I love interviewing indie business owners! Each person has a moment in their life when they’re forced to make a decision and they choose the path most difficult – simply because they dream bigger than they live. Alishia, though, is one of my favorite Chicago business owners. Smuve (pronounced ‘SMOOOV’) Skincare Studio is an extremely successful waxing, facial, and skincare salon all because of her. Alishia’s presence is instantly familiar and her demeanor is confident. Even if you have no idea what she actually does for a living, there’s no doubt she does it well. Admittedly after a bit of waiting, I was finally able to steal some of her time and hear her story.
Kari– You are my favorite esthetician in the loop, Alishia.
Kari– I’m serious! Coming here feels like I’m visiting a friend. Besides being hygienic, you’re superfast! By the time I even think I’m in pain you’re already done. Your appointment book stays full. How have you become so successful?
Alishia– Seriously, I’m all about personal attention. I always remember something about each of my clients. They know me and I know them. Plus, I offer great quality service at a reasonable price.
Kari– How would you describe your clientele?
Alishia– Well, in the beginning I would see more college students and professionals who stopped by during their lunch break. Now, though, more women, even into their 60s, are coming for services. They’re doing it, not for their significant other, but for themselves. Women want to be clean and smooth. Brazilian waxes, for example, used to be seen as maybe more erotic. Today, women just see them as hygienic.
Kari– What sets you apart from other wax studios and skincare salons in the loop?
Alishia– When you walk in my door you’ll never see a waiting room full of people. That’s because, although I have many clients, for the 30 minutes you’re in Smuve it’s all about you. Women are busy. I understand that. I get you in and out so that you can finish with your day. I’m a big stickler for time. Not to mention, I’m very clean – NEVER have I double dipped a wax stick. All my services are tailored for the individual I’m servicing. With me, even the type of wax service you’ll receive depends on your hair and skin type. I take all of that into consideration prior to each treatment.
Kari– Besides waxing, what are some other services you’d consider your ‘specialty’?
Alishia– I also offer chemical peels, facials, and body wraps.
Kari– Before beginning a successful career as an esthetician you worked as a Medical Administrator for 14 years?
Alishia– 14 years! But I’m a creative person and after some time I became bored with my job. So, in search of a creative outlet, I began working part time as a makeup artist while still working in the medical analytical field.
Kari– What gave you the courage to pursue a different career path and follow your dreams?
Alishia– I became very sick. That’s what happened in my case. I was facing some major health issues and it caused me to just step back and think, ‘what would I do with my life if only I had more energy?’ I remember lying in bed thinking, ‘Wow! What I wouldn’t do with my life if I could just feel better.’
We both have tears in our eyes as Aleshia goes into more detail about this dark period of her life.
Life is too short. That experience gave me the courage to walk away completely from the career that bored me and pursue what I love. I felt I had nothing to lose. Once I began pursuing my dream everything fell into place. I graduated at the top of my class from Mario Tricocci and began working in a medical spa. Working in that environment taught me to be fast and sterile. It’s aided in my success.
Kari– How powerful!
Visit YELP to see what Smuve Skincare Studio’s clientele have to say about Alishia and her amazing boutique salon.
Smuve Skincare Studio 111 N Wabash Ave, #1709 www.smuveskincare.com