULFILLED.. because what i was actually slanging now was empowerment to the people – not just short-lived relaxation, a feel good face rub or expensive diamond creams.

fast forward 12 years later (!), it’s now 2017 and i’ve had skinSALVATION for 9 years now. i know that our work is truly life changing and amazing, and i’m ready to layer on the next level of fulfillment, in service to our community.

FULLFILLMENT : THE NEXT LEVEL
in order to do that, i’ve committed to donating a portion of our clinic profits to legit, charitable organizations every month. in years past, my donations were random, but since this january, with the help of my team at sS SF, we’ve been making it a regular + structured thing.

we are also doing our best to create the time and space to physically volunteer individually or as a group, whenever we can.  check out the photo above, of team sS at dress for success just last friday!

HOW WE’VE BEEN WALKING OUR TALK
so far this year, we’ve supported the following charities.  we’ll promise to write more in depth about why we’ve chosen these particular ones, and our personal connection to them.

EMPACT NORTHWEST (international medical crisis support – my best friend, tamara, used to run this org, and is still involved)

PLANNED PARENTHOOD (in honor of mike pence – duh)

ACLU (in honor of donald trump – duh)

DRESS FOR SUCCESS (the team volunteered there this friday, it was super fun!)

UNITED WAY OF GENESEE COUNTY (in support of the flint, michigan water crisis)

AMERICARES

COLEMAN ADVOCATES FOR CHILDREN AND YOUTH

AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL

AIDS LIFECYCLE (in support of many friends doing the ride AS I TYPE, like RIGHT NOW!)

RIDE FOR A REASON (to support oakland’s public schools)

LA CASA DE LAS MADRES (a local + kick ass org that provides shelter, advocacy and support services to women, teens, and children exposed to and at risk of abuse and domestic violence)

DALY CITY YOUTH HEALTH CENTER (i grew up partly within the daly city school system, and have very good friends that have served as marriage + family therapists there)

GRATITUDE TO YOU
with your continued support of my business – buying products, coming in for treatments, tipping your sS estheticians (to be closer in line with the hourly compensation rate they’d normally make at standard spas & salons), doing what we tell you to do to clear up and telling all your friends about us –  we can continue supporting our acne-prone community to be healthier and happier – and on a larger, more impactful humanitarian level – these charities, for years to come.

THE BIKE PHOTO

ok so you may have stumbled upon this blog piece from our instagram post, and want to know what’s up with these super pro looking bikers.  they are 3 friends of friends of sS that we’ve allocated our june donations to, to ride the grueling, uber challenging AIDS lifecycle for us, so we don’t have to train like crazy, haha. (if you don’t know about it, participants ride a bicycle from SF to LA over the course of a week to raise money for AIDS research + support). they are now on day 5 of 7, but it’s never too late to send some $$ love their way!

if anything, i’m happy to just raise awareness about this amazing cause, and shine the spotlight on some of the real-life brave riders i know that are doing it.  one of them is an sS’ers sibling, another is an sS’ers best friend, and the other a cool strong-legged friend of theirs!  feel free to support each one of them with this link here, here and here 😀

OUR (acne-safe) THANK YOU, TO YOU!
i like to think that our sS’ers are on the same wavelength as us on these kinds of things, so if you donate your time OR money to any of the charities we tell you about, show us your confirmation (even it’s just one hour, or $5!) and we’ll give you an sS gift as our (acne-safe) high-five to you!

SO MUCH GRATITUDE TO EACH AND EVERY ONE OF YOU for putting your faith into our process, and allowing us to do the important, life-changing and fulfilling work we love to do.  we very much appreciate the opportunity to make this our everyday, giving us purpose in life 🙂